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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 68936
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I was working in a company where I had 3 months notice

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Hi there. I was working in a company where I had 3 months notice period. At some point, they made me sign a contract reducing my notice to one month notice saying on the phone that they had no plan to fire me in the short term. 2 weeks later, I was made redundant. Do they have the right to do so?
JA: Have you discussed the termination with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: Yes, but since I didnt know they were planning to fire me in the short term, I signed this thinking it was good for me too
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: I was employee, now I am unemployed
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: nope

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 had you worked there for and when exactly did you sign the contract allowing them to reduce your notice period?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Hi Ben, thanks for your answer. I started working in this company on the 2nd September 2019. I signed the new contract on the 03rd April 2020, and was made redundant on the 21st April.

Thank you. Leave it with me for now, although please note it is extremely busy at present due to the ongoing situation so there may be a delay in replying, but I will get back to you at some point today. Please do not reply in the meantime. Many thanks

Many thanks for your patience. First of all, you have no unfair dismissal protection the circumstances as you need to have at least 2 years service to get that protection. They could have therefore dismissed you for more or less any reason and without a fair procedure.

In terms of the notice period being shortened, technically you had agreed to that so the new contract will be legally binding. The only issue is whether your employer misrepresented you into agreeing to the changes – that won’t necessarily be easy to show though as you need to be able to argue that their promise not to terminate you soon would have been a material factor in you accepting the new contract and also that they did not know at the time that they were going to be terminating you soon anyway. You could still challenge them and threaten to take it further, int eh hope they agree to give you a longer notice period than what you received, even if not the full 3 months.

Does this answer your query?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
It does, thanks a lot for your answer!
Best
Pierre

All the best

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