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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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I worked UK Company. I was dismissed whilst away on holiday

Customer Question

I worked for a UK Company. I was dismissed whilst away on holiday and given no reasons. I never had warnings or anything. I worked only 6 months and sales increased. My contract was signed by a "Managing Director" and now I am told that he was never registered at companies house as such and therefore my contract may be not worth the paper it was written on. Under 2 years I understand they can get rid of anyone without reason but they will not even pay the one week notice in the contract. Can someone sign a contract or any contract claiming to be the MD (with the knowledge of the owners) and not register at Companies House?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.
It is not a legal requirement for the person who signs a contract to be registered at Companies House. It could easily be signed by a manager, who is just a salaried employee, and still be legally binding. What matters is that they were acting on the company’s behalf and were authorised to issue such contracts. In any event, the 1 week’s notice period is not just a contractual entitlement – it is a legal one under the Employment Rights Act 1996. Anyone with over a month’s service is entitled to at least a week’s notice period of dismissal in the first 2 years of their employment. So regardless of whether there was a valid contract in place or not, the law allows you to receive a week’s notice on termination. It is true that you cannot challenge the dismissal itself but you are entitled to be paid for the time worked up until dismissal, the week’s notice and any accrued holidays.
If they refuse to pay you then this potentially amounts to an unlawful deduction from wages, which is made illegal under the Employment Rights Act 1996.
In order to try and resolve this, the employer should be contacted in writing, advised that this is being treated as unlawful deduction of wages and ask them to pay back the money within 7 days. Advise them that if they fail to pay the money that is owed, legal proceedings could follow.
If the employer does not return the money as requested, the following options are available:
1. Employment Tribunal - the time limit to claim is only 3 months from the date the deductions were made. To make the claim, form ET1 needs to be completed and submitted - you can find it here: https://www.employmenttribunals.service.gov.uk/employment-tribunals
2. County Court – this is an alternative way to claim and the advantage is that the time limit is a much longer 6 years and is usually used if you are out of time to claim in the Tribunal. The claim can be made online by going to: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk.
Hopefully by warning the employer you are aware of your rights and are not going to hesitate taking further action they will be prompted to reconsider their position and work towards resolving this.
I hope this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating, or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi

Thanks for that

Is it legal therefore they he acts as an MD signing contracts as MD when not registered even as a Director?

My dismissal was by sms whilst on holiday and I have not received a letter or anything from them. I had a call on returning to tell me not to go back to the office but I have requested my personal items.

As I understand from you, I am legally entitled to 1 week anyway irrespective if they claim contract is not valid? Since I paid tax etc then they cannot avoid the fact I worked.

Do I legally need a letter of dismissal?

Thanks

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
An MD does not actually have to be registered at Companies House. The company will need a minimum number of directors but these could be separate persons and not the MD, or anyone else who calls himself a director in the company – you can have two types of director – executive and non-executive – the executive ones are the ones registered with Companies House, the others are not but they still have the title of director.
You are indeed entitled to the week’s notice regardless of whether the contract was valid or not – that is a legal entitlement, not a contractual one. You are not entitled to receive a written letter of dismissal.

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