Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.
What does your contract say regarding termination of employment?
Please can you also advise what the employer's notice period is?
Is there any reference to the grounds on which the employer can terminate the contract?
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Many thanks for your patience. As you may know with less than 2 years service you are not protected against unfair dismissal so the employer can potentially dismiss you for more or less any reason and without you being able to challenge it any further. However, if they dismiss for anything other than gross misconduct they must issue you with the contractual notice period you are due. It does not appear that there was gross misconduct here because there is no serious misconduct used by them as the reasons for the dismissal so you would be due your notice period on termination. If they wanted to pay you in lieu of notice and terminate you immediately without allowing you to work your notice period then they must have a contractual clause allowing them to do so. In the absence of a clause allowing them to pay you in lieu of notice they must allow you to work your notice period. If this was the case then this would have taken you over the required 2 years service and you would have had protection against unfair dismissal. So in the first instant you must check your contract to see if such a clause existed. If it did then sadly there is not much you can do to challenge this. However if no such clause existed, terminating you lie this would amount to a breach of contract and you could take it further and potentially claim for unfair dismissal.
This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the rights you have if the contract had no payment in lieu of notice clause, 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 is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
Thank you. Did the contract allow for a payment in lieu of notice on termination?
If the contract contained no provision for terminating your employment by paying you in lieu of notice, then doing so would amount to a breach of contract. Unless you were dismissed for gross misconduct, which is not the case here, they would have had to give you the opportunity to work your notice period which would have taken you over the 2 years required for unfair dismissal protection. This means they should have then provided a fair reason for dismissal and also followed a fair procedure. At this stage you should contact them first to challenge this and remind them of your rights and their obligations. If they refuse to resolve this then you can consider the unfair dismissal claim, which must be submitted within 3 months of the date of termination.
A new feature in the employment tribunal’s claims process is mandatory early conciliation with ACAS. This requires prospective claimants to notify ACAS and provide details of their intended claim and they would then try to negotiate between the claimant and respondent to seek out of court settlement in order to avoid having to take the claim to the tribunal. It is possible for the parties to refuse to engage in these negotiations, or that they are unsuccessful, in which case they would get permission to proceed with making the claim in the tribunal.
If negotiations are initiated and settlement is reached, then the claimant would agree not to proceed with the claim in return for the agreed financial settlement.
The conciliation procedure and the form to fill in can be found here:
In terms of the time limits within which a claim must be presented, the early conciliation process places a ‘stop’ on that and the time between notifying ACAS and them issuing permission to proceed with the claim would not count for the purposes of these time limits.
They cannot be forced to negotiate unfortunately so whilst you can try to do so, if they refuse to then you will have to tart the ACAS process (again they cannot be forced to participate in that, but you have a requirement to start this process before you can make a claim