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taratill, Solicitor
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 6428
Experience:  15 years experience of advising on employment law matters
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is it legal for a UK based company to terminate an employee

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is it legal for a UK based company to terminate an employee on foreign assignment within the probation period (90 days) while employee is having health problems and is undergoing medical testing to determine the cause of the health condition. Employee missed 2 weeks of work and was advised to stay home until receiving a clean bill of health which added more absence from work. The termination was based on inadequate performance and attendance record with no reference to medical condition as cause. Additionally upon termination all employees medical insurances as well as country residency were cancelled.
taratill :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I am happy to help you today. What was the nature of the medical condition which prevented the employee from working?


the condition was eventually determined to be related to the parathyroid gland, the illnesses (and there were two separate episodes) which prevented the employee from working began with symtoms similar to food poisoning which was diagnosed as a possible virus with hepatitis, then later after the second episode, employee went for screening for hepatitis A,B and C which turned up negative, but after two blood tests, showed high serum calcium. A final test after the employee contract was terminated showed again high serum calcium, and 24 hours urine sampling showed high calcium (over twice normal). Doctor strongly suspects hyper-parathyroidism and further tests are required. Symptoms included nausea and vomiting, headaches, and difficulty focusing. Employee no longer has access to the same doctor, or medical insurance as he was demobiized from the project.

taratill :

The problem is that unless the condition amounts to a disability for the purpose of employment law then there is nothing the employee can do about it. This is because UK law allows an employer to dismiss for any reason in the first two years of employment so long as the dismissal does not amount to discrimination contrary to the Equality Act 2010. This means that the tribunal does not have jurisdiction to hear an unfair dismissal claim in these circumstances.

taratill :

If you believe that the condition amounts to a disability ,i.e. is long term and has a signficant impact on the employees ability to carry out day to day activities then the person should appeal on the basis that the termination amounts to discrimination.

taratill :

If you have any further questions about this please do ask. If I have answered your question I would be grateful if you would take the time to rate my answer. Thank you and all the best.

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