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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 am a self employed cleaner,have domestic houses-holiday lets

Resolved Question:

I am a self employed cleaner,have domestic houses-holiday lets & offices which I tend.I have recently been off work (since 13th May), returning on 1st June, due to Thrombophlebitis, have & am still on anitbiotics,had 2 scans on my leg,Doctor has given me notes to confirm inability to work during those dates. However I have received a call from the owners of the Offices saying they got another cleaner in to help out whilst I was ill-something they have never done before & now have informed me my services are no longer required as they are happy with their new 'arrangement'!! There are 2 business partners one of which had previously informed me to get well soon & return to work when fit enough-which I told him was 31st May/1st June, now I've had a call from the other partner letting me go!!?? I can't get hold of the other partner to explain this, I have lost a job which was an important source of income to me as my holiday let cleans are only seasonal-the offices are all year round clean. Is this fair to give me no notice & no good reason to dismiss me like this?? I do not have any contract with their business but I have been with them for many years now, I supplied them with all their toilet supplies/laundered towels etc. I feel this is an unfair end of agreement as they knew I was off work sick & didn't have any solid reason to give up my cleaning services. Please can you advise me further, look forward to hearing from you. Regards Brenda
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. can you tell me exactly how long you have been doing the cleaning here and have you proof of payment for this time.

Customer:

Hi, it it approx. 6/7 yrs I first cleaned those offices, I originally did some work for one of the business partners wife who then past on my details to take on the office cleans,which I did. I did the builders clean for their newly bought offices & have cleaned there ever since. I have invoiced receipts dating back from all my self employed work for the offices.

Ben Jones :

Ok thank you leave it with me I need to look up a few things and then get my advice ready.I will post back on here when done there is no need to wait and you will receive an email when I have responded.

Ben Jones :

Hi sorry I did post another question for you but it does not appear to have registered, so I will try again. Were you an employee or self employed?

Customer:

Hi, I'm self employed as stated in my first enquiry.

Ben Jones :

Thank you for confirming I just needed to make sure as it will affect your rights. As a self employed worker you are not protected against unfair dismissal. You do not have the same protection as employees who the employer can only dismiss if they have a fair reason for doing so and also follow a fair procedure. You can be dismissed at any time without there being a fair reason for doing so and without the employer having to justify the reasons for the dismissal. The main issue would be whether you received the appropriate notice period on termination.


 


Under law, only employees are entitled to receive a minimum notice period in the event that their employment is terminated by their employer. The self-employed do not have the legal right to minimum notice periods on termination.


 


Whether a self employed worker is entitled to a notice period will depend on their contract. If there is a termination clause that specifies a notice period on termination, the employer would be expected to give that notice if they wish to end the employment relationship.


 


However, it is often the case that no written contract exists, or there is no notice clause in it. In such situations, the worker can still expect a 'reasonable' notice period to have their employment terminated. This is because even in the absence of a written contract they will be working under an implied common law contract and to terminate such a contract a reasonable notice period is required. The only exception is if the contract was terminated because of gross misconduct, that is any misconduct serious enough to justify the employment relationship terminating immediately, however that is not an issue in your case.


 


What is a reasonable notice period will vary greatly and will depend on the individual circumstances, industry practices, length of employment, frequency of payment, etc. There are far too many variables to consider, which means it is usually impossible to give a precise indication as to what would be reasonable in each case. It is therefore down to the courts to make that decision. The worker can nevertheless raise this issue with the employer and attempt to negotiate a reasonable notice period with them, a period that they will both be happy to accept.


 

Customer:

Many thanks for the advice, I didn't think I had much of a case being self-employed, I don't think it would be worth my while taking this issue to the courts, it would be an expense I can ill-afford, nonetheless I will cease my insurance policies with them & take my business elsewhere....that's one way I can hit them!!

Customer:

Thank you once again ( I hope you received my last message as the wrong button was pressed!)

Ben Jones :

I did, thank you. It's such a shame that self employed workers do not have the same rights as employees but it does not stop you from at least trying to challenge them and ask for some sort of compensation for the notice period, even if you do not intend taking them to court, even the threat of doing so could prompt them to consider it.

Customer:

Hi, I have to return the office keys & the invoice for May so I will enclose a letter also re.the compensation & disappointment of the treatment I have received despite being a longstanding loyal worker. It wont cost me anything but at the same time I can easily replace the job so I wont lose any sleep over it-the have lost an insurance customer anyway!! Many Thanks for all your help & advice,

Customer:

Regards Brenda

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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