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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48736
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Since 2015 I am working for the UK based IT Company on

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Dear Sir/Madam,
My name is***** and since 2015 I am working for the UK based IT Company on remote basis, while living in Ukraine. Recently I was dismissed or so called suspended without compensation. Dismissal was a result of conflict with my former manager from CIS branch, based in Russia. This conflict was based on unceasing pressure, stressing and unhealthy behaviors from my manager. Such behavior can be defined as workplace bullying. Same problem was confirmed by my other two colleagues and this can be proved from chat history. Evidently, it is unpromisingly to sue Russian branch, while I am living in Ukraine. My claim to my employer based in the UK is that I’ve informed one of top managers about the problem and this problem was ignored. This fact can be proved from email history.
At this moment my aim is to:
- clarify whether my case could be considered as violation of employee rights
- find relevant law documents and similar cases in order to make decision about next steps
- formulate my claim to my UK employer that can be used during negotiations with him
Looking forward for your response.
Submitted: 23 days ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 23 days ago.

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

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 23 days ago.

Can you please let me know:

  • When exactly you started working there?
  • Were you an employee or a contractor?
  • Did you have a contract you worked under and did it stipulate a notice period due on termination?
Customer: replied 23 days ago.
Hello Ben.
What is the next step? Am I supposed to provide any additional information?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 23 days ago.

yes, please see my initial query above, thanks

Customer: replied 23 days ago.
1. I became a part of Metricell team starting from 1 Jan 2015, after my previous employer AMC Company (Russia) has merged with Metricell.
2. I was an employee of Metricell CIS & Russia
3. My Russian manager never proposed me to sign a contract. I have a number of letters issued for foreign embassies for visas. These letters states that I am paid employee of Metricell. These letters are signed both by Russian managers and CEO from UK.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 23 days ago.

Thank you. Before you consider what rights you have and whether your case can be looked at under UK law you have to check whether you can actually claim in the UK. It is not enough to be employed by a UK employer and other requirements must be met.

Most importantly you must be able to show a sufficiently strong connection with the UK. For example, you lived in the UK for a while and have assets or family there and were then sent abroad for work for some time. Another example is if you were not a UK citizen but a lot of your work was carried out in the UK.

Some more detailed guidance here:

https://www.mills-reeve.com/how-far-abroad-can-employment-tribunals-reach-06-08-2015/

However, if you did not live or work in the UK and cannot show any sufficient connection with the UK, apart from having a UK employer, then it is very unlikely you would be able to rely on UK laws or pursue the employer in the UK for this.

Let me know if you think you can show such sufficiently close connection and if so, then I can discuss what you can do next.

Customer: replied 23 days ago.
Thank you for response!
I've read the guide and found a statement that fits my case: "Remote workers – where the work is in effect being done in Britain via remote access even if the worker is living abroad."
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 23 days ago.

Ok great. Just bear in mind that this is not a definitive matter, meaning that this was introduced through previous case law and each case will depend on its own facts, so just because in the past remote workers have been successful in claiming does not mean that you will be as well.

However, as far as UK employment law is concerned, if an employee has been continuously employed with their employer for at least 2 years they will be protected against unfair dismissal. This means that to fairly dismiss them the employer has to show that there was a potentially fair reason for dismissal and that a fair dismissal procedure was followed.

According to the Employment Rights Act 1996 there are five separate reasons that an employer could rely on to show that a dismissal was fair: conduct, capability, redundancy, illegality or some other substantial reason (SOSR). The employer will not only need to show that the dismissal was for one of those reasons, but also justify that it was appropriate and reasonable to use in the circumstances. In addition, they need to ensure that a fair dismissal procedure was followed and that the outcome was one that a reasonable employer would have come to in the circumstances.

So if you were dismissed without there being any fair reason, or without a fair procedure, the dismissal can be unfair and be challenged as such. This is something which has to be pursued through the employment tribunal within 3 months of termination.

Please take a quick second to leave a positive rating for the service so far by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars above. I can continue answering follow up questions and in particular can also discuss the steps you need to follow to issue a claim. There is no extra cost for this - leaving your rating now will not close the question and means we can still continue this discussion. Thank you

Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 23 days ago.
Hello Ben,
Thank you for answer! Yes I would be interested to discuss the steps I need to follow to issue the claim. Just bear in mind, I did not get any notification of dismissal. I was removed to ''on demand'' mode. My colleagues and customer's contacts received notification that I will not be involved in the related project. But there is any demand since June 2016.Additionally, I would get your comments about another issue; bulling behavior at workplace and the fact that my report to the UK office was ignored.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 23 days ago.

In terms of pursuing a claim, before a person can make a claim in the employment tribunal, they would be required to participate in mandatory early conciliation through the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS).

The purpose of this process is to allow ACAS to mediate between the claimant and respondent to agree on an out of court settlement in order to avoid the need for legal action in tribunal. The respondent does not have to engage in these discussions, or if they do and the talks are unsuccessful, the claimant will be issued with a certificate allowing them to make a claim.

However, if a settlement is reached, the claimant would agree not to proceed with the claim in return for the agreed financial settlement. Other terms can also be agreed as part of the settlement, such as an agreed reference.

To initiate the conciliation procedure ACAS can be contacted online by filling in the following form (https://ec.acas.org.uk/Submission/SingleClaimantPage), or by phone on 0300(###) ###-####

As to the bullying issue - it is not possible to claim for it as a standalone claim, you can only claim for it such as by making an unfair dismissal claim for example and arguing the dismissal was part of the bullying.

Customer: replied 23 days ago.
I have read information on the Acas page and it seems clear for me.
1. Do you you suggest to apply Acas procedure now? Do I need to read/prepare more information before?
2. Shall I speak to my employer before applying notification form at Acas and inform employer about my plans? Might this worse my chances to win this case or it will not affect?
3. All this case is initiated because of Russian office is refusing my request to pay me fee from the contract. Before, I have carried sales duties on a condition of fee from the contract. Now the contract is signed and my Russian manager is avoiding to pay me sales fee. So, claim of unfair dismissal is an argument to pay me for my job. Should this be stated somewhere during the application to Acas or not?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 23 days ago.

1. You are legally required to use the ACAS procedure before you can make a formal claim. You do not really need to prepare anything apart from knowing what you want to claim for and what the issues are

2. Telling the employer will not affect your chances later on, but they could consider trying to settle with you maybe. In any event this will be discussed through ACAS so there is no real, need to tell them at this stage

3. This may be asked by ACAS but during that process you are not really outlining the full case, you are just using them to try and negotiate over a settlement - all of this will came later, if you do not manage to settle and have to issue a formal claim

Customer: replied 21 days ago.
Hi Ben,
I have a number of following questions:
4. If I go further with claim, do I need to visit UK? Either process can maintained remotely or with representative/lawyer in the UK?
5. What expenses are supposed during the process and what is the amount?
6. How long claim process may take from the begin to the end?
7. What amount of compensation can I get if I win (what is minimum or average in the UK)?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 21 days ago.

Hi there

4. You do not need to attend but any personal evidence you may give may not be fully considered if you are not there at the hearing to be cross examined or asked to clarify anything

5. The process itself is free but obviously if you use a lawyer you will need to pay their fees

6. Several months at least is usual

7. In an unfair dismissal claim you are entitled to a basic award (calculated in the same way as redundancy pay: https://www.gov.uk/calculate-your-redundancy-pay) and compensatory award which is the loss of earnings you have suffered from being unfairly dismissed, so it depends on how long it takes you to find a new job to replace this one

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Hi Ben,
I am currently submitting ACAS form and have some questions regarding how to fill employment Start and Finish dates.1. Start date: from January 2013 till December 2014 I worked for Metricell projects in Russia and Ukraine as a part of AMC Company (Russian firm that was merged with Metricell since 2015 and become Metricell CIS). These 2 years my duties were belonged to Metricell Sales and Support activities, as well as I was supervised by employees from the UK. Also I performed remote job while having access to Metricell servers in the UK. Since 2015 (after merge) my duties was quite the same, but my email address has changed to @metricell.com and I have got more permissions to access to remote servers in order to do my duties.
Could January 2013 be considered as a start date for Metricell if I was performing remote job for them?
2. Finish date. Since June 2016 Metricell stops pay me and put me to bench (suspend mode) in order to wait for other projects that are yet to come, while my corporate email was working and I've got some correspondence till, at least, May 2016.
Could I state May 2016 as a finish date if my email was working.3. Otherwise, If I state January 2015 as a start and June 2016 as finish that means I work less than 2 years and cannot claim on unfair dismissal. Is that correct?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 days ago.

Hello, thanks for requesting some additional assistance. Unfortunately your question has expired as you must post any follow up queries within 7 days of the date of the original question. If you need any further help on this matter please post it as a new question on our site, starting it with 'for Ben Jones' so that I get it and deal with it as fast as I can as I will be familiar with your case. Many thanks

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Hi Ben,Could you please provide a link where "Question expiration period" is stated, because it is a surprise for me. Also, when I submit my forst question to you, text below was saying: "If you have follow-up questions, you can continue the conversation until satisfied" http://my.justanswer.co.uk/newquestion/pricing/4c47bc99-8400-4fca-a79c-5f3964ffc80f?isWelcomeBack=FalseAfter all, 'send message window' is still active. I don't mind to pay again, but I want to know the rules.
Many thanks
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 7 days ago.

This is not part of our ‘official terms of use’, in a sense that it is not dictated by the site. We are just users of the site ourselves, not employed by them, so whilst we all adhere to certain general rules, we are free to set some of them ourselves. This is one of the ‘;unwritten’ rules which covers fairness of use. If we did not have a cut off then customers can potentially come back for as long as they want and keep asking more and more questions for the original fee, which as you can imagine will soon prove uneconomical for us as our time is quite precious, especially considering the very low fees customers pay to speak to us on here. Similarly, if someone kept within a few days of the original question but continued asking many extra questions, we can again ask them to post a new question if they want to continue, even though it is not written anywhere specifically. Of course we would do all we can to help you be satisfied, which you do by leaving your rating. Once you have done so we will still continue providing additional support but whether that is included in the original question will be limited based on how much extra questions you have or how long after the original one you have returned to ask for more help. That is also why the site offers a membership service where, depending on what option you choose, you can ask unlimited questions monthly. Hope this clarifies