Employment Lawyers Can Answer Your Employment Law Questions
Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. When exactly did she start working for them?
Hello, you are speaking to the employee now. I started work in May 2012.
Do you have a contract that specifies a notice period for termination of employment?
i have never been given a contract. i have asked for one but never received one
It is not necessarily going to be great news I'm afraid. First of all your rights will depend on your employment status - employee or self employed. You may be labelled as self employed but actually be an employee and vice versa.
If you are an employee then you will not be protected against unfair dismissal unless you have at least 2 continuous years' of service with the employer, which you do not have. This means that your employer can dismiss you for more or less any reason, 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.). In the event that the reason for dismissal fell within these categories, then the dismissal will either be automatically unfair, or there will be a potential discrimination claim.
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. 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.
If you were self employed you do not have any protection against unfair dismissal at all. All you can be concerned with there is notice period.
Whether a self employed worker is entitled to a notice period mainly depends on their contract. If there is a termination clause that specifies a notice period on termination, the employer would be expected to give that notice if they wish to end the employment relationship.
However, it is often the case that no written contract exists, or if it does there is no notice clause in it. In such situations, the worker can still expect a 'reasonable' notice period to have their employment terminated. This is because they are working under a common law contract and to terminate such a contract a reasonable notice period would be required.
What is a reasonable notice period will vary greatly and will depend on the individual circumstances, industry practices, length of employment, frequency of payment, etc. There are far too many variable factors to consider that could influence this. As such, it is usually impossible to give a precise indication as to what would be reasonable in each case. It is therefore down to the courts to make a decision. What I can say is that unless the contract was terminated for a serious breach (such as misconduct or any other serious incident) a reasonable notice would be expected.
has this answered your query?