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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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I have a preferred spelling of my name which is different to

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I have a preferred spelling of my name which is different to the name on my passport. I had to have a DBS check for work and have previously used the preffere spelling of my name, I have been employed with the same employer for 5 years. They have recently discovered that the spelling of my name on my passport and my preffered spelling do not match. I have been put on suspension with pay, they are arguing that they do not have a DBS check for the name in the passport and further contend that they cannot be sure whether I am who I claim to be or whether i even have the right to work, despite providing home office documents (including biometric ID card) indicating my right to work and live in the uk. Can i be fired for difference in spelling of my name? Is this a case of discrimination because i am a foreigner?

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today. Are you able to get a DBS for both names?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am, however my employer has not offered this option. I have an affidavit saying both names are ***** ***** haven't shown this to my employer yet though. The letter they sent me explaining the reason for suspension, says that I have given them the wrong documentation when they carried out the dbs the first time round. However, I gave my home office letter indicating my indefinite leave to remain, subsequently a biometric ID card, as well as bills showing my address albeit with the preferred spelling of my name which is different to home office documents. They have had this for 5 years and are only now questioning it.

If they were to actually go ahead and dismiss in the circumstances it is likely that it may be unfair as it would be considered an unreasonable decision considering the circumstances. What they should do is to try and get DBS checks for both known names and satisfy themselves that there is nothing on your record which would make you unsuitable to carry out your job. Their argument that they cannot be sure who you are is rather weak because anyone can be in the same position and have different names but that does not mean they can go and sack everyone else just in case they may have other identities. So they will have to go by what is officially in your passport ad also any other names you go by as given by you and sworn to. Getting a second DBS would be the most appropriate way to resolve this.

Please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars. I can continue answering follow up questions and in particular can also discuss the steps to challenge a potential dismissal. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can still continue this discussion. Thank you

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Thank you. If this results in dismissal, an appeal can be submitted to the employer straight after the dismissal outcome is communicated. If the appeal is rejected a claim for unfair dismissal can be made in the employment tribunal. The time limit to claim is 3 months from the date of dismissal and the claimant needs to have at least 2 years' continuous service with that employer.

A new feature in the employment tribunal’s claims process is mandatory early conciliation with ACAS. This requires prospective claimants to notify ACAS and provide details of their intended claim and they would then try to negotiate between the claimant and respondent to seek out of court settlement in order to avoid having to take the claim to the tribunal. It is possible for the parties to refuse to engage in these negotiations, or that they are unsuccessful, in which case they would get permission to proceed with making the claim in the tribunal.

If negotiations are initiated and settlement is reached, then the claimant would agree not to proceed with the claim in return for the agreed financial settlement.

The conciliation procedure and the form to fill in can be found here:

In terms of the time limits within which a claim must be presented, the early conciliation process places a ‘stop’ on that and the time between notifying ACAS and them issuing permission to proceed with the claim would not count for the purposes of these time limits.