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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50148
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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Harm and Loss

Customer Question

I have been self employed for over 10yrs. Recently, I decided that due to the current climate and the groth of businesses similar to mine, that it would be beneficial to seek full time employment as I noticed a decline of available work and an incline of small enterprises quoting against each other. I applied for a position with a new company through a 12 week placement by a recuitment agency. I attended the interview and was offered a position with with the company, through the agency. The agency contacted me and told me that I was successful and that the company wanted me to start on March 16th 2015, to which I was happy with but I needed to resolve all outstanding work issues pertaining to my self employed business. I refused to take on a job, which would have commenced on that week for the obvious reasons and was then notified only 3 days prior to the 16th that the company had changed their mind on the start date and moved it back 1 week, I was disappointed that I had lost a job that was able to pay me £1200.00 but knowing that I was going to be in permanent employment, I would be able to suffer the loss. I also had 2 offers of permanent employment with two other companies (one of which I had worked for before) but was told that the company would like me to commit to them or the offer would be voided, so I turned down the other two positions. The job I was offered came with various benefits, one of which was a fully expensed vehicle and because my own vehicle is sign written with my personal contact details, I explained to the agency that I will be happy to accept the position provided that I have a vehicle provided to me on the first day of inception as my vehicle is not only unsuitable but also off the road. I asked the agency 3 times to confirm that I would get a vehicle on the first day as I was concerned about transport and they confirmed this with me on every occasion. On the first day I started, I got transport into the offices by means of a friend and I was then taken to induction. By the end of the day I was told that I would be getting a vehicle on the following Friday, to which I explained that this was unsuitable as I have no money for transport because I lost a week of work due to the company changing my start date and that I made it very clear before accepting the position that I would need a company vehicle on the first day, The manager and HR both denied this and stated that the agency changed my start date and that there was no confirmation of a vehicle on the first day. Disappointed by this I spoke to the agency and they confirmed that the company changed my start date, not the agency and that a vehicle would be available on the first day. This was obviously not a great start but I was simply stating that it would be extremely difficult for me to get to and from to work without money and indeed transport. The matter was resolved by the company on the second day and a vehicle was provided to me, so I was very happy. After my induction I was placed with various new colleagues and under a manager, who I got along with very well. On the 7th day of my position of employment, I called the office 20 minutes before arrival to inform a different manager that the bad weather the night before had consequently blown mine and many of my neighbours bins over the road as it was collection day and that I may be a few minutes late as I will need to clear up the mess. The other manager was very blunt and told me that it was an unacceptable excuse but "he will let it go this time". I felt that although I had been respectful in calling the office with what I believe to be a perfectly acceptable reason for being only a few minutes late, I was spoken to like a child and did not appreciate the manner in which I was. For fear of not wanting to cause a further problem, my 70yr old next door neighbour picked up my bin and rubbish for me so I would not be late for work. I arrived at the office ontime and I requested to speak to the manager who reprimanded me over the telephone. I spoke to him in private and told him that I was unhappy with how he spoke to me because I am new to the company and I have followed all correct procedure and this was an unforseen circumstance. He told me that if I had an issue with the way he speaks to me that I should raise it with HR but I simply wanted to just ask him to treat me with mutual respect but he wanted to escallate it to HR. I was later that day called into the office 15 mins before I was due to finish work and I was met by the said manager and the same woman from HR as on my first day. I was then very quickly and sharply told that I was no longer required to work for the company. This is false and I have proof. Can I claim for criminal loss? I have no job, no money, I can lose my home and I have done nothing wrong, I also have witnesses who are managers for the company who are happy to give me a refrence. Please help Thank you for your time.

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Why do you wish to claim for criminal loss - what is the criminal aspect to all this?

JACUSTOMER-s4xguh6j- :

Pleasure to meet you Ben.

JACUSTOMER-s4xguh6j- :

The criminal aspect I believe is the fact that it wasn't the company that caused me the loss but the individuals involved in my dismissal. Because I have been informed that it would be near impossible to make a claim against the company as I was not employed by them that the only way I can claim damages due to personal loss would be through proving that my loss was intentional and by an individual. Is this correct and can I claim through common law?

Ben Jones :

I am afraid there is absolutely no criminal aspect to any of this. This is in no way a criminal matter. This is a ‘simple’ employment issue where your rights are unfortunately governed by established employment laws. The issue is that if you have been continuously employed at your 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 their decision is not based on discriminatory grounds (i.e. because of gender, race, religion, age, a disability, sexual orientation, etc.) or because you were trying to assert any of your statutory rights (e.g. requesting maternity/paternity leave, etc.).

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

If you were not paid your notice period when you were due one, that would amount to wrongful dismissal (which is different to unfair dismissal) and you could make a claim in an employment tribunal to recover the pay for the notice period that you should have been given. There is a 3-month time limit from the date of dismissal to submit the claim.

So regardless of whether the decision was personal and with malice it does not matter at all – the employer is legally entitled to terminate your employment in that way, whether there was a fair reason or not and whether their intentions were due to personal dislike.

I hope this clarifies your position? If you could please quickly let me know that would be great, as it is important for us to keep track of customer satisfaction. Thank you

JACUSTOMER-s4xguh6j- :

Thank you Ben,

JACUSTOMER-s4xguh6j- :

I was sadly aware that could be the case and I was dismissed with immediate effect and was told that I would be paid up until that day only. So are you saying that I am legally entitled to claim the statatory 1 week notice on top of the 7 days that I have already earned? If this is the case then at least I will be happy to accept that as payment for the time lost. If that is the case then how do I go about contacting the company to request that my statatory notice will need to be paid? Thanks.