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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 70200
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I was just wondering if there was any rules concerning times

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Hello, I was just wondering if there was any rules concerning times of dismissal? I have recently been dismissed from my employment due to a private text message I sent to my supervisor in April. The company kept me in their employment for four months, time that could have been spent looking for work before the current job crisis hit. Now that furlough is ending and they have to pay my wages again they've dismissed me. I don't know anything about employment law but this doesn't seem right. Are they allowed to do that?
JA: Have you discussed the termination with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: I've followed the company procedure of requesting a further hearing to discus my dismissal but have yet to hear back from them. I have not spoken with a lawyer.
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: Employee
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Not really, that kind of covers it

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

I'm sorry to hear of your situation. Please can you tell me what reason your employer provided for dismissing you, and how long you had worked there for?

What did the text message say? Why did it result in your dismissal?

Customer: replied 3 days ago.
The reasons given were that the message was threatening and homophobic, both of which I've challenged both in my hearing and in my letter requesting another hearing. I had worked for the company for just under 3 years

OK I understand and thank you for providing this information. Please do not worry and leave it with me for now; 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.

Customer: replied 3 days ago.
I'm sorry but I can't afford £44 for a phone call, is it ok to continue like this?

Don’t worry about the pop-up mentioning a phone call – this is an automatic offer made by the system, giving you the opportunity to pay extra to discuss things over the phone. However it is entirely optional, although I am not available for a phone call at present so if you just ignore it and close it down you will not be charged extra and we will just continue in writing at no extra cost. I will get back to you at the earliest opportunity. Many thanks

Customer: replied 3 days ago.
Thank you

Many thanks for your patience, I am pleased to be able to continue assisting with your query now. When the employer is taking disciplinary action, they need to do so without unreasonable delay. What is reasonable will depend on the individual circumstances and why there has been a potential delay in dealing with the matter. For example, did the employer only recently find out about the messages, were there any obvious delays due to lockdown and the pandemic, did new evidence only recently come about and so on. These are all factors that can potentially justify a delay and whether the delay is reasonable will depend entirely on what the grounds for it were in this particular situation.

Unreasonable delay could potentially make a dismissal procedurally unfair and that is when you can look into claiming unfair dismissal against the employer if needed, which you must do within 3 months in 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.

The next steps you need to take in order to initiate the conciliation procedure are to contact ACAS, either online by filling in the following form (, 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:

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

Thank you for taking the time to leave your feedback - it was my pleasure helping you with your query. All the best

Customer: replied 3 days ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** more question if I may, what would constitute any obvious delays due to lockdown and the pandemic? would that be just, we're in a pandemic so that's that. Or would the company being closed count as "obvious delays"? I ask because the company has been operating throughout the pandemic.

Again, these can vary depending on the company and its circumstances but for example the obvious ones are management or others involved in this matter being furloughed and unavailable to deal with this in good time

Customer: replied 3 days ago.
ok thank you again

You are most welcome and all the best