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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 73949
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I am a resident in hull, UK. I have just been dismissed from

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Hello. I am a resident in hull, UK. I have just been dismissed from work because I was sick
JA: Have you discussed the termination with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: No
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: Employee
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I work for an agency

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.

How long were you off sick for? and what official reason did your employer actually provide for dismissing you?

Customer: replied 19 days ago.
I was off for three weeks for which I provided a sick note of 2 weeks from my GP. Reason for dismissal as stated by my employer is redundancy
Customer: replied 19 days ago.
Are you there?

OK thanks. How long have you been working for this employer via the agency?

Customer: replied 19 days ago.
One month and half

OK thanks, ***** ***** is your specific query in relation to this please, so that I can best advise?

Customer: replied 19 days ago.
Is it right to be dismissed because I am sick and unable to work?

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.

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.

The main issue in the circumstances is the fact that you have only been continuously employed at you place of work for less than 2 years. That means that your employment rights will, unfortunately, be somewhat limited. Most importantly, you will not have legal protection against unfair dismissal. This basically means that your employer can dismiss you 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 you 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/paternity leave, parental leave, adoption leave or leave for dependants

However, if the dismissal had nothing to do with any of the above exceptions, you would not be able to challenge it due to not meeting the minimum service criteria for claiming in the Employment Tribunal.

Unless your sickness amounts to a disability, you will not be protected in the circumstances and you could be dismissed for being off sick, even if it was backed up by an official doctors’ note.

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.

Customer: replied 19 days ago.
My sickness was due to pregnancy. I had a threatened miscarriage and was advised to stay off work by my doctor

That could potentially give you rights to challenge them on discriminatory grounds due to it being as a result of pregnancy-related sickness. To take it further you would have to contact ACAS to initiate the early conciliation process.

Customer: replied 19 days ago.
How do I go about that please?

In order to initiate the early conciliation procedure, ACAS must be contacted, either online by filling in the following form (https://tell.acas.org.uk/find-a-solution-to-your-employment-dispute), or by phone on 0300(###) ###-#### They will explain the process and what happens next and get the ball rolling on your behalf.

Customer: replied 19 days ago.
Thank you very much.

You are most welcome. If you have any further questions about this then please do not hesitate to get back to me and I will be glad to help. All the best

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