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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50147
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I have been employed with my compnay years in July.

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I have been employed with my compnay for 10 years in July. I was diagnosed with an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) (that then was over active due to my doctor increasing the levothyroxine to try to stabalize my symptoms) in July 2014 and was unable to work for 6 weeks, but returned to work 8-2 (normal hours 8.30-5) as I still had ongoing problems. When I returned to work I had over 2000 emails and almost 200 invoices as they had not brought in a replacement to do any of my work. The symptoms persisted and my doctor referred me to a rhuematologist who I see on 5 January 2015. I was prescripted Hydrochloriquine and has a Depo-Medrone IM 120mg stat injection to try to help with the puffiness and swelling in my fingers and was advised that it may be 12 weeks or longer before I noticed the benefits from the Hydrochloriquine . I received a letter from the department or rhuematology who confirmed I had osteoarthritis, nodular OA of the hands and possible seronegative imflammatory arthritis. My employers have now confirmed that although my doctor has given me a sick note to work short hours, again 8-2 they will only accept until the end of March and then I will have to go on SSP for 28 weeks or until I can resume full working hours. In some ways I feel that they have contributed to my demise. I had a desk assessment in March 2011 and advised them that due to the amount of data entry work I was doing my thumb and wrist were aching (I have a copy of the email that I sent to the facilities department). They gave me a gel mouse pad and a foot rest. I also took 2 months leave in July 2012 due to anxiety and depression, partly brought on to my workload (I have a copy of the email sent to my manager). I have given them permission to write to my doctor and advised them that I do not have another appointment with the rhuematologist until 7 April 2015 (I tried to get an earlier date but was unable to). Is there anything I can do. I am told that I am only entitled to SSP and no other benefit.
Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. can you tell me what you entitlement is to sick pay under you contract of employment is please.


10 full days per year and up to 28 SSP with contractual days and SSP running concurrently.

Ben Jones :

OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am in a tribunal today so will prepare my advice during the day and get back to you this evening. There is no need to wait and you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you

Ben Jones :

Thanks for your patience. You are likely to have certain protection under disability laws, specifically if you can show that you are classified as being disabled in law. In the legal sense of the word, disability can have a broad meaning and there is no single list of medical conditions that qualify. Instead, to establish whether a person is disabled, they need to show that they meet the legal definition of a ‘disability’.

The Equality Act 2010 defines a disability as a “physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities”.

I will break this definition down:

  • Physical or mental impairment – this can include nearly any medical condition;

  • Substantial effect – the effect must be more than minor or trivial;

  • Long-term - the effect of the impairment must either have lasted or be likely to last for at least 12 months;

  • Normal day-to-day activities – these could include anything considered ‘normal’ in a person's normal daily routine (e.g. walking, driving, speaking, eating, washing, etc.)

If a person satisfies the above criteria, they will be classified as being disabled and will have automatic protection against discrimination, which means that they must not be treated unfavourably because of their disability. In addition, their employer would have a duty to make reasonable adjustments if they are likely to be placed at a substantial disadvantage when compared to non-disabled employees.

What amounts to ‘reasonable adjustments’ can have a wide interpretation and often depends on the individual circumstances. Below are some examples:

  • making adjustments to work premises;

  • allocating some of the employee’s duties to others;

  • transferring the employee to fill an existing suitable vacancy;

  • altering the employee’s hours of work;

  • allowing the employee to be absent during working hours for rehabilitation, assessment or treatment connected to their disability;

  • acquiring or modifying specialist equipment;

  • providing supervision or other support.

The employer cannot force you to go on sick leave and before they even consider suggesting that they should be exploring all available options in terms of reasonable adjustments – this is a rather strict duty on their part. Only if reasonable adjustments are not possible and you believe that you cannot do the current job can you decide to go off sick, although that is a decision that you make, not the employer. As to your entitlement to sick pay should you go off sick then that would depend entirely on your contract – if you have used up all your entitlement to full or part sick pay, then you will have to go on SSP.

If someone who is disabled is being treated unfavourably because of their disability or their employer has failed to make reasonable adjustments it would potentially amount to disability discrimination. The first step would be to raise a formal grievance. The next step would be to consider whether a claim for disability discrimination should be made in an employment tribunal (the time limit for claiming is only 3 months from the date of the alleged discriminatory act taking place).

I hope this clarifies your position? If you could please quickly let me know that would be great, as it is important for us to keep track of customer satisfaction. Thank you

Ben Jones :

Hello, I see you have accessed and read my answer to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? I just need to know whether you need further help or if I can close the question? Thank you


Thank you very much for your help and clarification, its very much appreciated

Ben Jones : You are welcome all the best
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