Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.
Hi Clare. Have you spoken to your manager or HR about this at all? Also, what would be the ideal outcome for you in this situation?
OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am in court today so will prepare my advice during the day and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you.
Many thanks for your patience. The issue you have here is that unless you have 2 years’ continuous service you cannot claim constructive dismissal or unfair dismissal. This means that you could be forced to resign as a result of the employer’s unreasonable behaviour or be dismissed for no apparent reason and you will not be able to challenge that. Your only protection would be against discrimination, such as if you were treated detrimentally because of a protected characteristic, such as age, gender, race, religion, etc.
So whilst you can start negotiations about a settlement agreement and a mutually agreeable exit, you have to remember that your bargaining position is quite weak as they can very easily just issue you with notice of dismissal and pay you your notice period, holidays and any rights you have on the stock options. What rights you have on these options very much depends on what they are described as and any specific rights you have been awarded under their terms and contract. This article explains this in a bit more detail:
I think in this case it is best to highlight the employer’s failure to adhere to some legal obligations like issuing you with written employment particulars (basically a contract), which they must do within 2 months of you starting. Whilst that would not allow you to make a standalone claim against them or give you any rights to challenge dismissal or resignation, it does give you some bargaining power as you have identified they have not followed the correct legal obligations. What package they offer as a severance however is more or less up to them, as you cannot challenge their actions, which means that you do not have much leverage to force a good settlement out of them. It does not mean you won’t, but if they are not prepared to entertain that, it would be difficult.
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