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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 64756
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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My son who has a host of medical issues is about to be made

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My son who has a host of medical issues is about to be made redundant from his accounting role. The operating unit is being closed but it would appear that all the other staff will be retained, at least for a year, and infact they have recruited another accountant, more qualified on a fixed term contract to replace him and an apprenticeship. My son only started in December and works part time. He is an easy target, the cheapest to get rid of and seems to be singled out although the Company will deny this.
JA: Was the termination discussed with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: With the manager and HR - no lawyers present. A meeting to discuss any concerns is on 1/4/20 and Marc will be paid until 22/4/20
JA: Does the workplace operate with employees, freelancers, consultants, contractors or with unionised employees?
Customer: No unions mainly employees but a few on short fixed contracts
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: If we go for a tribunal does that do anything as Marc will lose his job so this is trying to maximise a payout I expect

Hello, I’m Ben, a UK lawyer and will be dealing with your case today. I may also need to ask some questions to determine the legal position.

What do you specifically want to know about this please?

Ben Jones and 6 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Has Marc been unfairly treated in law and in terms of financial compensation is he entitled to be paid more than just his salary to his leaving date. If he claimed unfair dismissal what outcome could he expect at a tribunal?
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
So no charge for the call please . A written answer will suffice

Many thanks for your patience. If he has been continuously employed at his place of work for less than 2 years then his employment rights will unfortunately be somewhat limited. Most importantly, he will not be protected against unfair dismissal. This means that an employer can dismiss him for more or less any reason, and without following a fair procedure, as long as the decision is not based on a reason which makes a dismissal automatically unfair. These include:

{C}· Discrimination due to a protected characteristic (i.e. because of gender, race, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, etc.)

{C}· Taking, or trying to take, leave for family reasons including pregnancy, paternity leave, parental leave, adoption leave or leave for dependants

 

In the event that the reason for dismissal fell within any of these categories, then the dismissal could be automatically unfair and there could also be a potential discrimination claim. In these circumstances the 2-year rule would not apply.

 

However, if the dismissal had nothing to do with any of the above exceptions, he would not be able to challenge it. In that case his only protection would be if he was dismissed in breach of contract. That would usually happen if he was not paid any contractual notice period due to him (unless he was dismissed for gross misconduct, where no notice would be due). If he did not have a written contract in place he would be entitled to the minimum statutory notice period of 1 week. The employer would either have to allow him to work that notice period and pay him as normal, or they instead have to pay him in lieu of notice, where he is paid for the equivalent of the notice pay but his employment is terminated immediately.

 

So the only thing is whether he is disabled and if that had anything to do with the decision to dismiss him.

 

Disability can have a broad meaning from a legal perspective and there is no single list of medical conditions that qualify. Potentially anything can amount to a disability if it meets the required criteria.

 

The Equality Act 2010 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:

  • Physical or mental impairment – this can include nearly any medical condition, be it physical or mental
  • 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)

 

If a person satisfies the above criteria, they will be classified as being disabled 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.

 

If someone who is disabled is being treated unfavourably because of their disability or their employer has failed to make reasonable adjustments it would potentially amount to disability discrimination. The first step to deal with this would be to raise a formal grievance using the employer’s own grievance procedure. If a claim in the employment tribunal is considered it must be made within 3 months of the date of the alleged discriminatory act taking place.