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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 68162
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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My son has been employed on a full time basis as a field

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My son has been employed on a full time basis as a field archaeologist for 13 months. He has had his contract terminated "Due to reduction in project work". Is an employer require to give a reason why he was selected for termination?
JA: Was the termination discussed with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: It has not been discussed with any company personnel since the termination. He is still working his notice period.
JA: Does the workplace operate with employees, freelancers, consultants, contractors or with unionised employees?
Customer: Employees, there are temporary and full time employees. There is a union (prospect) but with few members
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: He was the only employee terminated at this time.

Hello, I’m Ben, a UK lawyer and will be dealing with your case today. I may also need to ask some questions to determine the legal position.

Does his contract contain a clause related to early termination?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.

Thank you. I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can, which will be at some point today. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Many thanks for your patience. The employer has no legal obligation to provide reasons for dismissal at this stage. In fact, If he has been continuously employed at his place of work for less than 2 years then his employment rights will unfortunately be somewhat limited. Most importantly, he will not be protected against unfair dismissal. This means that an employer can dismiss him for more or less any reason, and without following a fair procedure, as long as the decision is not based on a reason which makes a dismissal automatically unfair. These include:

· Discrimination due to a protected characteristic (i.e. because of gender, race, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, etc.)

· Taking, or trying to take, leave for family reasons including pregnancy, paternity leave, parental leave, adoption leave or leave for dependants

However, if the dismissal had nothing to do with any of the above exceptions, he would not be able to challenge it. In that case his only protection would be if he was dismissed in breach of contract. That would usually happen if he was not paid any contractual notice period due to him (unless he was dismissed for gross misconduct, where no notice would be due). If he did not have a written contract in place he would be entitled to the minimum statutory notice period of 1 week. The employer would either have to allow him to work that notice period and pay him as normal, or they instead have to pay him in lieu of notice, where he is paid for the equivalent of the notice pay but his employment is terminated immediately.

I appreciate this may not be the answer you were hoping for but it is the legal position and I hope that it at least clarifies where you stand?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thank You for the information, it is pretty much what I expected. The other aspect is the company is hiring personnel and re hiring temporary workers as of the first of January. Which does not sound correct at some level.

Ethically it does not but legally it is entirely possible for him to be replaced in that way, it still comes down to his length of service I’m afraid

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** say ethically its not to nice.

All the best

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