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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 44957
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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work leading furniture company in warehouse. Three

Customer Question

Hi
work for a leading furniture company in warehouse. Three shifts operate over 24 hours, i work the nightshift.
warehouse staff and admin staff have had contracts amended to enable random drug testing.
my concerns are:
We were verbally threatened with the loss of our jobs if we did not sign the amended contract
The late shift and one day shift have not been tested only (there are 2 day shifts).
the night shift have been tested twice - this is a concern as it appears these are not random
also senior managers are known to take class a drugs and have not been 'ordered to sign amended contracts'
The drivers driving 7.5 tonn lorries operating from same depot have not had their contracts changed either.
the document we have signed was a blank piece of paper with no specific wording just a date and signature by me with the heading shift brief add ons.
Thank you for your help and assistance.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Ben Jones : Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked there for?
Customer :

Hi

Customer :

Hi

Customer :

Hi worked temp from jan 2014 to end of may 2014, changed to permanent staff from 01/06/2014.

Ben Jones :

Your individual rights will be rather limited unfortunately. This is because you do not have at least 2 years’ service. This means that you are not protected against unfair dismissal or constructive dismissal. You may wonder why I am mentioning dismissal, but I will explain below.

Unfair dismissal protection means that you cannot be dismissed unless the employer shows they had a fair reason for dismissal and also follow a fair procedure. Constructive dismissal protection is when you can claim against the employer if you are forced to leave because of their unreasonable behaviour. However, for either claim you need 2 years’ service which you do not have.

What this means for you in your situation is that the employer can potentially treat you unfairly and you cannot challenge them apart from raising the matter internally. So if they have introduced a policy which unfairly targets you, then you cannot resign and claim constructive dismissal. Similarly, if you refuse to accept it or adhere to it, the employer can dismiss you without having to follow a fair procedure or show there were fair grounds for dismissing you.

So it is the length of your service which lets you down here I’m afraid. You will either have to accept the policy or face potential dismissal if the employer thinks that you are not acting reasonably or being a troublemaker.

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

Customer :

Ok thanks for your help.

Customer :

My concerns are I suppose my questions are

Customer :

My question is are we being treated or victimsed by the company and is there anything we can contest?

Ben Jones :

Legally, you are not being victimised because it does not meet the definition of victimisation. This only occurs if you are being targeted due to having made a complaint or wishing to make a complaint to do with discrimination. However, there is no discrimination here because that must be unfair treatment due to your gender, age, religion, race, etc - the issue here is not that, it is the different type of shifts and that in itself is not discrimination. You may indeed raise a grievance about this but legally it is not an unlawful application of the employer's powers and especially to do with you where your short length of service does not give you many rights to challenge this unfortunately.

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

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