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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50490
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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My wife is really struggling at work at the moment with

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Hi,My wife is really struggling at work at the moment with stress, in the past she has suffered with mental health, (depression had medication from doctors and received professional counselling.)
To top this of she is also 3 months pregnant.
My question is could she get demoted (she has a team leader role,) if she where to voice her issue or go on the sick from a doctor for depression?Thanks,

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

How long has she worked there for?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Hi Ben,
She has been there for just over 2 years.
Thanks leave it with me please I will reply once in the office this morning

Many thanks for your patience. If the employer simply goes ahead and demotes her because of this, it is very likely that it will amount to disability discrimination, or pregnancy discrimination if the issues she is experiencing are linked to her pregnancy.

As the depression is likely to amount to a disability under employment law, she will have certain rights and protections. First of all the employer must not treat someone detrimentally because of a disability and secondly they must also make reasonable adjustments to help them deal with these issues.

What amounts to ‘reasonable adjustments’ can have a wide interpretation and often depends on the individual circumstances of the employer, their business, the potential impact on other employees, the available resources, etc. Whilst legislation does not currently provide specific examples of what adjustments can be made, the following are examples that have been considered reasonable in case law over time:

· 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

Whilst she may be offered a different role for the time being, this should not automatically result in a demotion and it may even be a case of moving her to something suitable but keeping her permanent status and pay unaffected. She would then eventually return once she feels better.

Please take a quick second to leave a positive rating for the service so far by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars above. I can continue answering follow up questions and in particular can also discuss the rights she has on taking this further if she is discriminated. There is no extra cost for this - leaving your rating now will not close the question and means we can still continue this discussion. Thank you

Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

Thank you. In the event they treat her detrimentally she can initially challenge them through a formal internal grievance. In the event that does not work, she has a couple other options. One is to make a discrimination claim whilst still employed by them. The other is to resign and claim constructive dismissal and discrimination, but only if she strongly feels she cannot continue working there as a result.

Before a person can make a claim in the employment tribunal, they would be required to participate in mandatory early conciliation through the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS).

The purpose of this process is to allow ACAS to mediate between the claimant and respondent to agree on an out of court settlement in order to avoid the need for legal action in tribunal. The respondent does not have to engage in these discussions, or if they do and the talks are unsuccessful, the claimant will be issued with a certificate allowing them to make a claim.

However, if a settlement is reached, the claimant would agree not to proceed with the claim in return for the agreed financial settlement. Other terms can also be agreed as part of the settlement, such as an agreed reference.

To initiate the conciliation procedure ACAS can be contacted online by filling in the following form (, or by phone on 0300(###) ###-####