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taratill, Solicitor
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 6464
Experience:  15 years experience of advising on employment law matters
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Three months ago, I took on a new employee in the role

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Three months ago, I took on a new employee in the role of designer. The advert specified that the candidate must be able to work as a part of a team (5 others), have excellent communication skills and be able to self motivate.
The candidate we hired has been here three months. He has found it incredibly difficult to communuicate with the team (hardly speaks), has been unable to keep up with the work and the pressure of the job (very fast paced and constantly changing) . He admitted yesterday that he has Aspergers and can't cope unless his work tasks are neatly laid out for him in small chunks. I feel very sorry for him but we're a small company with a high turnover of work and we simply can't afford to carry him. If we chose to end the employment, are we at risk of a disability discrimination case?
Hello my name is ***** ***** I am happy to help you today. Has he made any suggestions of adjustments you could make to assist him in the workplace?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes. He says it would be easier if he just had small bits of work to do rather than taking on whole projects. The problem is that we turnover a lot of websites each month - up to 25 and we really need each team member to be responsible for their own projects.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
And they also need to be able to communicate efficiently with the clients involved in each project. This was made clear during the interview process.
You are right in recognising that there is a risk here that you could be landed with a disability discrimination claim if you dismiss him without taking precautions. This is not to say that you have to keep him employed in a job that he is incapable for doing. There is a duty on employers to make reasonable adjustments to assist an employee who is disabled in remaining in post but if no reasonable adjustments exist which make this viable to you as a business then you are able to dismiss him on the grounds of capability. The best thing you can do is have a meeting with him and ask for permission to write to his GP to ask about his condition and what adjustments you could make to the role to assist him. You should explain that you are concerned that he may not be capable to carry out the role but you want to support him where possible. You can then write to the GP setting out the role and ask what you could do to support him. If after receiving the report there is nothing that can be done realistically then you can take steps to terminate his employment. To avoid risk of a claim it may be worth offering small pay off by way of a settlement agreement. Is there anything further you would like to know about this?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok thank you, that's very helpful.. In his CV and application letter, he states the following
'well. I have a keen eye for detail,am a good decision maker and able to prioritise and manage my time well. Ienjoy working as part of a team but am self-motivated and also able to workwell individually.With no mention of his condition.. would that help if we were to dismiss?Many thanks
You could consider dismissing him for being dishonest but I would not recommend it as this could be a symptom of his condition. You would be at risk if you did this without further steps. I would strongly suggest you proceed along the GP route as it will be more hassle in the long run if he does submit a claim. I am happy to answer any further questions you may have. If I have answered your question I would be grateful if you would take the time to rate my answer as I am not otherwise credited for my time. Thank you and all the best.
taratill and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok, thank you very much for your help.
No problem at all and thank you for the rating. Do come back to me in the future if you need to and request me by name. Many thanks