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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46783
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I recently took up a position at a multinational company in

Resolved Question:

I recently took up a position at a multinational company in waste disposal, 3 months ago. I had disclosed my criminal conviction to my boss and his boss. They were both happy and employed me based on my skills and competence for the job. 1 week ago HR for the company received an anonymous phone call enquiring if they were aware of my past.
The subsequent discovery of my past by HR and higher management was taken as a surprise by them but when questioned my boss and his boss explained their reasoning and stood by there decision. Having mentioned this to me I thought that everyone would come to the same conclusion.
Today I was sadly informed by my boss and his boss that they had been informed that I was to be let go because of my conviction.

I think that this is ridiculous and contrary to at least the rehabilitation of offenders act. Having read through their guide lines for employing ex-offenders it seems that the only reason that this decision may have taken place is that it may contribute to 'issues of positive and negative PR.'

I would like to know if this is breaking any laws, do I have a case and who should I seek legal advice from?

The conviction is not spent, and under the current legislation will not be considered spent ever.

Kind regards,

Pelham
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

Were you given any notice of termination?

Customer:

None, whatsoever

Customer:

my bosses boss recieved a phone call today that they wish to terminate my employment as soon as possible, today

Ben Jones :

Does your contract allow for a notice period on termination?

Customer:

Currently as I am new to the company I am on a probationary period at the moment.

Customer:

Directly that is not something I would know without digging out my contract and looking at it.

Customer:

I am less concerned about them not giving me notice because I am aware that under employment law it is easier to terminate someone who is on a probationary period for a lack of reasons. I am more interested in the fact that they have terminated me because of my criminal conviction despite it being disclosed to my direct bosses.

Ben Jones :

If you have been continuously employed at your place of work for less than 2 years then your employment rights will unfortunately be somewhat limited. Most importantly, you will not be protected against unfair dismissal. This means that your employer can dismiss you for more or less any reason, and without following a fair procedure, as long as their decision is not based on discriminatory grounds (i.e. because of gender, race, religion, age, a disability, sexual orientation, etc.) or because you were trying to assert any of your statutory rights (e.g. requesting maternity/paternity leave, etc.). The reasons they have used in your case are not in any way discriminatory or unlawful unfortunately so they can use them to dismiss.


 


If the dismissal had nothing to do with any of the above exceptions then you would not be able to challenge it and your only protection would be if you were not paid your contractual notice period, because unless you were dismissed for gross misconduct, you would be entitled to receive your contractual notice period. If you did not have a written contract in place you would be entitled to the minimum statutory notice period of 1 week. Your employer would either have to allow you to work that notice period and pay you as normal, or they will have to pay you in lieu of notice. Your actions are not gross misconduct as you did not lie about your past.


 


If you were not paid your notice period when you were due one, that would amount to wrongful dismissal (which is different to unfair dismissal) and you could make a claim in an employment tribunal to recover the pay for the notice period that you should have been given. There is a 3-month time limit from the date of dismissal to submit the claim.


 

Customer:

So essentailly, sadly, using my criminal conviction as a reason to dismiss me regardless that it was disclosed to the appropriate people is legal?

Ben Jones :

in this instance I am afraid it is - as mentioned they could use any reason as long as it is not discriminatory and that is not

Customer:

Thank you ben, that is good to know if not rather vexing.

Ben Jones :

Fully understand, but hope it clarifies your position

Customer:

I am just slightly surprised that the 'Rehabilitation of Offenders act' doesn't give any protection from this sort of thing.

Customer:

Oh well,

Ben Jones :

That only applies to spent convictions and you have said yours will never be spent

Customer:

How very annoying,
Many thanks

Ben Jones :

You are welcome, all the best

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46783
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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