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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 49776
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have been on sick leave past two and a half months

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I have been on sick leave for the past two and a half months and am signed off until 23rd July on my current certificate with work related stress which is more like depression now. I have had several phone calls and letters one of which requested an appointment with an occupational health practitioner which was horrendous, more of an interrogation!. MY company have requested that I attend a further appointment which I have refused as per my GPs advice following th last episode. I am feeling increasingly pressurised to return to work when I am not able to do so. I currently dread the post coming or the phone ringing in see it is them. I feel like I am been pushed into a corner and the only way out will be to resign even though my illness has been caused by pressure of work
Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked there for?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
9 years
How long has the depression lasted for and how likely is it going to last for?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have been on medication since last July with an increase in doseage in March when I went sick. how long is a piece of string? No knowing how long it will last but have anxiety as well
It could well be that you are classified as disabled for employment law purposes, which would give you certain rights in the workplace. 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.
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 discuss this with your employer. They may have to use an OH specialist to clarify this and confirm your position – do not see this as an ‘interrogation’ – they will need details from you to determine that. If no progress is reached there you may wish to consider raising 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 has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating, or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Unfortunately the OH practitioner I saw did conduct the meeting as an interrogation it upset me greatly. My workplace have said they will supply a member of staff but my job is quite specialised and is not taught but learnt over years of experience. Because of current practices which I have been told will not be altered the situation will not improve. I fear that I will be forced to resign without any recompense despite my illness being caused by overwork.
You cannot force the employer to do as you may wish them to and whilst you can try, if there is no progress then you may have to resign and pursue the matter further, such as through a tribunal. The law cannot force an employer to resolve such issues as they should be resolved, but it is there in a restitutional sense – that you can get compensated if you have not been treated in the correct way and perhaps have been forced to leave as a result. So that is why the grievance route should be pursued first so that you formally complain about this and give the employer a chance to resolve it, with the next steps being available for you if no solution is reached.
Does this clarify things for you a bit more?
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