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Sickness Absence
and Stress

Sickness Absence and Stress

Acting for employers and employees, we understand the issues of sickness absence from both viewpoints. 

If you have had a number of sickness absences, your employer may well raise concerns about them and commence a capability process to determine whether you are well enough top do your job. If you have a disability, the law provides a degree of protection.

Disability in this context doesn’t refer to just physical issues – it covers mental health as well and affords the employee legal protection if the condition is long term and impacts significantly on your ability to carry out day to day activities such as walking, working, shopping and a host of other activities. Depression  can be considered a disability, for example, as is diabetes and many other conditions that can affect your ability to work.

Understanding your employer’s options regarding sickness absence and stress 

If your employer is concerned about your absence, they may seek your consent for a medical report from your GP, or to refer you to Occupational Health. They might also look to begin a formal absence management process with you, which essentially involves a series of formal warnings that can end with your dismissal.

In these situations, we can step in to make sure that your employer’s approach is fair, and advise you what your options are options in challenging how they deal with your circumstances.

Tackling discrimination based on mental health

Mental health issues are now recognised in the courts and tribunals as disabilities. We can help employees in circumstances where their employer has taken an unsympathetic or discriminatory stance regarding mental health.

Failing to show due regard for any disability can lead to a costly claim for your employer – and a sizeable award for you. We have an enviable track record in securing just outcomes for employees to give them the space and resources needed to focus on recovery.

Some examples of our work include:

  • advising an individual on long-term absence from the fire service due to stress and PTSD
  • helping a council employee identify the workplace adjustments needed to accommodate his complex disability needs
  • advising an employee in relation to his schizophrenia and his employer’s proposed disciplinary process
  • supporting a company director resisting new duties that would exacerbate a spinal condition
  • advising a female employee on the effects brought on by premature menopause
  • many significant claims relating to cases of depression, dyslexia and heart conditions.


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