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Please can you provide details of the new policy? Also, please can you tell me how long you have been employed in this position and what you are ideally hoping for, given the situation? Thank you
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Many thanks for your patience. Your rights would very much depend on your length of service as that is what provides you with certain protection against dismissal or being forced to leave. This is relevant here because if you have your contract terminated as a result of this it would be a potentially challengeable dismissal and if you are pushed out and have to resign it would be a potential constructive dismissal case. The issue is that to be able to claim for either of these you require 2 years’ continuous service as an employee. Your time as volunteer is not employment and would not count so technically you would currently have less than 2 years’ service and not be protected against unfair or constructive dismissal.
Saying that there is a potential that such a policy can be discriminatory on grounds of marriage. So if you are being treated less favourable because you are married that can amount to marriage discrimination and the 2 year rule does not apply. This would be indirect discrimination because the employer would apply a rule which places you at a disadvantage because you are married, but they could try and justify it if there was objective justification for their actions, such as if they were trying to prevent any favouritism, etc. They would have to show this was the case but if needed you could try can challenge it on these grounds.
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Thank you. Should you wish to challenge this as discrimination you would be looking at either raising a formal grievance with the employer or going to the employment tribunal within 3 months of the date of the discriminatory act.
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.