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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71421
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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My partner is having some issues with her work place and I

Customer Question

good afternoon my partner is having some issues with her work place and I need to ask some legal questions
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: united kingdom
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: we have submitted a grievance and are awaiting a responce
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no
Submitted: 23 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 23 days ago.

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 23 days ago.

Hi there. Please explain your partner's situation in some more detail

Customer: replied 23 days ago.
my partner joined her company in a specific role, since Covid-19 she has worked hard to make sure the setting was safe and covid secure, last week whilst self isolating she had taken a call from her line manager whilst on SSP complaining about her capability in the role she was employed for, how ever since starting with the company in March this year she has not had the opportunity to work in the role she was employed to work in and as instead had to be flexible to help the setting including completing duties outside her main contracted onesMy partner's manager has called her twice once to tell her "he would deal with her" before she had even started work over an issue which she sought his advice on the day before and the second time again at home whilst being told to self isolate by track and trace to question her capability on both occasions this left my partner stressed and upset.My partners manager then emailed her a letter on the 4th of November inviting her to a capability meeting based on the role she has not had the opportunity to complete day in and day out in the 10 months since getting employment with them.
Customer: replied 22 days ago.
We submitted a grievance last Thursday due to her line manager stating the points of complaint and explaining how this has made her feel and how much undue stress this has caused her.
you should not dread going into work and be in tears before you even leave the house to go, this is how he is making her feel and to call her outside of work to complain surly has to be bad practice and unacceptable
Customer: replied 22 days ago.
she also thinks that since the arrival of another staff member with the same job title as had an impact and she feels discriminated against because both owners are black and the other staff member is also black.She feels like her colour will be getting used against her and her line manager is looking for excuses to try and sack her due to not having 2 years in the setting.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 22 days ago.

OK thank you, ***** ***** sorry to learn of your partner's situation. What is your specific query in relation to this please, so that I can best advise?

Customer: replied 22 days ago.
Can employers legally call staff in their time before work and during a period on SSP?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 22 days ago.

OK I understand and thank you for providing this information. Please do not worry and leave it with me for now; 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 22 days ago.
Can a employer use something that happened 6 months ago to try and sack somebody on capability and should this not have being investigated with in a specific time period?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 22 days ago.

Many thanks for your patience, I am pleased to be able to continue assisting with your query now. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues she has experienced in her situation.

As you appear aware, the main issue in the circumstances is the fact that she has only been continuously employed at her place of work for less than 2 years. That means that her employment rights will be somewhat limited. Most importantly, she will not have legal protection against unfair dismissal. This basically means that her 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. They can proceed with a dismissal even if she had done nothing wrong and also without following any specific fair procedure or proving that any of the allegations are true.

As mentioned, there are some exceptions to this, in which case the 2-year rule does not apply. These include situations where the dismissal was wholly, or partly, due to:

- 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

- Raising concerns about health and safety or other unlawful acts by the employer and being penalised as a result by being dismissed

The issue you have mentioned with race does not appear to be that strong and it is only an assumption, without clear evidence that it I a factor in their decision, which would make it hard to use as a reason.

If the dismissal had nothing to do with any of the above exceptions, she would not be able to challenge it due to not meeting the minimum service criteria for claiming in the Employment Tribunal. 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. That is where she is guilty of something very serious which justifies immediate dismissal, without any notice pay.

In any other circumstances, she would be due a minimum notice period, as per her contract and associated pay. 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 can decide to pay her in lieu of notice. That is when she is paid for the equivalent of the notice period but her employment is terminated immediately and she is not expected to work through her notice period.

Also, it makes no difference if the issues concerned are 6 months old – that is all to do with the fairness of a dismissal, which as mentioned she will not be able to challenge.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 22 days ago.

I appreciate this may not be the answer you were hoping for but it is the legal position and all I can tell you is what the law says. I do hope that it at least explains where you stand and I will be happy to clarify anything for you in relation to it. For now, thank you for using our service.