Performance Managing Staff With Medical Conditions

You notice that an employee has become less productive, is absent more often and seems to be making frequent mistakes. You treat this as a performance issue and jump straight into your usual performance management procedure – but then you discover underlying health concerns and suddenly the process is no longer as clear cut.

If this scenario sounds familiar, join our Employment Law and Occupational Health experts as they explore the appropriate action employers should take when mental or physical health conditions may be impacting an employee’s ability to perform their role.

28 June at 11.00 am

Speaking to employers every day, we know that when performance issues arise, employers are keen to implement a strict action plan and timeline for improvement. What many fail to realise is that if these issues stem from a mental or physical health condition, they must be handled differently or else disability discrimination claims may follow.

An employee will be classed as disabled if they have a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. It is unlawful to discriminate against employees on the basis of their disability, so employers must tread carefully when seeking to dismiss, discipline or indeed performance manage these individuals.

With all of this in mind, this free 45-minute webinar aims to help you avoid legal pitfalls by shining a spotlight on a few common scenarios. Learn how to handle:

• Employees who claim their poor performance is mental health related, but whose performance becomes even worse once adjustments have been made.
• Employees with declining performance which you suspect relates to their physical mobility and age, but who don’t flag any medical concerns.

Hosted by WorkNest’s Head of Team and Solicitor, Toyah Marshall, and Healthwork Group’s Chief Medical Officer, James Quigley, the session will help you get clear on the compliant way to move forward in various situations, the key steps you need to follow, and the possible curveballs you may face at each stage, including:

  • The early triggers employers should watch out for and when to refer an employee for an Occupational Health assessment;
  • What’s covered during an assessment, plus critical information you should alert Occupational Health practitioners to in advance;
  • How to implement recommended reasonable adjustments (and what to do if they can’t be met);
  • How to handle assessments which conclude that an employee’s health isn’t impacting their performance;
  • How long you need to maintain adjustments for and your options if performance still doesn’t improve.

Our hosts will be taking your questions at the end of the session; if you have a specific scenario you would like expert guidance on, please provide a brief overview via the registration form so that we can consider your query in advance.

Please bear in mind we only have a limited time available but will endeavour to address as many submissions as we can. Any queries that our hosts don’t have time to answer live will be covered in an FAQ document following the session.

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Average award for disability discrimination at Employment Tribunals in 2019/20

Because the compensation that may be awarded in discrimination cases is uncapped, successful claims can result in significant payouts – in fact, the average award for disability discrimination in 2019/20 was £27,043, with the highest award coming in at a staggering £265,719.

Given current financial pressures, few businesses can afford such a blow to their bottom line, not to mention the resulting reputational damage, the cost of which is unquantifiable.

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