How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ben Jones Your Own Question
Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 64646
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
29905560
Type Your Law Question Here...
Ben Jones is online now

I am an employee for a vehicle recovery company, who are

This answer was rated:

Good Afternoon,
JA: Hello. How can I help?
Customer: I am an employee for a vehicle recovery company, who are still trading throughout the duration if the coronavirus pandemic.
JA: Have you discussed this with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: I have been off since the 15th of March due to self isolating, as I am high risk due to my asthma. I am also one of the people that has been ordered to self isolate for 12 weeks by the government since that date. I advised my company on the first day of isolation, what was happening and am now trying to get my employee to understand that I can't work, not wont work. They've proceeded to terminate my employment due to md being 'in breach of my contract'. They don't appear to understand that as they're still trading, I have to be registered as a furlough worker. Please can you advise me on what to do to rectify this situation and what my rights are from an employee point of view.
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: I am an employee and I'm not part of a union
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No thank you

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 have you worked for this employer?

Customer: replied 5 days ago.
Nearly 3 years
Customer: replied 5 days ago.
I need a call to explain this it's to complicated

Just a quick clarification on phone calls – the pop-up offering you the chance to request one is automatic and I have no control over it. Therefore, if you request a call back there is no guarantee that I, or anyone else, would be available to fulfil it. At present, due to outside commitments, I cannot take calls but your request is open and visible to all other experts. If someone is available, they will accept it and call you, but if no one is free, then it will remain open until it is accepted or you decide to cancel it. In the meantime, you have already paid for a written response and that is the part I will continue helping you with.

Ben Jones and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 days ago.
Ok, the company is still trading and they're saying that I'm 'in breach of my contract' due to the fact that I quote 'havent called in every day' to explain my absence. I am currently self isolating and have been since the 15th of March, when I informed my work that I would be off for at least one week. Within that first week, the government introduced the 12 week shielding programme for those most at risk from coronavirus. Firstly, they tried to sack me for this, now they are trying to lay me off because there is quote 'no work for me', despite the fact that they have retained all employees except for myself and have continued to trade.
I received a text from the government on the 23rd of March, stating that I am in the top 1.5 million people at risk, and should self isolate for a minimum of 12 weeks from this date. I informed my employer as soon as I could, and advised them about the new government scheme that will help to cover furlough leave. They seem to think that I am unentitled to this, and have to claim sick pay or universal credit. I have been employed by this company for almost three years.
They are trying to get out of their responsibilities as an employer with regards to my medical exemptions, as ordered by the government. This has all been communicated to me via a series of text messages, all of which are contradictory to each other. Please can you help with regards to any rights that I have and how I go about resolving this as quickly as possible.
Thank you.

Many thanks for your patience. If an employee has been continuously employed with their employer for at least 2 years they will be protected against unfair dismissal. This means that to fairly dismiss them the employer has to show that there was a potentially fair reason for dismissal and that a fair dismissal procedure was followed.

 

According to the Employment Rights Act 1996 there are five separate reasons that an employer could rely on to show that a dismissal was fair: conduct, capability, redundancy, illegality or some other substantial reason (SOSR). The employer will not only need to show that the dismissal was for one of those reasons, but also justify that it was appropriate and reasonable to use in the circumstances. In addition, they need to ensure that a fair dismissal procedure was followed and that the outcome was one that a reasonable employer would have come to in the circumstances.

 

It is extremely unlikely they can justify the dismissal for any of the above reasons considering the current situation and the reasons for you not being in work.

 

You now have 3 months to take this to the Employment Tribunal to claim for unfair dismissal.

 

Before a person can make a claim in the employment tribunal, they would be required to participate in mandatory early conciliation through the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS).

 

The purpose of this process is to allow ACAS to mediate between the claimant and respondent to agree on an out of court settlement in order to avoid the need for legal action in tribunal. The respondent does not have to engage in these discussions, or if they do and the talks are unsuccessful, the claimant will be issued with a certificate allowing them to make a claim.

 

However, if a settlement is reached, the claimant would agree not to proceed with the claim in return for the agreed financial settlement. Other terms can also be agreed as part of the settlement, such as an agreed reference.

 

To initiate the conciliation procedure ACAS can be contacted online by filling in the following form (https://ec.acas.org.uk/Submission/SingleClaimantPage), or by phone on 0300 123 1100.

 

If the conciliation process was not successful and you then wanted to make a formal claim in tribunal, you can do so here:

 

https://www.employmenttribunals.service.gov.uk/apply