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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71402
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I was just diagnosed with Esophagus cancer last week, since

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I was just diagnosed with Esophagus cancer last week, since then my employer has now given me notice to leave my job. Is this legal?
JA: Have you discussed this with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: No, I'm a live in housekeeper/ cook for a wealthy private house
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: employed
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: been working here for 9 months. I was told I would be needed over the Christmas period to cook the Goose, which I ordered, but since my diagnosis they have today asked me to leave my accommodation, which comes as my job package, by the 17th December 2020. I am due surgery within the next 10 days, please help!

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.

Hi there. I am sorry to learn of the situation you are in. What reason did your employer provide for giving you notice to terminate your employment?

Customer: replied 18 days ago.

Thank you. What reason did your employer provide for giving you notice to terminate your employment?

Customer: replied 18 days ago.
He had been advised to not keep me on as we had agreed, to the next review in March 2021
Customer: replied 18 days ago.
He basically went against what he'd agreed to, which was to keep me on, since my cancer diagnosis

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.

Ben Jones and 3 other Law Specialists are ready to help you

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 you have experienced in your situation.

Whilst you do not usually have unfair dismissal protection in the first 2 years of employment, you will have protection if the dismissal is due to a protected characteristic. These include various grounds, including disability. If you are diagnosed with cancer you are automatically classified as being disabled under the Equality Act 2010 and get the required protection.

On that basis, if you were dismissed because of your disability, that will make the dismissal automatically unfair and also amount to disability discrimination.

You now have 3 months to take it further to claim these two claims in the Employment Tribunal. Before a claim can be made against the employer in the Employment Tribunal, the affected employee would be required to participate in a process known as ‘early conciliation’, which is administered through the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS).

The purpose of this process is to allow ACAS to mediate between the employee and their employer to agree on an out-of-court settlement in order to avoid the need for legal action in the Employment Tribunal. The employer does not have to engage in these discussions and the process is voluntary for them. If they refuse to participate, or the conciliation is unsuccessful, the employee will be issued with a certificate by ACAS allowing them to make a claim.

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

In order to initiate the early conciliation procedure, ACAS must be contacted, either online by filling in the following form (, or by phone on 0300(###) ###-#### They will explain the process and what happens next and get the ball rolling on your behalf.

If the early conciliation process was not successful, ACAS have issued a certificate to confirm that and you still wanted to make a formal claim in the Employment Tribunal, the claim can be initiated via the following link:

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.