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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 68925
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I was unfairly dismissed from work as I had Told my job I’d

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I was unfairly dismissed from work as I had Told my job I’d been relying on public transport and when I told them I couldn’t get home from work and I couldn’t do the shift they asked of me then sent me an email ending my contract and they said the decision is irreversible and they also expect me to work a month until they find my replacement
JA: Have you discussed the termination with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: no the letter came from the principle Dentist and they have ignored my correspondence I have emailed and texted them
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: employee and no I wasn’t aware of a nurses union until yesterday
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Well ultimately I feel a little bit discriminated against as I had been off from having a miscarriage in March so I felt they were looking for any excuse to sack me

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.

How long have you worked there for? Please note this is not always an instant service and I may not be able to reply immediately. However, rest assured that I am dealing with your question and will get back to you today. Thanks

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
as I’ve been employed since 23rd September 2019, I was told that I’m not 2 years so I don’t have rights per se, but the job they told me that the decision is irreversible but they expect me to work until the 3rd July until they find my replacement too which is outlandish In my personal opinion so where do I stand I just feel a bit discriminated against because the government said to not take public transport where applicable and I explained I couldn’t do a late shift as I couldn’t get home from work and I couldn’t afford a taxi, so they just sacked me after that and didn’t give me a reason other than I wasn’t doing flexible hours, my health has been compromised also as I lost a baby in March and was sick until the end of April

Ok thanks and what evidence do you have that their decision was linked to your miscarriage?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I don’t have physical evidence of that but I had explained to them that I was high risk after having the miscarriage so there was nothing said with that, leading up to now on the 3rd of June they terminated my contract for not doing flexible hours when I said I couldn’t get home from work and couldn’t afford a taxi to get home because my village only has 6 busses a day. So I feel a bit of discrimination because my situation was different to other staff members. Any changes to my personal circumstances I had always informed them about and never last minute, by the way going into the surgery wasn’t mandatory so they used my not coming in as reason to let me go, also they never gave me any warnings or meetings and aren’t giving me an option to appeal the decision but expect me to work a month until they find my replacement

Hi sorry I was offline by the time you had replied and have just returned.

Going back to your query, the starting point is that if you have been continuously employed at you 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 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, maternity/paternity leave, parental leave, adoption leave or leave for dependants

In the event that the reason for dismissal fell within any of these categories, then the dismissal could be automatically unfair and there could also be a potential discrimination claim. In these circumstances the 2-year rule would not apply.

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

So the key here really is whether their decision was inked to your miscarriage or not and that is dependent on whether they can potentially convince an Employment Tribunal that there were other plausible reasons for it. Until we know their case and evidence, it is difficult to say whether they will be successful in that or not and all you can do now is consider taking it further to the Employment Tribunal.

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 (https://ec.acas.org.uk/Submission/SingleClaimantPage), or by phone on 0300(###) ###-####

If the conciliation process was not successful and you then wanted to make a formal claim in tribunal, you can do so here:

https://www.employmenttribunals.service.gov.uk/apply

Does this answer your query?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I have no hope basically this is disgraceful. So they said I had to work a month but my cintract says less than a year it’s only a week so will I be paid for a month or just the week ?

I am not saying you have no rights, but it is not just a case of making a claim based on a hunch and you will need some evidence or something to go by.

If you agree to work for a month you will be paid for that month, but if you say you are only working for a week, as per c, you will only get paid or that.

Does this clarify things a bit more for you?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
of course thank you for your time I appreciate it very much.

All the best

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