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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 74388
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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Can a person be dismissed because of attitude and

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Hi
JA: Hi. How can I help?
Customer: Can a person be dismissed because of attitude and personality?
JA: Where is this? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Hertfordshire United Kingdom
JA: What steps have been taken so far?
Customer: It was handed a months notice today
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: the person hurt their back and asked for help but they ignored him

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 the person worked there for? Please note this is not always an instant service and I may not be able to reply immediately. However, rest assured that I am dealing with your question and will get back to you today. Thanks

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He started on 17th of feb 2020

Thank you. So what were the actual reasons for dismissing him?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
A week ago or so he has hurt his back and refused to do any more lifting as he was lifting heavy items on his own even if he has said that he has hurt his back and needs help. I have a photo with the letter that he received.

So what does that have to do with ‘attitude and personality’ as you originally stated?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have no idea to be honest. Should I upload the photo with the letter?

yes please

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
File attached (2PV5444)

ok thanks. The starting point is that as he has been continuously employed at his place of work for less than 2 years then his employment rights will unfortunately be somewhat limited. Most importantly, he will not be protected against unfair dismissal. This means that an employer can dismiss him 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, paternity leave, parental leave, adoption leave or leave for dependants, or for whistleblowing

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

The main concern here is whether he was dismissed for refusing to work when it was unsafe for him to do so. There is a potential argument tat this wad the reason for dismissal, which could potentially make it automatically unfair regardless of his length of service. It is however for him to initially convince an Employment Tribunal that this was the likely reason and then for the employer to prove it was not and that there was a completely unrelated reason instead.

So he can potentially consider a claim for this and he first needs to contact ACAS to start the process.

Does this answer your query?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
One of their messages to him when he has asked for help and refused to take another load from a store one of his managers turned around and said that he has no choice and to crack on.. is that acceptable to say? I have screenshot of the conversation.

No it is not, the employer still has legal health and safety obligations towards its employees and this is likely to have breached them

Does this clarify things a bit more for you?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you!

All the best

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