Category Archives: Disability

Employment Law Update Seminar 2016

Employer update seminarDate: Wednesday 13 January 2016

Time: 8:00 – 10:00 am

Cost: Free including breakfast

Venue: FG Solicitors Offices, 2 Deanery Court, Grange Farm, Preston Deanery, Northampton, NN7 2DT

Despite statistics showing a drop in tribunal claims, many cases reported in 2015 have kept us all on our toes.

Start 2016 with a review of key employment law decisions and how these will impact you and your business.

Key cases we will cover include:

Unfair dismissal

  • When can employees involved in an incident be treated differently?
  • Offensive tweets
  • Post-natal depression
  • Is a confession enough?
  • Positive cocaine testing

Working Time

  • Is travelling time working time?
  • Is “on-call” working time?


  • When is a disclosure in the public interest?

Equality Act

  • Does this cover caste discrimination?
  • Is obesity a disability?
  • Is an OH report enough?
  • What constitutes associative disability discrimination?


  • When is there a transfer?
  • What happens to employees on sick leave at the time of transfer?

And much more…

To book your place at our seminar, please contact us using the details below:

+44 (0) 808 172 93 22

We look forward to seeing you at our next seminar.

If you feel this seminar would benefit other colleagues or companies please feel free to forward the details on.

Thank you for attending our Seminar!

151014 Seminar Slides CoverGreat to meet everyone who attended this morning’s Sickness Absence Management Seminar. Sorry we missed those of you who were unable to attend today. We will continue to host seminars in the months ahead!

Our seminar handout has now been posted onto our website and will be available for the next two weeks.

To request login details to access a copy of the handout, please email

Sickness Absence Management – 14 October 2015

Sickness Absence Management – Take Control and be on the Winning SideFGS - Sickness Absence Management

Date: Wednesday 14th October 2015

Time: 8:00am – 10:00am

Venue: FG Solicitors’ Offices

Cost: Free – breakfast included

Ever felt that you are on the losing side when it comes to managing sickness absence?

Want to make your organisation a winner by taking control of absence management?

Join us to identify winning strategies which will allow you to:

  • Promote a culture of attendance.
  • Develop effective policies to enable absences, including stress and disability cases, to be managed fairly and consistently.
  • Minimise the risk of absence related claims where there is a dismissal.
  • Get the best out of your medical reports.

Learn how the new Fit for Work Service will operate alongside your absence management strategies.

Proactive absence management is key to improved performance and attendance.

To book your place at our Fit for Work seminar, please contact us using the details below:


Telephone: +44 (0) 808 172 93 22

We look forward to hearing from you.

When is Anxiety a Disability?

SUMMARY: Employment Appeal Tribunal upholds the decision that an employee with a depressive and anxiety disorder did not have a disability.

Legal background

Legally, an employee is considered to have a disability if they have a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

This is a fairly wide definition and due to its specific reference to “mental” impairment”, can include depressive and anxiety-related impairments.  However, if there is doubt as to whether an employee has a disability, the definition is considered in detail by an employment tribunal.  The tribunal will analyse whether all the parts of the definition are satisfied, which is an activity which the tribunal had carried out in this case.

Part of considering whether the impairment constitutes a disability includes considering the effect on the employee’s ability to cope in their job. 

If an employee is disabled, this will have implications for an employer, including a duty to make reasonable adjustments for the disabled employee.

Facts of the case

In the recent case of Mr R A Saad v University Hospital Southampton NHS Trust and Health Education England Mr Saad had a depressive and general anxiety disorder. 

The employment tribunal held that Mr Saad was not disabled because although he had a mental impairment, this did not have a substantial adverse, nor long-term, effect on his ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

The employment tribunal considered Mr Saad’s evidence to be unsatisfactory as to the effect of the impairment on him.  It noted that his oral evidence qualified, or contradicted, his earlier evidence as to the effect of his impairment on his day to day activities.

Mr Saad appealed this decision to the employment appeal tribunal (EAT).  One of his arguments was that the tribunal had not considered his ability to communicate with colleagues, access the work-place and concentrate.  Amongst other things, he referred to his inability to read two medical textbooks. 

The Employment Appeal Tribunal’s (“EAT’s”) decision

The EAT upheld the tribunal’s decision that Mr Saad was not disabled.  The EAT considered that the tribunal had considered the impact on his workplace-related activities including his ability to communication with colleagues, access the work place and concentrate.

What does this mean for employers?

Although in this case it was decided that the depressive and anxiety disorder was not a disability, it is clear that such a disorder can be a disability in some cases.  Each case depends on the specific circumstances of each employee.  In this case, the employment tribunal had concerns about the quality of the employee’s evidence but in other cases, an employee may give more compelling evidence as to the effect of a mental or physical impairment on his day-to-day activities. 

When managing sickness absence, including mental impairments, employers should seek medical evidence and legal advice, especially if there is any uncertainty as to whether there may be a disability.

Contact Details

For more information about this case or managing sickness absence, please contact: 

+44 (0) 1604 871143

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

Unfair dismissal – Redundancy Scoring

Unfair dismissal – redundancy scoring

Summary:  Can an employment tribunal find a dismissal unfair by examining the selection score?

In order to reduce overheads the employer needed to reduce the headcount of its field service engineers, of which the Claimant was one, from 11 to 10. In order to make its selection the employer relied upon detailed redundancy selection criteria to include disciplinary records; performance and flexibility; skills and ability; and competency in the role. Continue reading