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    • Malorix
    • By Malorix 4th Sep 19, 10:32 PM
    • 1Posts
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    Malorix
    Rights when made redundant while unable to work due to mental health
    • #1
    • 4th Sep 19, 10:32 PM
    Rights when made redundant while unable to work due to mental health 4th Sep 19 at 10:32 PM
    Hello all,

    My partner is the main earner between the two of us and started a new job 11 months ago. About 2 months ago she started suffering from a severe depression with very heavy physical symptoms. She has been 100% transparent about this with her employer from the start. Her GP has ordered her to stay at home for several weeks and she is following therapy. Her employer has been very understanding and cooperative, allowing her to take her time in slowly getting back to work at her own pace. She has started coming in again for half days 4 times in the past 2 weeks (which has been very exhausting for her and she clearly is not ready to work full time yet), when today out of nowhere, she was told this was her last day as she is being made redundant along with several other people in the company as the company is not doing well. All she is getting is pay in lieu of notice (4 weeks' pay).

    This could not have come at a worse time for us for several reasons; my own salary is only sufficient to cover rent but leaves nothing for bills and expenses. I am in the process of being made redundant myself after 5.5 years in my current job - the end date for this is still not certain and could be anywhere between 4 and 10 months from now, but when that date arrives I will receive a very generous redundancy payment of 6 months salary tax free. For this reason I cannot afford to leave my job for a better paying one before then, meaning we face a struggle to survive financially over the next 4 to 10 months as we have no savings to speak of and my gf is in no state to find another job and work full time yet.

    Which leads me to my actual questions:
    1. Are my partner's employers within their rights to make her redundant with such a short notice and only 4 weeks pay, given that they have officially been made aware of the severity of her mental disorder which prevents her from getting another job, with a doctor's statement to prove it? I was under the impression that there were protections for employees in such cases?
    2. If it turns out that she is not ready to start another full- or part-time job, would she be eligible for any state benefits? We are Dutch immigrants (with no British citizenship) and despite having lived & worked in this country for 6 years, I'm afraid we still have 0 knowledge of how the UK benefits system works, having never had to deal with it before. My online search so far has thrown up more confusion than answers.
    3. If anyone has been in a similar situation and has some further advice for us, financially or otherwise, then it sure is welcome as this has really hit us hard and ruined the plans that we were making for ourselves!

    Many, many thanks for any replies.
Page 1
    • stingey
    • By stingey 4th Sep 19, 10:57 PM
    • 103 Posts
    • 338 Thanks
    stingey
    • #2
    • 4th Sep 19, 10:57 PM
    • #2
    • 4th Sep 19, 10:57 PM
    1. Yes they can make her redundant if the company can show that the job is redundant. Employers can make those with chronic illnesses and pregnant women redundant at anytime.
    2. Phone the DWP or make a claim for Universal Credit online straight away as you can wait up to 8 weeks for payment. Then phone Citizens Advice, make an appointment to discuss the benefits you may be entitled to. Depending on your area it may all fall under UC anyway, but get the correct advice.
    3. Draw up a financial budget and see where you can cut back until your both back in full time employment. The Debt Free Wannabe and Old Style boards are really good for ideas on how to live frugally while your going through a financial rough patch. You need to be realistic. Both of you may be out of work at the same time. Start now.
    Just because I disagree with you, doesn't mean I hate you. We need to understand this as a Society
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    • Blatchford
    • By Blatchford 5th Sep 19, 7:08 AM
    • 410 Posts
    • 635 Thanks
    Blatchford
    • #3
    • 5th Sep 19, 7:08 AM
    • #3
    • 5th Sep 19, 7:08 AM
    Are my partner's employers within their rights to make her redundant with such a short notice and only 4 weeks pay, given that they have officially been made aware of the severity of her mental disorder which prevents her from getting another job, with a doctor's statement to prove it? I was under the impression that there were protections for employees in such cases?.
    Originally posted by Malorix
    There are no such protections. In fact, sickness absence is a valid contributory reason for selection. What you are confusing this with is the fact that someone should not be dismissed because of their pregnancy or disability (not just chronic health conditions - they may not qualify as a disability). That is potentially discrimination. But if there is a redundancy situation as described here, the employer is obviously going to select to keep their most productive/ longest serving employees - everyone's job depends on the company continuing to make money, so the employer must make decisions based on what is good for the business.
    • discat11
    • By discat11 5th Sep 19, 9:01 AM
    • 436 Posts
    • 570 Thanks
    discat11
    • #4
    • 5th Sep 19, 9:01 AM
    • #4
    • 5th Sep 19, 9:01 AM
    Unfortunately redundancy is redundancy -i.e. the role or position is being made redundant to the business.
    As long as the positions are genuinely going then there is nothing stopping (nor should there be for fairness) in including anyone currently fulfilling that role in that process.
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 5th Sep 19, 1:08 PM
    • 7,704 Posts
    • 10,008 Thanks
    TBagpuss
    • #5
    • 5th Sep 19, 1:08 PM
    • #5
    • 5th Sep 19, 1:08 PM
    Are my partner's employers within their rights to make her redundant with such a short notice and only 4 weeks pay, given that they have officially been made aware of the severity of her mental disorder which prevents her from getting another job, with a doctor's statement to prove it? I was under the impression that there were protections for employees in such cases?
    Yes.
    Employers are not allowed to use disability as a reason to select someone for redundnacy, so if they used attendnace as a criteria and selected your wife becaue she was off work so much, that would be unlawful discrimination, but if she was slected on fair criteria, such as based on her being a new hire, or on performance before she ecame ill, then that would b entirely legal. Assuming of course that she is considered to be 'disabled' for the purpose of the equalities act.
    As she hasn't ben there for long then it is fiarly common for employers to lose the most recent hires first.

    If it turns out that she is not ready to start another full- or part-time job, would she be eligible for any state benefits? We are Dutch immigrants (with no British citizenship) and despite having lived & worked in this country for 6 years, I'm afraid we still have 0 knowledge of how the UK benefits system works, having never had to deal with it before. My online search so far has thrown up more confusion than answers.

    I think that as you are EU nationals and have ben working that you would have similar entitlements to UK nationals to things such as tax creditsa, and your wife may beentitled to contributions based JSA based on her NI contribtuions. It may be worth you posting that question on the benefits board rather than here for mre specialist advice.
    • 50Twuncle
    • By 50Twuncle 7th Sep 19, 2:21 PM
    • 9,757 Posts
    • 2,629 Thanks
    50Twuncle
    • #6
    • 7th Sep 19, 2:21 PM
    • #6
    • 7th Sep 19, 2:21 PM
    Anyone who has only worked for an employer for just 11 months is at equal risk of redundancy
    You'll normally be entitled to statutory redundancy payi f you're an employee and you've been working for your current employer for 2 years or more. You'll get: half a week's pay for each full year you were under 22. one week's pay for each full year you were 22 or older, but under 41.

    So - since she has only been working for 11 months - it would appear that NO statutory redundancy is payable at all !!
    Last edited by 50Twuncle; 07-09-2019 at 2:24 PM.
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    • Blatchford
    • By Blatchford 7th Sep 19, 2:34 PM
    • 410 Posts
    • 635 Thanks
    Blatchford
    • #7
    • 7th Sep 19, 2:34 PM
    • #7
    • 7th Sep 19, 2:34 PM
    Yes.
    Employers are not allowed to use disability as a reason to select someone for redundnacy, so if they used attendnace as a criteria and selected your wife becaue she was off work so much, that would be unlawful discrimination,.
    Originally posted by TBagpuss
    That is a vastly sweeping and misleading statement. Regardless of disability, sickness absence is a legitimate and commonly used criteria for redundancy selection. Unlike pregnancy related illness, there is no right to discount such absence. If sickness absence is used as a criteria, it may be reasonable to ask for an adjustment to take account of disability related sickness. There is no obligation on the employer to grant such a request, and only a tribunal could decide whether the request was reasonable or not. So you cannot possibly state, unless you happen to be an employment tribunal, that using attendance as a criteria is unlawful discrimination. In the vast majority of cases, it would almost certainly not be unlawful at all. Which is why it is so commonly used. In the end employers are not charities, and their business needs trump being nice to employees.
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