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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Thank you in advance time. I am a Security Guard

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Hi, thank you in advance for your time. I am a Security Guard with a company in London. I have been asked to attend a meeting tomorrow after a colleague of mine complained that my work was not up to standard. I fear that this meeting (that the employer has termed a SOSR meeting) will result in me losing my job. I have summarised the events leading to this below and need to know if there is any action that I can take to either (1) postpone tomorrow's meeting, or against the company:
19/05/15 – Joined the company (Zero hour contract but with regular shift pattern over a 2 week period)
25/08/15 – Compassionate leave for 2 months
02/02/16 – telephoned and asked to attend a meeting with Manager at Midday the following day
03/02/16 – attended meeting with Manager and was informed that one of my colleagues had made a complaint against me but that they needed to get this complaint in writing and to investigate the matter. I was told I was suspended and was on full pay until further notice.
24/02/16 – I received a letter stating that I had attended a meeting on the 17th Feb (Which was incorrect it was the 3rd Feb) and It confirmed that I should not attend site. It stated a reason that the ‘client, Savils’ had requested my removal from site and not my colleague Mark as per my previous meeting. I was invited to attend a meeting on the 1st March to enable my manager to make ‘formal representations’ to the client to get me reinstated on site. I was advised at this point that if they were unable to persuade the client that my employment might be at risk, despite no wrong doing on my part.
01/03/16 – I attended the meeting which lasted no more than 20 minutes. We again discussed the fact that my colleague Mark had made a complaint about me and what the accusations had been. I requested a copy of the letter and copy of his investigation notes which he agreed to and then said he would make representations on my part. Was reassured I was on full pay.
08/03/16 – Payday only received a part payment was paid for 2 shifts worked, 1 day suspension and 4 days holiday I had pre-booked. Value £618.73. Emailed Manager and requested he investigate this. No response
09/03/16 - received an email inviting me to a meeting on the 15th March SOSR meeting, I had pre-booked annual leave so I emailed and requested an alternative date. No response
09/03/16 - received my pay slip so emailed my manager to highlight the incorrect payment and outlined the missing days some 1333.80 (less contributions deducted) Manager confirmed email and stated issue had been passed to HR.
18/03 – received an email from HR Manager stating that my pay had been resolved and invited me to another meeting on the 23rd March.
21/03 – received a payment of 645.00 still short on what I should have been paid.
21/03/16 – Emailed HR manager to outline missing shifts and request payment. My hours were on a regular shift pattern and my contract stated I was not allowed to seek alternative employment so felt it was unfair for my pay to be deducted. I again requested copies of the investigation notes and copy of complaint letter
22/03/16 – Received an email from HR manager stating he was not aware of hours unpaid and that he would arrange for this to be paid in next payroll. He requested new meeting dates and sent me a copy of an email from Savils requesting I be removed from site.
23/03/16 – emailed confirming payment of 645 and again outlined missing shifts and requested copy of original complaint and copies of investigation notes. Suggested 2 new dates for SOSR meeting
24/03/16 – received email confirming I was still to be paid for the shift between 18th and 29th Feb and that my pay for March would also be paid in full in April. The email also invited me to a meeting on the 1st April. HR Manager also stated that he felt supplying me a copy of the complaint letter would be ‘inappropriate’ despite the fact this is the letter we have discussed at the 2 prior meetings.
Hello what are you hoping to achieve by postponing the meeting?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi, thank you for your response. It's simply to buy a little time so that I can be 100% sure (after having consulted a legal expert) that (1) they have followed the due legal process in removing me from site, (2) that my employment contract with the interesting clause banning me from working anywhere else id suspended is lawful, and if not whether I have any redress. I know that if they're going to get rid of me then they're going to get rid of me. I just don't want to go down without a fight as I'm about to lose my job without having done anything wrong!...
Thank you. Leave it with me please in in tribunal at present so will reply fully later this afternoon
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Will do. Many thanks again Ben, good luck with the tribunal.
Many thanks for your patience. The main issue you will face here 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.). So it is entirely possible for them to dismiss you without following any fair procedure (i.e. no investigation or disciplinary meetings or finding a cause of the dismissal). 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. So there is nothing wrong with what they did in removing you from site and you cannot challenge that. As to the contractual clause preventing you from working elsewhere whilst suspended is also perfectly legal – you can be prevented from holding two jobs at the same time unless you get the employer’s consent. After you leave the matter is different but whilst you are employed by them they can include such restrictions. As to postponing the meeting, you can request that, for example you can go off sick with stress, but they do not have to postpone it and they can proceed in your absence – doing so could be unfair but only if you are protected against unfair dismissal which you are not so again it is not possible to challenge it if it happens. I'm sorry if this is not necessarily the answer you were hoping for, however I do have a duty to be honest and explain the law as it actually stands. This does mean delivering bad news from time to time. I hope you understand and would be happy to provide any further clarification if needed. If you are still satisfied with the level of service you have received I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page. Thank you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your prompt and detailed response Ben. Just to clarify, would there be any consequences for me not to attend tomorrow's meeting (i.e. deduction of pay etc.)? Thank you
What they can do is dismiss you at the meeting in your absence. You are entitled to be paid up to tomorrow. What they may do though is treat the non-attendance as gross misconduct and not pay your notice period so you could potentially lose out on that. If you do attend and they dismiss for SOSR then you would be entitled to your notice period. Hope this clarifies?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Understood, thank you. I guess i need to go to this meeting tomorrow to avoid losing out on any wages. Thank you again Ben
If they are intent on dismissing you then whether you attend or not will not make a difference on the outcome and if it is the last thing you do with this company, at least you know that they cannot accuse you of being guilty of gross misconduct and cannot avoid paying you the notice money so just to ensure that it is best to attend and grin and bear it whilst they do their thing, then just leave and move on. If your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page - it only takes a second to do and is an important part of our process. I can still answer follow up questions afterwards if needed. Thank you
Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Totally understood Ben, and thank you again for your excellent advice on this matter. Best wishes, Farrukh
You are most welcome, all the best