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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50202
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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My mother was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year. She

Customer Question

My mother was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year. She works as a Steward for a working men's social club. Her employer has not made any reasonable adjustments for her whilst she was having chemotherapy or now whilst she continues with a different treatment. He still expects her to work her hours in her contract that she signed before her diagnosis. She is feeling victimised as her employer is making special visits to ensure she is in on time and working her full hours. Today he then gave her the option to give up her job. Is he allowed to do this and should they be doing more to help her?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you Ben
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Has your mum requested for her hours to be reduced? Also, how long has she been working there for?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She has asked if they would reduce her evening hours as it can sometimes be too much for her to do 8:30 - 12:00 then 18:30 - 00:00. She has been working there for around 9 years as Steward, but over 20 years in total.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

OK, thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Also, please do not responded to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Many thanks for your patience. If she has been diagnosed with cancer then she is automatically classified as being disabled in law and will have automatic protection against discrimination, which means that she must not be treated unfavourably because of her disability. In addition, her employer would have a duty to make reasonable adjustments if she is 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. Asking someone to give up their job because they are struggling to work with a disability and considering no reasonable adjustments have even been attempted is indeed likely to be discriminatory. 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).

Please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars. I can continue answering follow up questions and in particular can also discuss the steps she needs to follow if she was to take this further. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can still continue this discussion. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question and if you need me to discuss the next steps in more detail? In the meantime please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts from the top of the page. The question will not close and I can continue with my advice as discussed. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, do you need any further assistance or are you happy with the above response? Look forward to hearing from you.