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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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I am contracting as software engineer through Allegis Group

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I am contracting as software engineer through Allegis Group at Barclays Bank, using Barclays equipement at their office. Few months ago I was threatened by a colleague. I escalated this to my line manager and I was upset for few days. Bad sleep and anxiety because of this. Was listened to but no action was taken. Later this same person brought another colleague to tears. On 16 November threatening behaviour and language was used again against me. I was upset, contacted my Alleis Group contact and told them I didn't feel safe at work and that I would go home with the intent to resume work the next day or after the weekend. I was validated by two people from Allegis, who seemed sympathetic. No attempt to contact from my line manager at Barclays. Later that day I was contacted by my recruiter from Allegis who told me he was instructed by Barclays to
terminate my contract per direct. He told me he didn't think this was fair and didn't agree. My performance reviews were good to very good and I always acted with the best interest of Barclays in mind. I don't agee with the termination of the contract and I don't think there are enough legal grounds to do this. The termination letter doesn't contain any specifics and just references a contract term with 10 varied sub clauses. I don't think the termination is in line with the Barclays code of conduct as set out here: https://www.home.barclays/content/dam/barclayspublic/docs/AboutUs/Purpose-Values/BAR_TheBarclaysWay%20cropped%2023_07_2015.pdf. Normal contract notice period is two weeks.Hope you can advise which action I should take.
Submitted: 25 days ago.
Category: Law
Customer: replied 25 days ago.
My contract, termination letter and notes of performance review attached
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 25 days ago.

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

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 25 days ago.

How long did you work there for and were you given notice of termination?

Customer: replied 25 days ago.
Was there since mid July. No notice, termination per direct. Contract stipulates 2 weeks notice.
Customer: replied 25 days ago.
If you could give me some advice here, we can switch to a phone call later if needed. Thank you
Customer: replied 25 days ago.
Also, please see the attached termination letter and contract. I could attach the email I wrote to my senior manager. Haven't received response on that one.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 25 days ago.

Where in the contract does it stipulate 2 weeks notice please?

Customer: replied 25 days ago.
On page 28. A colleague was handed a 2 week notice recently. He didn't perform.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 25 days ago.

OK, so as you were working as a contractor, rather than an employee, you have no unfair dismissal protection. This means that the employer can terminate your contract for more or less any reason and without having to follow a fair procedure as long as they follow the termination requirements in the contract.

You may have done nothing wrong and even been the victim of unfair treatment, however the employer can still decide to terminate your contract and you won’t be able to challenge that. So the issue here is whether the correct termination procedure was followed, specifically was the required notice given. In your case they have tried to terminate with no notice and you can challenge that but the best you can expect is payment for these 2 weeks - you cannot get your job back or get further compensation in addition to this.

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 can follow if they do not pay you the notice due. 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

Customer: replied 25 days ago.
Thank you for your help so far. I think I am also protected by the Barclays code of conduct, which applies to contractors as far as I can tell. (No retaliation, no bullying etc).Also 2 weeks payment is 6000gbp, not insignificant. What steps would you advice to take to proceed?
Customer: replied 25 days ago.
I told them I didn't accept the termination without notice letter as legally valid and that I would be available for work on Monday.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 25 days ago.

The Code of Conduct is just that - a code which is not contractually binding so it would be difficult to take any action against them if they had not followed it. So just concentrate on the financial losses from the breach of contract by not giving notice as per the contract.

In terms of taking this further, if a party wishes to pursue another for financial compensation arising out of a dispute between them, they can do so by making a claim in the civil courts. As legal action should ideally be used as a last resort, there are certain steps that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without having to involve lawyers or the courts. These can be summarised below and it is recommended the following procedure is followed to try and progress this matter further:

1. Reminder letter – if no informal reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the other party to voluntarily settle this matter.

2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but have been ignored, the other party must be sent a formal ‘letter before action’ asking them to resolve this amicably within a specified period of time, usually 7 to 14 days. They should be advised that if they fail to do contact you in order to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to pursue them for the compensation in question. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal action.

3. If they fail to pay or at least make contact to try and resolve this, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to www.moneyclaim.gov.uk. Once the claim form is completed a copy will be sent to the other side and they will have a limited time to defend it. Once they are aware that legal proceedings have commenced it may also force them to reconsider their position and perhaps prompt them to contact you to try and resolve this.

As a final tip, it is always advisable to keep copies of any correspondence sent and received as the courts would like to refer to it if it ever gets that far.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 24 days ago.

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Could you please let me know if it has answered your original question? You can either reply on here with a quick ‘Yes, thanks’, or select 3, 4 or 5 stars on this page. I can still answer follow up questions if needed to clarify anything for you. Many thanks

Customer: replied 24 days ago.
One last question. How do you see the legality of the termination according to the attached termination letter and the failure to list specific reasons/clauses?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 24 days ago.

It is not a legal requirement to provide reasons or refer to clauses allowing the termination. This only applies to employees with more than 2 years’ service, which you are not. Hope this clarifies?

Customer: replied 24 days ago.
I accept that if the notice period is respected, which isn't the case in this instance.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 24 days ago.

yes but that is a separate matter - we already identified that they owe you the notice period which you can pursue them for

Customer: replied 24 days ago.
Ok, just wanted that confirmed. Thank you for your time.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 24 days ago.

you are most welcome

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