Monthly Archives: October 2013

Welcome to our new website!

Megaphone - Hot Off the Press (123rf ref 8981071)We’re delighted to announce the launch of our new website! Following a strategic review, we decided that it was time to replace the old website with a simpler and more advanced system.

We think our new site will be easier to use and supports our move towards a greater online presence.

Let us know what you think, as we would love to hear your feedback!

So what’s new?

We’ve refreshed our brand and completed a total redesign. We’ve tied it all in with our social media activity, as well as improving various areas of the user experience.

We have:

  • Designed an easier route for clients to login and access our services.
  • Crafted a simpler interface and more information about the services we offer.
  • Made it easier to get in touch and find out more about our company.
  • Provided an easy sign up form for our latest updates and newsletter.
  • Built a specific area where you can view and register for our latest seminars.
  • Added our blog to the site under the “News” tab.

The new site includes many more updates and gives us a platform to build on as we aim to grow our online presence. As we grow, we will continue to add new features in the future too – so watch this space!

We know you’re busy, but if you have a minute, take a browse and see what you think of the new site, as we would love to hear your feedback and thoughts.

Please contact should you have any questions – fgmedia@floydgraham.co.uk

Paying for private psychiatric treatment is reasonable adjustment

8080232_mSUMMARY: An Employment Appeal Tribunal confirms that a reasonable adjustment would have been for the employer to pay for psychiatric treatment for an employee

Legal Background

The Equality Act 2010 imposes a duty on employers to make reasonable adjustments to help disabled employees in certain circumstances.   This includes where a disabled person is placed at a substantial disadvantage by an employer’s provision, criterion or practice (PCP).  The PCP in this case was that the employee be able to return to work performing the essential functions of her role.

This case was decided under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and the code of practice in force in 2010, but the Equality Act 2010, now in force, is not materially different.

Facts of this case

Mrs B, a reception and finance manager, went off sick with work-related stress and severe depression on 4 May 2010 and never returned to work.

Her employer asked for her to be referred to a private consultant psychiatrist, Dr P, who she saw in August 2010.  Dr P suggested specialist cognitive behavioural therapy and 6 psychiatric sessions at a cost not exceeding £750, saying that there would be no guarantee that she would be able to return to work but he was hopeful that would be the outcome.

The employer asked Dr P further questions, to which he responded in October and then the employer asked more questions.  Before Dr P responded to these further questions, Mrs B resigned on 23 November 2010, stating that the employer had ignored Dr P’s recommendations and claiming disability discrimination (failure to make reasonable adjustments) and unfair constructive dismissal.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal’s (EAT) decision

The EAT upheld the Employment Tribunal’s decision that the employer had failed to make reasonable adjustments by failing to refer Mrs B to private psychiatric services and/or counselling by October 2010 at the latest.

The EAT considered that the reasonable adjustments were job-related because they involved payment for a specific form of support to enable Mrs B to return to work and to cope with the difficulty she had been experiencing at work.

It was not sufficient that the employer had offered Mrs B a different job at a substantially reduced salary.

The EAT also noted that at no time between 19 August and 23 November 2010 did the employer take any steps to resolve with Mrs B her concerns.  Instead, there was effective silence from July 2010.

What does this mean for employers?

Employers should be aware that both mental and physical illnesses can constitute disabilities.  If there is a possibility of a disability and suggestions are made as to how the employee can be helped, even if it is uncertain that the assistance will result in the employee being able to return to work, these should be given serious consideration.

This consideration should include consultation with the employee, who should not be left without communication once they are on long term sick leave.  The employer should have very good reasons for not making suggested reasonable adjustments and should be aware that such adjustments can include paying for private medical treatment, even if this may be available on the NHS.

Case: Croft Vets Ltd v Lynda Butcher (UKEAT/0430/12/LA)

Hazel Robbins, Solicitor

Contact Details

For more details about this case or making reasonable adjustments please contact:

fgmedia@floydgraham.co.uk

+44 (0) 1604 871143

This update is for general guidance only and does not constitute definitive advice.

FGazette October 2013

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Welcome to the latest edition of FGazette! The quarterly newsletter of Floyd Graham & Co – Lawyers for today’s employers.

Our final edition of 2013 focuses on whether employees have the right to access all areas of their personnel records. Click the FGazette image to read more.

If you have any problems viewing this link, please contact us on 01604 871143 or fgmedia@floydgraham.co.uk