Thank you very much for clarifying. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues you have experienced in your situation.
As far as the dismissal is concerned, if an employee has been continuously employed with their employer for at least 2 years they will be legally 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).
Therefore, the first step is to establish which of these reasons is going to be used to justify the dismissal. Not only that, but they must also justify that it was appropriate and reasonable to use it in the circumstances.
Finally, 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. Each of the potentially fair reasons will have its own requirements in terms of the procedure that needs to be followed in order to make it fair. If that was not the case, you can consider a claim in the Employment Tribunal for unfair dismissal.
As to the accommodation, when an employee is provided with accommodation by their employer, there are three possible ways in which they could be allowed to occupy the property. It could be under any of the following:
- Service occupancy agreement;
- Licence to occupy;
- Assured shorthold tenancy
I will explain each of these scenarios in more detail below:
1. Service occupancy agreement
This is effectively a permission/licence to occupy a property for as long as the employee is employed by their employer. It applies where an employee is occupying a property for the better performance of their duties. It can also be a specific term in their contract which states that they live in a particular property, from which they can better perform their duties. Usually, the employer would retain control of the property and has a right of entry at all times and also the employee does not pay rent.
As long as there is nothing in the service occupancy agreement or employment contract to the contrary, the right to occupy a property comes to an end automatically on termination of employment, without a notice to quit being required, and the employee must vacate immediately.
2. Licence to occupy
This occurs if the employee does not need to occupy the property for the better performance of their duties, but at the same time they also do not have exclusive possession. This can happen when they share the property with others.
To terminate such a licence, the employer will need to serve notice to in accordance with any specific notice period agreed or, in the absence of such, reasonable notice to bring the licence to an end. Usually a month is viewed as reasonable in these circumstances.
3. Assured shorthold tenancy
For that to apply, the employee must be paying the employer rent of more than £250 per year, does not occupy a property for the better performance of their duties, has exclusive possession of a property; and occupies a property for a minimum term of six months.
The tenancy will not automatically end when the employment terminates and the employer will have to follow the correct procedures for recovering possession of the property. If the fixed term of the agreement has ended, the employer must give the employee at least two months' notice to quit. If the fixed term of the tenancy has not ended and is continuing, the employer will have to wait until the fixed term of the tenancy has expired before serving notice as above.