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UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: UK Employment Law
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Experience:  solicitor
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ill father-in-law forced to resign

Customer Question

My late father-in-law worked for one of the largest UK airlines for 25 years, he sadly became an alcoholic and was off work for over a year. He couldn't stop drinking and as his state became worse, my mother-in-law tried to get his pension signed over to her but the company said he was in no state to legally sign this over. A few weeks later the company gave him two choices, to sign a letter of resignation or be sacked. He sadly passed away a few months after he ressigned due to his illness. Does my mother-in-law and her two daughters have a case?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: UK Employment Law
Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 3 years ago.

I am sorry to hear about your late father in law.

It appears to me that they don't have a case as such, unfortunately. It seems that your late father in law could not continue working and his employer was left with no option but to let him go. It is typical in such situations that the employee is given the option of resigning or being dismissed.

I am sorry, but I can only advise you on the law.
UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Satisfied Customers: 4308
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Im not totally satisfied with your answer, the main reason being is that im not aware that an employer can make an ill employee resign?! Just to clarify if an employee had cancer say, your saying that their employer can ask them to resign or they'll sack them? My mother-in-law spoke with an ex union representative where David (my father-in-law) worked a few months back and he said that because David was classed as having a mental obsession/mental illness that he should not have been made to resign. I want to stress the severity of Davids illness. Over a 2 year period of drinking 24/7 his liver failed twice in that time, on the second occasion it resulted in him getting pneumonia and consequently passing away.

Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 3 years ago.
The employer cannot force anyone to resign but the employee is usually given the option of either resigning or dismissal if they refuse to resign.

In your late father in laws case, the employer would have been obliged to make such reasonable adjustments as may have been necessary and if after all that David was still unable to perform his duties, he could be let go, which seems to have occurred here.

The other complication is that David is no longer around and it will be difficult to build a case.


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