Sometimes a case arises that illustrates how careful an employer – including those with one domestic employee – has to be when considering a request for flexible working hours through illness.
At a recent employment tribunal an employee who was suffering from depression was awarded £35,000 on the grounds that he was discriminated against by his employer, the Department for Work and Pensions, when his request for flexible working hours was denied.
The employee took his case to tribunal after he was dismissed on the grounds of gross misconduct, which alleges that on 43 instances he wrongly recorded his working hours, failed to attend work on time and left early.
The background of the case was that the employee had been on flexible working hours, but agreed to switch to fixed hours after some issues.
He then had a series of absences due to depression and was given a written warning about failing to attend work at the required time.
After treatment he requested return to flexible working hours, in line with other colleagues. His request was denied and he was later dismissed.
The employee brought a claim to the Employment Tribunal, which ruled in his favour, stating his employer had a duty to make reasonable adjustments as Mr Hargreaves had requested to work flexible hours.
The tribunal ruled that he had been discriminated against as he was treated unfavourably compared to his colleagues and was awarded £35,677.
This again illustrates the need to take appropriate professional advice before making any such decisions.
The Graham Agency, keeping you informed.