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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 49821
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have been employed months as Sales Director. The company

Customer Question

I have been employed for 10 months as Sales Director. The company didn't achieve target again and is trying to sack me even though no one achieved target and 4 other employees who are still on probation are not being let go. I have excelled in areas of managing staff and implemented process and created a good working environment where staff feel valued, but my boss is impulsive and short sighted and even though 90% of the staff dislike working for her, they see me as a positive force in the company. 34 staff members have come and gone in 4 years and we only employ 12 people. I want to try to protect the staff from this job insecurity and try to make it difficult for her to get rid of me easily. My offer of employment contains a company target which was completely I achievable but at that time I didn't that, she then asked me to perform a personal target which I didn't achieve.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What are your specific queries in relation to this?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I want to know if my boss can single me out and fire me only based on target performance without considering other areas where I have positively contributed
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
I am afraid that in the circumstances that would be possible. You see, 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.). 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.
So you could excel in many areas and not even be underperforming in any way – the employer can still choose to single you out and even dismiss you.
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.
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
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks seems clear enough. My contract and offer letter only includes a company target, I only received an email advising she would like me to bring in a personal amount, without and KPI's or tools to achieve it. If the sole reason I am being fired is due to us achievement of target, can I argue that my signed offer letter is a company target and I shouldn't be measured on a personal one or do I just give in?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
It depends on what their intentions are - if they have already decided they want to remove you then there may be little point in challenging that as it may happen anyway. If they have not yet made up their mind then you can raise this argument but the employer could then say that they had simply changed your terms and made you subject to the new requirememts, such as personal targets. But you have nothing to lose by defending yourself by raising this. Hope this clarifies!
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. If this has answered your question please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars from the top of the page. I spend a lot of time and effort answering individual queries and I am not credited for my time until you leave your rating. If you still need further help please get back to me on here and I will assist as best as I can. Many thanks.