You and the Law – 25th January 2011

Too ill to turn up

We have an employee who has worked for the firm for 28 years, but he has been off sick 12 months and the firm’s doctor says he is no longer capable of doing his job.  We want to end his employment on medical grounds.  Will we have to offer him different work under the Disability Discrimination Act?  VK

If the employee’s illness is reckoned to be a disability within the meaning of the Disability Discrimination Act (it constitutes a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on your ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities) you should probably look at alternative employment for him, or make adjustments to his job.

If he isn’t suffering from a disability you can initiate normal disciplinary procedures, including inviting the employee for an interview to discuss his plans.  You may need more detailed advice.

Council scrap

When I ran over a large piece of scrap metal which was lying in the road there was a huge jolt and my front tyre went flat.  I submitted a claim for a new tyre to the council’s highways department, but their insurers have denied liability.  They say that this particular stretch of road is inspected on a daily basis and since I was the only person to put in a claim the
debris could not have been there long.  AS

If you are seeking compensation you have to prove that the council was negligent.  You will have difficulty convincing a court that this was the case if it does indeed inspect this road on a daily basis.
Your claim is really against whoever dropped the debris. 

Since you’re unlikely to find the culprit you could put in a claim to the Motor Insurers’ Bureau, under its untraced motorist scheme, on the basis that the scrap metal was negligently dropped from a vehicle.  However, the scheme is subject to a £300.00 excess which is probably more than the cost of the tyre.

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