Employment Lawyers Can Answer Your Employment Law Questions
Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.
Have you been told why you do not qualify for unfair dismissal?
Hello Ben, I have been told that I do not qualify as I have not worked there for two years. I have made an error in my initial question regarding start date 13/6/12 should be 13/7/12.
Thank you. Did you have a contractual notice period for termination?
My contract stated that I am entitled to receive one weeks written notice to terminate employment since I have worked for more than one month but less than 2 years. It doesn't state whether this is contractual or non contractual.
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.). In the event that the reason for dismissal fell within these categories, then the dismissal will either be automatically unfair, or there will be a potential discrimination claim.
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 the only thing that stands out here is whether the dismissal had anything to do with your gender. Was it the reason why you were chosen for dismissal, because of that was the case it could make the dismissal automatically unfair and you could claim sex discrimination. However, some evidence would be required and you are also relying on the employer not having any other genuine reasons for dismissing you, which are not gender-related.
What you could do is try to conciliate with them through ACAS. Before you can submit any claim you will be expected to mediate via ACAS so you could try that and see if you get any compensation from the employer. If that is not possible then you have to consider if you wish to pursue the matter further by making a claim, although consider it would cost over £1k to do so.
Thank you Ben, that's the conclusion I am coming to due to past events. I don't know for sure as I haven't been given reasons, am I entitled to this? I can't understand the reason for the 2 year rule, unfair is unfair but unfortunately because of a law that seems to be ever changing I am going to have to suffer for it.
you are entitled to ask and to be provided with written reasons for dismissal. This is a right under the Employment Rights ACt 1996:http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1996/18/part/IX/crossheading/written-statement-of-reasons-for-dismissalI know that many employees will be caught short by the 2-year rule but unfortunately it is the law at present - you still get your protection against automatically unfair dismissals and discrimination, but the lawmakers decided that employers needed some rights as well as they were constantly being sued for trivial reasons by dismissed employees
Thank you, ***** ***** done this by appealing. Does the employer have to follow this up?
follow what up exactly?
My letter of appeal, requesting reasons for dismissal?
yes they should do, you have the right to receive these as you have worked there for more than a year
Thanks, ***** ***** that this should be done within 14 days of it being received. Am I correct?
Thank you. Hopefully I will get some explanation, if not then not sure how I am supposed to move on.
Thanks for your time.
you can still try the ACAS conciliation service - it's free and can prompt some answers from the employer
I shall look into it, thank you for the advice.
you are most welcome, all the best