How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ben Jones Your Own Question
Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 60585
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
29905560
Type Your Employment Law Question Here...
Ben Jones is online now

Last Wednesday I attended a meeting with HR where I filled

This answer was rated:

Hi Last Wednesday I attended a meeting with HR where I filled in an occupational Health form, on this I admitted I had suffered from depression in the past. On Friday I was entered to attend a probationary review meeting on Monday, I attended on Monday and was sacked. Today I received a letter thanking me for attending a disciplinary. I had no idea it was a disciplinary
JA: Have you discussed the disciplinary action with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: no one
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: I am now unemployed, was employed full time
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no dont think so

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

What reason did your employer provide for dismissing you and how long had you actually worked there for?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Said they had no confidence in my abilities, made a few mistakes when formatting a document, said I didnt fit in with the team, started working there on the 29th July finished on 16th September

Thank you. I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can, which will be at some point today. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Many thanks for your patience. The starting point is that if you have been continuously employed at you place of work for less than 2 years then your employment rights will unfortunately be somewhat limited. Most importantly, you will not be protected against unfair dismissal. This means that your employer can dismiss you for more or less any reason, and without following a fair procedure, as long as the decision is not based on a reason which makes a dismissal automatically unfair. These include:

· Discrimination due to a protected characteristic (i.e. because of gender, race, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, etc.)

· Taking, or trying to take, leave for family reasons including pregnancy, maternity/paternity leave, parental leave, adoption leave or leave for dependants

In the event that the reason for dismissal fell within any of these categories, then the dismissal could be automatically unfair and there could also be a potential discrimination claim. In these circumstances the 2-year rule would not apply.

However, if the dismissal had nothing to do with any of the above exceptions, you would not be able to challenge it. In that case your only protection would be if you were dismissed in breach of contract. That would usually happen if you were not paid any contractual notice period due to you (unless you were dismissed for gross misconduct, where no notice would be due). If you did not have a written contract in place you would be entitled to the minimum statutory notice period of 1 week. The employer would either have to allow you to work that notice period and pay you as normal, or they instead have to pay you in lieu of notice, where you are paid for the equivalent of the notice pay but your employment is terminated immediately.

In your case you can only potentially challenge them if your depression in the past amounted to a disability and this was the actual reason for your dismissal.

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. So if you were dismissed because of a disability, past or present, it can make the dismissal automatically unfair and you can challenge it in the Employment Tribunal.

Does this answer your query?

Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 30 days ago.
Thanks

All the best