The EAT largely upheld a tribunal decision that (on the facts) a college was entitled to dismiss a lecturer who had been off work with a depressive illness for over a year.
In Pulman v Merthyr Tydfil College (www.bailii.org), the employment tribunal concluded that the employer had done as much as could reasonably be expected of it to facilitate the claimant’s return to work.
It was asking too much to move other people to different roles, and there were no realistic redeployment options. The employer had taken medical advice about the claimant’s capabilities and had fully engaged with him and discussed support and assistance on his return to work. It was the claimant who refused to work with his colleagues still present at his place of work.
The EAT largely upheld the tribunal’s decision, but raised queries for the tribunal to address about whether mediation with his line manager should have been used, or meetings falling short of a formal mediation process.