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Unfair Dismissal ? Where do we stand ...

(8 Posts)
SackShock Sat 01-Oct-11 08:03:45

Have name changed and will try to be brief.

After a couple of years Freelancing, DH worked on this project and was offered a permanent position when the project was completed. Freelance period was October last year until March this year. So he has been an employee since March this year.

Yesterday, without even knowing there was a problem. He is called into a meeting, with the MD and another person present to be told he is sacked. Apparently people find him too hard to work with and have threatened to leave if he didn't hmm. He was given a letter confirming this, that he was put on gardening leave until December. Now the letter is not even dated or signed.

DH admits that he doesn't hold back and speaks his mind but never been abusive or "threatening" and I believe him. He feels like shit now because he was not event given a chance to sort this out, there was no verbal warnings, no written warnings. Just the sacking.

I would be grateful for your knowledge in these matters.

I just have this gut feeling this isn't right....

featherbag Sat 01-Oct-11 11:10:23

There's not a lot he can do unfortunately, until someone's been emplyed by a company for 12 months there's very little can be done if the employer decides to terminate the contract for any non-discriminatory reason. Not fair, but AFAIK that's the way employment law works.

MotherPanda Sat 01-Oct-11 11:12:04

oh dear, it does sound like he could have been on a probationary period - which means they get to make the rules.

Do check his contract though, it should say about notice on there.

flowery Sat 01-Oct-11 12:13:44

Probationary periods are pretty meaningless but he can't claim unfair dismissal until he's been employed a year. Can you explain what you mean by 'freelance'? Was he self-employed during that time? What changed about the way he's been working when he became 'employed' in March?

SackShock Sat 01-Oct-11 13:16:30

Hi, thank you all for replying so quickly. Always worth to check anyways.

By freelance I mean, Self-Employed, he worked for them, charging them a fixed price per day and invoicing them monthly for the duration of the project.

He was offered a position once the project he was hired for was completed as they were so happy with his work. He then became PAYE and signed an employment contract. The contracts says the probationary period is up to 3 months unless extended. He never, ever had an email, chat or anything about any problems until yesterday when he was told he was dismissed. Contract also says notice period is 3 month and they are saying they will pay him until December 31st.

LapsedPacifist Sat 01-Oct-11 13:32:52

Very sorry to hear this. Freelance / self-employed DH here as well, so I can really sympathise.

I'm afraid there really isn't much you can do. They haven't followed the correct procedures, but that counts for very little as he hasn't been there for 1 year.

At least he is being paid until the end of the year, so he can start looking for another job immediately. Whatever the real reason for his dismissal (they may just be making an excuse to get rid of him before 1 year is up to cut costs) your husband needs to make sure he can get a decent reference from them.

Can he agree to leave without a fuss on the understanding that they will say he has left by mutual agreement and will provide a reasonable reference? He is in a very strong position to request this, because they have given him no previous warnings or even discussed the issues with him.

I'm willing to bet they just want him to go quietly and will agree to do this.

SackShock Sat 01-Oct-11 13:37:21

Lapsed, I think you are right because DH said he can only think they got rid of him because they want to cut costs.

The MD himself mentions in the letter that he has never had any problems with DH and would be happy to give him a reference. Just a bunch of mixed messages IYSWIM.

KatieMiddleton Sat 01-Oct-11 13:48:26

So sorry this has happened and in such an unpleasant way. I agree with previous posters your dh has no comeback because he has less than a year's service and there's no suggestion of discrimination. He's also been given long notice.

Make sure the reference is honoured (perhaps ask that the MD write one now for dh to use for the future) and get him out looking for a new job.

Just think though... the government would like to increase the period before you can claim unlawful dismissal to 2 years angry

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