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Law: Long term sickness absence leading to dismissal – cautions!

Sickness absence whether short or long term gives many problems to Lawgistics clients.

In a recent case (First West Yorkshire v Haigh) a long serving bus driver who had apparently had two strokes and was on long term sick leave was offered dismissal or carrying on on sick pay for up to one year but losing the opportunity of having an ill health pension.

He declined and was dismissed. He claimed unfair dismissal.

As Lawgistics always recommends it is important to get medical evidence of the nature of prognosis for a medical condition.

In this case it was established the man had not had a stroke.

The appeal tribunal decided that there a was an implied term in the contract that an employer cannot lawfully terminate an employee’s employment while the employee is on sick leave if it will lead to the employee losing the right to an enhanced pension if he were offered and accepted retirement on the grounds of ill health, (as was the case for Mr Haigh).

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