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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Employment Law
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Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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We have an employee who has been with us for 2 1/2 months.

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We have an employee who has been with us for 2 1/2 months. We were looking to terminate their employment and they called in sick yesterday. This morning we were going to terminate their employment when their partner called in to say that they had been to the hospital and were recovering from the drugs given to them yesterday as they were in hospital over the weekend with panic attacks. Today they have been to the doctors and they have been signed off sick for 2 weeks with anxiety. Can we terminate their employment by letter or does them being signed off sick compromise this. Our employment contract states that 'For the avoidance of doubt, the Company reserves the right to terminate your employment under Clause 21 below at any time, notwithstanding that you may be in receipt of Company sick pay.'

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

Before proceeding please note that as I am a practising solicitor, I am often in and out of meetings, travelling between clients or even at court when I pick your question up. This may even occur at weekends. Therefore, I apologise in advance but there may be a delay in getting back to you and providing my advice. Please be patient and I will respond as soon as I can. You do not have to wait here and you will receive an email when I have responded. For now please let me know how whether you have received any documentation from the hospital, or other evidence supporting their time off.


Her partner is bringing in her sick note this afternoon which shows she is signed off for 2 weeks

Ben Jones : Thanks for your patience. It is entirely legal to dismiss an employee whilst they are off sick. In this case you do not have to worry about unfair dismissal because she does not have the necessary length of service to be protected. Therefore, the only consideration is that of discrimination, in other words you must ensure that you are not discriminating against her, which will most likely be due to a disability in this case. That means the reason for dismissing her must not be because of a disability that she has. Anxiety can amount to a disability but for this to be the case it needs to be a long term condition (12 months or longer) and substantially affect her ability to carry out her normal day to day activities. Even if this was a disability, you would not be discriminating against her if you can show that the reason for dismissal was in no way related to her condition.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Ben


We are going to send the termination letter to the employee today. The basis of terminating their employment is that they have been disrupting the staff in the office and their disrespect for a senior manager. We are going to state the below, would this be ok?


Following reports from senior managers within xxxxx expressing dissatisfaction over attitude, it was decided to cease your employment on Monday 9th September.


Clearly, because you were not in on this date and have not been in since this could not happen, and therefore we are now writing to you to inform you of the decision.

This is ok, but also include the date of termination, being from the date of the letter, and state how much notice you are paying them in lieu of notice as well as the holidays they have accrued during their time with you
Ben Jones and 2 other UK Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

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