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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70214
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I believe my son was unfairly dismissal based on the

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I believe my son was unfairly dismissal based on the Company's discriminatory behaviour towards him in terms of ignoring his physical disability. This is the breach of employment law as it relates to Equality Act. He has mental health issues and was placed on a stage one performance and after 4 weeks they said he had not improved and he was sacked. they ignored their own processes and provided no support even though he informed them he was struggling at home - he has less than 2 years service
JA: Have you discussed this with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: manager and HR
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: he was in full time employment by the company and there is no union
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: how to get him some representation as he is only allowed a union rep or a company employee to attend

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.

I'm sorry to hear of your son's situation. How long had your son worked there for and was his employer made aware of his disability, prior to employing him?

Customer: replied 3 days ago.
he worked for them for 22 months. his anxieties did not really start until he started working I think caused by stress and worry he has never been diagnosed with anything or been to the doctor but has had counselling which his employers were aware of

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.

Customer: replied 3 days ago.
ok

Many thanks for your patience, I am pleased to be able to continue assisting with your query now. Whilst he needs 2 years’ service to be protected against unfair dismissal, there are certain exceptions, one of which is to do with discrimination, such as on grounds of disability.

First of all, he needs to establish he is actually classified as disabled in law. 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)

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

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/work/discrimination-at-work/checking-if-its-discrimination/check-if-youre-disabled-under-the-equality-act/

If a person satisfies the necessary 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.

What amounts to ‘reasonable adjustments’ can have a wide interpretation and often depends on the individual circumstances. Below are some 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

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.

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.

Customer: replied 3 days ago.
Can you advise if he needs to have visited a doctor

No, it is not a legal requirement as disability does not depend on having visited a doctor, but on whether he meets the criteria mentioned above. However, doctor’s reports, diagnoses, etc can help in establishing that

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