The Weekly Gripe


Gripes the News
Gripes in the pipes
The Soapbox

Employment law and unfair dismissal

36 comments  Add a comment

My contract with the company I was working for was terminated just over three weeks ago.  Today I received a letter informing me that I would receive pay for my notice period of one week.  This was a grand total of £250.  Underneath this the statement said holidays payments would be deducted ( -5.26 days which comes to £442).   It then went on to say that I owed them and have an employee debt of £192!!!  WHAT?  How the hell did that happen?  Since when was five days days holiday worth more than 5 days working?  Does this make any sense to anyone?

they simply terminated my employment...

The notice payment wasn't the only issue I had.  I decided to speak to ACAS to report them for unfair dismissal because they simply terminated my employment one cold wet Friday morning and I wasn't given any opportunity to appeal.  At the time I just packed up my desk and walked away thinking they can do that.  However, someone at the job centre said to me that they can't do that with out a series of written and verbal warnings.  As an employee I had rights (or so they thought).

Employment law regarding unfair dismissal Anyway, I had a chat with ACAS about my situation and it really opened my eyes about a few things.  For example, if you work for a company, any company for less than a year they can get rid of you and you won't have the same rights in an unfair dismissal claim as someone who had been there a few months longer.  Now how bad is that.. seriously?  As far as my job goes, I had a 3 month probational period and did very well during that and after.  I had absolutely no problems with my employer and they seemed happy with my work.  Two weeks short of that year though and I'm out on my ear!!

It's not just a tough for those of you out there looking for work, it's even tougher now trying to stay in a job without your employer taking advantage of the system.  Current employment law is not fair on workers at all!  "For unfair dismissal claims, an employee must have one year's continuous service." - twelve months is a very long time!

Leave a comment


First Prev Page 1 of 3 Next Last


Guys a final piece of advice and I’ll leave you alone.

If you work for a small company that intends to make you redundant, the chances are they do not have a proper HR department.

Most companies lose at a tribunal based on technicalities, e.g. they cannot produce the proper process aligned to employment law for the actions they take.

A slick solicitor will probably first ask for a copy of the company’s policy on handling redundancies or dismissal. If the company cannot produce one, they have lost the case.

If they do produce one and any part of it is not aligned to current law they lose the case.

Even the largest of companies who employ legal and HR departments are losing cases because they neglected a small part of the legal requirements.

So do not be afraid to take your employer to tribunal around 70% are being lost at the moment by the employer.

Most employers will settle out of court usually within days of the hearing. They will initially hope that you drop the case and as the hearing date arrives they will tend to settle.

Remember you cannot produce a document written after the redundancy, they have to produce documented and dated evidence that is beyond repudiation.

Otherwise they lose the case.
17th Dec 13 01:12




sorry the one below was a response to dazel
17th Dec 13 01:12




Yours is slightly different.

Ok, firstly yes any employers can lay people off if times are hard, but they must give redundancy unless the company is declared bankrupt, in which case you may not get any money at all.

However to make someone redundant is not straight forward, because they must make the position redundant not the person.

Let say you’re a newspaper boy working full time, and the other 4 employees are also paperboys. The employer wanting to reduce staff must put all 5 newspaper boys at risk and because the number is less than 100 people, they give you a 30 day consultation period. (Its 3 months for over 100 people).

In that 30 days they should interview you all and explain why the redundancies are happening and what the selection criteria will be to mark each individual so they can make a decision as to who to keep and who will go.

The criteria will include time keeping, work quality, sickness etc. but should not include who gets paid more or indeed who has been there the longest. Nor should it cover race, colour, religion, sex, and so on (age is not currently under this yet). There is also special conditions for any employee within 2 years of pension.

At the start of the 30 days everyone at risk should get a letter telling them so, and detailing the activities that will follow.

You should have one or more interviews usually chaired by your manager and HR plus some companies put an independent manager in to ensure fairness.

At the end of the 30 days they can announce the candidates to leave.

If you are marked to leave then this is normally done in a private meeting where they should explain why you were selected but generally it doesn’t matter once you’re picked you won’t hear much of what is said. Therefore you should also received a document explaining why and also explaining all your rights. This is the current law and is not negotiable.

As said in another post you should get redundancy and details of it should be presented in that final meeting.

You have a right to appeal. You can do this once you have left and in writing.

If they do not follow this process then you have a right to go to a tribunal.

Finally if you are the only one in your job, e.g. they have only one paper boy, they can say we are making the role of paper boy redundant without a 30 day consultation, however they must make every effort to find you a new job in the company (or group of companies) before releasing you.

In all cases you can and should appeal.

One final point make sure you keep all legal documents, letters and even emails between you. If there is any inaccuracies or your rights have been breached you can take them to a tribunal. You have up to 5 years from termination to do this but check the law on the web as it changes sometimes.
17th Dec 13 01:12




Hi lisads

Yes they can.

If your husband walked out he was effectively in breach of contract.

I'll try to explain, when you start a job your employer under European law is required to give you a contract and terms of reference within 30 days.

This contract signed by both parties is a legal obligation between your both.

If the employer was to change any part of the contract without the approval of the employee, then they would be libel for action in a tribunal. It's called constructive dismissal.

The same is true of your husband, by walking out he effectively broke the contract agreement terms and as such your company could take him to a tribunal for recompense – such as loss of earnings if he was key to business profits in some way.

As everyone working for a company is key to profits in some way (even the cleaners) it can be argued his actions may have lost the Company money.

It's a shame he didn't say he was going home because he felt sick and walked out.

Therefore unless his company agree to over look his actions there is nothing he can do and what's more the company only needs to pay him for up to the exact minute before he left.

You could check with a solicitor to see if anything could be done.

My interpretation of this matter is that your husband was probably being given work to drive him out because the managers/owner had a particular problem with him. Its not always down to personalities or how good someone is at their job. It could be salary or other benefits.

However unless you can prove he was being victimised in some way and this accounted for his actions there is not much that he can do.
17th Dec 13 01:12





Yes, your company effectively gave you notice (assuming its 30 days) plus a further 30 days of their intent to terminate your contract.

Any company can do this because your contract would be 30 days notification by either party. For example if you didn’t like your job you could give them 30 days notice and leave, well guess what they can do the same.

Where it gets tricky is the reasons for terminating. For example if they terminate because they can no longer afford you then redundancy kicks in. This involves additional payments which are statutory e.g. for every year you spend with them you get a weeks pay above your notice period pay.

The amount you get depends on your age, salary and how long you were with the company. Check out the Government web site for more info.

So if you’ve been with them for 20 years you can (under redundancy terms) get 1 months pay plus 20 times your weekly salary up to a maximum 450 pounds per week.

However its sounds as if your company didn’t like the contracts that they had in place with existing employees. This becomes a bit more complex.

What should happen is the company enters into a consultation with employees to explain the circumstances and try to get agreement to a change of contract with all employees. If this isn’t successful they can then make you all redundant but offer you new jobs with a different contract. You can either then accept the new jobs or take redundancy and the payment.

If this didn’t happen you may need legal advice, and in fact any change of contract the company makes it is obliged to support its work force in a number of ways and this includes paying for independent legal advice from a solicitor of your choosing.

So I would check this out.
17th Dec 13 01:12




xkirkyz, A word of advice, make sure you are irreplaceable in the company before trying the old "I'm thinking of moving" trick to get a pay rise. And if that wasn't the reason, it's not a good tactic telling them your intentions because it shows that you are not loyal to the firm.
16th Dec 13 05:12




I've worked with my company the last 4year. I told them I was thinking of moving away in March.i did not confirm I was and didn't give any form of notce.I told them Id decided not to move .But because I've decided not to move they've sacked me for not moving.
16th Dec 13 04:12




Hi , I have been working for this company, for 20 yrs , some employees , that have a few years with the company 10 , 12, and 8 yrs , we all got a letter statting are we have 8 weeks left, then you are dimissed from your job , BUT you are to be rehired the next day , and start , new again as a new employee , and this just happend 4 of us had to sign a letter stating , are start day , i just lost out of 20 yrs with the company, and start fresh again , CAN THEY DO THIS ?
30th Nov 12 10:11




I have been here 14 yrs and there's a total of 4 employees that got hired after i did now there's a rumor that i may be laid off due to financial hardship,but why me i have been here a long,i think its because i'am the second to get pay the highest,but yet everyone else has been here like atleast 2 to 3 three yrs long only is that legal?
7th Jul 12 01:07




My husband walked out of his job last week as he felt he was being treated diiferently to other employees and being given the more difficult tasks on a daily basis. He rang the company 2 days later to apologise and ask where he stood in regards to his job. He was told by the owner of the company that as he had walked out, he didnt have a job to go back to. Can they do this? Surely they should try and resolve his grievances...he has an exemplary work record with no warnings and no-one has ever said they are unhappy with his work??
19th Sep 11 04:09




I'm in the same position, continually harrased at work and told to leave, and this started after I refused to sleep with the person! Yet been there 9months so have no rights! It makes me sick! This law NEEDS to change! Causing so much unhappiness to people!
3rd May 11 01:05




@ gobacktoschool
For such an educated person such as your self, you sure are ignorant and arrogant. Ever heard of a condition called dyslexia? well its what some people suffer causing them to suffer at school, not all people who can't spell correctly or use grammar are people who just "trashed" their school time. you know some people have learning difficulties. So with all your knowledge and wisdom, why dont you do somthing usful instead of "trashing" people on the internet and being an internet tough guy.

oh and I wish cancer upon you
11th Mar 11 06:03




What can you say? the Govt is in the pockets of the employers, hoe else can you explain the move to increase the period to 2 years?
Government ministers have a short career so they keep open all the channels to business and do favours when asked so they gain a better chance of getting a proper job when the gravy train hits the buffers
4th Feb 11 02:02




Agreed its not very good employee rights should start from day one after all the employers rights do. Having said that I guess studying the contract before hand helps. I was in the same situation fortunately my contract stated a much longer notice period I checked it before I signed it. Having said that there are alot of companies that employ people and get rid of them just before the 12 month watershed its cheaper than employing contract staff when you can hire people on permanent rates which are much lower.
15th Dec 10 10:12




Employers dont have to get rid of you they can do it a sneakey way and torment you with diciplinary procedures eg viola cleaning company.Previously onyx uk the manargers are arrogant abusive if you retaliate they got the diciplinary proccedure to fall back on they also treat contractors agency staff like s......t
18th Sep 10 01:09



First Prev Page 1 of 3 Next Last


Gripes the News
Gripes in the pipes
The Soapbox