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Is Work Related Stress a Disability?
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When another person or organisation has broken the contract between you to provide the goods or services in return for payment, you may have grounds for compensation or redress.

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Our specialist Litigation team are on hand to help you with any queries you may have.

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Our expert solicitors are here to support you with advice, outlining your options at the very first stages to ensure all possible objectives are reached.

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The Litigation team at Poole Alcock will advise you on the best route to take, depending on your tenancy agreement.

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At Poole Alcock we understand that you want to resolve any dispute cost-effectively and maintain good relations where possible.

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A company’s articles of association are of paramount importance; they are the key constitutional document setting out the basic management and administrative structure of a company.

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Forming a company can be a positive and exciting step for many business owners. However, it is important to ensure from the outset that the documents governing your company’s operations suit your business needs.

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Acquisition of another company is an effective way to grow your business. Ensuring a successful transaction is all about the detail. You need to know exactly what you are buying.

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When the time comes to sell your company, or shares in your business, you will wish to maximise the return on your investment of money, hard work, time and emotion.

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A guarantee is a legal commitment to repay a debt where the original borrower has defaulted on their repayments. In essence, the person providing the guarantee will “step into the shoes” of the debtor.

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Whether you are lending to or borrowing from a third party, it is always prudent to record the terms of the loan clearly.

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A company’s articles of association are of paramount importance; they are the key constitutional document setting out the basic management and administrative structure of a company.

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If you are in dispute about which school your child should attend or think that it will be in the child’s best interests to change schools it will be necessary to apply for a Specific Issue Order through the courts.

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If your child is aged under 16, it is possible to change their name by deed poll providing that all of the parties with Parental Responsibility are in agreement. However, the child’s birth certificate will not normally be changed as this is a historical record from when the child was born.

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When a child is removed from one of the parents without the other parent’s permission or a child is not returned at a pre-arranged time, it is important to act quickly to reinstate the child’s normal or pre-agreed routine.

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Whenever possible separating parties should speak to one another and make arrangements for the care of the children which are in the children’s best interests and can be worked around by both parents.

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Most of the legal rights given to parents are by way of Parental Responsibility (PR). PR means ‘all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority that a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property by law’.

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You can apply to end or dissolve your civil partnership if you have been in the partnership for at least one year. It is very similar to divorce, in that you will need to make an application to the court.

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When parties separate they may be able to reach an amicable agreement about the finances of the household and how these should be divided going forward. However, for most this can be the most difficult area to resolve.

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We can provide you with the peace of mind of conducting your divorce on a fixed fee basis. We will be able to provide you with the figure at the outset, allowing you to budget and plan your finances in advance.

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We are proud to be chosen by Cheshire Police Federation as their nominated divorce lawyers to provide specialist divorce and family advice to its members.

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A pre-nuptial/pre-civil agreement is a legal agreement made between two individuals before their marriage has taken place. It usually sets out how the couple wish their assets to be divided between them.

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A separation agreement is a written agreement used when a couple want to stop living together. The agreement can be used to decide a variety of topics including, who will pay the mortgage.

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Under the Equality Act 2010 harassment is defined as unwanted conduct which is related to either; age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation and is therefore unlawful.

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Unfair dismissal is a complex area of employment law and one where you need a legal expert to safeguard your financial interests as well as your professional future.

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It can be hard to realise that you may have been a victim of workplace discrimination. Discrimination is based upon what are called Protected Characteristics.

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Under the Equality Act there are 9 specific areas which are called protected characteristics; any discrimination against workers because of these characteristics would be unlawful.

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It is important that businesses handle the termination of a director’s contract appropriately, especially if you need to achieve a swift exit without disrupting the operation of the business.

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Employers should enter into a period of consultation with their employees, giving them information on why the redundancies are necessary and if there are any alternatives available.

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Has your employer discussed ending your employment through redundancy or with a settlement agreement/compromise agreement?

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There will be times when an employee’s conduct or performance falls short of what is expected of them in their contract of employment, or they believe that they have been treated unfairly at work.

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The TUPE Regulations are in place to preserve employees’ rights when a business is transferred to a new employer. The Regulations can apply to organisations of all sizes when a business is sold.

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From the recruitment process, through to issues such as TUPE, training from expert employment solicitors can help you to use the law as a positive framework to implement the best employment practices.

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A written contract of employment is a legal requirement as part of the employment relationship and failure to provide one can leave both parties unclear about their rights and responsibilities.

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Settlement agreements, which used to be called compromise agreements, can play an important part in ending an employment relationship, but there are some important legal safeguards.

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Severing ties with a director or senior executive comes with countless decisions about how to protect your business.

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Whether it is direct or indirect discrimination, a case of harassment, or failure to promote diversity, the Equality Act makes discrimination unacceptable in the workplace.

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It is easy for important steps to be missed during a staff crisis however, each vital step may be a legal requirement. An omission that could have a serious impact upon your business.

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Employers should enter into a period of consultation with their employees, giving them information on why the redundancies are necessary and if there are any alternatives available.

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Whilst it is better to try to resolve a dispute directly with an employee, there will be times when it simply is not possible. In those cases, you may be called before an employment tribunal.

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As an employer you have to be cautious with how you deal with dismissals in order to not be accused of an unfair dismissal.

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Failure to comply with employment legislation can be devastating for a business. Compensation awards for unfair dismissal claims can be in excess of £75,000 and awards for discrimination are unlimited.

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Our team has extensive experience of settling claims arising from a wide variety of accidents and injuries suffered in the workplace.

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Whilst a trip to the beauty salon may conjure up images of relaxation and pampering, many services use potentially harmful chemicals and machinery.

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Poole Alcock have a number of keen cyclists who commute to work and enjoy cycling as a hobby or as a competitive sport. We therefore understand the frustration that can occur.

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Every employer should ensure that the exposure of his employees to substances hazardous to health is either prevented or, where this is not reasonably practicable, adequately controlled.

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The loss of a loved one is one of the most difficult situations in life we have to face, and the thought of bringing a claim for compensation at this time is a difficult one.

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An employer has a duty to eliminate or reduce exposure to vibration to as low a level as is reasonably practicable. In doing so, the employer should have assessed any risks in the task concerned.

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Suffering a head injury is understandably concerning for the victim and their family. It is important to investigate any potential brain injury that may have been caused.

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Tinnitus is any noise (for example, buzzing or ringing) in the ear and can be caused by exposure to excessive levels of noise, although there are other causes too.

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It is logical to think that if you are constantly carrying out the same physical task at work, such as lifting heavy boxes without a break, you may well develop a bad back.

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Common causes of road traffic accidents include other road users, poorly maintained roads, obstructions in the road and slippery surfaces. You may have suffered an injury.

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Accidents can happen at any time and in any place – in the street, at work, at the supermarket. If you think that another person or organisation was responsible for your accident then you may be entitled to compensation.

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Suffering a spinal cord injury can be a life-changing event, impacting on almost every aspect of your life. If the accident was not your fault, then financial compensation is often necessary.

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Is Work Related Stress a disability?

“Disability” is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010 (the “Act”). This means...

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Is Work Related Stress a disability?

26th September 2017

News : Employment Law

“Disability” is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010 (the “Act”). This means that employees with a disability are protected from direct and indirect discrimination. Employers are under a duty to make “reasonable adjustments” for such employees. If a disabled employee is subject to discrimination or their employer fails to make reasonable adjustments, the employer may face a tribunal claim.  It is essential for employers to identify any employees who might enjoy protection under the Act because of a disability.

Unfortunately, an employee’s sick note will not necessarily tell you whether an employee would be considered disabled. The note will simply state that the employee is “unfit for work” and note the condition identified. Where a note states that the employee if unfit for work because of stress, depression or anxiety it can be very difficult for employers to know whether or not the employee enjoys protection under the Act (and therefore if reasonable adjustments are required).

Firstly, it is important to understand the difference between a “disability” and an “illness” because an employee with a disability enjoys protection under the Act but an employee with an illness does not.  In order for depression (which is categorised as a “mental impairment”) to be considered a “disability” it must be:

  1. Long standing; and
  2. Have a substantial effect upon day to day activities.

There is no specific guidance as to the meaning of “long standing”.  In our experience this means a condition that isn’t related to the current circumstances i.e. it already existed.  The “substantial effect upon day to day activities” element looks at how a condition restricts an individual from participating in activities in their daily life.

What do I do as an Employer?

If an employee is “disabled” (rather than “ill”) their employer must make “reasonable adjustments”.  Making reasonable adjustments might require making allowance for the disability and amending working practices and procedures accordingly.  Given the potential complexity of making such adjustments it is important to identify early whether an employee disabled.

If you are unsure whether your employee enjoys disability protection, you should take advice from an employment lawyer immediately. Taking advice at an early stage can significantly reduce the risk of a disability-related claim. Whilst Lawyers cannot necessarily advise on medical matters they can advise how medical evidence (from a Doctor or Occupational Health Advisor for example) would be applied in the Employment Tribunal and therefore help you to decide whether adjustments are required or not.

If you would like advice on disability discrimination and reasonable adjustments, please contact our Employment Team on 01270 6254768 or complete the form linked here and we will call you back.

For more information see our Employment services page.

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