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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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I was a cleaner years local community centre

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I was a cleaner years local community centre and 18 months ago the committee became a registered charity. a new chairman took over and a cleaning agency was employed who in turn employed me. The committee lost a lot of funds, through mis-management and over subscribing to subsidised trips community and a decision was reached to terminate the contract with the cleaning agency but, as a cleaner was definitely necessary, I carried on. A new chairman and secretary was appointed and confusion over how I was to be paid arose. I rang the chairwoman and asked over how i was to be paid. She was extremely rude and insulted me several times ending with if I didn't like the situation I should resign! I was at a low ebb at that time as my son was going through a medical emergency and i said if that was what she wanted, I would. That evening two members of the committee rang and asked me to reconsider which I did and carried on working the Friday and Saturday morning. At 10am the Saturday morning I received a phone call from the chairwoman demanding I hand in my keys as I had no right to carry on and to keep away from the community centre. I had no contract with the new committee and, at 60, I am struggling financially. Could you please tell me if I have any rights at all.
Ms. Mistanne Alexander
Ben Jones :

, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. When did all of this happen - when were you asked to leave?




, are you still considering my enquiry?

Ben Jones :

, yes I am still here, just my connection dropped and just managed to get back on. Just to clarify - you never had any breaks in employment whilst working there, even though you were employed by the centre and the agency throughout that time?


Yes, that is correct. I worked 7 days a week with no holidays at all

Ben Jones :

ok thanks let me get my response ready please


I never had a day off the entire 4 years of service and no-one ever complained about my work

Ben Jones :

Now that you have left your employment, whether by choice or not, the only thing you can do is make a claim dismissal against the employer. This is when you are basically forced to resign from your job because of the employer’s unreasonable behaviour. So if they more or less forced you to leave and you felt you had no choice then you would make such a claim. Alternatively, if you did not actually want to leave and told them as soon as possible after initially leaving that you did not intend to do so and perhaps just did it in the heat of the moment, then you can argue that you have been dismissed instead and claim unfair dismissal. In fact that may be a better claim to make as in that case it would be employuert to prove that they did not dismiss you and if they did, that they had a fair reason so and followed a fair procedure (which obviously does not apply so they could be in hot water over it).

You should bear in mind that any claim must be made within 3 months of the termination of your employment so the clock is already ticking.

Also a new feature in the employment tribunal’s claims process is mandatory early conciliation with ACAS. This requires prospective claimants to notify ACAS and provide details of their intended claim and they would then try to negotiate between the claimant and respondent to seek out of court settlement in order to avoid having to take the claim to the tribunal. It is possible parties to refuse to engage in these negotiations, or that they are unsuccessful, in which case they would get permission to proceed with making the claim in the tribunal.

If negotiations are initiated and settlement is reached, then the claimant would agree not to proceed with the claim in return agreed financial settlement.

The conciliation procedure and the form to fill in can be found here:

In terms of the time limits within which a claim must be presented, the early conciliation process places a ‘stop’ on that and the time between notifying ACAS and them issuing permission to proceed with the claim would not count purposes of these time limits.

Hope this clarifies your position? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you


thank you information.

Ben Jones :

you are welcome, all the best

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