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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46238
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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i started working for a small steel erecting company at beginning

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i started working for a small steel erecting company at beginning of october 2013. i was a contract/project manager/co-ordinator, so to speak. the long term objective of my role was to act as a buffer between the MD and everyone else (staff and clients) so he could take more of back seat. i was put on a 3mth probation at £25000p.a. to be reviewed beginning of january 2014. the MD knew exactly what i had done previously workwise and what i was hoping from the role as well.
my role was reviewed at the beginning of january and he gave me a rise to £28000. i received no formal written contract, everything was verbal. i thought this was a job for life. everything seemed to be going fine. end of february/beginning of march time i began to sense he'd gone "cold" on me. he went on holiday to USA beginning of March and i thought i handled everything well while he was away. i thought everything was good.
when he came back everything seemed good again. in april things seemed to go downhill slowly. nothing was said but i sensed an atmosphere. i continued to do my job even under this atmosphere. he never once complained about my work.
the last weeks in april were really strained. he hardly ever spoke to me unless it was essential. information that should have been at hand was hard to get out of him.
it got to the stage where i jokingly said to people that i didnt get told anything and i was for the chop.
then on friday 2nd may 2014 just before leaving time i went to see him about something. he paused then tole me he had someone to replace me and they were starting on tuesday 6th may after the bank holiday. shocked to say the least. he told me to take some holidays and have a think (he sort of offered me another job but it was "nothing at all like my current job". he said i could go on site and learn to drive a forklift, a joke).
he said the reason for it was that the person he was bringing in was somebody he knew and would basically be better at the job, somebody who would do what he wanted without any "training" from him, although he knew what i was capable of when i started. the person had contacted him in february, it was a man he had trained up earlier many years before. he had spoke to suppliers about him and he was well known to them saying he was a hardcase of a dealer etc. with what was said it became clear that quite a few people knew about my demise well before myself (probably all 15 employees AND a lot of people i was dealing with daily over the phone), i feel a right numpty now thinking back over things, god knows what they were thinking when i was trying to be authorative with them. he apologised and said i had done nothing wrong and had even done some things really well (implemented new spreadsheets and calculation sheets etc), but that things were different and he didnt have the time to oversee things as much.
there are a few other minor details (all in my favour) that could also be said but at a later date.
my basic question is, that because i dont have a formal "written" contract (he even said when i asked about one, to just write it out myself), and that i only worked there 7 months, do i have any rights whatsoever. he even knew that i turned other jobs down whilst with him.
please give me some good advice
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Are you still employed there?

Customer:

he has someone in to replace me starting on tuesday, so i have been advised to take some holidays. if i don't take this joke of another job i'll be out of work

Ben Jones :

ok let me get my response ready please

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.). I cannot see any discriminatory reasons here though so this is unlikely to apply.


 


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.


 


So I am afraid that the best you can expect here is a week’s notice and any accrued holidays, but unfortunately you cannot challenge the dismissal itself, or if you were forced to leave, because you simply do not have the required service to meet the minimum criteria for claiming.

Customer:

ok, not what i was hoping for, but you made things clear. many thanks

Ben Jones :

you are most welcome, all the best

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46238
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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