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To bring an employment claim?

(134 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

CheeseonTwats Tue 22-Aug-17 12:20:01

Apologies it's a long one.

I was fired on the spot from my job last week. It's all still very raw. It was a good job I planned to stay in for a long time. I had been there just over a year and really enjoyed it.

The only difficult part of the job was working with a colleague who openly despised me from day one. Although she never made it clear why, I put it down to the fact that I was more qualified than her and younger but had more responsibility. She made regular attempts to undermine me and sabotage my work.

It all got very heated on a Friday. She'd made an error which I had to fix and when she asked why I'd interfered and I explained, she became irate. She screamed in my face and told me she would get me fired because she was sick to death of seeing my face. Unfortunately no one was around to hear this as it was after everyone had gone home.

I planned to go in early on Monday and report her to the boss as I was very shaken by the encounter. When I arrived the boss was in meetings for two hours. I then found out that she'd been out with my colleague for coffee for an hour before the meetings, which is unheard of.

After her meetings, I was called into the office via phone. The boss's secretary was there to take notes. The boss said she was really disappointed in me because she had heard that I'd told my colleague no one liked her and not to bother coming back to work (untrue). Colleague now felt like she couldn't work with me and threatened to leave. Boss said as colleague had been there longer (3 months longer) I should be the one to go.

I was in utter disbelief and asked for clarification if I was being fired. Boss said 'yes there's no other option but we'll pay you your notice period if you leave the building immediately because Colleague has her things packed ready to leave if you don't'.

I wasn't given the opportunity to give my side of the story as I was escorted out. I then received a Facebook message from colleague that said 'told you I'd get you fired smile'.

I called acas who told me to check my contract. It says 'all employees are subject to disciplinary procedures outlined in the staff guide.' I got hold of the guide and it confirms that all employees, regardless of length of service and including staff in their probationary period will be subject to the procedures outlined. It then has a very clear structure for both misconduct and gross misconduct that wasn't followed at any stage.

Acas have told me I have a claim for wrongful dismissal based on them not following their own guide and not offering me a representative.

I now have to write to them but I'm so exhausted by it all I'm questioning if it's worth putting myself through it.

What would you do?

MehMehAndMeh Tue 22-Aug-17 12:23:18

Yes absolutely go through the process. Who knows how many people she's done this too. If your bosses lives are made difficult (professionally speaking) over this, then maybe they'll tell her to wind her neck in and follow procedure.

NameofGroans Tue 22-Aug-17 12:24:23

Do it. Otherwise your colleague and employer will think they can get away with it. And you will find it easier with references etc. Consider posting in Legal where some lovely MNers who know more will be along to help. And in the meantime, get a screenshot of the vicious message.
brew cakewine flowers

NapQueen Tue 22-Aug-17 12:25:10

Hope you have kept that FB message!

StealthPolarBear Tue 22-Aug-17 12:26:15

Did you get a screenshot?

Gottagetmoving Tue 22-Aug-17 12:29:37

Well yes, make a claim.
It's a pity you are not in a union because they would deal with all this for you.
It is difficult to win a claim with an employer so you will need as much evidence as possible. Save the facebook message as it may help.

Appraiser Tue 22-Aug-17 12:32:29

Im sorry you've gone through this. It's not nice but I'm sorry to say that with under 2 years service, your rights are very limited.

You can pursue it if you wish but you're unlikely to get very far.

My question to you is to think about why you would want to return to a company that has done this to you, and work with the person who's made your life miserable for 12 months?

The effort to pursue an ET is normally fruitless if you have less than 2 years service (with the exception of discrimination claims but you haven't mentioned any characteristic that would come under this). Your efforts would be best put towards getting another job.

UPdate that Cv, dust yourself off and find a company and colleagues that will respect you and your skills.

Jaspzeb Tue 22-Aug-17 12:33:06

Definitely make a claim and screenshot that message. They can't just fire you like that!

TheEricaOlthwaiteGang Tue 22-Aug-17 12:33:49

Make a copy of that FB message. Potentially damning.

Sounds very badly handled by your employer and I would certainly seek expert advice on wrongful dismissal etc, particularly if there is any chance this might adversely impact future employment opportunities.

imamouseduh Tue 22-Aug-17 12:34:16

I would start by seeing an employment solicitor and having them send a letter to management on your behalf saying you have a clear case for unfair dismissal. Say you would prefer to settle than start a tribunal and see what they come back with. They might pay you out rather than go through the headache of a tribunal; it can also work out better because a tribunal that you win might just say you can have your job back, and would you really want to go back to work there now?

Sorry this happened though. It can be really shocking and upsetting to be fired in that manner, and they shouldn't be allowed to get away with just firing people whenever they want to.

PigletWasPoohsFriend Tue 22-Aug-17 12:37:39

I had been there just over a year and really enjoyed it.

Unfortunately therein lies your problem.

Under 2 years service and you have very few rights.

lilyboleyn Tue 22-Aug-17 12:39:03

Do you have legal cover on your home insurance?

rjay123 Tue 22-Aug-17 12:39:58

I'd send a screenshot of that message, with the heading "FYI" to the manager, and leave it at that.

Dumdedumdum Tue 22-Aug-17 12:40:24

Well I would certainly want the employer to see that fb message so they can see what she is like.

CheeseonTwats Tue 22-Aug-17 12:41:13

Thanks for the replies.

I have a screenshot of the FB message.

I definitely wouldn't go back there. I feel humiliated. I put a lot into that job and to know I was so worthless to them has really hurt me.

Acas have said that the 2 years of employment needed for a claim doesn't apply to wrongful dismissal but I don't want to put my efforts into this if it's going to make my life more stressful.

Slowcookerheaven Tue 22-Aug-17 12:41:45

Absolutely.

Screenshot the message too.

CheeseonTwats Tue 22-Aug-17 12:42:01

I will dig out my home insurance to check if I have legal cover.

OnionKnight Tue 22-Aug-17 12:43:09

I'd send the message to the manager but as you had been there for just over a year there's very little you can do.

PigletWasPoohsFriend Tue 22-Aug-17 12:43:57

The effort to pursue an ET is normally fruitless if you have less than 2 years service (with the exception of discrimination claims but you haven't mentioned any characteristic that would come under this). Your efforts would be best put towards getting another job.

^ this.

Threatening tribunal isn't a real possibility unless you satisfy an 'automatically unfair reason. However your OP doesn't suggest this in any way the case.

RiotAndAlarum Tue 22-Aug-17 12:47:05

shock Well, if they're willing to fire someone (you) for merely telling a colleague no-one liked her, then surely telling lies to get a colleague fired is absolutely beyond the pale and there ought to be no question of her staying on. Your manager ought to face discipline, too, for her part in this. Talk about business disruption!

cunningstunnt Tue 22-Aug-17 12:48:57

That's not necessarily true about having few rights. Is the colleague significantly older/younger than you? Different race/religion? If you can prove discrimination then you have a case.

In any case you can argue they didn't follow their own procedures. In principle you can force them to reinstate you and give you a proper disciplinary hearing. Then if they still fire you you can appeal using the proper procedures that it was unfair as not gross misconduct.

Twickerhun Tue 22-Aug-17 12:51:25

People are confusing unfair dismissal (needs 2 year service) and this case which is breach of contract (don't need 2 years service). Be careful op it's not great getting legal advice here.

StealthPolarBear Tue 22-Aug-17 12:52:38

Was thinking the same as rjay.

MiniCooperLover Tue 22-Aug-17 12:55:57

The people who fully know if you do or don't have a claim have made it clear you do. Any other advice given here, though well meaning I'm sure, is less important. Do it or accept being treated badly and unfairly. At the very least make sure the manager is shown that message!

Goldenhandshake Tue 22-Aug-17 12:56:36

Do it, you have a clear case. They have not followed their own procedures, so are at fault. Keep the FB message too. Regardless of length of service, you have a case for unfair dismissal.

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