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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 49850
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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We are a small insurance broker business based in the UK and

Customer Question

We are a small insurance broker business based in the UK and on 6th June 2016, we took on our first employee - a part time administrator. Within the employment offer letter - which is signed by employer and employee, we set out a notice period of 1 week for continuous employment between one month and 3 months.
Due to work performance, we now wish to terminate the employment in the probationary period - just 7 weeks after the commencement of employment.
What is the formal process we need to adopt?
Must we write and invite the employee to a meeting and allow them to bring a third party - or are we legally able to terminate upon the provision of evidence of poor performance?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Have you discussed performance with the employee prior to now?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We had a first month review meeting where we covered areas of progress and brought the employees attention and discussed the detail and oversight errors. We followed that up in a set of review meeting notes which were emailed and skyped to the employee. At that time we did not discuss employment termination. The employee has been on holiday since and more errors have been uncovered - which have also been advised to her via internal skype messaging which because of her vacation - she has not yet seen until her return on Monday.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am in court today so will prepare my advice during the day and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your response. We were aiming to act on Monday morning and prepare what we need between now and then - so a later response may not help. Do you have the option of passing this enquiry on within Just Answers?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Many thanks for your patience. If they have been continuously employed at their place of work for less than 2 years then their employment rights will be somewhat limited. Most importantly, they will not be protected against unfair dismissal. This means that you can dismiss them 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 they were trying to assert any of their statutory rights (e.g. requesting maternity leave, etc.). In the event that the reason for their dismissal fell within these categories, then the dismissal will either be automatically unfair, or there will be a potential discrimination claim.

If the dismissal had nothing to do with any of the above exceptions then they would not be able to challenge it and their only protection would be if they were not paid their contractual notice period, because unless they were dismissed for gross misconduct, they would be entitled to receive their contractual notice period.

In terms of procedure, you do not need a meeting, unless the contract specifies a dedicated dismissal procedure, which you must follow. In the absence of such, it is possible to simply issue them with a letter of termination. You could also consider terminating their employment immediately and paying them in lieu of notice. That would depend on whether there is a clause allowing you to do so but it is possible without it as well and I can discuss how if needed.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the procedure to terminate in lieu of notice, 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, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question and if you need me to discuss the next steps in more detail? In the meantime please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts from the top of the page. The question will not close and I can continue with my advice as discussed. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, do you need any further assistance or are you happy with the above response? Look forward to hearing from you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
HelloSorry for the delay. As suggested in my response on 29/07/2016 01:09, it was necessary for us to ask the same question of another lawyer on this service due to the limited time available to us.Unfortunately we were therefore unable to use your response.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

ok thanks

Customer: replied 1 year ago.