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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 49785
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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.. I have just been sacked, at a meeting with no representation

Customer Question

Hi.. I have just been sacked, at a meeting with no representation for me (I have a years service with notice, am Head of Brand HR). They have dismissed me for breach of trust and confidence, as I run women's empowerment workshops in my spare time using annual leave etc. I wrote to them in January to say I was going to do this. Do I have a leg to stand on. I also have clinical depression which they are aware of.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. firstly can you tell me have you had any previous disciplinary please.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No none at all

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am in a tribunal today so will prepare my advice during the day and get back to you this afternoon. There is no need to wait and you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Many thanks for your patience and apologies for not getting back to you sooner, I experienced some temporary connection issues and could not get back on the site until now. All appears to be resolved now so I can continue dealing with your query.
The starting point 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.). 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 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. The fact you were not given any representation at the meeting does not change anything as that is only something you can pursue if you had more than 2 years’ service.
In terms of the fact you suffer from depression, this will only be relevant if the employer’s decision to dismiss you was actually linked to this. They say the dismissal is due to you doing the workshops and as far as I can see there is no link between you suffering from depression and doing these workshops, although please correct me if I am wrong. So to be able to take this any further you must be able to show that they took the decision to dismiss you based on you suffering from depression – if this is just a circumstantial issue then it will not be good enough and you would need to provide at least some evidence which shows that they had decided to dismiss because of the depression. If that is not possible your dismissal can be legal due to the factors mentioned above.
I hope this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating, or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, I see you have accessed and read my answer to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? I just need to know whether you need further help or if I can close the question? Thank you