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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 47375
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Hi. I have been a sessional worker for 4 years at my local

Resolved Question:

Hi. I have been a sessional worker for 4 years at my local college working as a fitness instructor/personal trainer doing the same 30 hours every week.
Last year i was taking one of my pilates class and slipped L3 disc. I went to my doctor who confirmed this and gave me tramadol. He said i could go back to work on light duties which i did.
I had a meeting with my line manager and informed her of this. The health and safety manager was not informed of what had happened or anyone else. After a couple of days i was asked to do things that i was not comfortable with as i was still in a lot of pain. I was still expected to train clients on a 1-1 basis. I was always reminded that i was a sessional worker and my job was never safe.
In training my client another disc went L4. I went back to my doctors and was sent for an mri scan and it confirmed i had slipped L3 and L4 discs. The doctor signed me off work. I could walk for at least 4 weeks then very slowly got ba k on my feet. Eventually i felt ready to go back to work and had a meeting with my manager, the head of personel and health and safety officer. I was also referred to occupational health. I was told that because i was sessional i was only entitled to SSP of £72 a week. My arguement was that because the incorrect procedures were not followed my slipped discs could of been prevented. In that meeting i was then told i could have full sick pay for the time i was off and while i am under occupational health. I was also told i would be going on a full time contract. Last saturday i had to go into hospital for 6 lumbar facet injection and 1 caudal epidural injection. This procedure was on a saturday so i didnt need time off work. When i went into work all of a sudden i was to,d i had to start filling sessional forms out again which i havnt done in 6 months. I mentioned to my manager that i thought i was on a permanet contract as this is what was discusssed and she said at the moment no one is getting a permanent contract! Then i found out on the tuesday a male collegue was put on a permanent contract. I am absolutely gutted because i was promised a permanent contract. I have been in constant pain for 9 months because college should of had a duty of care towards me. I had to go throught this procedure and now i might need an operation. I have asked for a contract but i was told that sessional staff do not get one. I have. Please can you help me as i dont know what direction to go in anymore and i dont trust anyone at college as they keep lying to me.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

When you say you are a sessional worker, is there any obligation on your employer to offer you work or for you to accept it?

Customer:

I dont think so

Customer:

The hours have always been there and i have worked them

Ben Jones :

Perhaps you could check these questions and after answering them tell me what you believe your employment status is:


www.hmrc.gov.uk/employment-status/index.htm#1


 

Customer:

Im definitely an employee.

Ben Jones :

ok let me get my response ready please

Customer:

Thank you

Ben Jones :

Your employment status is largely determined by the overall employment relationship, rather than what you are labelled as by your employer. The questions you answered are the most common ways of establishing one’s status although only a court has the final say in the event of a dispute. So assuming you may actually be an employee rather than a worker with no guaranteed employment or hours you would have certain rights, although even then you may be an employee working on a casual basis with no set hours or on a zero hours contract, neither of which guarantees you work at any point.


 


However, you will have some main employee rights such as the right to receive a written statement of employment particulars (not a contract but still a document that is similar to a contract). The employer would also have a duty to ensure your health and safety at work and conduct a risk assessment if there is an obvious risk present, using that to try and minimise your exposure to hazards at work.


 


However, in terms of sick pay you cannot legally expect more than SSP unless you had a contract that allowed for that, so the employer is actually using their discretion to pay you more in this case. This is even on the assumption that the reason you are off sick is due to work, or even if it was the employer’s fault.


 


As to going on a permanent contract, there is no legal right to demand that. You would still have certain rights given to you by law, such as protection against unfair dismissal, minimum number of holidays, sick pay entitlement, redundancy entitlement and so on, and these apply regardless of what contract you are on, but you cannot demand a permanent contract from the employer and it is their decision when they offer you one. However, remember that you are still entitled to a written statement of employment particulars, which you can see more details about here:


 


https://www.gov.uk/employment-contracts-and-conditions/written-statement-of-employment-particulars


 


this should have been given to you within 2 months of starting.

Customer:

I will go to my manager and personel office on Monday and put this to them.

Ben Jones :

The grievance is also an option. Whilst they may try and get rid of you, that does not mean they can just do it because as mentioned you will have protection against unfair dismissal if you are a employee so can challenge it if necessary

Customer:

Shall i ask for a meeting first with both parties? If i get no where them put a letter of grievance in

Ben Jones :

yes, you do not have to go straight for the grievance, informal resolution is always preferable if possible

Customer:

Thank you for your help today

Ben Jones :

You are most welcome. Please take a second to leave a positive rating for the advice I have provided as that is an important part of our process. Thank you and feel free to bookmark my profile for future help:



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