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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50181
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I fired an employee today because I have found out he is operating

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I fired an employee today because I have found out he is operating his own business in direct competition with mine while working for me. He has only worked for me for 10 months but he is now threatening legal action stating unfair dismissal. Where do I stand legally?
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Did you pay him any notice pay?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I paid him up to date and said there would be more to come with his p45 when payroll had calculated the final amount
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
For clarity I actually gave him 1 week notice today rather than sacking but there have been no written warnings etc
Just one final thing - did he have a contractual notice period for termination?
If he has been continuously employed at his place of work for less than 2 years then his employment rights will be somewhat limited. Most importantly, he will not be protected against unfair dismissal. This means that you can dismiss him 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 he was trying to assert any of his statutory rights (e.g. requesting paternity 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, I see no evidence of this being the case so you should have no issues with dismissing him and he cannot claim for unfair dismissal as he simply does not have the required service to claim. If the dismissal had nothing to do with any of the above exceptions then he would not be able to challenge it and his only protection would be if he was not paid his contractual notice period, because unless he was dismissed for gross misconduct, he would be entitled to receive his contractual notice period. If he did not have a written contract in place he would be entitled to the minimum statutory notice period of 1 week. You would either have to allow him to work that notice period and pay him as normal, or pay him in lieu of notice. 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
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He has never signed a contract
ok answer is above, let me know if you have any further queries please
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Can I call it gross misconduct as he was advertising for business (including trying to take my customers) within less than a mile of my business while he was still working for me
Yes that would most likely amount to gross misconduct so to can go down that route if necessary.
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