Is unfitness for work grounds for dismissal?
We have an employee who has sadly suffered a health incident that has resulted in significant time off work. Due to ongoing medical treatment this employee is unable to perform their duties and we do not see this situation changing in the future.
We have looked at the possibility of redeploying the individual within the organisation but there are no roles available. We have decided that we need to end the employment because we can no longer support this employee. What course of action do you recommend?
It’s not necessarily a question of redeploying the individual. Rather, you need to consider whether your business can make reasonable adjustments to accommodate the employee to enable them to perform their role.
If the employee is dismissed, your company may risk exposure to a claim that the employee has been discriminated against because of an injury or illness, or that you have taken adverse action against the employee on the basis of them taking personal leave or for a physical/mental disability.
To defend this claim you would need to be able to demonstrate that the employee’s employment was terminated because they could not fulfil the inherent requirements of the job.