Q: WHEN the coronavirus pandemic hit us, along with other work colleagues I was furloughed.

As my disabled son is in residential care and I was told I would not be able to visit him because of lockdown, I decided to have him home and care for him myself.

Now my boss wants me to return to work in the office, despite two male colleagues being allowed to return and work from home.

I would prefer to work from home as it will take time to get my son back into residential care and I may still not be allowed to visit him. If male colleagues can work from home doing the same job as me, surely this is discrimination?

A: It may be that your employer feels you would not be able to do your job properly and care for your son at the same time.

However, if he is allowing others doing the same job as you to work from home, and his decision to demand your return to the office is based solely on the fact that you are caring for someone with a disability, then that could be classed as ‘disability discrimination by association’.

If your colleagues who are being allowed to work from home are all male, then you could argue that the boss’s decision is having a disproportionate impact on women

In the current exceptional circumstances, no situation like yours is going to be straightforward to resolve. You should seek legal advice on mental health and employment as soon as possible to find out exactly where you stand.

This question has been answered by James Denton, a solicitor with GHP Legal. If you would like to speak to someone about legal matter,we are doing everything we can to ensure that we continue to offer our high levels of service to our clients.

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