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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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I run a small business with 2 employees. The manager and a

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I run a small business with 2 employees. The manager and a part time worker. The manger was consistently taking time off and I had to go into factory and cover for him. I eventually gave him a written warning on 24th August 2015.
The other worker is on holiday for just over a week and he took Thursday off to sort out his car mot and a couple of ours friday morning. I asked him if he could come in at the weekend to make up the ours and he refused, he said he was busy at home decorating.
As this is having a severe effect on my business am I legally allowed to terminate his employment
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified solicitor and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have they each worked there for?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
about 6 years
Does his contract state he could be asked to come in at weekends or as requested by you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
no it doesnt, it says the following
Your normal hours of work are 45hrs per week, 7.45am to 5.15pm with a 30 minute unpaid break 12.00pm – 12.30pm for lunch each day, Monday to Friday.
Did he take the time off as holidays?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No he just told me on Wednesday his car needed an MOT and he was taking it Thursday Morning, then he told me Thursday he wouldnt be in all day and will be late in on Friday
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He had used up all holidays so it was unpaid time off
Did you agree for him to take that time off?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He told me his car had run out of mot and he had to sort it out and would be in lunchtime Thurday if it passed, It was more of a statement, which I went along with , than an agreement.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The written warning on 24th August saidYou are under contract to work for 42 hrs 5mins per week and since April 6th 2015 you have been consistently late, left early and had time off other than paid holiday, this has meant we have lost over 148 hrs production in 4.5 months. On average you have worked for just 35 hrs per week. This has resulted in low stock levels and reduced income, it is also impossible to be able to consider extra staff as we cannot count on you arriving for work on time, or even at all. As you are the manager this is totally unacceptable. You are putting a burden on other staff members and negatively affecting production.
You will be pushing it legally if you were to dismiss him for this. Contractually you cannot force him to come in on days off and make up any hours he has missed. You could agree with him as to when that happens but it is not something you can force on him. So you cannot really treat it as misconduct on which to dismiss. You went along with what he asked of you in relation to time off rather than make it clear that he was not allowed it so you cannot treat it as unauthorised absence from work. As he already has a warning you can use that to issue another warning now and take him u to a final written warning, which means that one further incident in the next 6-12 months (during which the warning will remain live) could result in dismissal. So this is his final chance really. But as he does have protection against unfair dismissal and 6 years service I would be careful with just jumping for dismissal straight away. I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So I can give a final written warning and state that ANY unauthorised time off in the next 12 months will lead to dismissal, will that still be deemed reasonable?
Yes you can do that, he has a live warning now, he will be issued with another one now and that will take him to a final warning and then whilst that is live, any further misconduct can lead to dismissal. Just make sure you take him through a formal disciplinary procedure now to issue this warning
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Can this one be a Final warning?
yes it would be a written warning which is actually a final warning because he already has a live warning against his name so make it clear that it is a final written warning
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thankyou very much
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