In the case of Riley v Direct Line Insurance Group, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) held that it can.
The Claimant had autism spectrum disorder and was absent from work for several years.
The Claimant attempted to return to work but was unsuccessful and on medical advice it was clear that he would remain unfit to return permanently.
The Claimant was offered payments of his salary up to retirement age, if his employment ended, provided through an insurance scheme. This was agreed by the Claimant, and he was subsequently invited to a termination meeting followed by a letter confirming he was dismissed.
The Claimant brought claims for unfair dismissal, discrimination, and failure to make reasonable adjustments; however, the Employment Tribunal found that the Claimant had not been dismissed and the ending of the employment relationship had been mutual, meaning that the Claimants claims for unfair, and discrimination failed. The Claimant’s claim for failure to make reasonable adjustments was found to be out of time and no extension was granted.
The Claimant appealed this decision; however, the EAT agreed with the Tribunals original conclusions and stated that a letter expressing that the Claimant had been dismissed, did not undermine the conclusion as the termination had been agreed prior to this letter.
Please contact one of our employment team here should you have any questions on the impact of the above.