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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50191
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I employ a lady, she has been with me since November 2014,

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I employ a lady, she has been with me since November 2014, she works 15 hours a week. At 3 months, the end of her probation period she asked if being kept on, I said I was happy with the attitude to work but she really needed to speed up in her work, I own a florist shop and she was just too slow. Within in the last month or two I find she is getting even slower than ever, and generally shows little interest in the job. This week I have been extremely busy and am finding she often has arms crossed looking out window or on Friday I was extremely annoyed to come through and find her calling her vet to order supplies for her cat in the middle of morning. I didn't say anything as I was so angry I was scared I would say the wrong thing. I felt we were so busy and couldn't possibly see why this had to be done in working hours. I feel that I am paying her to stand about at the moment and I can't afford to do this. On top of all this my accountant called and said we need to look at cutting the wages bill in order to make a profit, I have only been in business two years and he feels wages are eating into our money too much. There is only this lady and myself work in the shop. I do however feel her wages are a waste at the moment as I am getting no real return work wise on them. What can I do? Can I legally let her go after her probation period has finished?
Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What is her notice period under contract and does it change once she has completed probation?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Notice period is 1 week, no change after probation.

Good morning, you would be able to dismiss her quite easily. If she has been continuously employed at her place of work for less than 2 years then her employment rights will be somewhat limited. Most importantly, she will not be protected against unfair dismissal. This means that you can dismiss her for more or less any reason, and without following a fair procedure, as long as your decision is not based on discriminatory grounds (i.e. because of gender, race, religion, age, a disability, sexual orientation, etc.) or because she was trying to assert any of her statutory rights (e.g. requesting maternity leave, etc.).
If the dismissal had nothing to do with any of the above exceptions then she would not be able to challenge it and her only protection would be if she was not paid her contractual notice period, because unless she was dismissed for gross misconduct, she would be entitled to receive her contractual notice period. You have said she is entitled to a week’s notice and you would be required to pay her that as well as any accrued holidays up to the date she leaves. But you do not have to give a reason for dismissal and simply need to issue her with her week’s notice and once that expires it will be the end of the matter and her employment would be terminated.
I hope this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating, or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Is there any particular wording that would be best to use when writing the notice. I am not sure and as this lady worked in HR previous to this employment I would like to make sure I word it correctly.

Thank you.

No there isn't really all you need to state is that you are issuing her with notice of termination of employment as per the contract and state when her last date of work would be. Also confirm that she will be paid for the notice period as long as she is prepared to work it and for any accrued holidays. That is it really.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

If she refuses to work notice period do I still have to pay her for it?

No you do not, only if she works it
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Can you confirm if this is a suitable letter to send please?


It is with careful consideration that I have decided to terminate your employment here at Flowertime.

Despite discussing the position with you three months into your employment, I am unfortunately not seeing any great improvement in your work. If anything I feel it is becoming slower and you don’t appear to be interested in the job anymore. The constant use of your mobile phone is another issue that I feel cannot go on being tolerated.

I am issuing you with notice of termination of employment as per your contract; your last date of work would be Wednesday 17th June. I can confirm that you will be paid for the notice period as long as you are prepared to work it and for any accrued holidays.

Thank you

That is fine you can use it as proposed
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your help

You are welcome