Incapability Dismissals

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2016 Local Government Service Group Conference
25 February 2016

Conference notes that some employers have introduced Incapability Procedures which are designed to make it easier to terminate contracts on the grounds of either ill-health or performance.

Conference is concerned that these procedures are or will be used to remove workers from employment instead of making them redundant through cuts and therefore incurring the costs of redundancy. At a time of cuts in local government budgets, such misuse of these procedures must be guarded against and resisted.

Branches need to ensure that before any member is dismissed on the grounds of incapability that all appropriate considerations are given to the needs of the worker. These would include reasonable adjustments in the workplace; providing supports that can help a worker return to work, such as physiotherapy and counselling; additional training or re-training, to help a worker re-adjust after ill-health or due to disability, or to address performance concerns.

Conference asks that the Service Group Executive:-

1)Conducts research into the use of incapability procedures to identify if the numbers of terminations through incapability are increasing year on year;

2)Produces guidance for branches on how to monitor the use of these procedures and how to ensure that they are not abused;

3)Produces guidance on best practice on supporting workers to remain in the workforce after ill-health, disability or when performance issues arise.