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Fired for applying for other jobs, then rehired.

(41 Posts)
InnisandGunn Tue 22-Oct-19 19:35:04

So, I've been massively unhappy at work. Ended up in essentially a call centre after making it clear at my interview I didn't want to do that. Sucked it up for a few weeks thinking they wanted to get you trained on each department. But no, I've been stuck here. I've raised it a few times with my team leader, being totally honest and diplomatic until recently where it's gotten to a point where they keep saying they'll do stuff to change it, but then it never materialises. I've gotten to a point where my mental health has taken a turn, I'm in tears most nights. So I started applying for other jobs. An agency wanted a reference before interview. So I let my team leader know, but in the same conversation she said she could out me on another department the same day. Great. I said that obviously changes things as I really like it here (in terms of close to nursery, easy overtime, pretty good about being off if DS is ill). Today, I get asked to come for a chat with HR which will 'only take a few minutes'. Assuming it's to do with being off, DS has had a rough time of it recently, but I had been coming in in evenings to make up the time as much as I could). I go in, and I'm told I'm being fired with immediate effect for applying for another job.

I then explain everything, including my interview and my conversations with TL and HR start saying oh well that changes things. She goes off whilst I'm in tears and speaks to head of HR who then decide 20 minutes later that I'm no longer fired and they're moving me to this department tomorrow. Whether that materialises I don't know. HR lady was very lovely, assured me my work was fine and it was nothing to do with time off for DS and told me to go take ten outside and gather myself. Which I did.

Now, I'm pretty sure what they were about to do is illegal. I'm still on probation there though. If that changes things. It's a good outcome in one way, but I feel so humiliated and angry and upset. I just want to go to work and get my head down and get on with it. Am I being unreasonable to be seriously pissed off?

At the end of it she then asked if I wanted her to do the reference for this place. I said no because that's what they were about to fire me for!

I feel as though I need to be very careful now. Is there anything I should be doing to protect myself? Is it illegal?

Elementalillusions Tue 22-Oct-19 19:42:38

What do you think is illegal?

If you are on probation they can fire you at any point without reason.

I would think if someone had only been at a job for a short time, was still on probation and was the asking for a reference for another job they were applying for it would be standard for the company to let them go.

bridgetreilly Tue 22-Oct-19 19:46:28

Yeah. Normally applying for another job shouldn't get you fired, but if you're on probation, it's a perfectly reasonable cause for them to let you go.

leghairdontcare Tue 22-Oct-19 20:18:54

They can sack you for any reason (other than discrimination) in the first 2 years. If they've now agreed to move you to a new department then this is good, yes? Obviously bad process but hopefully things will move forward now.

InnisandGunn Tue 22-Oct-19 20:22:53

Agreed this is good. Now I've had time to think and take it all in it is a good think. I just can't believe it took all that to get to this point. I just feel drained. It just feels so shitty. Thanks for the advice though guys. I suppose it makes no difference if it's illegal or not. I intend to stay, for now. And wouldn't do anything even if it were.

Babybel90 Tue 22-Oct-19 20:25:18

Very very unusual to ask for a reference prior to interview.

Personally I wouldn’t be happy working for a company that pulls the bait and switch then threatens to fire you for looking for another job, if I were you I’d keep looking but set firm boundaries with recruiters.

InnisandGunn Tue 22-Oct-19 20:27:33

@Babybel90 absolutely agree. It's all been a bit ridiculous. I went back to work for my own sake after being a SAHM for 2 years so I'm gutted it's worked out like this. Just gonna get my head down and hope it's better. I'm still going to quietly apply for jobs though. This was only supposed to be a stepping stone but I had intended to stay at least 6-12 months.

leghairdontcare Tue 22-Oct-19 20:27:36

It's crap that you had to go through it but give the new department a chance. A friend of mine had a similar issue, she started and the job was awful, really bad atmosphere. She moved departments after about 6 months and has been there more than 10 years now.

InnisandGunn Tue 22-Oct-19 20:29:53

Thanks @leghairdontcare thats nice to hear that companies can be better. My department is so bitchy and full of young girls so hoping it's a much nicer environment

hauntedvagina Tue 22-Oct-19 20:36:24

What sort of role were you applying for that needed a reference prior to interview? This is normal within Education but rare outside of it.

If this comes up again could you not name a previous employer rather than your current? Any decent hiring manager would understand your reasons.

InnisandGunn Tue 22-Oct-19 20:42:32

It was education. Problem is if my TL had explained to HR rather than just sending it on this all could have been avoided. But there we are. I got what I wanted. Just a shame they had to lie, and cause so many tears

BrightYellowDaffodil Tue 22-Oct-19 20:47:25

Whether or not it’s illegal, is IS arsehole-ish behaviour.

InnisandGunn Tue 22-Oct-19 20:48:55

@BrightYellowDaffodil it's nice to know my upset and anger isn't me being a princess

MereDintofPandiculation Tue 22-Oct-19 20:51:27

Whether or not it’s illegal, It's not illegal. This is precisely what the "no protection against unfair dismissal if you've worked for the company for less than two years" is about. Until you've worked for a company for two years, you can be unfairly dismissed, and it's perfectly legal.

hauntedvagina Tue 22-Oct-19 20:53:42

If working within education is your goal, I'd suggest speaking with your recruiter and explaining how this could make things difficult for you and offer a previous employer and a character reference prior to interview. You current employer could then be contacted post offer.

Do agree that this was a shitty way for your place of work to go about things though, however in your first two years they would be quite within their rights to let you go.

InnisandGunn Tue 22-Oct-19 21:05:02

Fair enough, I didn't realise we literally had no rights at all. Especially given that I feel I've been given false information about the role before accepting. I don't want to go into education, it was just something a friend does. It's a teaching agency, but I was applying for supply admin roles. DP has given me full backing to quit tomorrow if they don't put me in this new department I just don't want to change DS's hours or routine right now. He's only just fully settled at nursery and is thriving there.

MintyMabel Tue 22-Oct-19 21:17:41

An agency wanted a reference before interview

No reputable agency would ask for a reference from you existing employer before you leave your job. I’ve used dozens of agencies over the years and nobody has ever asked for that.

Employers understand they will have to wait for references.

MintyMabel Tue 22-Oct-19 21:19:34

Whether or not it’s illegal, is IS arsehole-ish behaviour.

No it isn’t. You hire a person and find out weeks later they are looking for a job? I’d fire them too.

InnisandGunn Wed 23-Oct-19 05:13:17

With good reason I think @mintymabel.

I can't sleep for worrying about work today and feel even more pissed off with how yesterday went.

sniffsneeze Wed 23-Oct-19 05:21:15

I think they'll come through today and move you departments OP. If they don't then at least you know what they are and know you'll be leaving. Good luck

sniffsneeze Wed 23-Oct-19 05:22:31

And it is arseholey behaviour to hire someone and put them in the department they specifically said they didn't want to work in at interview.

Anotherlongdrive Wed 23-Oct-19 05:25:11

The issue is you have been there a short time, dont like the job, have been off quite a bit and now asking for a reference to leave.

If you like department and like it, I think you really need to just keep your head down. Get through probation and if you want keep looking.

InnisandGunn Wed 23-Oct-19 05:35:33

Thanks guys, I really hope so. @anotherlongdrive I totally agree. It's not how I wanted this to go at all, but has genuinely been beyond my control regarding being off and I've done the best I can with going in evenings DP is around and weekends to make up the hours. I put off speaking to them about this phones thing because I felt bad for being off and like I needed to keep my head down. But it's gotten to a point where I just could not bring myself to answer another call the other day. I've done it before and hated it. I made it a bit too clear in my interview and was surprised they hired me in honesty. I could kick myself as I accepted the job instead of going for an interview the next week for a similar craic that was normal admin work. Lesson learnt.

With the reference I explained to my TL that I was just looking because nothing had changed as promised but then said when she was going to put me on another team it obviously changes things. It's just piss poor communication that's lead to this, and my TL clearly hasn't passed any of our conversations higher up or tried to sort things. HR actually said this. I went back to work for me, and it's turned into the biggest headache going. I'm reluctant to just quit because nursery requires a months notice, and DS has only just settled in and I'd only be taking him out to hopefully put him back in when I find something else. That's all that's keeping me going right now but honestly I just want to throw in the towel.

YobaOljazUwaque Wed 23-Oct-19 06:14:30

I think the department move will happen properly now, so that is a good outcome.

You weren't actually fired and rehired - you were told you were being fired then you successfully defended yourself and that decision was c cancelled. It is important to be clear on this point as you will be asked in future whether you have ever been summarily dismissed from any employment and the answer to that is "no"

I think it's not that unreasonable to fire someone for jobhunting during probation. I would assume that during probation most employees would be making a negative net contribution to the profitability of the company as the extra time in training and supervision as they learn the ropes would be costing more than value of their efforts as they work, but that investment is worth it in the long run as they pass probation and become a net contributor to the company's profitability. If I know I will lose them before they ever start being a net contributor rather than a drain on resources then you bet they are out on their ear ASAP.

Another positive outcome is that having survived this, you know it's a danger if you do chose to move on in future. If in future you are applying for jobs again, you can be quite open with the company you are applying to - your current employer has a known policy of disadvantaging employees who are known to be job hunting elsewhere therefore you cannot risk your financial stability by allowing any potential future employer to request a reference prior to making a job offer to you (subject to satisfactory reference obviously) in writing.

InnisandGunn Wed 23-Oct-19 06:20:15

Thanks @Yoba. I have to disagree regarding the training. I literally shadowed for a week and have been thrown into the same stuff everyone else is doing since then. It's been pretty poor actually. But I see your point. It doesn't look great agreed but they have left me with little choice and I've been as open and honest as I can. Which HR seemed to appreciate. Fingers crossed for today though, just hope it goes smoothly. And quite right, a lesson has definitely been learned here.

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