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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50209
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I've employed a guy for last 4 years, this year I gave him

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I've employed a guy for last 4 years, this year I gave him a contract of employment but he has not signed it. He recently gave me 6 weeks notice (of which 2 he had already booked off to go on holiday) to set up as a self employed competitor. He has 2 weeks more notice to work, but today has told me he needs the next week off to complete a rather large job of his own, leaving me unable to complete are own work. Not sure where I stand. I told him I thought it was illegal.. I won't repeat what he said. Any advice would be great.
Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What are you hoping to achieve in this situation?

Customer: A leverage for him to see out his notice. And basically where I stand legally.
Ben Jones :

The time he wants off, is that time which was already pre-booked as holidays?

Customer: No he has already taken this and is due to return this coming Monday.
Ben Jones :

If this time off was not pre-booked as holiday, then he does not have the right to take it off, unless you agree to it. As an employer, you have the right to reject a request for time off as holidays and if you are not happy to allow him to take it off his holiday allowance you have the power to do so. It means he would be expected to attend work as normal. However, the issue is that you cannot actually force him to turn up to work and discharge his duties. He can still refuse to turn up and decide to take the time off anyway. That would place him in breach of contract and would amount to unauthorised absence from work, which is a misconduct issue and technically you can consider dismissing him for that before his notice expires which means that his official reason for leaving would be dismissal, not resignation. Also you do not have to pay him for the time he does not turn up and work. Also, it is possible to consider suing him for losses which have been incurred from his breach of contract but that is more complex as you would actually need to take him to court for this and show losses have been incurred, that they were due to him not coming into work and that you could not have avoided or reduced them in any way. You are then left in the hands of the court system and a judge would decide if that is a valid claim or not, so it should only be used as a last resort.

Customer: That's brilliant, thank you for your answer.
Ben Jones :

you are welcome

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