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Sacked for taking dependants leave

(20 Posts)
NoBloodyMore Mon 16-Feb-15 13:35:25

DP has just come home from a job he's been in for 4 months and he's been sacked because he took 2 days off last week to care for the children when I was rushed into hospital.

The first day he was in A and E with me until 2am and was due in work at 4am and then the day after he couldn't go in as couldnt arrange childcare at 4am for 3 children, he gave them advanced warning he wouldn't be in the second day, as soon as he knew they were keeping me in.

He's previously had a day off in December when our youngest son was ill (he got a verbal warning for this).

Does anyone know where we stand/if there's anything we can do? It just seems ridiculous that he's been sacked for something there was no way he could avoid, I was admitted with appendicitis, he kept in contact with his manager throughout & he went back in as soon as he could (even though I was still really unwell).

It just seems really shitty!


HowCanIMissYouIfYouWontGoAway Mon 16-Feb-15 13:37:59

He should phone ACAS, they are really good with this sort of thing.

Aberchips Mon 16-Feb-15 13:46:01

What did they give as the reason for his sacking? Sacking him straight away would only usually be done if the company believes that what he did was gross misconduct. If he has not had any verbal/written warnings for attendance/ absence before then I find it very strange that they have just sacked him.
Legally you are allowed to take emergency time off for dependants as unpaid leave, if the circumstances affecting childcare are long term, then you do need to take reasonable steps to put alternative arrangements in place. As long as he kept in touch with his manager & informed them what was happening then I don't see why they should have a problem with this.
As another poster has siad ACAS are very helpful in these cases, but will not tell you what to do, they will only outline what the law says.
Does his work have an HR department? He should be able to appeal against his dismissal if his company have followed their disciplinary procedure (which it sounds like they haven't).
Good luck OP.

NoBloodyMore Mon 16-Feb-15 14:13:33

He had a probationary review in January for the day off when DS was ill and looking at the notes they didn't give him a warning just told him he would have another review if any further time off.

Then he was called into another probationery review today and asked to explain his absence (he'd already had a back to work interview immediately on his return), meeting today lasted 5 mins max, told he was sacked with immediate effect as his absence was unacceptable & they could only see it getting worse long term, no warnings, no notice nothing.

His contract States if they wish to end is employment they will give him a weeks notice unless gross misconduct.

Surely they can't have this down as gross misconduct, he's been in work all this week awaiting his review if that's relevant.

He's on the phone to ACAS now but he's crap at talking to people & getting his point across so I'm getting annoyed with him!

From what I've read online it's clearly unfair dismissal so who does he contact from here to follow it up? Is that Acas or citizens advice etc?

peggyundercrackers Mon 16-Feb-15 14:19:40

sounds as if hes been treated unfairly but if hes only been in job 4 months I don't think you can do anything

LongDistanceLove Mon 16-Feb-15 14:20:50

I think with under two years service, it's going to be tough to anything about it.

Shesparkles Mon 16-Feb-15 14:25:24

The bad news is that with under 2 years service there is no protection of employment (unless it can be proved to be racial or sexual discrimination I think)
Whilst I have genuine sympathy with your situation, dependants leave is not leave for you to look after your children/relative, it's actually to allow you to make arrangements for their care in an emergency, to allow you to get back to work ASAP.
Would there be an option for your DH to use annual leave to cover the 2 days rather than dependants leave?

ThatBloodyWoman Mon 16-Feb-15 14:29:41

I would ask for written reasons for my dismissal,and take legal advice (in my case,involve my union).
Good luck,op.

ThatBloodyWoman Mon 16-Feb-15 14:31:04

I thought that since etofd is a statutory right,the period of 2 years for employment protection doesn't come into it.

NoBloodyMore Mon 16-Feb-15 14:41:41

ACAS said as its a legal right the 2 years employment is irrelevant its a protected right like disability.

Just waiting for them to email over his termination letter now.

ACAS said the only chance they've got is if they argue that 2 days off is excessive but given the start time (4am) it would be very difficult for them to suggest a reasonable alternative. 1st day they have no chance of disputing.

NoBloodyMore Mon 16-Feb-15 14:42:28

Oh and he requested annual leave & was denied it x

SquirmOfEels Mon 16-Feb-15 14:44:18

I thought it is a right only for a) the minimum time to arrange alternative childcare (not to permit the worker to cover the childcare gap in its entirety), or b) the non-emergency kind, which can last for longer, but that needs to be booked in advance.

So the first day sounds OK, so it could be second day that was the problem?

flowery Mon 16-Feb-15 14:49:04

I think in the circumstances as you describe them, two days is reasonable, and he cannot be dismissed for exercising a statutory right, regardless of length of service.

He needs to appeal his dismissal and point out that dismissing him in this was is unfair dismissal.

NoBloodyMore Mon 16-Feb-15 15:44:08

Thanks flowery, just awaiting the letter.

We did try & sort childcare but the childminder couldn't do it at that time & grandparents all work so we really had no alternative, he also said he could do a later shift but they said no.

Shesparkles Mon 16-Feb-15 19:53:21

That does sound pretty off, especially given that your DH offered alternative solutions.
Check out your house insurance for legal cover for employment disputes. ACAS are good up to a point, but we had to use the cover via our insurance a couple of years ago, and it was worth its weight in gold. They helped us with wording letters, and it was this help which won dh his dispute.
He then looked for another job, and left within 2 months for a much better role.
I hope you get this resolved

custardismyhamster Mon 16-Feb-15 19:58:08

Problem with this is that, yes, it is illegal. You can take them to an employment tribunal. However, that's £1200 and then your solicitors fees, and most people can't afford it hmm

Trade union official here, I HATE

custardismyhamster Mon 16-Feb-15 19:58:28

*that people can't get access to justice

InteriorsMum Mon 16-Feb-15 20:00:26

Definitely get an appointment with your local citizens advice bureau as well, they were fab when my partner had an issue with redundancy and also helped me when I had an issue with my employer a while back.

GlitteryLipgloss1 Mon 16-Feb-15 20:48:22

and in the meantime find out what benefits you are entitled to whilst looking for another job.

In all honesty though, sounds like a sort of company your better off without. Hope you find something soon.

NoBloodyMore Mon 16-Feb-15 21:51:40

Thanks everyone, think he'd only be entitled to contribution based jobseekers but it's better than nothing so will apply for that.

I was just reading up on the fees, think we'd be entitled to partial exemption but still would be about £650 which is awful.

I think we have got legal cover, I've just renewed insurance & I'm sure I got it so will dig documents out in the morning.

They were a crappy firm to work for but there couldn't be a worse time for him to be out of work, we've just booked (along with 30 family & friends) to get married abroad in August so if he can't find anything it's going to impact that.

I think we have to go through the ACAS mediation service now before we can file a claim so as soon as we get the termination letter we can start that.

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