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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 49787
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have today been asked to attend a meeting this Thursday to

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I have today been asked to attend a meeting this Thursday to review my volume and profit performance of my accounts. I work in sales and although the business understand that it is a difficult business environment the numbers are not where they want them to be. I have done everything I can to drive business and had small wins but the market is depressed. They have offered that I can take a colleague or trade union rep but it is a small business and therefore the first option is not viable and I am not part of a trade union or have sufficient time to explore the second option. It does not give me much time to prepare supporting evidence as I suspect they have or seek advice. The email I have received states that I can ask to postpone the meeting for up to 5 days but they know that I go on holiday this Fri.
Can you offer advice?
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked there for?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I started in Jan 2014 so 17 months

The main issue is how far are they intending to go with all this – for example are they looking at dismissal or are they going to give you a chance to improve.
If they were going for dismissal then if you have been continuously employed at your place of work for less than 2 years then your employment rights will unfortunately be somewhat limited. Most importantly, you will not be protected against unfair dismissal. This means that your employer can dismiss you for more or less any reason, and without following a fair procedure, 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.).
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, because 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 not paid your notice period when you were due one, that would amount to wrongful dismissal (which is different to unfair dismissal) and you could make a claim in an employment tribunal to recover the pay for the notice period that you should have been given. There is a 3-month time limit from the date of dismissal to submit the claim.
As to the notice you have received, even though it may not give you much chance to prepare or find someone to accompany you, there is nothing in law you can use to get around that. You could of course ask them to postpone the meeting and not include the time you are off on holiday so that it is arranged once you are back. However, if they refuse and go ahead in your absence you cannot do anything about just because you do not have the required 2 years’ service to challenge any procedural irregularities. Hopefully it would not come to that but bear it in 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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