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Sacked after work didn't make reasonable adjustments(14 Posts)
Looking for some advice for a friend. She's been sacked because of performance issues, following a period of struggling with work due to mental health issues. Work were asked to make "reasonable adjustments" (don't know the details) but didn't.
She's hoping to take them to court for unfair dismissal (I think) but is feeling completely overwhelmed by the whole thing and is struggling to pull it all together. She's spoken to a solicitor, but been told she needs to compile the evidence and they'll take it from there. Is there any service that would help her put it all together or should this be a solicitor's job?
I feel like she's been let down here but not sure what to offer.
I'm sure you would have said if it were the case, but does she have a union?
Can she go back to the solicitor and ask for details of what evidence they want? If I were her I would print out emails showing requests for adjustments and refusals,photocopy any meeting notes where these adjustments were discussed, previous appraisals, and any notes about her work performance, positive or negative. I'd also request a full copy of my GPS medical notes (this can cost a bit, used to be £50).
It doesn't sound as if the solicitor has said there is a definite case yet, but wants to see the evidence your friend has. That sounds sensible.
Who asked work to make reasonable adjustments is one piece of evidence (did it come from your friend, GP, consultant) and were the adjustments reasonable for the business to make? Did they follow their performance management procedure correctly? Did your friend see the occupational health service of her company (if they have one) about her health issues and the impact on her work?
I would think she'd have to provide all that she has, and if the solicitor thinks there is a case then they would contact the employer if needed. I would be very wary of thinking that it is all down to the employer though - because it may be that your friend's perception of her case is not what it should! We are all prone to that at times!
What sort of company did your friend work for, they might have an HR/occupation health department who could help, they might have copies of any letters that were written about her health and what reasonable adjustments were to be made for her.
Has she got any written letters/emails following any meetings she had with her manager or previous disciplinary warnings in writing. You can't just be sacked without prior warning unless it's really serious gross misconduct.
If it's all about performance issues then she should have a copy of the performance review meetings and what was arranged to help support her.
ACAS are probably the place to start, go to their website.
Don't get too involved with a solicitor at this stage until all the information is available or ACAS have got involved.
Is your friend in a union? if so she needs to contact them first.
What sort of company did your friend work for, they might have an HR/occupation health department who could help
They sacked her, they are hardly going to help her take them to a tribunal are they?
Thanks all. I don't know the finer details, but believe that proper procedures were not followed.
Will ACAS be able to give advice on the way things should progress?
I'd like to help myself, but I think what's needed is a more independent person to talk it all through with (who can say which bits to focus on and which not to)
A relevant mental health charity might have resources that could help?
HR and Occ Health might send copies of what was agreed to make adjustments. Yes I think ACAS have info. Was she given acopy of the companys disciplinary procedure.
I’d recommend Citizens Advice
Get her to look at the CAB website, there’s a few good pages about preparing a Witness Statement and if she has a CAB office nearby, she could see if an advisor could give her some support
If she was unfairly dismissed, she will need to state that they did not take her through informal performance plan, first and second written warnings before final warning and the timescales it took to get to that stage.
Bear in mind that none of the above applies if she does not have at least 2 years service, in fact her case will not be heard at Tribunal unless she has that length of service unless she can evidence discrimination under protected characteristics whereby she is covered from Day 1.
Hubby has just taken his ex employer to court for similar reasons.
You .HAVE to go to ACAS first. There are set rules you must follow and it starts with ACAS.
Make an appointment with the CAB and ask to see an employment law specialist.
Get your friend to write down , bullet point style if it makes it easier, a timeline with important events / happenings/ conversations etc
Has your friend got any evidence?
Is your friend with a union? If so then you need to contact them.
Also, if your friend has home insurance and has the extra ' legal cover' then she may be entitled to a lawyer through that. If they think you have a decent case and a higher than 51% chance of winning they will pay your fees. It's well worth checking this route as lawyers costs are approx £10k for advice, the work involved in a case and court appearances.
Please feel free to pm me for any questions or advice I can answer/ give.
Please note, it's not an easy path to take.
It's a proper, legal case which follows the same procedures as any legal case. If you represent yourself there's a lot of work involved. The courts do help with advice about procedure.
So, Your friend needs to 1) contact ACAS 2) contact CAB and get appt with an employment law expert. 3) contact her Union if she is in one. 4) get as much actual evidence together as she possibly can. The court will not accept hearsay- they deal only in first party conversations and genuine fact.
It's a tough journey but can be ultimately rewarding .
Also, the rules just changed recently and you DONT have to pay £1000+ in court costs anymore. This just changed in summer. We were just about to pay £950 and the high court ruled that this was unfair!
Like I said please feel free to contact me. It would be good for me to be able to help somebody using the knowledge/ experience I gained from our experiences recently - and it is recent, our court dates were 19&20 of October!! Just last week!
I think the key is going to be in the definition of 'reasonable adjustments'. What one person thinks is reasonable, may not be reasonable to another.
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