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Employees on sick leave with mental health problems need to be handled with care

A recent EAT decision is a warning to employers of the care they need to take when dealing with employees on sick leave with mental health problems, as a result of alleged intimidation and bullying at work.

The employee in question was signed off sick due to work related depression and anxiety. She received a first letter from her boss, to which she replied she was in no fit state to deal with correspondence without breaking down. When she subsequently received a second letter requesting a meeting to discuss performance concerns, she resigned and claimed constructive dismissal. While other claims were dismissed, she won her claim for constructive dismissal, it being noted that most of the performance concerns had been dealt with in the past.

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