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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 49853
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I've recently had a problem with an employer regards a

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Hi, I've recently had a problem with an employer regards ***** ***** made about me, all the contents of the complaint I completely refute as they are, in my opinion, groundless. I work freelance for the company. The complaint was received on a Monday after working on the Saturday & Sunday. I was informed of the complaint on the Monday by my line manager, who also happens to be my sister, then contacted by the owner of the business on the Tuesday and informed I was suspended from further work with them whilst they investigated. At this point I was booked for a further 7 days’ of work over the following 3 weekends with company. I had contact with the owner on 2 occasions over the following 3 weeks to ask what was happening etc but could not elicit any real answer from him. During the second conversation he gave me a date to phone him. I tried to phone twice on the day required but my calls were rejected both times. The following day I received a very brief e-mail simply stating I would no longer be used by them. I have written several letters now asking for and giving them the opportunity to conduct an investigation to establish the truth and allow any lesson to be learnt. They have a published complaints policy that says this is what should happen and be completed within 3 week of the complaint being received. The complaint was received on 28 Sept 15. The companies reply to my letters has simply been that as I work freelance that the complaints policy doesn’t apply to me and that they can pick and choose when and who they use for work. My letters also said I would escalate this to the board of trustees, as they are also a charity. Although I have tracked down the names of the trustees I am unable to find contact details for them. My question is, once and if I can contact the trustees, if I’m not satisfied can I and how would I take this further to clear my reputation and possible get compensation for the 7 days work I have now lost?
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified solicitor and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question say you work freelance but do you have a contractual obligation to the company please.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Not that I'm aware of.
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 delays.
Many thanks for your patience. Whilst the company may have a complaints policy it is true that it may not apply to you because generally freelancers, those who are self employed, do not have the same rights as employees. For example there is something known as the ACAS code which employers must follow when disciplinary issues arise but only employers are covered by it. Generally you could be denied work at any time and can also have your employment terminated subject to being given the required notice under contract. So if you do get hold of the trustees they are not obliged to hear your complaint and deal with what has happened through any disciplinary policy, such as giving you the right to defend yourself. They could leave the matter without investigating it further or allowing you to resolve it in any way. So the only thing you can potentially do here is to pursue them for the work you had booked and only on the condition that they did not have the right under contract to cancel it at such short notice. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you need to follow to start the process of claiming what you are owed, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? If your query has been dealt with please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts from the top of the page. If you need further help please get back to me on here and I will assist as best as I can. Thank you.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Ben, sorry for the delay but I've been away for a few days.I appreciate that the Board of Trustees are not obliged to look at the original complaint against myself, but if I raise a separate complaint to them about the way in which two of the members of the organisation senior management team, one of which is also on the Board of Trustees, have conducted themselves towards me would they be obliged to act? If not, is there anywhere I can take that complaint? I am also having trouble getting contact details for the trustees, as all information on the organisation shows the address as being the home address of the people who I wish to raise the complaint about! If I was a betting man I would guess that if they receive my complaint about them that it is unlikely to find the correct recipients.The other concern I have is if I need a reference from the organisation in the future how can I ensure it is suitable? Whilst I appreciate that a reference cannot say anything derogatory, from my own experience of writing reports in the military, it is often what is not written that has a far larger impact, than what has been written.Whilst this is not about the money I have missed out on, I am rapidly thinking that it may be worth looking at pursuing this option as at least some form of compensation for the inconvenience I've experienced. I do still have all the e-mails confirming I was booked for the work I have missed out on.Kind Regards,
Hello Steve, again the trustees would not be obliged to act even if you raise the new complaint on these grounds. There is nothing stopping you from doing it but you cannot force them to act. There is also no independent body you can take auch a complaint to unfortunately so you are relying on them dealing with it.
As far as a reference is concerned, there is no obligation on them to provide one at all. If they do then it must not contain any untrue remarks but I am afraid you cannot make them write things in it just because their absence would create issues for you. They could simply state your dates of employment and job title and leave it at that, or they could be economical with the amount of detail they include. It is up to them really. You can always try and agree a specific reference but that is left at their discretion.