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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50483
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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My daughter got a job at a local pub and I just found out

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Hello - my daughter got a job at a local pub and I just found out that she has worked 37 hours totally unpaid because they said they don't have to pay her during the probation period. That's sounds illegal ...
Assistant: Where are you located? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: England
Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: no
Assistant: Anything else you want the solicitor to know before I connect you?
Customer: they didn't give her a written contract (yet)

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Okay thanks.

Did she undertake her normal duties during this time?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
she's 18, she served at their bar.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Hello, are you still there?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Hi - I'm unsure what's happening, can you let me know if you're still there?

Yes I am still here but sometimes I deal with a few questions at once so there may be a slight delay

There is certainly no law to say that just because someone is on their probationary period they cannot be paid. Probationary periods are standard in many jobs but the worker must still be paid during that time if what they do amounts to working time. If someone is undertaking work under the control of their employer then this is working time and they have the right to receive at least the minimum wage for that time. Calling it a probationary period and hoping that they do not have to pay as a result is not going to work. Therefore, she can certainly consider pursuing them for pay for the time she had worked during that time.

Please take a quick second to leave a positive rating for the service so far by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars above. I can continue answering follow up questions and in particular can also discuss the options she has on taking this further. There is no extra cost for this - leaving your rating now will not close the question and means we can still continue this discussion. Thank you

Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
What if she had no paper contract? Does that affect her rights?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
If it doesn't matter that she didn't have a paper contract, then what do you advise we do now? Should employers like this be reported?

The lack of paper contract makes no difference - working time is not dependent on a contract and the minimum wage is set by law. I suggest she approaches them directly to start with and advise them that they have failed to pay her the minimum wage for her working time, which is illegal, and that being on probation makes no difference. If they refuse to pay her still, she can consider a free claim in the employment tribunal to get what she is owed.

Before a person can make a claim in the employment tribunal, they would be required to participate in mandatory early conciliation through the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS).

The purpose of this process is to allow ACAS to mediate between the claimant and respondent to agree on an out of court settlement in order to avoid the need for legal action in tribunal. The respondent does not have to engage in these discussions, or if they do and the talks are unsuccessful, the claimant will be issued with a certificate allowing them to make a claim.

However, if a settlement is reached, the claimant would agree not to proceed with the claim in return for the agreed financial settlement. Other terms can also be agreed as part of the settlement, such as an agreed reference.

To initiate the conciliation procedure ACAS can be contacted online by filling in the following form (, or by phone on 0300(###) ###-####

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
This happens a lot in our town with the 16-18 year olds, they work a full week and then suddenly find at the end of the week that they have for no known reason 'not passed probabation' and are asked to leave with no pay. I find this disgusting. Should they be reported?