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can they legally do this in england
The answer to this is yes and this is based on your length of service. In the UK until you have been employed for 2 years you have limited employment rights. This means that an employer can terminate your employment for any reason so long as it does not amount to discrimination, contrary to the Equality Act 2010, which would be based on age, race, religion, sex, disability, pregnancy or potentially for raising a health and safety complaint. If you had over 2 years service the answer would be different as , once you have adequate service, the employer cannot reduce your salary in this way.
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Thank you anyway.