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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50161
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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A limited company employs a Nail and Beauty Technician early

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A limited company employs a Nail and Beauty Technician early January on a three month trial period a formal offer letter is sent stipulating this, no contract of work exists currently apart from the offer. The business goes downhill whereby the nail and beauty treatments have to be discontinued completely and the business reorganised in to an interiors shop due to lease commitments. Do we have any legal obligation to the employee on trial or can we end her employment by giving the weeks notice as the role does not exist any more? Do we have to offer her a job as a shop assistant? and if so can we reduce her salary and construct a new contract of employment to suit the new role? The issue is compounded by the fact that she is in the early stages of pregnancy and we do not want this to be misconstrued as having any bearing on the reason to terminate her employment!
Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

Was a notice period for termination mentioned at any point at all?


3 month trial during which time one weeks notice is required by either party

Ben Jones :

ok thanks let me get my response ready please

Ben Jones :

If she has been continuously employed at her place of work for less than 2 years then her employment rights will be somewhat limited. Most importantly, she will not be protected against unfair dismissal. This means that her employer can dismiss her for more or less any reason, and without following a fair procedure, as long as their decision is not based on discriminatory grounds (i.e. because of gender, race, religion, age, a disability, sexual orientation, etc.) or because she was trying to assert any of her statutory rights (e.g. requesting maternity leave, etc.). In the event that the reason for dismissal fell within these categories, then the dismissal will either be automatically unfair, or there will be a potential discrimination claim.

If the dismissal had nothing to do with any of the above exceptions then she would not be able to challenge it and her only protection would be if she was not paid her contractual notice period, because unless she was dismissed for gross misconduct, she would be entitled to receive her contractual notice period. If she did not have a written contract in place she would be entitled to the minimum statutory notice period of 1 week. Her employer would either have to allow her to work that notice period and pay her as normal, or they will have to pay her in lieu of notice.

The issue here is that she is pregnant and you will have to show that the dismissal was not in any way connected to her pregnancy. So you will have to show that the job was indeed discontinued and also ensure that she is not treated less favourably than other employees in the same position as her. So for example if there were others losing their jobs and you were offering them alternative positions then you should do the same with her. But if no one is being offered positions and they are losing their jobs as well you can just dismiss her with the week’s notice.


thanks Ben.

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