A duty to make reasonable adjustments in respect of a disabled employee will not arise if the employer does not know, and could not reasonably be expected to know:

  • that the individual is disabled, or
  • that he or she is likely to be placed at a substantial disadvantage because of that disability

 (paragraph 20, schedule 8 of the Equality Act 2010).

The question which will often arise for employers, therefore, is how do you “know” whether an employee is disabled? Is the employee telling you he thinks he has a certain condition enough? Do you need a formal medical report or diagnosis? What questions do you need to ask?

Continue Reading How do you “know” if your employee is disabled?

Most employers recognise the need to treat employees who are on long-term sick leave fairly and with compassion. But this has to be balanced with the needs of the business, and sometimes it becomes clear that unfortunately an employee will never be able come back to work, and the employment relationship simply has to be brought to an end.

What can (and should) employers do in this situation? Does the recent case of Warner v Armfield Retail & Leisure Ltd change how an employer should react?  Here are some important steps that employers should take to minimise the risk of claims. 

Continue Reading Faced with an employee unlikely to ever return to work? What can you do?

The Court of Appeal decision in Crawford and another v Suffolk Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust [2012] EWCA Civ 138 provides guidance as to the procedural standards required in misconduct cases in which dismissal is likely to impact on the employee’s ability to pursue his/her chosen career. The case also highlights the need to consider very carefully both the appropriateness of suspension during a disciplinary investigation and whether there are grounds for reporting matters to the police.

Continue Reading Disciplinary action and suspension for misconduct: guidance from UK Court of Appeal

This post was also written by Fiona McFarlane.

In Caterpillar Logistics Services (UK) Ltd v Huesca de Crean, an employee who had no restrictive covenant in her contract of employment prohibiting her working for a third party, could not be prevented from taking up employment with a client of her former employer on the grounds that she might breach a confidentiality agreement she had entered into with her former employer. Nor would the Court grant a “barring order” which would prohibit the employee from being involved in a commercial relationship between the employee’s former employer and its client.

Continue Reading UK Court of Appeal refuses to uphold a barring order against a former employee