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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48190
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Can an employer terminate your contract, one week within the

Resolved Question:

Can an employer terminate your contract, one week within the end of your probationary period being completed, due to restructure, with no prior consultation or any offer of other positions which are available with minimal training in the same department. I had already had discussion with them re moving to another department at the end of September, which they have told me I can still apply for and they expressed at the meeting that they were grateful for all the hard work I had put in with overtime and covering 2 peoples work whilst looking for replacements, albeit at a higher level.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

How long was the probationary period?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
6 months
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am in court for the rest of today so will prepare my advice in a while 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.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Many thanks for your patience. The issue is that if you have been continuously employed at your place of work for less than 2 years then your employment rights will unfortunately be somewhat limited. Most importantly, you will not be protected against unfair dismissal. This means that your employer can dismiss you 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 you were trying to assert any of your statutory rights (e.g. requesting maternity/paternity leave, etc.).

So there is absolutely no obligation on the employer to consult about the termination or offer you any other available positions. All of these expectations would only apply when someone is protected against unfair dismissal and the employer must ensure that they have acted fairly.

If the dismissal had nothing to do with any of the above mentioned discriminatory exceptions then you would not be able to challenge it and your only protection would be if you were not paid your contractual notice period, because unless you were dismissed for gross misconduct, you would be entitled to receive your contractual notice period. If you did not have a written contract in place you would be entitled to the minimum statutory notice period of 1 week. Your employer would either have to allow you to work that notice period and pay you as normal, or they will have to pay you in lieu of notice.

I'm sorry if this is not necessarily the answer you were hoping for, however I do have a duty to be honest and explain the law as it actually stands. This does mean delivering bad news from time to time. I hope you understand and would be happy to provide any further clarification if needed. If you are still satisfied with the level of service you have received I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page. Thank you

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