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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50148
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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My sons Girl Friend (21) started work at a local caravan park

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My sons Girl Friend (21) started work at a local caravan park as a waitress in June 2015. She was pregnant when interviewed and she told the company this.
She works an average of 20 hours per week and since she started has not signed a contract of employment. She is given a weekly payslip via e-mail.
Some of her shifts are long, 10am - finish, and approximately 75% of that time she does not get her full breaks. She has had 1 sick day off and no warnings about her performance.
She returned to college mid-september and informed the company that she could work a Tues/Weds/Fri shifts which they initially agreed was satisfactory.
Yesterday they informed her she would be paid off and they had a replacement ready to start as she could not work all the shifts. She has NOT turned down any shifts as yet.They informed her that they had wanted her to work Weds/Thurs/Fri shifts.
What rights does she have?
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Is her availability anything to do with her pregnancy?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Her availability is to do with her college course. Again company were aware she was a student when she started.
Thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and will get back to you as soon as possible. Please do not respond to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you
Many thanks for your patience. The starting point is that if she has been continuously employed at her place of work for less than 2 years then her employment rights will unfortunately be somewhat limited. Most importantly, she will not be protected against unfair dismissal. This means that her employer can dismiss her 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 she was trying to assert any of her statutory rights (e.g. requesting maternity leave, etc.). In the event that the reason for dismissal fell within these categories, then the dismissal will either be automatically unfair, or there will be a potential discrimination claim. However the issue here is not linked to her pregnancy, it is to do with her college work. Dismissing her because she cannot do the shifts due to her college work, regardless of whether they knew about it at the start, would be legally possible. Unless she can provide some evidence that the actual reSon was linked to her pregnancy, it would be very difficult to challenge the employer’s decision.
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. If she did not have a written contract in place she would be entitled to the minimum statutory notice period of 1 week. Her employer would either have to allow her to work that notice period and pay her as normal, or they will have to pay her in lieu of notice.
If she was not paid her notice period when she was due one, that would amount to wrongful dismissal (which is different to unfair dismissal) and she could make a claim in an employment tribunal to recover the pay for the notice period that she should have been given. There is a 3-month time limit from the date of dismissal to submit the claim.
I'm sorry if this is not necessarily the answer you were hoping for, however I do have a duty to be honest and explain the law as it actually stands. This does mean delivering bad news from time to time. I hope you understand and would be happy to provide any further clarification if needed. If you are still satisfied with the level of service you have received I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page. Thank you
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