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Employee Dismissal & Permanent Health Insurance Claims

letterDear Brian

I am not well and face the possibility of being dismissed from work. However, I have a permanent health insurance (PHI) scheme at work. Is it true that if the company dismissed me I will not be able to claim benefits under the PHI scheme?



Dear Sylvia

If it is clear that you are not fit to work in the long-term, normally I would say that you would just have to accept a dismissal on ill health grounds. However, where you have the benefit of a PHI scheme your employer cannot dismiss you if that means that you can no longer claim under the scheme. The only exception to that is if you do not cooperate, for example by not supplying reports on your medical condition or not attending medical reviews. If you are willing to co-operate, but you are dismissed and that means you cannot claim under the PHI scheme, you would be entitled to bring an action for breach of contract against your employer. The damages would be the equivalent of the benefits that you have lost under the scheme.

This is a difficult area of law and I would suggest that you speak to an employment lawyer before any decision is made.


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