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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50140
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I have worked at my college 2 years ,I have 3 months

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I have worked at my college for over 2 years ,I have 3 months notice period as per contract .Up until last week our understanding was that we would be paid our 3 months notice in lieu as well as our redundancy payment.The later I have no issue with .Since having a meeting yesterday my employer said I would only be paid 4 weeks notice period in lieu due to a clause on our contracts that states "In the event that your employment is terminated by reason of redundancy ,you will be entitled to a reasonable notice period which is based on your length of service with the college" -I am entitled to 3 months notice period - My employer is holding on to the line that says "reasonable notice period" - My problem is this they have paid others 3 months in lieu with the same contract clause in the last month. Why am I treated any different .even after having numerous consultation meeting with Hr in the last few months where the continued to state we would be paid our 3 months in lieu,should we be made redundant. Please help!
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Are you being asked to work part of your notice period, with the remainder being paid in lieu?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks Ben, I have been asked to leave at the end of this month 31st of July. The answer is no.

I must admit it is a rather strange clause to have, not anything I have seen before. I would expect you to either have a notice period or not. To have a clause which gives the right to choose what notice period the employer should give you in the event of redundancy and without stipulating what that notice period is, is rather strange. The starting point is that you have a notice period entitlement of 3 months as stated in your contract. You then also have a clause which states a reasonable notice period would be given to you in the event of redundancy. This is a vague clause and any ambiguity with it will be resolved against the employer. The more ambiguous something is the harder it would be for the party trying to rely on it. In this case the employer can pick any notice period they want and there is no sound reference on which a decision is made. They state it is to do with length of service but that does not appear to be backed up in any way and as you have said, others have been paid that notice period in the past when they are on the same contract as you. Therefore, you do have reasonable grounds to claim for wrongful dismissal (that is a dismissal in breach of contract) if they fail to pay you the 3 month notice period. Whilst you cannot force them to pay you that voluntarily now, you can pursue this in the employment tribunal or the small claims court. You may wish to make your intentions clear to the employer and that may change their mind. I trust this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page). If for any reason you are unhappy with my response or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
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