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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69102
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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My daughter was summarily dismissed from her part time job

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My daughter was summarily dismissed from her part time job yesterday with out notice. She was told that it was because of a drop in her performance. She was not given a letter of dismissal and there hasn’t been any attempt to correct any issues through training. Could this be wrongful dismissal?
JA: Has your daughter discussed the termination with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: No, she was brought in front of her supervisor as soon as she arrived at work, given the news and told it was effective immediately.
JA: Does the workplace operate with employees, freelancers, consultants, contractors or with unionised employees?
Customer: Not sure about the union aspect, but they do use locums and quite a few student part time workers, as well a full time staff.
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: My daughter is only 16 and I don’t think they followed the correct process. She doesn’t want her job back because she feels that one particular senior member of staff was just out to get rid of her. I am having a discussion with one of the partners tomorrow and I would like to know if they could be guilty of wrongful dismissal, just so I can warn them that they may need to look at the way they handle employment issues in the future.

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

How long has she worked there for?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Around 12 months

Many thanks for your patience. You may be aware that if she has been continuously employed at her place of work for less than 2 years then her employment rights will unfortunately be somewhat limited. Most importantly, she will not be protected against unfair dismissal. This means that an employer can dismiss her 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:

· 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, parental leave, adoption leave or leave for dependants

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

Poor performance is not usually a reason for gross misconduct so they should have given her notice in the circumstances, even if she cannot challenge the dismissal itself. She can consider making a claim in the Employment Tribunal for free to try and recover what she is owed.

Does this answer your query?

Ben Jones and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Thanks for your advice, it is as I understood it to be and you have confirmed it for me. As I said before I have a meeting with one of the partners tomorrow where I will discuss their handling of the situation and put the case across as you have detailed it. Many thanks for your assistance.

All the best