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Have I been discriminated at work?

(22 Posts)
eatingforonemore Sun 07-Aug-16 21:44:20

I only started the job at the end of May and I was really enjoying it. I fell very ill and had to take time off from July 8th till the 28th due to having to have a lumbar puncture due to my chronic illness flaring up. I tried to go back midway through that absence (19/7) but I wasn't ready and had to go home within two hours. I then had to go back to A&E on Wednesday due to back pain and was there from about 4am till 7pm. I went back on Friday (no shift on the Thursday) to be told due to my absences I hadn't passed probation and would be let go with immediate effect.

I supplied my employer with a sick line from the 20th to the 27th and offered my discharge notes from my hospital stay and a letter from my neurologist but they said that it was fine they understood.

I've been told by ACAS to send a letter to a senior manager and get in touch with equality human rights about it which I will get sorted tomorrow but really unsure if I've been discriminated against due to my chronic illness which I disclosed when I started the job.

StealthPolarBear Thu 11-Aug-16 21:50:37

I'd say you have! But not an expert. Good luck with this.

user7755 Thu 11-Aug-16 21:53:46

Watching with interest, DH is in a similar situation but suspects he may be sacked for sickness in probationary period - he had one day for a stomach bug, and has now fractured his spine. Been told it might be three months till he's ready for work.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Thu 11-Aug-16 21:54:29

Not an expert either, but I thought anyone could be legitimately dismissed for any reason if they've worked at the company for less than two years.

user7755 Thu 11-Aug-16 21:54:49

Should have said that the spine is due to a fall relating to an existing disability which he declared.

OhNoNotMyBaby Thu 11-Aug-16 21:56:19

No legal or HR experience, but I believe that in a probationary period you can be let go for any reason. You have no rights if you have been with the company for only a very short while.

LIZS Thu 11-Aug-16 21:57:12

Is your chronic illness covered by DDA ? Unfortunate sickness records are now more closely scrutinised and can even be grounds for disciplinary , certified or not.

StealthPolarBear Thu 11-Aug-16 21:57:15

Through as longas it's not discriminatory.
This relates to a chronic condition rhe op disclosed. Whether it counts as a disability is the issue as far as I'm aware.

StealthPolarBear Thu 11-Aug-16 21:58:01

You can be dismissed for any Mon discriminatory reason

ThroughThickAndThin01 Thu 11-Aug-16 21:58:37

Very confusing!

StealthPolarBear Thu 11-Aug-16 22:01:35

Well you couldn't be sacked for your ethnicity. There are other protected characteristics of which disability is one.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Thu 11-Aug-16 22:05:44

But ethnicity wouldn't stop you doing your job. I would imagine that's the argument for so much time taken off with a chronic illness by employers.

Ginmakesitallok Thu 11-Aug-16 22:06:22

For disability they could only get rid of you after they had made reasonable adjustments to allow you to stay at work. Is there anything they could do to help you stay at work? If not, and if they have followed their policies then they can dismiss you.

RatherBeRiding Fri 12-Aug-16 17:16:44

Not an employment expert but I understood that during probation you can be dismissed for pretty much any reason they care to give and that you don't have the same employment rights as longer term employees who have passed a probationary period.

StealthPolarBear Fri 12-Aug-16 17:33:02

Doesn't apply to discrimination

Ginmakesitallok Fri 12-Aug-16 17:48:20

No, it is not true that you can be discriminated against in the first 2 years...fgsconfused!

flowery Fri 12-Aug-16 17:56:18

Rather confusing for everyone when people with no expertise post legal advice... hmm

Protection against discrimination on the basis of a protected characteristic applies from day one of employment, or indeed before that in the case of recruitment.

OP does your employer know your condition is a disability?

user7755 Fri 12-Aug-16 19:04:30

So, if someone disclosed a disability on application, discussed it at interview and then had a fall and subsequent injury as a direct result of that disability (resulting in a prolonged period of sickness) - would they be able to sack that person.

Ginmakesitallok Fri 12-Aug-16 19:17:00

Yes- assuming they couldn't make reasonable adjustment to allow the person to work. Not discriminating doesn't mean never getting rid of someone with the characteristic.

Ginmakesitallok Fri 12-Aug-16 19:18:29

(I don't have same experience as flowery, but do have an old law degree and masters specialised in hr years ago!)

flowery Fri 12-Aug-16 19:20:44

If they can't do the job they can't do the job. An employer would be expected to investigate whether there were any reasonable adjustments that could be made to enable the employee to do the job, or look at redeployment, but ultimately if neither are possible they are not expected to keep the person employed indefinitely just because they have a disability.

flowery Fri 12-Aug-16 19:23:18

Three months isn't long though user - if there is every reason to believe he'll be back working as normal in that time frame it would be unlikely to be reasonable to dismiss him.

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