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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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Hi, This morning out of the blue received a letter from

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Hi,
This morning out of the blue received a letter from employer:
"Dear [my name], as per our meeting on 13th October 2014 with [person name] in attendance, I confirm that after careful consideration [Company name] regrets tp advise you that your employment as [my role] is terminated because, having considered the performance requirement for your role, we have identified that you have not met the minimum levels required.
You were previously given both verbal and written notifications about your performance.
Your date of termination will be 13th October 2014. As per your employment contract and length of service, you will be paid 4 weeks pay in lieu of notice. The payment in lieu of notice will be subject to deductions for income tax and National insurance contributions. Your final payslip and P45 will be sent to you at your home address.
In addition, the Company shall pay all payment commitments in accordance with the company's variable compensation plan. Any accrued unused holiday entitlement will be paid to you; deductions will be made in respect of any holiday taken in excess of your accrued entitlement.
Any approved expenses will also be reimbursed to you. Please submit any outstanding expense claims as soon as possible and will endeavour to pay these at the same time as your final pay.
Within five working days of receipt of this letter, you will return to the Company all Company property in your possession or custody or under your control by virtue of your employment.
Notwithstanding the termination of your employment, you acknowledge that you continue to have an obligation to observe the provisions of the Company's policy on confidentiality, which form part of your terms and conditions of employment.
Your signing of this letter and receipt of compensation above is in full and final settlement of all and any contractual claims which you might have against the Company or Group Company.
On behalf of the Company, I would like to thank you for your work and offer our best wishes to you for the future.
Yours sincerely,
[manager name]"
My questions/concerns:
1. Today was my first day after holidays and although my manager said she has sent a meeting invite for this morning, I have never accepted it due my login details have been cancelled by system administrator. So, this meeting and termination of contract took me by surprise.
2. Probationary period is 3 months, I am with the company since 10th Feb, 2014 until this morning.
3. We are talking about performance here - fact is that EMEA team (my peers) we were achieving only 55% against target. Only one person from six has achieved his goals. I, as well others were struggling due to unclear procedures, evidence of this email message is present with me. As a finding and after investigation, US have acknowledged that more than 1/3 of results are due to be recognized against my goals.
4. There has never been communication verbally or in writing what are 'minimum levels' of requirements for the job.
5. Me, including my peers in EMEA didn't have same tools (phone software) as US peers to have a fair chance to achieve same goals. New software has been installed a week ago.
6. Whom do I get to confirm my final basic pay, commissions pay, holidays taken/left? I don't have any numbers.
7. Why termination with this immediate effect without even letting to finish the quarter ? (our quarter ending 31.10.14). I have not received any written warning saying that based on previous discussion on my performance, I'm given X time to prove Y. There is no evidence with my signature or that I know of anything 'performance monitoring time' or any agreement or actions that I need to do and if I fail I will be dismissed. My point here is there was discussion on performance, I highlighted unclear procedures, US investigated and confirmed that indeed, due to unclear procedures I have higher achievement towards goals than the numbers show.
8. This letter is not saying by when will I be paid finally.
9. I have shares option with the company given, but where does it say I can buy my entitled shares and sell them?
What actions should I take?
Thanks & Best Regards
E.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. can you please tell me if you have received regular performance updates and were you advised that you were not meting these targets please

Customer:

Hi, my name is ***** ***** the answer is no.

Ben Jones :

Ok thank you leave it with me I need to look up a few things and then get my advice ready.I will post back on here when done there is no need to wait and you will receive an email when I have responded.

Customer:

Another interesting moment is that today they have employed another person for my region, just in a lower position. Surely that is cost saving for the company. It was known to us few months ago, that company finds me (and my team mates) too expensive and the idea was to replace with junior people. It may be a coinsidence or not. Thx.

Customer:

OK, thanks for your time.

Ben Jones :

Thanks for your patience. The starting point 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.).

If the dismissal had nothing to do with any of the above 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.

So regardless of whether this is a performance issue or not, or if you were given performance levels, expectations, etc the employer can terminate your employment within the first 2 years for any of these reasons and unfortunately you cannot challenge the dismissal itself, even if you believe not enough information about the targets, performance and so on were given to you.

To obtain information about your final pay, etc you need to contact the employer directly – you can write to them if necessary or just go in to speak to them in person. In terms of the share options that would be something which is dealt with under your contract or any other separate share options agreement. If you do noit have either of these then you will again have to contact the employer about this and ask them to provide details of your entitlements.

Hope this clarifies your position? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you

Customer:

thanks. how do I rate you? tried to press happy face below, however, it says ' your expert has not finished answering'.

Ben Jones :

Sorry small technical issue sometimes, you can try again now but if it does not work we can process it manually later, thanks

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