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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 49778
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Is it possible to terminate the employment of an employee whilst

Customer Question

Is it possible to terminate the employment of an employee whilst they are on sick leave? The person concerned has been sick for nearly 2 months and employed for approx 5 months. She is employed as a carer for my husband. Her continued absence limits my ability to employ someone else due to the rules on statutory sick pay changing. My husband has a number if challenges including registered blind and profoundly deaf, suffers from Parkinson's disease, diabetes, urine retention and some blood disorders. He is also elderly (92).
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

What is the reason for her sickness?

Ben Jones :

Helklo not sure if you saw my initial query above - what is the reason for this person's sickness that is keeping her away from work?

JACUSTOMER-tqlehdt4- : Recovering from pneumonia
Ben Jones :

Do you know how long she may be off sick for?

JACUSTOMER-tqlehdt4- : Illness occurred first week in April had sick note for 4 weeks, then further sick note for 4 weeks up to 31 May
JACUSTOMER-tqlehdt4- : should have said that my insurance company consider she may take advantage of indefinite statutory sick pay so further 4 week sick note may be forthcoming
Ben Jones :

If she has been continuously employed at her place of work for less than 2 years then her employment rights will generally be quite limited. Most importantly, she will not be protected against unfair dismissal. This means that you can dismiss her for more or less any reason, and without following a fair procedure, as long as your decision is not based on discriminatory grounds (i.e. because of gender, race, religion, age, a disability, sexual orientation, etc.) or because she was trying to assert any of her statutory rights (e.g. requesting maternity leave, etc.).

If the dismissal had nothing to do with any of the above exceptions then she would not be able to challenge it and her only protection would be if she was not paid her contractual notice period, because unless she was dismissed for gross misconduct, she would be entitled to receive her contractual notice period. If she did not have a written contract in place she would be entitled to the minimum statutory notice period of 1 week.

Now the only concern here is whether her condition could amount to a disability in law but for that to happen she needs to have a medical condition which has lasted or is likely to last for more than a year. Assuming this was an illness which has come and gone in less than a year and there are unlikely to be any direct effects of it lasting for longer than that, it is unlikely to be a disability and it won’t therefore fall within one of the exceptions I mentioned above, meaning you may still dismiss her.

Ben Jones :

Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? Thanks

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
Hello Winifred, could you please let me know if I have answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this – this is needed so I can either keep the question open or close it if no further advice is required? Thank you