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Probation period at work extended due to 'potential absence related to mental health'

M

matgleds

New member
Joined
Jan 19, 2015
Messages
1
Probation period at work extended due to 'potential absence related to mental health'

Hi all, I'm new here so hope this is in the right place.

Intro: my fiancee has depression and severe anxiety, but is coping pretty well at the minute. She started a new job in November on a three month probationary period and, after having trouble at her previous job, elected to inform her employer of her mental illnesses from the start.

Now, she just today had her review in regards to whether her probationary period was over or whether it would be extended, and was told it would be extended a further three months due to the risk of 'potential future absence related to her mental health'. In her time so far, she has had one day off as a result of her mental health (which she elected to take as a holiday day) and has otherwise done her job well and hit all the necessary targets (which was confirmed in her review). To sum up, she was told she's a great employee on paper but they didn't want to risk giving her permanent employment due to her mental illness and the fact it may lead to absence in future. Am I correct in thinking this is discrimination? If so, how would we go about doing something about it?

Many thanks.
 
SomersetScorpio

SomersetScorpio

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 17, 2012
Messages
13,534
Location
The West Country
I think this is discriminatory.
Unfortunately I have no idea where you'd start in this situation - but have you thought of speaking to Citizen's Advice?
 
pepecat

pepecat

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 19, 2010
Messages
13,818
Location
middle earth
Under the Equality Act, it seems the following may apply:
An employer must not treat a disabled person less favourably than another employee because of disability.
It is wrong for your employer to treat you badly because they think that you have a disability.
It is wrong to treat you unfavourably where this is linked to disability.

I guess this would apply to you most - they're treating you unfavourably by extending your probation and not giving you a permanent contract, due to the possibility (not even the fact) of future mental illness.
 
R

Rose19602

Guest
It is discrimination....but you need to check whether temporary contracts come under the law I think.

I would check with the CAB initially, but also consider what you want to achieve, how it is likely to pan out and your chances of achieving an outcome that feels just to you.

That matters too and needs to be factored into any anger or indignation you feel.

x
 
Gajolene

Gajolene

Well-known member
Joined
May 30, 2012
Messages
7,826
Location
small town Ontario, Canada
I would like to ask what country you are in, we may be able to help more if we know this. Employment equality is law here in Canada and that would be grounds for discrimination. I think it does depend on the size of the company he is working for too.

It's tricky because disputing it as a new employee may lead to further problems for him with management as a trouble maker and with many companies while under probation they can fire you without any grounds whatsoever. If her wages are being directly effected by this I would take steps through the Union if there is one because even probationary employees technickly are in the union as long as they are paying dues off the paychecks and entitled to representation.
 
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