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Dismissed due to ill health


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Hi all,

I was wondering if anyone can offer me some advice. I have been of sick from work due to a long term illness for about 1 year 2 months. I have had my own GP,Consultant, my Surgeon as well as my employers Doctors tell them that I am unfit to fit and there is no timescale to when I may return. I am covered by the DDA. My problem is that my employers have now terminated my contract effective immediately, and that they have only given my 5 days from the date of letter to appeal. The reason they have given me is termination due to ill-health capability. I have only just received the letter and it was dated 11/11/2010.

Can they do this? Is there anything that I can do?

 

Any help/advice would be great.

 

Cheers

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Hi neil

 

That clearly is unfair, you need to send them an e-mail stating that you wish to appeal and how much time you require to present your case. I think they think you will just roll along with their wish to terminate your contract. I think they want to force the issue .

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Hello again. I think Rebel could be right that they're trying to force the issue and that you could just send an email [assuming that's possible] to say you wish to appeal.

 

This is the ACAS online booklet for employers about managing long term sickness. You could start by looking around page 19.

 

http://www.acas.co.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=241&p=0

 

I hesitate to say you should ring ACAS because they haven't had very good press on the forum lately. But you could speak to the EHRC [equality and human rights people] who have a helpline.

 

As I said earlier, we have gurus who have day jobs and they should be along later.

 

My best, HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Hmmm. Personally, I would not appeal and send in a claim of unfair dismissal to a tribunal. I have to point out that this risks a tribunal reducing ay ward you may get because you didn't appeal, so I would head that off at the pass by including in the claim an explanation which says that due to the manner in which the company handled the dismissal you have lost all trust and confidence in a fair outcome.

 

However, I must point out that whilst a claim may well win - I believe that if everything you have said here is strictly accurate, that this is quite likely an automatically unfair dismissal, because you were denied the right to a hearing an to representation - you are probaby not going to win very much, on the basis that had the company actually done it corectly, you would still have been dismissed on capability grounds (i.e. the outcome would have been the same) and given the circumstances you have described, such an outcome would have been fair without a doubt. Tribunals are very stressful and lengthy processes, so whether you want to put yourself through all this for what may be a relatively low amount of award is a serious consideration. The DDA does not protect you from being dismissed, and the grounds you have outlined - long period of illness and no prospect of return - would very definitely be consdiered reasonable grounds for the employer to terminate.

 

Assuming that you have run out of sick pay and have no continuing company benefits, remaining in employment is not of any real advantage to you.

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I am a barrister specialising in employment law, and only represent employees. My advice on employment issues is advice - not legal opinion - and is based only on the facts you provide. If you want an accurate assessment of your case and prospects, you should get legal opinion from a lawyer - not a public forum. Anything I tell you is for guidance only, and is based on my experience of the law in the context of what details you provide.

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Hi

Thanks for all the replies. I failed to mention that my employers HR dept came to my house last Wed, there was 3 of them, and they basicly said that they have looked at trying to reduce my hours and tryed to look at other duties for me but they could not come up with anything so there only option was termination.

Sorry I forgot about this.

 

Does this change things?

 

Cheers

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This kind of thing flipping annoys me. I can only imagine how intimidating it must have been having 3 of your colleagues turn up on your doorstep like that. I hope you told them to go away. Ask for anything they say to be put in writing to you, that's basically the only advice I can give. At least then you have the time to consider.

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Hi

Thanks for all the replies. I failed to mention that my employers HR dept came to my house last Wed, there was 3 of them, and they basicly said that they have looked at trying to reduce my hours and tryed to look at other duties for me but they could not come up with anything so there only option was termination.

Sorry I forgot about this.

 

Does this change things?

 

Cheers

 

 

I am assuming that this was with your prior agreement? But yes, it does change things slightly - but not necessarily for the better. It would appear that this was what they believe was a capability hearing / process. They still should have given you an opportunity to attend a hearing and make representations, but they do appear to have not simply dismissed entirely "out of the blue". So it does not change the basic position that I have outlined. If there was no work that was suitable, or reasonable adjustments could not be made, then termination is certainly an option in these circumstances - but you did say in your original post that the medical advice was that there was no prospect of your return to work - was this not correct?

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I am a barrister specialising in employment law, and only represent employees. My advice on employment issues is advice - not legal opinion - and is based only on the facts you provide. If you want an accurate assessment of your case and prospects, you should get legal opinion from a lawyer - not a public forum. Anything I tell you is for guidance only, and is based on my experience of the law in the context of what details you provide.

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Hi,

 

Yes this is correct, the medical evidence states that there is no prospect of me return to work. This is both from my own GP,Consultant, Surgeon as well as their own Company Doctors.

 

Cheers

 

Neil

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Hi,

 

Yes this is correct, the medical evidence states that there is no prospect of me return to work. This is both from my own GP,Consultant, Surgeon as well as their own Company Doctors.

 

Cheers

 

Neil

 

In that case the outcome of any capability process would be termination, regardless, so at best you may be able to obtain some small award - and as I said, is it really worth it. In the end, it isn't unreasonable for an employer to terminate someone who is no longer able to work. There is little room for manoevre when there is no prospect of a return to work.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I am a barrister specialising in employment law, and only represent employees. My advice on employment issues is advice - not legal opinion - and is based only on the facts you provide. If you want an accurate assessment of your case and prospects, you should get legal opinion from a lawyer - not a public forum. Anything I tell you is for guidance only, and is based on my experience of the law in the context of what details you provide.

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