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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 59604
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I have an ongoing problem at work. I have been signed off

Customer Question

I have an ongoing problem at work. I have been signed off sick with anxiety and depression. I was told by employer that they would not implement my doctor’s recommendations of working from home 2 days a week and in the office 3 days a week.
Assistant: Have you discussed this with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: Not yet, no
Assistant: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: Full time employee
Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I don’t belong to a union
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 month ago.

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

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 month ago.

How long have you worked there for?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
16 months
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I would prefer to type if possible
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Are you there?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 month ago.

Thank you. Your rights will very much depend on whether you are classified as being disabled under law.

Disability can have a broad meaning from a legal perspective and there is no single list of medical conditions that qualify. Potentially anything can amount to a disability if it meets the required criteria.

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 and examine it in more detail:

  • Physical or mental impairment – this can include nearly any medical condition, be it physical or mental
  • Substantial effect – the effect must be more than minor or trivial
  • Long-term - 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. shopping, reading and writing, having a conversation or using the telephone, watching television, getting washed and dressed, preparing and eating food, carrying out household tasks, walking and travelling by various forms of transport, and taking part in social activities)

If a person satisfies the above criteria, they will be classified as being disabled and will have automatic protection against discrimination. This 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 to deal with this would be to raise a formal grievance using the employer’s own grievance procedure. If a claim in the employment tribunal is considered it must be made within 3 months of the date of the alleged discriminatory act taking place.

Does this answer your query?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 month ago.

My response to your query should be visible on this page. Could you please let me know if it has answered your original question or whether you need me to clarify anything else in relation to it? If your query has been answered I would be grateful if you could please take a second to confirm this by replying on here. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 month ago.

Hello, not sure if you are having trouble seeing my posts? I have not heard back from you since posting my answer and just need to know if your query has been resolved. If you could please post a quick reply to confirm I would be very grateful. Thank you