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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 62462
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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My son who has Aspergers has just been given 24 hours by

Customer Question

My son who has Aspergers has just been given 24 hours by Amazon to decide whether to leave, take some money and leave, soldier on for the next weeks (he knows already they will decide that he can’t do his job), or he has 24 hours to decide whether to take garden leave to search for a job hen take the money. He has been with them for 2 and a half years, they know he has Aspergers they said they would give him support to do his job and this has not come about. He is a very intelligent, articulate individual who direct line managers have no problem with but this one operations director wants him out.
JA: Was this discussed with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: This was done one to one with the Operations Manager who said he had a word with HR and legal,
JA: Does the workplace operate with employees, freelancers, consultants, contractors or with unionised employees?
Customer: it is Amazon, my son is an employee
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 months ago.

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

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 months ago.

So what reason have they provided for giving him these options?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
That he can’t achieve what they want, put it this way this manager has said things to my son in meetings such as “yes, but putting your Aspergers to one side”, he was moved into the job, they had no problem with him before. He has been assessed by an outside consultant as being able to do the job with some support, all done through Amazon
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I have no problem with a keyboard
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 months ago.

OK no problem and 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.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 months ago.

Hi there apologies for not being able to reply in full this evening, I was unexpectedly delayed in severe traffic and have only just returned. To ensure a quality answer, I will reply in the morning, thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 months ago.

Many thanks for your patience. He will have certain rights due to his condition, which is likely to amount to a disability under UK laws.

In terms of a potential dismissal, capability, where an employee is unable to perform the job they were employed to do due to ill health, is a potentially fair reason for dismissal under the Employment Rights Act 1996. Capability is assessed by reference to the employee’s skill, aptitude, health or any other physical or mental quality.

Apart from showing that capability was the reason for dismissal, the employer would also be required to follow a fair procedure. The leading case on fairness in these situations said that the employer should establish the true medical position and consult with the employee before deciding whether to dismiss. Another important consideration is whether any reasonable employer would have waited longer in the circumstances before dismissing the employee.

When looking at the reasonableness of such a dismissal, the tribunal will usually look at the following factors:

· What was the nature of the illness and did the employer make attempts to gather more information on it, such as asking for medical reports or examinations

· The need for the employer to have someone doing the work

· The employee's length of service

· Was the employee consulted over their position

· The availability of other suitable employment that the employee could do instead

In any event, dismissal should be used as a last resort. Only when it is obvious that the employee cannot continue in their job, that their absences are having a detrimental effect on the business and that there were no alternative roles available for them to do, would dismissal become a fair option.

So in summary, if the employer has not taken time to investigate the true medical position, whether suitable employment was available and generally considered the effects the employee's condition would have on the business, any dismissal could potentially be unfair. In addition, if they have failed to make reasonable adjustments in the event the employee's was classified as disabled, this could also amount to disability discrimination.

There is no right or wrong approach in terms of which option he chooses as each may have its own advantages and disadvantages so it is up to you to decide but one thing to be aware of is that if he leaves with compensation now, he will likely be signing away hs rights to claim in the future so must ensure he is satisfied with the offer that has been made.

Does this answer your query?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 months ago.

My response to your query should be visible on this page. Could you please let me know if it has answered your original question or whether you need me to clarify anything else in relation to it? If your query has been answered I would be grateful if you could please take a second to confirm this by replying on here. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 months ago.

Hello, not sure if you are having trouble seeing my posts? I have not heard back from you since posting my answer and just need to know if your query has been resolved. If you could please post a quick reply to confirm I would be very grateful. Thank you