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Ross Miller
Ross Miller,
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 2127
Experience:  Director (Litigation and Mediation) at Hilltop Solutions
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I have an employment question Assistant: Was this discussed

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I have an employment question
Assistant: Was this discussed with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: briefly with manager
Assistant: Does the workplace operate with employees, freelancers, consultants, contractors or with unionised employees?
Customer: Employees
Assistant: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I am currently on a phased back to work as I’ve been off sick due to struggling with my mental health. I have been told from work they are taking disciplinary action and I’m being investigated due to a couple of things that happened this week. I think it’s unfair and also I really don’t know what to do because I don’t want to go through the process again (I’ve had a verbal warning already which was unfair)
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I really don’t like the way I’m being treated and have been treated in the past and it’s not helping with my mental health. I wanted to just walk out the other day but of course I can’t just do that. I even considered going back to my doctors and going back to being off sick, look for a job and at least I’ll receive SSP in the mean time. But I believe the disciplinary will still go ahead so I just don’t know ��

Hello my name is ***** ***** I can help with this matter.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Thank you Ross
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Live chat is fine with me

It potentially sounds like there is possibly discrimination matters here. Can you give me a full synopsis of what has happened, from the phased return and what they are disciplining you for, and why you feel this is unfair. I believe I can help you with this. I must advise that this is an email service and not a live chat service, however, I will be back online in a couple of hours and I will be able to respond to you in full once I receive the further information from you. I look forward to hearing from you.

You can ignore the request for the phone chat, it is automatically generated by the website.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Ok so I’ve been off work since October due to depression / anxiety and in the last month started a phased return. More because I needed to financially if I’m honest as I was only receiving SSP and this wasn’t helping me mentally as I was stressed financially, as you can imagine. My doctors note suggested 1-2 days a week for December, however I had a telephone consultation with a company my workplace wanted me to speak to and their report suggested 2-3 days to begin with, increasing to full time within 4-6 weeks. When I went back to work, my line manager and myself discussed what days to work in December. I wrote down in my phone my plan and discussed this but my manager said to put in my holidays for December and then we would readdress this in January. I knew I needed 7/8th January off work because my mum had planned a surprise for myself and the family with my sister being over from Australia, and I genuinely believed I’d put in my holidays up to this week as I knew I mentioned I needed these days off briefly to my manager when I came back to work. The issue was that we only went up to the week prior to this so I hadn’t actually got those days booked off like I thought. As my notes in my phone went up to that week, I just believed I’d sorted it. I’d never just not turn up to work without saying anything otherwise. So that was the issue on the 7th as my manager text me to ask where I was and I apologised numerous times, told her I thought I’d put a holiday in for the 7/8th and explained the situation. I even offered to come into work for the afternoon. This went down as an unauthorised absence and so did the Monday 6th (which I will explain next).

Thank you I will get back to you today on this. R.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
On Monday 6th I spent the night/early hours of Monday in A&E with my partner. He’s awaiting an urgent operation for a lump on his back which is causing him a lot of pain and discomfort. He’s had the operation cancelled 3 times now (including on the actual day) so this lump is getting bigger and more infected. We waited for him to see someone for a few hours, he was tested on with swabs etc and given the appropriate antibiotics as a short term help. But after the doctor saw how bad the lump was, he couldn’t believe it hadn’t been operated on already and was concerned. He spoke to another hospital over the phone and told us to visit this hospital for 8am and go to the surgical triage where they’d be able to help more and possibly operate. So I’d updated my manager before I went to A&E, then explained what we were told to do etc so kept her updated. Unfortunately I didn’t know what was going on myself, and neither did my partner. I was waiting around for more information for hours but updated my manager ASAP. I was hoping to make it into work for the afternoon but unfortunately everything just took longer than expected. Because I didn’t specifically ask for that day as a holiday, that has also been put down as unauthorised absence so now I’m being investigated by HR and going though a disciplinary. This is just making me take 2 steps back mentally and I don’t know what to do. If I could just resign I would but I can’t financially. My mental health is way more important.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Thank you for your help, I really appreciate it. I’m just fed up and need the advice. I’m just worried and so anxious now about the whole situation and dreading work on Monday..

Thank you for the further information. I do believe I can help with this matter. Firstly, they should have abided by the doctor's recommendations and given you the phased return which was suggested. However, more importantly, they should not have made you use up your holidays in December they have no right to do this. If they wanted you to be absent then they could have just asked you to take time off and pay you accordingly. They also should not have put you down as an unauthorised absence if you had taken time off due to an emergency. Given that you have just returned to work they should be more understanding. Additionally as you have previously told them about the time you need off then they should have put this in the diary way in advance. What you have to do in the first instance is raise a grievance with your work. They will have a workplace policy as to how to do this. You are basically making a complaint about the way the company has dealt with you in this matter. If they do not take the decision to remove your disciplinary then you can appeal the grievance decision. Ultimately, as you mentioned about not working there. If you feel that you are being treated at a detriment then you take the decision to rising and make a claim against the company for unfair dismissal. However, this is always risky and is best avoided if you can come to a different outcome. Additionally if you feel that you wish to leave then another thing you can do is see if you can come to an exit agreement with the company, you would want to hire someone to do this for you as they will not be likely to entertain it if you do this yourself. If you do take the decision to resign then you will have to initiate Early Conciliation with Acas before you make the claim to the Employment Tribunal. They will assist in seeing if they can come to a resolution with you and the company prior to moving froward to a Tribunal. Additionally you will need the Early Conciliation Certificate in order to raise the action with the tribunal. However, before you do anything you will require to go through the grievance process with your employer.

I hope this information has helped. You can find a local solicitor who deals with this on the law society webpage which is;

I would be obliged if you could Click to “accept” the answer and leave me a 5 star rating (this will not cost any extra). This will tell the website that I have responded to your question, you can, of course, continue to ask any follow up questions free of charge.

Kind regards


I would be obliged if you could Click to “accept” the answer and leave me a 5 star rating (this will not cost any extra). This will tell the website that I have responded to your question, you can, of course, continue to ask any follow up questions free of charge.

Kind regards


Ross Miller and 2 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Hi Ross,I’m not sure where to accept?

Thank you very much obliged.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Just had a thought.. bearing in mind my doctor has told me to work 1-3 days in January, and I still worked Thursday and Friday last week and Wednesday was a holiday, then surely the Monday and Tuesday shouldn’t be unauthorised anyway because I would never have worked a full week? I’ve still done the amount of days I’m supposed to do, regardless of them expecting me in on the Monday and Tuesday. Do you get me?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Sorry I’m just extremely anxious about work tomorrow and dreading it.. so my mind is on overdrive

Yes, I appreciate what you are meaning. And I agree you do have a point, but just to play devils advocate, you still have to arrange which days you are taking off, but I do agree that there is point to be made with that. If you like I can offer a service on here to provide you with my company email address so if there are any issues you require to deal with legally we could potentially help. We often work on a no win no fee basis.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
The fact that I’ve been told I’m being investigated and they’ve left me for days wondering what’s happening, and without a letter isn’t very professional either. It’s like they don’t care how it affects me mentally and it makes me so upset considering I’m trying to get better. That may be an option if that’s OK with you just in case it goes further like you say.

Yes, the reason I have offered it is sounds like (depending on what happens) you may have a claim for discrimination. I would be happy to review this for you. Thank you.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Hi Ross. Sorry for the message again but it’s now past 2am and I still haven’t got any sleep. Probably doesn’t help that I can’t stop thinking about work but also my anti-depressants make me feel so nauseous if I don’t get sleep, then I start to feel ‘lower’ than usual too, along with other symptoms. I know I’m going to have set backs along the way and it’ll take a few months before I don’t have these issues with the medication but it’s very difficult when it comes to work. I’m just so fed up �� do I have the right to request working Thursday instead of today due to not being able to sleep and taking into account how I’m feeling?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Hi again Ross.. sorry to message but I’m really struggling mentally and feel like I’m at a cross roads. The thought of going to work is making me feel so down and my anxiety is through the roof. It’s making me have panic attacks, going into work is just making me worse and not better, and the way I’m being treated is awful and just scares me to think ‘what will tomorrow bring and how will they be with me’. I know I won’t sleep tonight again, my heads just all over the place not knowing what to do. Part of me is saying to go back to my doctors and see what he says. He may want me to be back on sick for a bit and if that happens I can at least look for a new job? Please help :-(

I have had to initiate an additional Q&A service as this is out with the original question.