The Equality Act 2010 (the 2010 Act) legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society. Under 2010 Act a person is entitled not to be dismissed from their employment by reasons of disability.
In a recent case, an employee was dismissed from his job on the basis of capability after being absent for a long period of time. At the time of dismissal, the employee was receiving long-term disability benefits, which would come to an end if his employment also ended. It was at all times accepted that the employee was 'disabled' for the purposes of the 2010 Act.
It was held that it was not 'fair and proportionate' for the employer to dismiss the employee. The Employment Appeal Tribunal considered that to dismiss the employee would be in contravention of the purpose of the long-term disability insurance plan which was paying benefits to the employee.
The point of providing a disability benefit would be defeated if an employer has the right to dismiss an employee as soon as they became unfit to work.
In the light of the case it is important for employers to ensure that their employment contracts are in line with any insurance benefits offered to employees.
To discuss this or any other employment related matter contact us.