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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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I have a request regarding unfair dismissal. I was employed

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Hi there,
I have a request regarding unfair dismissal. I was employed by ICON plc in Marlow on a 12 month contract. I was not provided with adequate training and treated unfairly by my manager and colleague.After one month and a half I was dismissed without any prior warning and had to leave on the same day. I was told I would get paid for that month but they didn't pay me I had to contact HR and was not paid until 2 months after my dismissal. That situation put me in financially difficulties especially when it came to paying my rent. I moved to the UK for this job from Ireland. I started working for ICON on 19 August 2015 and was dismissed on 29 September 2015.
Kindly advise on the above do I still have grounds for legal action?

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

What reason did they provide for dismissing you?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They said the work was not up to standard

OK, thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you in a short while. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Also, please do not responded to this message as it will just push your questions to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you.

Many thanks for your patience. There would have been two possible claims here – one for breach of contract and one for unfair dismissal. The unfair dismissal option would not be possible because you need 2 years service to be eligible to claim. So you cannot challenge the dismissal itself or the reasons behind it. In any event there is a 3 month time limit to claim, which you are too late for.

The breach of contract is more likely but I will explain in what circumstances you can pursue that. Firstly, you were employed on a 12 month contract which is basically a guarantee that you will be working there for that long. If the employer wanted to terminate that contract early, then they can only do so if they had the contractual right to do so or if you were guilty of gross misconduct. There was jo misconduct here so you must check to see if the contract allowed for early termination, e.g. by saying the employer can give you a specific notice period to end it early. If no such provision existed the employer would have been acting in breach of contract for terminating it early and you could potentially seek compensation for the remainder of the contract.

If they were allowed to end it early, then you can only potentially pursue them for the breach in the delay in paying you. This would cover things like any charges incurred by you foe not having the money, like bank charges, late payment charges, etc. There is a 6 year time limit so you are well within time to claim if necessary.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you need to follow if you decide to take this further, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

Ben Jones and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your response I have tried to send my contract but I am having difficulties. I copied and pasted the following from my contract: COMMENCEMENT AND DURATION OF EMPLOYMENT
'Your employment under this agreement shall corunence on the Commencement Date and
shall continue, subject to the remaining terms of this agreement (and to the successful
completion of a probation period of six months), until iiterminates on 23d August 2016
without the need for notice unless previously terminated by the Employee giving"notice in
writing of one month or DOCS giving notice in writing of two
weeks. DOCS reserves the right to extend_the probation period referenced in itrls clause, During the probation
period, the Employee can terminate the Agreement by giving two weeks' no6ce in writing
and DOCS giving notice of one week.'
Do I have a breach of contract as I was not given prior notice?

Hi there, your employment could have terminated early with the company giving you 2 weeks notice in writing. If they did not give you such notice then you can argue that they have acted in breach of contract and you can pursue them for the equivalent of that notice period’s pay

Whenever a dispute arises over money owed by one party to another, the debtor can be pursued through the civil courts for recovery of the debt. As legal action should always be seen as a last resort, there are certain actions that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without having to involve the courts. It is recommended that the process follows these steps:

1. Reminder letter – if no reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the debtor to voluntarily pay what is due.

2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but these have been ignored, the debtor must be sent a formal letter asking them to repay the debt, or at least make arrangements for its repayment, within a specified period of time. A reasonable period to demand a response by would be 10 days. They should be advised that if they fail to do contact you in order to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to recover the debt. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal action.

3. Before you consider starting legal action you may wish to consider sending a formal statutory demand. This is a legal request which asks the debtor to pay the outstanding debt within 21 days and failure to do so will allow you to bankrupt the debtor (if they are an individual ) or wind up the company (if they are a business). For the relevant forms to serve a statutory demand see here:

4. If they fail to pay or at least make contact to try and resolve this, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to Once the claim form is completed it will be sent to the debtor and they will have a limited time to defend it. If they are aware legal proceedings have commenced it could also prompt them to reconsider their position and perhaps force them to contact you to try and resolve this.

Whatever correspondence is sent, it is always advisable to keep copies and use recorded delivery so that there is proof of delivery and a paper trail. The court may need to refer to these if it gets that far.