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Statutory dismissal procedures

Q Following a reorganisation, five people (including myself) were advised in a normal staff weekly meeting that we would need to re-apply for positions within the department and face redundancy if we were not successful.

My supervisor informed me that I had not been successful (even though I had worked in the section for six years and the job I applied for was at a far lower grade). The post is still vacant and he is looking externally. After being told this I was also informed verbally that I would have to leave in six months’ time. Has he breached statutory dismissal procedures?

A Acas advises that any notice given verbally should be backed up in writing within 28 days.

If there is a still a vacancy, then your manager has to justify why you are not a suitable candidate, based on criteria made aware to you beforehand, eg, sickness levels, interview performance, skills and ability. Were you given any valid reason for not being successful? On what basis did the manager make his decision?

If you feel you have been unfairly treated, try talking to the manager first, or consult a representative of Acas. It will advise if any action should be taken, and will suggest how to deal with any complaint yourself prior to taking action.

GP medical reports

Q I want to obtain a medical report from an employee’s GP. What questions should I ask to get the relevant details from the GP? The questions I have come up with so far are:

1. What is the exact nature of the employee’s illness? 2. Is the employee fit enough to return to work? 3. If able to return to work, will there be any problems in the employee fulfilling his current role? 4. If he is unable to return to work, can you confirm the reason for this and the likely duration of his absence? Is he unable to return to work because there are problems with him fulfilling his current role? 5. If he has difficulty fulfilling his current role, what adjustments could be made to his role or workplace to enable him to return to work? 6. When he returns to work, will he require time off work to attend medical appointments?

Does anyone have other suggestions?

A You may want to ask, if in the GP’s opinion, the employee is a disabled person for the purpose of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995?
When will the employee be fully fit to resume his normal job duties for the company?

Given the nature of the illness, and the normal job duties the employee is expected to perform, what is the likelihood of the illness recurring in the future?

A Some other answers to get are:

– Confirm the current state of health providing a diagnosis and long-term prognosis of the disorder.

– Confirm medication that the employee may be taking and outline side effects.

– Give an indication of the estimated duration of this illness.

– Indicate whether the disorder is likely to continue or re-occur.

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