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Jenny
Jenny, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 7197
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor specialising in Employment Law and general legal matters. Please start your question For Jenny Only
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My partner is suffering with depression because he is losing

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My partner is suffering with depression because he is losing his vision. He has used all of his sick pay and has tried to go back to work, but keeps having panic attacks. He is now worried that he will be dismissed. Are they able to do this?
JA: Where is your partner? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: England
JA: What steps has your partner taken so far?
Customer: He is on antidepressents and has had counselling
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: his workplace has put in adjustments to assist with his vision

Hello my name is***** am a solicitor and I am happy to help you today. How long has he worked there for?

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
5 years in September

Have they threatened to dismiss him?

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
No, but his manager said he is going to call HR on Tuesday because he feels he has done everything that he can to help. So because of this, my partner fears that they are going to say that they have made the reasonable adjustments required of them and he is still not able to do his job so he will be dismissed.

what reasonable adjustments have been made? Do you think more can be made?

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
They have got him a new computer monitor and software that he requires in order to assist with his loss of vision. They have also allowed him time off for medical appointments. All of the adjustments have been made for his vision and not for his mental health. I am not sure what adjustments could be put in place for his mental health.
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Really what he needs is more sick time off and more counselling. Unfortunately, we cannot afford private counselling and the wait time for NHS counselling in our area is approximately 12 weeks.

Mental health reasonable adjustments might include, additional rest breaks, a quiet work space or anything else he believes would assist him.

The employer can dismiss on the grounds of capability if it has done everything to accommodate the member of staff and they cannot work. In the event that he is dismissed you should appeal on the basis that it is unfair and amounts to disability discrimination and a failure to make adjustments. You can lodge early conciliation via ACAS at www.acas.org.uk and then lodge a claim if necessary at www.employmenttribunals.gov.uk

Is there anything further you would like to know about this please?

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
How long should the adjustments be in place before it can be deemed as they havent worked?

There is no set time on this, the issue is down to reasonableness, if all adjustments have been made and a person cannot work then they can lawfully dismiss on the grounds of capability.

If the employer has not made all the possible adjustments then it will be unfair and a breach of the duty to make reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act.

Please let me know if there is anything further I can assist with?

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Is it my partner's responsibility to tell them what adjustments to make or should his employer suggest these?

It really lies with both parties, most employers will suggest an occupational health appointment before terminating to ensure that they have considered all options from a medical point of view. If your partner feels that there has been a failure to make specific adjustments then it is a very good idea to say so.

Is there anything else I can help you with?

Jenny and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
I think that is all for now, thank you.

No problem, all the best.