Jump to content


work place and allergies


style="text-align: center;">  

Thread Locked

because no one has posted on it for the last 2312 days.

If you need to add something to this thread then

 

Please click the "Report " link

 

at the bottom of one of the posts.

 

If you want to post a new story then

Please

Start your own new thread

That way you will attract more attention to your story and get more visitors and more help 

 

Thanks

Recommended Posts

I'm trying to find out where an colleague stands legally in possibly being dismissed for the work place due to a severe allergy ?

 

The person in question has a severe allergy to Chilli powder which has worsened since they started work in our office (around 50 people in the workplace) - they did declare they had the allergy when they started employment in the medical we have to have as part of the job- but it has increased in its severity

 

They have had several severe reactions at work where they had to be given an epi pen and ambulances called , resulting in several A/E visits. Even just walking into our rest room at work if someone has a microwave ready meal that has a trace of chilli powder in can be enough to start a reaction . They have now been stood down from work (with full pay) whilst the HR dept try to figure out what to do. They have been referred to the OHD dept , there own GP , an allergy clinic and a disability advisor who all basically say there is nothing they can do apart from advising them to take anti-histamines and keep an epi pen with them at all times

 

even if they re-deployed them to a different office its impossible to know if someone may walk in that may have had chilli in something they ate ( one severe reaction started after they sat next to someone who had been to nandos for lunch !! )

 

Obviously they are now very worried they may be dismissed on capability grounds , one suggestion they have put foreward is that when they are at work people should not be allowed to bring in food that contains any type of chilli powder ? Which i personally think is un-workable ??

 

From what i understand the HR dept/ senior management are concerned that as they know about this severe allergy and because it becomes life threatening very quickly they cannot guarantee there safety in the workplace and would be held responsible if the person died etc

 

any pointers or does it look as if they may lose there employment due to capability issues ?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately the obligation is to make reasonable adjustments - not to eliminate any threat altogether.

 

The case law stipulates that an employer can fairly dismisss in these circumstances if no adjustments can be found. Would working from home be an option?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree entirely. If the reaction is SO severe that all it takes is to be in the vicinity of somebody who has eaten chilli, then I do not see that any employer would be able to accommodate your friend in a role which involves proximity to people. To suggest that an entire workforce is forbidden from eating chilli would be an 'unreasonable' expectation rather than a 'reasonable' adjustment.

 

What about treatment? Aversion therapy of some sort?

Any advice given is done so on the assumption that recipients will also take professional advice where appropriate.

 

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING

EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

DONATE HERE

 

If I have been helpful in any way - please feel free to click on the STAR to the left!

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

unless the employer is in the business of processing chillies then the company has little it can do to mitigate things. Some people become sensitised to materials they work with that they can seek medical retirement ( knew a person who became sensitised to fur when they worked for a vet so they were released with a small pension) but other than that the employer is entitled to look at the capability route if they wish. Is there an occupatuional pension scheme that may offer some help on severance?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately the obligation is to make reasonable adjustments - not to eliminate any threat altogether.

 

The case law stipulates that an employer can fairly dismisss in these circumstances if no adjustments can be found. Would working from home be an option?

 

Unfortunately working from home is not an option due to the type of work we do , it has been suggested they get put in a smaller office with less people but still dont see that as a viable option

Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks for the replies all

 

the person has been to allergy clinics , GP , occupational health , and a disability adviser who have basically said there is no further treatment they can offer....

 

They have only been employed around 2 years , probably a bit less . We do have a pension scheme but not sure how much of a pension they would get for under 2 years and declared unfit to work ? So l looks like they may have to go down the capability route :S

Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks for the replies all

 

the person has been to allergy clinics , GP , occupational health , and a disability adviser who have basically said there is no further treatment they can offer....

 

They have only been employed around 2 years , probably a bit less . We do have a pension scheme but not sure how much of a pension they would get for under 2 years and declared unfit to work ? So l looks like they may have to go down the capability route :S

 

That's a highly frustrating situation.

 

Is there any prognosis that the condition might improve? I suspect not when it comes to allergies that severe (which is probably likely to constitute a disability) but it might offer a glimmer of hope!

Link to post
Share on other sites

there is normally a qualifying period for the pension scheme to be considered an option and I have not seen one of less then 2 years. However, get them to have a read through the scheme rules for ill-health retirement but the condition must be considered permanent.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem i see here pension wise is we all know this must be a nightmare for the person but rules are clinical. Is it possible that the person could work fully if there wasn't a chilli in the vicinity?, yes

 

That's the problem, no chilli, nothing wrong with them, when your back or knees pack up, your pretty stuffed whatever you do, when it's a triggered condition removing the trigger removes the problem, how you could do that i've no idea but i doubt any pension rules would care.

 

Strangely enough i thought about this thread in the office last week when i asked what the bowl of what looked like pot pourri was, it was chilli in a form i've never seen before.

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

thanks again for all the replies. The angle the person is going for after work finishes its risk assessment is that nobody be allowed to bring in any food that may contain chilli - unworkable in my eyes as not only is there all sorts of people goiing in and out the building , there is different departments etc

 

Also IF the workplace did say "nobody can bring food in that may contain chilli" - what if someone says "no" , i like chilli con carne for my lunch and i am going to continue to eat it at work ? would they be open to discip ??

Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks again for all the replies. The angle the person is going for after work finishes its risk assessment is that nobody be allowed to bring in any food that may contain chilli - unworkable in my eyes as not only is there all sorts of people goiing in and out the building , there is different departments etc

 

Also IF the workplace did say "nobody can bring food in that may contain chilli" - what if someone says "no" , i like chilli con carne for my lunch and i am going to continue to eat it at work ? would they be open to discip ??

 

 

Academic, I cant see the employer thinking it's possible. Contractors, customer visits, the postman, the guy that delivers the water. are they all to be chilli free too? They can't hermetically seal the building. Disciplinary is academic when your friend is in A&E, really.

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Have to agree that this is a completely unreasonable expectation. Not just the fact that this would unfairly restrict others in their freedom to eat their own choice of food, but also the potential scale. What about non-food items containing chilli? I am presuming here that Capsaicin would be the aggravating component, so what about somebody who has treated a muscular ache with Deep Heat? Many medicines also contain Capsaicin.

 

Totally unworkable unfortunately

Any advice given is done so on the assumption that recipients will also take professional advice where appropriate.

 

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING

EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

DONATE HERE

 

If I have been helpful in any way - please feel free to click on the STAR to the left!

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks again for all the replies. The angle the person is going for after work finishes its risk assessment is that nobody be allowed to bring in any food that may contain chilli - unworkable in my eyes as not only is there all sorts of people goiing in and out the building , there is different departments etc

 

Also IF the workplace did say "nobody can bring food in that may contain chilli" - what if someone says "no" , i like chilli con carne for my lunch and i am going to continue to eat it at work ? would they be open to discip ??

 

Theoretically that would be a failure to follow a reasonable(?) management instruction and so could be a disciplinary situation. But as others have pointed out, it just isn't workable - it isn't a reasonable adjustment to expect the entire workforce to abstain from all chilli products.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Have to agree that this is a completely unreasonable expectation. Not just the fact that this would unfairly restrict others in their freedom to eat their own choice of food, but also the potential scale. What about non-food items containing chilli? I am presuming here that Capsaicin would be the aggravating component, so what about somebody who has treated a muscular ache with Deep Heat? Many medicines also contain Capsaicin.

 

Totally unworkable unfortunately

 

Even if the employer would consider this you say that the allergy is so sensitive that even a trace in a meal can set off an allergic reaction, and sitting next to someone who'd eaten at Nandos. So even if the employer was willing to ban meals containing chilli it wouldn't provide a practical solution. Other staff may be unaware that their meal contained tint traces of chilli - I don't think it's a compulsory allergen warning - and I can't believe any employer would think it reasonable to tell staff what type of food they could eat outside the office.

Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks again for all the replies. The angle the person is going for after work finishes its risk assessment is that nobody be allowed to bring in any food that may contain chilli - unworkable in my eyes as not only is there all sorts of people goiing in and out the building , there is different departments etc

 

Also IF the workplace did say "nobody can bring food in that may contain chilli" - what if someone says "no" , i like chilli con carne for my lunch and i am going to continue to eat it at work ? would they be open to discip ??

 

I agree with you. It's a totally ridiculous suggestion.

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

UPDATE -

 

Employee was dismissed with a months notice on capability grounds , as the employer could not assure her safety at work ( was put on the "re-deployment list for the months notice period- whilst still suspended on full pay - the idea moving the person into a smaller dept with less people would have lowered the risk, unfortunately could not find a suitable job within the organisation, but was successful in finding another job outside )

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for updating us, it is appreciated.

 

I wish I had a helpful suggestion to make, seems a lot of work environments may be problematic.

 

Glad a new job has been found.

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

Link to post
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 Caggers

    • No registered users viewing this page.

  • Have we helped you ...?


×
×
  • Create New...