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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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I started work at a local primary six months ago on a 20 hour

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I started work at a local primary six months ago on a 20 hour contract. My probation period was for six months, however a month ago I injured my tendons and ligaments in my foot and have had the last month off. I received a letter from my employer whilst off stating that although she and my colleagues wished me a speedy recovery they would be extending my probation for another three months due to the inconvenience caused to the school. I returned to work on Tuesday and had a return to work interview. My employer did not ask how I was, just if I was fit to return. When I said that I was she told me that she was very concerned about my attendance and even though she had extended my probationary period by three months, she could then extend it again for another three months and she has a good mind too. She stated that she had been very concerned about my attendance prior to my injury. I had had a week off when I first started due to pharyngitis which she herself had said at the time she expects new staff to pick up things when they first start at schools. I have also had 2.5 days off when my son had sickness and diarrhoea and was not allowed in nursery. She explained that if I hadn't of returned when I did I would have gone down to half pay. She then said that if I am absent due to myself or children being ill she could sack me with immediate effect as although my children are my priority they are not hers. She finished by saying that she is very concerned and will be watching me carefully. When I left the interview I reflected upon what she had said and the tone in which it was said and thought that a month before my injury she had offered me a full time job which i accepted and had started but had to claim overtime as it was not the 1st of the month without mentioning any concerns regarding my attendance at all. It feels as if I am being pushed out and to control the situation I want to resign as I cannot ensure that one of my children will not get sick over the next three to six months. If I give a months notice as per my contract, do they have to honour that with a months pay or can they just tell me to leave immediately without pay?

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What does your contract say about notice? I may have to pick this up in the morning if thats oK?


I have to give one months notice.


I was hoping to hand in my notice at the end of the working day tomorrow as that would mean that it would finish at the end of the Christmas holidays, if you email me in the day I can read it in my breaks. Thankyou.


I just want to be in control of my financial situation as opposed to them sacking me if one of my children get sick. It would be with immediate effect and as a single mum with two children it is important to be in control of finances.

Ben Jones : Good morning. If you were to resign and hand in your notice, assuming that you are now fit to work and willing to attend you should be allowed to do this and be paid as normal. If you are off sick during your notice period then you can only expect to be paid your entitlement to sick pay, as per contract. If the employer wants to dismiss you instead then they would have to adhere to the contact too and give you the required notice period or terminate your employment. They can only dismiss you with immediate effect and without giving you notice if you were guilty of gross misconduct. Being absent due to illness is not gross misconduct so they cannot use that as an excuse to dismiss you without notice. If they do then that would amount to wrongful dismissal and if necessary you can pursue them for the notice period payment you should have received.

Thankyou so much for your advice, that has eased my mind.

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