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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50178
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I had a fixed 2yr contract which commenced on 4th Jan. 2015.

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I had a fixed 2yr contract which commenced on 4th Jan. 2015. I completed my first year on 31st Dec. 2015. However, as a result of a shortfall in business during the latter part of 2015 my 2nd year has been deferred until 4th Jan. 2017. When advised of this situation affecting me, I was told there would also be redundancies, but I now know there were no such redundancies. I am also aware that the overseas territories for which I am responsible are now being covered by another employee.
My contract advised "the company may temporarily lay the employee off without pay or reduce the employee's working hours and his pay proportionately on giving one week's notice in writing. Depending on the circumstances the Employee may have a statutory right to a guarantee payment"
Although I signed the contract at the time, I am disappointed in myself that I did not clarify what a "guarantee payment" is and whether I would be entitled to recompense should this situation arise.
I am in my 72nd year and although in good health I may not wish to continue in 12 months time. However, on enquiring if there was an option to terminate my contract now, this was not available to me.
I would be grateful if you could advise my legal rights.
Thank you
Michael A. Jordan
Hello what exactly are you hoping to achieve please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hello BenThank you for your response.As I am only half way through a two year contract and finding myself in this situation, considering my age I feel I should have had the option to terminate the remainder of my contract on full pay if I had so desired.I also believe I have been misled about the need for redundancies in the company, the fact that my areas of responsibility are still being actively worked and my contract has been suspended without pay, do I have a statutory right to a guarantee payment and what are my legal rights in this situation?I look forward to receiving your further comments.RegardsMichael A. Jordan
Hello Michael, does the contract give the employer the option to terminate the contract early?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I responded to your above question on 22nd February advising that there was no such option in the contract. To date I have not received any further response from you. Could you please respond with your advice as to if I have a case or not?Kind regardsMichael A. Jordan
Hello, the full conversation history is visible on this page, unfortunately there is no reply from you on 22 Feb so for some reason it never registered. As an alternative to dismissal (most commonly because of redundancy), an employer may wish to deal with an unexpected downturn in business by laying off employees (asking them not to come into work) or putting them on short-time working (reducing their working hours/days). The legal definitions of the two options are:· Laid off - if an employee has been told to go home for at least one full working day.· Placed on short-time working - if an employee's pay for the week is less than half a normal week's pay. It is only possible to lay off employees or put them on short-time working when an express or implied contractual right to do so exists. You have this in your case so it is not an issue. If there is a clause allowing the employer to do this, or the employee agrees to it, for example in order to avoid redundancy, certain rights will apply after a set period of time. If someone has been laid off or placed on short-time working for 4 consecutive weeks, or 6 weeks within a 13-week reference period, they would be able to ask the employer to make them redundant. There is a strict procedure that needs to be followed and more details can be found here: So there is protection available to employees who have been laid off or who have had their hours cut. It is however important to follow the precise steps as per the link above, if the employee wishes to go down the route of requesting redundancy. The issue there is that as you do not have 2 years’ service with the employer you will not be entitled to redundancy pay. So you can ask for redundancy, in other words to have your employment terminated instead of being laid off, but you are not able to claim redundancy pay as you do not meet the minimum criteria for eligibility. I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. 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.
Hello BenThank you for your comments. It would seem to me, from your response, that should the present down turn in business continue and consequently affect my position, it is better for me to remain as an employee until at least early January 2017, at which point the worst scenario would be that I could claim redundancy in line with Government guide lines?This is my final question and I look forward to receiving your response.I will be happy to provide a positive rating at the end of this process.Kind regards
Michael Jordan
Hello, yes that is correct although that is nearly a year away and a lot can change until then, including the company deciding to dismiss you rather than kep you laid off. Sadly if you have less than 2 years' service you are not protected against unfair dismissal so they can technically dismiss you within that period without you bein able to challenge it, but they could instead keep you laid off for a period of time no, then ask you back into work and still keep you in a job taking you up to Jan 2017 and beyond. Hope this clarifies?
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