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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46224
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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My 17 year old son was dismissed from s Saturday job without

Customer Question

Hi my 17 year old son was dismissed from his Saturday job without warning on Saturday. He was told he had not passed his probationary period. I have looked over his contract which states that he is on a Flex Fixed Term Contract with the end date being 01/07/2016. He was at no time told his work was unsatisfactory and had no conflicts at work. I want to contact the HR department as I think he has been treated unfairly and has not been given any notice or anything in writing. He turned up for work and was interviewed without any warning. Can you advise what our best course of action is please
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Did the contract have a clause allowing for early termination of the contract?

Please note I am due to go offline shortly so may not be able to reply fully until the morning, thank you

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
no I can't see that in the contract atall
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
it says that the company do reserve the right at its entire discretion to terminate the contract at any time prior to the expiry of the fixed term in accordance with the notice provisions cause
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Good morning Ben, any luck with my question ?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Hi there, many thanks for your patience. The issue here is that if he has been continuously employed at his place of work for less than 2 years then his employment rights will unfortunately be somewhat 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.). So it is entirely possible for the employer to dismiss him without any warnings or even evidence of poor performance.

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. If he did not have a written contract in place he would be entitled to the minimum statutory notice period of 1 week. His employer would either have to allow him to work that notice period and pay him as normal, or they will have to pay him in lieu of notice.

If he was not paid his notice period when he was due one, that would amount to wrongful dismissal (which is different to unfair dismissal) and he could make a claim in an employment tribunal to recover the pay for the notice period that he should have been given. There is a 3-month time limit from the date of dismissal to submit the claim.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you need to follow should you have to pursue for unpaid notice period, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there I no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46224
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Thank you. If he was not paid the notice period he was due on termination then that would likely amount to a wrongful dismissal or a breach of contract.

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.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
HIya thank you for that detailed response. Its very difficult as I desperately want to write to HR and make a complaint about the way he has been treated over this and during his time with them. He was never advised on appointment that it was a contract with a fixed end date. Whilst I appreciate that he should of read through it as a 17 year old new to work he just didn't understand that. However, although he signed the contract he never handed it so theres not even a signed copy on their files. He was never told that his work wasn't satisfactory and feels the manager was unfair in his treatment throughout his employment. It says on the contract re notice periods, ' Should the company wish to terminate your employment, for reasons other than gross misconduct, you will be entitled to one weeks notice for each continuous year of serice'. Unfortunately he has only been there for about 2 months but I am wondering if he should of been given atleast 1 weeks notice or payment in lieu??
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Unless he was dismissed for gross misconduct then yes he would have been entitled to a week's notice

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you I will put together a letter and send it off to them. Is it worth making a complaint to them about the manager aswell. I'm pretty sure they won't take any action but I would like to think if anything else it would protect any future youngsters from similar treatment. The manager was very dismissive of my son and on 2 occasions did not give him any work despite the 4 hour hour a week contract. It was not gross misconduct they said he didn't take enough clothes out of the changing rooms - just a handful! Really!! No one ever said anything to him.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

You ave nothing t lose by doing so but the matter is firmly in their hands as to whether they take in any further. But it does not look like GM so I would push for the notice period

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