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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 44865
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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My daughter was severely told off for something she was not

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My daughter was severely told off for something she was not aware was a requirement of her job. This led to her being summonsed to a disciplinary hearing which in turn caused an anxiety attack. She now cannot bring herself to return to work. She obtained a doctors certificate stating that she was off work for a week due to stress.
She now wants to leave the job but cannot bring herself to return to the workplace.
What is her best course of action?
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Employment Law
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I should add that she did not attend the discipkinary hearing because her anxiety attack prevented her from returning to work.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 month ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 month ago.

How long has your daughter worked there for? Also, do you know whether she is required to work a notice period and if so, what would this be?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
She has been in work for 5 months and her notice period is 1 month. She has not yet handed in her notice.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Oh, her probarionary period has ended and she was given a very good end of probation report.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 month ago.

OK, thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will 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. Also, please do not responded to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 month ago.

Many thanks for your patience. Her rights in challenging this would be rather limited because she is not protected against unfair dismissal or constructive dismissal. This means they can dismiss her or force her to resign for more or less any reason with some limited exceptions which are not relevant here.

In order to leave, if there is a written contract in place and it contains a specific clause detailing the notice period an employee is supposed to give if they wanted to leave their employment, they will be contractually bound by it. Therefore, if the employee fails to honour this notice period then they will be acting in breach of contract. The employer then has the option of suing the employee to seek compensation for damages resulting from their breach. However, in reality such claims are very rarely made. This is mainly due to the costs and time involved, also the relatively small damages that can be recovered. Also the employer has to show that actual losses have been incurred and often that is not easy to do. So whilst there is no way of predicting whether the employer will take this any further or not, chances are that they will not. A more likely outcome is that the employer refuses to provide a reference in the future or if they do, it could mention that the employee had breached their contract.

Finally, there are circumstances when an employee may be entitled to leave with immediate effect and without honouring their notice period. This occurs when an employer has committed a serious breach of contract first. The whole contract, including the notice periods, then becomes immediately void and the employee would be treated as being 'constructively dismissed'. So if there are reasons to believe the employer has acted in breach of contract, whether a breach of an express contractual term, or other breaches such as bullying, exposing the employee to unreasonable stress, discriminating against them, etc this reason can be relied on in order to leave with immediate effect.

I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars - this is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you still need me to clarify anything else, please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 44865
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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