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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 73959
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I have a question about employment law. I am in a very

Customer Question

I have a question about employment law. I am in a very difficult work situation which is causing me severe stress that is seriously impacting my health since a recent diagnosis of Diabetes and Hypertension. My blood pressure and blood sugars are impacted badly in stressful situations at the moment. I have asked my employer to move out of my current assignment to one that is more manageable until my condition is stabilised. My Doctor has advised that as my condition is improved through diet and exercise then I will regain better control of both blood sugar and blood pressure. I am concerned that my employer will try to make me redundant on medical grounds or will seek to employ me on a different basis with reduced employment terms. What are the rights and obligations of the employer and employee in these sorts of circumstances?
Submitted: 20 days ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 20 days ago.

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 20 days ago.

Please explain how your work is impacting your health? Also, how long have you worked for this employer please?

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 20 days ago.

Please explain how your work is impacting your health? Also, how long have you worked for this employer please?

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
The project I am working on is very stressful situation due to the obnoxious nature of the employer. Exposure to this stressful situation increases my blood pressure and blood sugar to dangerous levels and inhibits my attempt to stabilise my medical condition. I have been employed by my current employer for 10 years.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 20 days ago.

OK I understand and thank you for providing this information. Please do not worry and leave it with me for now; 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.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 20 days ago.

Many thanks for your patience, I am pleased to be able to continue assisting with your query now. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues you have experienced in your situation.

Initially you need to determine if your condition amounts to a disability as that will give you the best protection. The legal definition of a ‘disability’ can have a broad meaning and there is no single list of medical conditions that can qualify. Potentially, any condition or ailment can amount to a disability if it meets the required criteria.

That criteria are contained in The Equality Act 2010, which 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 below:

- Physical or mental impairment – this can include practically any medical condition, be it a physical or mental impairment

- 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)

Please also take a look at this detailed guide on determining if you are disabled:

If a person satisfies the necessary criteria, they will be classified as being disabled in a legal sense 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 common 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

Obviously, the most appropriate adjustment for you would be the change of duties you require.

If someone who is disabled is being treated unfavourably because of their disability or their employer has failed to make reasonable adjustments, that would potentially amount to disability discrimination, which is unlawful. The first step to try and deal with this would be to raise a formal grievance.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 20 days ago.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.