How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ben Jones Your Own Question
Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 47354
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
29905560
Type Your Employment Law Question Here...
Ben Jones is online now

We (ie the parish council) have just employed a clerk from

Resolved Question:

We (ie the parish council) have just employed a clerk from within the village, whose technical and professional abilities are not in question. However, his attitude to councillors and members of the public is bullying, threatening and domineering in the extreme and the councillors feel they cannot work with him. He has been in post for just over three months, and has a three month notice period in his contract.
Is it possible simply to give him three months' notice, without any "good" reason, or do we have to go through a grievance/discplinary procedure? We have never had this problem before and the village has been very happy up to now! He will be very aware of all the legal implications and will be very hostile to any moves to "oust" him.
Any thoughts, please?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

If he has been continuously employed at his place of work for less than 2 years then his employment rights will be rather limited. Most importantly, he will not be protected against unfair dismissal. This means that his employer can dismiss him 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 he was trying to assert any of his statutory rights (e.g. requesting paternity leave, etc.).

If the dismissal had nothing to do with any of the above exceptions then he would not be able to challenge it and his only protection would be if he was not paid his contractual notice period, because unless he was dismissed for gross misconduct, he would be entitled to receive his contractual notice period. Therefore to be on the safe side you should still issue him with the contractual notice period he is entitled to, although you do not have to provide a reason for the dismissal or follow a fair dismissal procedure.

Ben Jones :

Hope this clarifies your position? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you

Customer:

That sounds brilliant. There may be some very happy councillors this Christmas! Thank you very much. Just to confirm, we can simply say, effectively, "thank you very much for all you have done for us, but this is just not working out and we would like to terminate your contract with three months' notice as from to-day". Can we simply pay him his three months' salary ands suggest he leaves fairly immediately? Obviously we would try to do it nicely, but we are very conscious he will be vindictive if we don't get it legally right! Thank you!

Ben Jones :

yes you are able to simply issue him with notice of termination without providing a reason for your decision, he cannot challenge this in the circumstances. As to whether you can pay him off, does his contract say you can pay him in lieu of notice?

Customer:

The contract says:" The length of notice which you are obliged to give to the Council to terminate your employment is three months. The length of notice which you are entitled to receive from the Council to terminate your employment is three months. Upon termination of your employment you are required to surrender to the Council any documents or materials that you have been holding on behalf of the Council."

Customer:

It would be nice if he could be asked to leave before the 3 months, simply to avoid any possible reprisals if he still has access to council files, etc.

Ben Jones :

Technically the contract does not allow you to do this but you can still get around that if you ensure he is paid for anything he would have earned had he been allowed to work for the 3 months of his notice period. So you would have to pay him all normal pay for that period as well as for the holidays he would have accrued during that time. You also must consider any other payments or benefits of monetary value or equivalent which he would have been in receipt of. As long as you do that he would have no losses to claim for so cannot really claim for anything against you

Customer:

Thank you very much indeed for your very quick and very helpful advice. I hope my daughter will be as useful when she (hopefull) finishes her OU law degree!!

Customer:

Happy Christmas!

Ben Jones :

You are welcome and all the best over the holidays

Customer:

By the way can I print all this out?

Ben Jones :

yes you can, I am not sure what the options on the screen are though, there may be a 'share' button where the print option is hiding?

Customer:

OK, will find it. Thank you and goodbye!

Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

Related Employment Law Questions