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ESA health assessment - Page 2 - Carers UK Forum

ESA health assessment

For issues specific to caring for someone with mental ill health.
It's very easy, with a little help from someone who knows what they are doing, to file an IT1 (Industrial tribunal submission) . I only ever did that once, met my solicitor three or four times to clarify the details, went to the tribunal and came away with a six figure settlement, plus legal fees, in less than thirty minutes. I didn't have to say a thing. Simple clearcut case of unfair dismissal ..... my advice is to get fired first, don't walk, (going sick is fine but keep medical notes) and then make sure you file within three months of dismissal otherwise you lose the chance.
xx
It's now been over 2 weeks since the grievance hearing and we have heard nothing! This means we cannot speak to ACAS until we have heard back and we can't contact any legal advisers either.

Is it normal to take so long?

My poor husband is climbing the walls Image
The longer they leave it, the bigger hole they are digging for themselves. Perhaps you could send them a letter by Recorded Delivery asking when they anticipate arriving at a decision? Personally, I would have thought that a decisions should have been made as soon as they had gathered all the relevant information. What are they waiting for?!
Bowlingbun's right on both points.
I’ve just spoken to a mate of mine who’s a shop steward. Two weeks is a very long time indeed for your hubbies employers not to have contacted him. Standard, and legal, practice would be to give your hubby regular updates of how his case is progressing even if it was to state that it was still ongoing. Write or email them immediately regarding a progress report. This is proof that you at least are making the effort to gain information.

It’s possible that his employers are trying to pull the following:

If an employee takes off enough time due to illness or accident, then the employer can ‘regretfully’ dismiss them.
Many companies planning redundancies target those with less than two years’ service and with known health problems; this way they can avoid paying redundancy packages. The Post Office was notorious for it a few years back.

However, a more likely scenario is that the bully you described also intimidates the bosses. This is not unheard of, apparently. Nor does it say a lot about the quality of higher management at your company, but that's not unheard of either.

She also told me that the qualifying period for bringing an unfair dismissal case is now 2 years, not 1 year. The law changed April 2012. Neither does your employer have to give you a written reason for your dismissal until you’ve been with them for 2 years.
However, there are lots of exceptions to that 2 year rule where no qualifying period in needed. It's possible your hubby might come under the disability act, but that's seriously complicated. Expert advice is needed.

Your hubby can join a union regardless of whether his employers recognise it or not. It’s only necessary for a union to be recognised when it comes to negotiating pay, etc, and that’s not your hubby’s beef.
Each union differs in its rules, etc, but generally speaking the minute he joins he should have full access to free legal advice regarding his employment.
Without knowing more about his job, she recommends giving the Communications Workers Union a ring on 0208 9717 200. It might be worth joining if only for the legal advice, but ring first. She doesn’t know too much about them as she belongs to an entirely different union.

Whatever you do, she strongly recommends that he does not resign. His case is so much stronger if he is dismissed as it looks as though his employers are not following proper procedure (which applies regardless of whether they have a HR dept or not) over just about everything. Again, you need expert advice.
P.S. Keep hard copies of any letters, emails sent. Make notes of time,dates, content of any phonecalls made/received to/from his company over this matter.
I second this - definitely join a union - whichever is most appropriate for your husband's job - he could try Unite as well, that's quite a general one.

Definitely do not resign - make them do the 'nasties' on him, and do not make their life easier for them and play into their hands.

I agree this is either a definitely ploy to get rid of him 'painlessly', or the bully is intimidating his bosses, or the bosses are using the bully to 'weed out' people they don't want there.

But do have a union rep at your side when dealing with all this. I had one when I was made redundant and it was great knowing there was an expert on my side - my employers had a whole HR team of experts on their side!!

One other possibility, though it means even more work for you and your husband, is to turn the tables on the bully - your husband can't be the only person he's gone for, and there is probably a huge hatred of him in the company by other employees - tapping into that could actually get the wonderful result of getting the bully turfed out! Sadly, that usually only happens in Hollywood movies, sigh....

All the best in such a hideous and distressing situation. I do hope you can get the unfair dismissal and the compensation that goes with it. If not, then even without that, and even if you decide that it's all so ghastly you just throw in the towel and your husband resigns to save his sanity, then remember what St Paul says about the Ephesians - that he stomped out of the ungrateful city of Ephesus and 'shook the dust of the city from his feet'....

Sometimes, walking out and saying 'stuff it!' can be very liberating!
xx
Hi Missunderstood

A few pointers that might make your hubby feel a bit better. If an allegation is bought against an employee it is standard practice to suspend them, on full pay, and not to tell them what the allegations are whilst the employers carry out a full impartial investigation.
That may sound unfair but it's to prevent the accused employee from trying to influence the investigation. Forget your hubby for one moment, and imagine how the bully might react if allegations were bought against him, an he knew what, and by whom. How do you think he might react?
Once the investigation is complete, the employers must give all the relevant info to the accused. At this meeting it should be made clear to the employee they have the right to have a union rep, solicitor, fellow work colleague as a witness, anyone really, present. This meeting can be halted by the accused, and re-convened, at any time in order to give them time to muster a defense. If these rights are not clearly stated, and signed for by the employee, then the employers are breaking employment law.

However, chucking someone out in full view of other employees is not standard practice. It's supposed to be done discretely. Innocent until proven guilty, and all that.

The main reason my union mate advised not to resign is because if your hubby then signs on he could be sanctioned. Again, seek expert advice. The fact that he's on the sickness benefits complicates things.
Hi Sajehar
Thanks for your response

My husband didn't need a defence as the suspension only lasted 2 days as my husband told them to watch the video feed which completely cleared him.We still don't know what action, if any was taken against the guy who was proven a liar, and caused mayhem by making this up to cause problems for my husband. No one will answer this.

My husband has no intention of resigning but will just get signed off again.

I wonder if you could tell me why getting statutory sick pay complicates things?

It was the result of what had happened at work that triggered a relapse for my husband, they all knew he had Bipolar, so it was quite a deliberate case of bullying.