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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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My boss has called a couple of meetings with me and told me

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Hello. My boss has called a couple of meetings with me and told me that my performance is not 'sustainable'. He has strongly implied that he wants me to resign but has not stated this openly. I started work in May 2016 at this job.The performance year is July to June. I received a bonus for my first half year performance. I have missed some formal targets on sales and utilisation. I wasn't expecting these targets when I joined (they were contrary to the verbal agreement at interview) but as they were put in writing later and although I objected verbally I did not progress so I guess I must accept.However he is also basing his assessment on appraisals from my 4 projects. Feedback from clients and colleagues on the projects, including owners of
the account relationships have been very strong on 3 and middling on one. However despite push back from me, my boss continues to present these as failures - with no written or verbal substantiation, even when I challenge respectfully. In addition between joining the firm and April this year, I did was not appointed a mentor/counsellor which is the standard arrangement for performance management, despite pushing - in the end I had to find one for myself.Although I have made significant contributions in many ways, I acknowledge that I have missed dome formal targets. However I feel that I have lots to offer (I am arguably the most experienced person in the company) and want to have a chance to improve. It is looking clear that my boss does not want that; he wants me to give in and hand in my notice. The working relationship is becoming untenable with a breakdown of trust.I have not been subject to disciplinary procedures or given the option of a PIP.I feel that my boss has determined to get me out of the firm and is taking an unfair route to do that, the form is under considerable financial pressure and leadership behaviours have deteriorated to a stage where they are running scared and making rushed decisions on the fly.I have a meeting in Monday with my boss. I suspect if I continue to push back and I do not resign then, he will initiate some type of process.Can you help with the following:1. I have 3 months notice. If I do resign, will that be paid still?
2. Can he give me notice without cause?
3. Must the firm provide a favourable or neutral reference?
4. If I do resign, will that harm any future process?
5. Given the failure to meet formal targets, but a potential unfair process, do I have any leverage/a case to take further legal advice?Many thanks indeedHL
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Law
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.

What are you ideally hoping to achieve in this situation please?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I want to know the best tactic to allow me to spend time searching for anther role. I cant really afford a down period and I dont want to be forced out, unfairly. To do this, I believe I need the company to think I still see a positive outcome is possible/desirable. Does that help?Thxc
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Sorry I have a meeting until 1600 :)
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 month ago.

No problem. So the main issue for you here is your length of service. 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 a reason which makes a dismissal automatically unfair. These include:

· Discrimination due to a protected characteristic (i.e. because of gender, race, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, etc.)

· Taking, or trying to take, leave for family reasons including pregnancy, maternity leave, paternity leave, adoption leave, childbirth and parental leave

· Making a protected disclosure (i.e. whistleblowing)

· Being a part-time worker

However, if the dismissal had nothing to do with any of the above exceptions then you would not be able to challenge it. In that case your only protection would be if you were dismissed in breach of contract. That could happen if you were not paid your contractual notice period (unless you were dismissed for gross misconduct). 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 taking the above into account I can answer your questions follows:

1. I have 3 months notice. If I do resign, will that be paid still?

As long as you are ready and willing to work it, then yes. The employer could ask you to work it as normal, they can terminate you immediately and pay you in lieu of notice or they can place you on garden leave

2. Can he give me notice without cause?

Yes they can, mainly because you cannot challenge the reasons for dismissal (or lack thereof)

3. Must the firm provide a favourable or neutral reference?

No, there is no legal obligation to provide any reference at all

4. If I do resign, will that harm any future process?

Impossible to say really and it depends on the employer’s intentions. I would hope that if you resign they would not waste their time in pursuing any performance proceedings and will just let you go on your way

5. Given the failure to meet formal targets, but a potential unfair process, do I have any leverage/a case to take further legal advice?

Not really, as mentioned they do not have to follow a fair process, or any process at all and whilst this may appear unfair, but legally it is not forbidden.

I trust this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars above - 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 reply on here and I will assist as best as I can. Thank you

Ben Jones and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thanks Ben. That is all clear. In this light and just fyi my intention then is to try to retain control by giving notice myself on Monday and backing myself to find another role. I appreciate your advice. Have a great weekend and I will press the rating button. Regards Howard
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 month ago.

Many thanks and all the best - if you need further assistance do not hesitate to contact me again