Areas of Law / Employment

One of my colleagues is suffering from depression because of low morale at work, and has stopped coming in. Do our employers have any responsibility to sort out these problems, or can they just sack her?

Employees have a right not to be unfairly dismissed. If your colleague is sacked, she is entitled to bring an unfair dismissal complaint to an employment tribunal if she has two years or more continuous service. However, it is potentially gross misconduct to be absent without authorisation. She should raise a grievance as swiftly as possible. If she is away on sick leave, the employer should be in contact to see what can be done to help her get back to work. Note that depression may be considered a disability under the Equality Act and claims of discrimination require no prior service period.

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