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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48736
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Hi there, My counterpart job sharer was sacked for being off

Resolved Question:

Hi there,
My counterpart job sharer was sacked for being off work sick. They then read her emails same day and found one from myself sent from home, from a personal account, to her workplace account . It was a complaint about the way I was being treated and what I would like to say to the management if I had my chance.
I was called in same day and sacked on the spot for my comments they found on her email trail.(we were the only part time long term contract staff in office)
A fellow permanent member of staff in the office had sent a derogatory email accidentally to the recipient of the comments instead of her intended colleague and she still remains in the office to this day.
Can I seek action to the fact that I have not been treated same as a permanent employee or anything else. I believe it has been handled unfairly.
Thanks for any help offered.
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. How long did you work there for?

Customer:

2 weeks shy of a year

Ben Jones :

When you say you were a contract worker were you a casual employee, self employed...?

Customer:

er no…worked through Huntress employment agency originally on a 6 month contract, which then went on indefinitely

Ben Jones :

so still an agency worker?

Customer:

yes, although I believe us to have same rights as permanent full time employee at Toshiba after 12 weeks?

Customer:

although I am not the expert

Ben Jones :

Not quite, I will explain below

Ben Jones :

You do not get all the rights that a permanent employee gets after being 12 weeks in an assignment. You do get some equality in terms, such as pay and some other benefits, but you will not get additional protection on dismissal. Even if you were a permanent employee you would not be protected against unfair dismissal in this case because you need at least 2 years’ continuous service to qualify. So this is where you will hit a brick wall unfortunately – you do not have protection against unfair dismissal as an agency worker and you can be terminated at any time from an assignment; and even if you were a permanent employee you would not be able to challenge the dismissal because to do so you need at least 2 years’ continuous service with the employer which you do not have.

Customer:

I have already noted that 2 years is needed for unfair dismissal but I believed it to be the case that from your first day in work you need to be treated same as permanent employee, which I clearly have not been?

Customer:

do neither of these apply?

Customer:

The assertion of a right as a fixed-term employee -Regulation 6 of the Fixed-term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002 (SI 2002/2034) and perhaps The exercise of rights under the Agency Workers Regulations 201- Regulation 17 of the Agency Workers Regulations 2010 (SI 2010/93)

Customer:

which comes under the Automatically unfair reasons for dismissal

Customer:

which 2 years is not needed?

Customer:

and can I try for ..

Customer:

The exercise of the right to be accompanied, or accompanying another, at a disciplinary or grievance hearing -Section 12 of the Employment Relations Act 1999

Ben Jones :

You do not have the right to be treated exactly the same in all respects. You have ‘day 1’ rights and ’12 week rights’. Day 1 rights apply from day 1 and only apply to access to collective facilities and employment vacancies. Week 12 rights only apply to basic terms and conditions such as pay, bonuses, holidays, working time and rest breaks. Regardless of whether you were given these rights or not, it will not in any way change your rights on dismissal.

Ben Jones :

You wre not a fixed term employee so cannot rely on that

Ben Jones :

You are not an employee, so do not have the right to be accompanied at a disciplinary so cannot rely on that either

Customer:

So in other word I just have to accept my collegues email was read, for reasons unknown, no criminal activity was sought, and from that I get dismissed too, even though sent from personal computer , and personal account from home ?

Customer:

Seems rather unfair

Customer:

Thanks Ben for clarification

Ben Jones :

you cannot challenge her emails being accessed and an email from you being found there, this is a matter for her to challenge, not for you. As far as your rights are concerned as you are not protected against unfair dismissal in the circumstances you cannot challenge it - whilst morally it may seem unfair, it is not unlawful. Just as an employer could go in one day, pick an employee at random with less than 2 years' service and tell them they are sacked because they have a big nose - 99.9% of people would agree that this is completely unfair, but it would not be unlawful because the law would look at other factors when determining the fairness of a dismissal

Customer:

Okay..think I have it…none said life was fair I guess. Have a peaceful evening :)

Ben Jones :

You too and sorry if I appeared blunt, just need to tell you exactly what your rights are without beating around the bush so to speak, hope you understand

Customer:

Of course, completely….Clara

Ben Jones :

all the best

Customer:

:)

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