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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 63410
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I have been employed as a nurse within a nursing home and

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i have been employed as a nurse within a nursing home and during the probationary period I have been 'released' as 'it isnts really working out '6 month probation period and after a constant 10 weeks of work is this allowed without any valid PROFESSIONAL reason ?
JA: Have you discussed this with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: No
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: Employee
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: i have been told a week of notice not to come back So i was on my way out on THursday pm and called back in to be told this news My question as I am moving on Can i get a reference from this home as I need to get another job ?

Hello, I’m Ben, a UK lawyer and will be dealing with your case today. Firstly, I need to ask some initial questions to determine the legal position.

So just to clarify, are you 10 weeks into your probationary period? Also, have you been asked to work your notice?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I have a 6 month probationary period of which i was still within that time, however I was leaving 28th October after my shift 8-6 and was called into the office to be told not working out and didnt need to come back next week but they would pay me

Thank you. I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can, which will be at some point today. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Sorry that didnt make sense- I was called into the office and it was stated that things were not working out so they were lettig me go They would pay me for next week and I didnt have to come to work .
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I didnt say anything at that time apart from Ok as I was v. shocked but left but subsequently applied for jobs. The employers request reference from last place of work so Can they refuse to offer me a reference as I have heard in the past they simply ignore reference requests?

OK leave it with me and I will get back to you at the earliest opportunity. Many thanks

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I am a professional nurse recently returning to the work place I need to work and so I have reapplied to other places and this week been offered a position I have put down the manager and deputy manager names from that home , Can they refuse to offer me a reference? There was no professional issue apart from I had another job and i was working around it however a week prior to this I had stated if I have 40 hours a week i will give up the other position I got the commitment and gave in my notice A week later to have this happen is v disappointing as i now have no work. A colleague stated this has happened so many times in the past as this is about the economic state of the home and they have too many nurses , although I was not the last nurse in.

Ok so the main issue is that if you have been continuously employed at you 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 the decision is not based on a reason which makes a dismissal automatically unfair. These include:

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

{C}· Taking, or trying to take, leave for family reasons including pregnancy, maternity/paternity leave, parental leave, adoption leave or leave for dependants


However, if the dismissal had nothing to do with any of the above exceptions, 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 would usually happen if you were not paid any contractual notice period due to you (unless you were dismissed for gross misconduct, where no notice would be due). If you did not have a written contract in place you would be entitled to the minimum statutory notice period of 1 week. The employer would either have to allow you to work that notice period and pay you as normal, or they instead have to pay you in lieu of notice, where you are paid for the equivalent of the notice pay but your employment is terminated immediately.


I appreciate this may not be the answer you were hoping for but it is the legal position and I hope that it at least clarifies where you stand?


Customer: replied 3 months ago.
can you tell me if they can refuse to give me a reference as I am required to get this for a next employer? I think this part wasn't mentioned earlier Many thanks Dawn

In general, there is no legal obligation on employers to provide a reference for past employees, with the only exceptions being if there was a contractual obligation to do so or for very limited types of roles in the financial sector. It would also be discriminatory if a reference is refused because of someone’s age, gender, race, religion, disability, sexual orientation.


Does this clarify things a bit more for you?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I always thought they can’t give a bad reference but unaware they don’t need to respond seems very unfair I suppose you can’t offer me any further advice Thank you for your help Dawn

It is a myth that an employer cannot provide a negative reference – they certainly can, as long as it is factually correct. But it is also true that they are not obliged to provide a reference in the first place – there is nothing that would force them to issue one, even if it has been formally requested by a new employer. Hope this clarifies?

Ben Jones and 3 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Ok that is probably not what I wanted to hear. Thank you for your responses

All the best