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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50514
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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Im on probation period in a pharmaceutical plant. My

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For Ben Jones -Hi, Im on probation period in a pharmaceutical plant . My probation period has also been extended by 1 month. And i have been put on a performance improvement plan. This plan has objectives that I need to complete. I need to get signed off on certain tasks in the plant. last week(starting my 3rd week of the extended period ) I had a n assessment that went quite well. However at one stage I was transfering 500L of sodium hydroxide from a container into a specially made bag. The solution went in tubing through a pump and then into a filter and into a bag. As the solution went into the filter it came out of 2 valves in the filter which is not desired. At the time I did not view this as a safety concern. But later this was reported to my manager along with everything else I had done. My manager then told me to talk to the safety manager about it. When I spoke to the safety manager he said that it was a near miss because no one got injured and it is not big enough to go through the process of an incident. However, my manger then spoke to the safety officer and decided to create a safety investigation. Because of this I am not allowed onto plant and realistically it will be very difficult to complete my objectives. I feel like my manager has deliberately done this so I cant meet my objectives and therefore end my contract. I believe this could breach trust and confidence. Is there anything I can do?

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Does your contract state your probation can be extended?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
My contract says that it is an option for the company to extend my contract but ultimately its the managers choice although he will be advised by hr

It could indeed be the case that this was done deliberately and that it does amount to a breach of trust and confidence. However, the main issue for you 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 a reason which makes a dismissal automatically unfair. These include:

· Discrimination due to a protected characteristic (i.e. because of gender, race, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, etc.)

· Taking, or trying to take, leave for family reasons including pregnancy, maternity leave, paternity leave, adoption leave, childbirth and parental leave

In the event that the reason for dismissal fell within any of these categories, the dismissal could be automatically unfair and there could also be a potential discrimination claim.

However, if the dismissal had nothing to do with any of the above exceptions then you would not be able to challenge it. In that case your only protection would be if you were dismissed in breach of contract. That could happen if you were not paid your contractual notice period (unless you were dismissed for gross misconduct) or the employer had not followed a contractually binding dismissal procedure. 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 this is very much I the employer’s hands and if they really wanted to they could dismiss without there being any legal comeback on your part.

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 actual legal position. 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 I have provided regardless of the contents of the answer, I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars above. Thank you

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Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thanks Ben, Its disappointing that there's not much I can do about this but I appreciate your honesty.

You are welcome and all the best