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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 44957
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I would like to know what my legal rights are in regards my

Customer Question

I would like to know what my legal rights are in regards ***** ***** I am 15 weeks pregnant and I just told my store manager today that I am pregnant and he did not congratulate me, he just said that "I shouldnt be upset with him if my contract doesn't get renewed", I was in shock ... Before I went a away i sent email to HR and CC him - store manager in the email to dissuss renewal of my contract and commission policy I was put on ... But I haven't had response yet.. It has been over 8 days...
I been with this Italian brand since 6th October 2014 and I want to know whether I have right taking this matter further? As for the period I been with the company no one sat with me and said "you did this right or this wrong" there was no performance reviews done whatsoever, so can they do one now in my last month and still get away with all the things he is doing? Also, my manager said that HR might say that they won't need flagship assistant store manager but the brand is opening new boutique in June this year?!?!? So this is very confusing?!?!? I have also sent laughing penis what's up video that my manager sent me ... Forwarding it to HR ... When HR saw me, she said that is his sense of humor!?!? Didnt find it funny... I also arranged meeting with HR in November last year ... Give my 4 page feedback about him and the way he behaves etc... I haven't had any follow ups ... And HR promised that she will email job description mine and his so there is no confusion... As I am doing his job. My manager swore at me and he begged me not to say anything to HR. I kindly ask you for advise and what are my legal options? Thank you. IR
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Ben Jones : Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked there for?
JACUSTOMER-bqugp0pq- : Hi Ben, as mentioned in my previous message I been with a company since 6th October 2014
Ben Jones :

Hi, sorry I must have missed this due to the formatting on the ipad where I initially read your message. Your rights for the lack of performance feedback will be limited because the employer is not legally obliged to do this and until you have 2 years’ service you could be dismissed for more or less anything, even if it is not true or does not reflect your actual performance. For example, you could be their star employee but they could say you are not performing well and they could dismiss you for that, even if not true.

However, you will; have protection against discrimination, regardless of your length of service. The protection in this case would be in relation to your pregnancy. Your employer cannot treat you less favourably than others because you are pregnant. So they cannot refuse to your renew your contract because you have become pregnant – that would be unlawful as it would amount to discrimination on grounds of pregnancy.

So whilst they could seek to dismiss you due to poor performance or any other reason, they must ensure that it is not linked to your pregnancy. If there is evidence that they are just using other reasons as an excuse when the real reason is your pregnancy then any dismissal will be unfair and you could also claim for discrimination.

At present you can pursue this internally through the formal grievance procedure (a formal internal complaint). If your contract is not renewed and you believe the reasons for this were linked to your pregnancy that is when you can think about taking this further. You can make a claim in the employment tribunal for unfair dismissal and discrimination and this must be done within 3 months of the dismissal.

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

JACUSTOMER-bqugp0pq- : Hi Ben, thank you so much for your prompt response.
JACUSTOMER-bqugp0pq- : The thing which I am very confused about is "poor performance" I do not understand how exactly that is allowed when I haven't been given any feedback... And in my previous job when I had management traning we were told to have and give regular feedback/reviews for different reasons ... It very contradicting about poor performance ... But also, what about if they say that they do not need flagship assistant store manager when they are opening new boutique in 2 months!?
JACUSTOMER-bqugp0pq- : Also, is it difficult to prove that they are using excuses to get rid of me because of pregnancy such as "poor performance" & "won't need assistant manager"?
JACUSTOMER-bqugp0pq- : You said I can pursue it internally as grevinace, stating the facts about what my manager said or the whole thing about last 5 months
JACUSTOMER-bqugp0pq- : If you eg, decide to put me on a temporary contract can I ask what are reasons behind it?
Ben Jones :

the grievance can include whatever factors you believe are relevant in relation to the complaints you are making, so if there are things from the last 5 months which you want to include you may certainly do so.

As to poor performance, one would expect that if this is raised the employer would provide evidence of it or discuss the areas where you are not performing well. However, remember that in these first 2 years you can be dismissed for more or less any reason, even if the employer says you are not performing well when the results show you are their best employee. What is important is that in this case, to be able to show that they did not take your pregnancy into consideration, they would need to prove that the performance was as they claimed and that they had tried to help you resolve it, etc.

Also if they don’t want to offer you a permanent contract you can indeed ask for reasons behind it to see if there is other evidence that may point towards them not acting fairly.

Ben Jones :

Does this clarify things for you?

JACUSTOMER-bqugp0pq- : Thank you for clarification. In regards ***** ***** saying that they won't need assistant manager anymore but they are opening a new boutique in 2 months, surely this is unfair!?!?!
JACUSTOMER-bqugp0pq- : That is what I meant in regards ***** ***** performance, if they say it's that... Then surely they need to prove how they tried to help me... Although these are just excuses from store manager
JACUSTOMER-bqugp0pq- : If I raise a grevinace perhaps that could help me if they do dismiss me? Or not
Ben Jones :

yes I agree it would appear unfair, unless they actually do not need such positions in these stores - whether they do or not I can't say, it depends on the reality really. Generally with your length of service they do not need to justify the poor performance claims but in the circumstances they would really be expected to in order to show that pregnancy had nothing to do with their decision and also raising a grievance can help, it should not be a detriment to you

Ben Jones :

Could you please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else in relation to this? It is important for us to know either way so we can track customer satisfaction or identify whether I need to help you further? Thanks

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