Marc Gander - The Consumer Survival Handbook


A 220 page introduction to all things consumer related by our own BankFodder.

Includes energy companies, mobile phone providers, retailers, banks, insurance companies,debt collection agencies, reclaim companies, secondhand car sellers, cowboy garages, cowboy builders and all the rest who put their own profits before you.

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Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max1968 View Post
    May I kindly ask that if I had been in the Union what (if anything) they would have been able to do in this situation? Thanks.
    It's far less likely that an employer in this situation would give a bad reference - because a union can take legal action on references which you are unlikely to be able to afford. But otherwise, other than moral support and pressure, vey little because the employer is acting legally. But sometimes that's all it takes - some employers would rather not cross a union.


  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max1968 View Post
    Yep of course I understand that but at the same time if they weren't being untruthful I wouldn't be posting here. I'm trying to see a way to salvage a career as a TA and make sure that one untruthful reference can't destroy the positive references of the past.
    I realise. That's why I'm telling you this. Leaving gracefully is less likely to raise bad blood. Bad references sometimes happen because employees are bad. But they also happen because an employer is p'd off with someone. If there was a win for you here, it might be worth being pushy or difficult. But there isn't, so you need to go out with a smile, even if it's only skin deep. Possibly considering it a lucky escape? It might not feel that way right now, but it undoubtedly will sometime later...


  3. #23
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    Default Re: Employer not renewing a Fixed Term Contract but I am on a Permanent Contract so advice appreciated.

    Quote Originally Posted by Emmzzi View Post
    How are the job applications going? Time to look forward, allons y
    Well I am considering changing career and becoming an Undercover Agent for OFSTED!!!!

    Seriously, I'm doing some serious thinking right now and may just move into another field as obviously this has left a bitter taste.

    Funnily enough I have got an interview next week in a different field but the problem is that at the meeting last week whilst discussing my concerns about owing money due to pro rata salary she, whilst giving me options to leave early if I found a new job, came up with a date around 1st July which I assume is because they want to leave it as late as they can in the school year rather than get someone else in, although I might be wrong as they can obviously get supply cover in if needed.

    So not quite sure why she suggested that date.
    Obviously that doesn't help though if I say was to get this job next week and they wanted me to start immediately.

    As Sangie quite rightly advises I can't win this battle so my best bet is to get away relatively unscathed and that means not owing money if I can.
    That means accepting the Fixed Contract because I assume the salary would have been worked out with thoughts of athe possibility of that contract not being extended, whereas if I insist on keeping the permanent contract I am unsure if I would be able to get away without owing some salary for the holidays etc.

    I know that there are people out there who do CV's for others but I am going to look into whether there is anyone that helps out with Applications. I kept a diary at this job with bullet points with each new experience and what I did so there are plenty of positives there but I could do with someone in the know placing those bullet points into good application text.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sangie595 View Post
    I realise. That's why I'm telling you this. Leaving gracefully is less likely to raise bad blood. Bad references sometimes happen because employees are bad. But they also happen because an employer is p'd off with someone. If there was a win for you here, it might be worth being pushy or difficult. But there isn't, so you need to go out with a smile, even if it's only skin deep. Possibly considering it a lucky escape? It might not feel that way right now, but it undoubtedly will sometime later...
    Thanks, You are right so I'll be pleasant and get on with the job until late July or whenever I can get another one. It's just a great shame because I battled back from a two year nightmare with ill health to find something I loved doing and thought I was doing pretty well according to most only to be scuppered by a very small minority with some agenda that I can't even hazard a guess on. Unfortunately I am not the first and won't be the last at that school and wish I could advise the next person to join a Union, check your contract, don't trust anyone watch your back!!


  4. #24
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    Default Re: Employer not renewing a Fixed Term Contract but I am on a Permanent Contract so advice appreciated.

    I'd be very cautious of any employer who wants you to start immediately - every employer knows that people have notice periods, and one month is not an unreasonable notice period, especially given the fact that you work in a school. Put it this way, if someone expects that you'll drop all your responsibilities and break your contracted word to your current employer just to come and work for them, how reliable do you think THEIR word is?

    Applications are easy - I see lots of them. What lets people down is one very simple issue. Every job will have a job description / person specification / list of things that the job involves or needs. It doesn't matter what the employer calls it- all it is is a list of things they want. Cut and paste that list into a word document and make the list into headings. Then say what the heading says and give and example - for example, the heading says "Must be a good team worker"; so you say "I am a good team worker. In my current role I worked with a team of six people to create effective processes to support children in the classroom...." Don't miss out any headings, even if all you write is that you will support and abide by a policy. Then delete the headings and you have your supporting statement or letter. That way you have told the employer that you are their perfect employee. The mistakes I see all the time are either ignoring or not addressing that list, or rambling around the bushes so that I have to really dig for the information I need. If I want to interview six people, and I have a lot of applicants, I won't go rambling with them! And ALWAYS write a statement for each job - don't just cut and paste from another application without checking the exact wording. If you can't be bothered to apply for MY job, then why would I want to be bothered reading your application for another job?

    Good luck with the job hunting.


  5. #25
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    Default Re: Employer not renewing a Fixed Term Contract but I am on a Permanent Contract so advice appreciated.

    Thanks Sangie. Great tip on the application writing thanks. One more question, how long would you as an employer want a statement to be? One side of A4? Two? As many as it takes to cover what's needed?


  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max1968 View Post
    Thanks Sangie. Great tip on the application writing thanks. One more question, how long would you as an employer want a statement to be? One side of A4? Two? As many as it takes to cover what's needed?
    I'm not an employer. I'm a union officer. But I deal with recruitment a lot. And the answer is "as long as a piece of string". It depends on what the job is and what the employer is asking for. Sometimes a page is too much. Sometimes four pages are too little. Don't ramble. Don't put in lots of extraneous words. Then if you've put something against every heading, it's the right length!


  7. #27
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    Default Re: Employer not renewing a Fixed Term Contract but I am on a Permanent Contract so advice appreciated.

    Quote Originally Posted by Max1968 View Post
    Yep of course I understand that but at the same time if they weren't being untruthful I wouldn't be posting here. I'm trying to see a way to salvage a career as a TA and make sure that one untruthful reference can't destroy the positive references of the past.
    Under the DPA 1998, the information any organization holds on you must be accurate

    As suggested, go as peacefully as you can.

    If you get a bad reference then you can challenge the accuracy of the reference

    But my advice is that you wait first to get the reference.

    You first make a DSAR and see what has been said about you.

    But I will repeat my advice; WAIT till you get the bad reference.

    In your situation, it is very important you wait!


  8. #28
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    Default Re: Employer not renewing a Fixed Term Contract but I am on a Permanent Contract so advice appreciated.

    Many thanks to you all, two more questions if I may?
    One day a week we stay late for staff training. If I am on my way out legally do I still have to attend this as it all seems a bit pointless now?
    Also apparently this month TA's are going to be assessed in class. Once again if I am on my way out am I within my rights to ask to be excluded from the assessment as again it all seems a bit pointless?
    Reasons for the questions are because I have decided to apply for jobs in other areas so am not going to be applying for any further TA jobs.


  9. #29
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    Default Re: Employer not renewing a Fixed Term Contract but I am on a Permanent Contract so advice appreciated.

    No you aren't worn your rights to do either. You are still employed, and can still be dismissed or disciplined. I suspect that both are likely to be part of the schools requirements for staff, on the way out or not, but you can ask your manager if you need to attend given the fact you are leaving.


  10. #30
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    Default Re: Employer not renewing a Fixed Term Contract but I am on a Permanent Contract so advice appreciated.

    Thanks for all your advice.

    Just an interesting update. On Monday I decided to send a letter to the Assistant Head who was the person involved in the saga above, the Headmaster and HR. It was a polite letter just outlining my disappointment etc that the above occurred and basically outlining what was said/done at the meetings.

    I was then called in today to see the Assistant Head who said that a meeting had taken place and that HR had basically told them that they could not move me on to the Fixed Contract and that they had to honour the Permanent contract I had been given. They also had to give me a proper probation period, which I believe will be for the next four weeks or so and have to be informed verbally and in writing as to what, if anything, I am doing wrong and need to work on.

    At the very least I now will know what and who I am dealing with regard to what I consider untruths about my performance. I will however adhere to any negatives and work on whatever those negatives are, regardless of whether I agree with them or not. Whether I will still have the job after this probation period I have no idea but at least I will now have weekly meetings with the Assistant Head and my Line Manager who I do trust and believe that he is in support of me. If he isn't I guess I will at least find out at these meetings!! At least now everything is out in the open and I will know what the criticisms are and "who" they are from and can now hopefully deflect any knives coming from the front rather than being unaware that I am being stabbed in the back!

    If it doesn't help me then maybe at least this will change their policies with regard to doing things the "correct" way and that will hopefully benefit someone in the future.


  11. #31
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    Default Re: Employer not renewing a Fixed Term Contract but I am on a Permanent Contract so advice appreciated.

    PS - I joined the Union online last night!!!!!


  12. #32
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    Default Re: Employer not renewing a Fixed Term Contract but I am on a Permanent Contract so advice appreciated.

    I am confused about how they can honour the permanant bit of your contract yet choose to flex the probation you have already passed by default. I don't think it is mix and match.



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  13. #33
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    Default Re: Employer not renewing a Fixed Term Contract but I am on a Permanent Contract so advice appreciated.

    Not been offered to sign anything it was just a meeting and then a couple of letters, I can post them on here if you like? With names etc deleted of course.

    They or the Assistant Head I should say, has sent one letter stating that my Line Manager "at the 3 month probation period may not have given me any indication that my performance was less than satisfactory and therefore the need to improve and recent observations, both formally and informally, have shown there to be some issues. We will extend the probation period by 1 months and agree a supportive improvement plan against TA Standards".

    What is confusing about that is that my Line Manager passed my 3 months probation and the form was passed to the Assistant Head showing I had passed that 3 month period and yet she has waited until 6 months has passed to a. tell me that there are some issues and b. Basically belittles my Line Manager saying he got it wrong, which he is fuming about.

    Obviously she thought that I was on a Fixed Contract so I would be gone at the end of July anyway and as I said before she had no negatives to say at that point. It was only when she found out I was on the wrong contract (permanent one) that these negative "issues" came about.

    Interestingly the letter today outlining the issues and my targets to meet made no mention of three of the issues she brought up last week and new improved concerns laid out in education jargon have now appeared. The Assistant Head is clearly making it up as she goes along. For example one concern claims I am over supportive to students whereas another says I am not supportive enough!!!!

    Also I decided to be "proactive" with my learning and asked one or two teachers if I could give them a form where they could note my strengths and weaknesses so to speak and they were very forthcoming. However when I mentioned this to the Assistant Head she basically shot down the idea muttering something about teachers confidentialityicon and yet it is clear to me why. Why? (Allegedly) It's because if I were to do this I would know exactly which class and which teachers are putting forward the negative concerns and considering from what I have been told and that's 6 of the 9 teachers I am in lessons with have apparently said I am very supportive and doing well which leaves the Assistant Head and her two best mates!!

    Not sure if she can legally stop me from doing this as when push comes to shove in a few weeks time she could still declare on my probation that my targets have not been met and yet I would still have no idea who has mentioned the negativity. I mean if 6 think I am doing well and 3 say I'm not and the Assistant Head is one of them then is it really fair? Plus even if I am meeting those targets but the Assistant Head in three weeks states I am not (which I am sure she will do) I cannot prove otherwise.

    I must say everything, that includes meetings and letters are being done by the Assistant Head who is of course the person at the centre of all this and of which I have a grievance with and I must admit I find it all quite uncomfortable. She of course is my Manager so to speak after my Line Manager but if I for instance refused to deal with her I am afraid to rock the boat even more


  14. #34
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    Default Re: Employer not renewing a Fixed Term Contract but I am on a Permanent Contract so advice appreciated.

    To be honest, you are spending too much time and energy on this. You've been told this before, but what they call your contract, fixed term or permanent, is completely and utterly irrelevant. Probation is irrelevant. You have less than two years continuous service, so unfair dismissal is out of your reach. So the fact is that the truth is irrelevant. Facts are irrelevant. Rock the boat or not, that's your decision. But I do not see any prospects at all for the long term in a TA taking on an Assistant Headteacher. There is no feasible way that the TA wins. You MIGHT get to keep a job for now, but at what cost? And actually they know this, because if they had the slightest inkling about what the law says, and I'm sure they do, it is too late to extend your probation and they technically can't do it in any meaningful way. Not that it matters to anything now anyway.

    If your are going to fight back, have at it, but then don't say your are afraid to rock the boat, because that boat is taking on water as it is. If you want a peaceful exit, stick your head down and leave quietly. There is no middle course here.


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    Default Re: Employer not renewing a Fixed Term Contract but I am on a Permanent Contract so advice appreciated.

    I was with you, but you've just gone a bit mad again there.

    If they have given you improvements to make, just do them

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  16. #36
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    Default Re: Employer not renewing a Fixed Term Contract but I am on a Permanent Contract so advice appreciated.

    Emmzzi I agree with you I can try and make the improvements, although I suspect even if I improve them I will still not pass the probation. For instance the criticism of not adhering to teachers instructions I found out what that was about and I misheard (I am partially deaf) but it was put down as not adhering to teachers instruction. I guess I'll just have to turn the hearing aid up!! The "targets" set due to my inexperience are from what I have read are down to not having the appropriate training in some areas and not being told about certain things. Training I wouldn't have received anyway on a Fixed Contract but should have received under a Permanent Contract. So the "probation" is aimed at those targets so to meet them I will probably have to have 6 months worth of training and target meeting in 3 weeks to pass the probation. If that makes any sense!!!


    Sangie595 Well they have given me an extended 3 week probation after HR got involved as stated above...….So what would you do? Ironically my position was probably better with the fixed term contract because I could just leave at the end of that and it would probably look better on a CV. As it stands I either try and improve to the standards she wants and probably get the boot anyway or walk out quietly, but resigning quietly looks worse on a CV than having the contract terminated I am told.


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    Default Re: Employer not renewing a Fixed Term Contract but I am on a Permanent Contract so advice appreciated.

    I really don't know what you are trying to achieve here. And you already know what I would do. I would have taken the deal on the table to go quietly, because I know that a TA never wins a battle against a deputy head teacher. So I'd have politely told HR that I was ok and I didn't need their intervention. HR didn't "get involved" - they were involved because you were arguing about the contract, which was always a red herring, and they have to know that. Nor do I have any idea who told you that resigning always looks bad on a CV. Getting sacked does. Falling your probation might. Resigning is up to you to explain. "I found the traveling too much"... "My mum was expecting to go into hospital and would have needed my help, but then my sister volunteered to do this as she's just been made redundant "....."There was a muddle on my contract and I wasn't happy with the way it was handled".... You can say whatever you want.

    But if you are intent on hanging in there until you are dismissed, whether now or later, then that's a choice you can make.


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    Default Re: Employer not renewing a Fixed Term Contract but I am on a Permanent Contract so advice appreciated.

    Quote Originally Posted by Max1968 View Post
    Emmzzi I agree with you I can try and make the improvements, although I suspect even if I improve them I will still not pass the probation.

    Then stop torturing yourself. You are the only person you have to prove anything to in this life.

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  19. #39
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    Default Re: Employer not renewing a Fixed Term Contract but I am on a Permanent Contract so advice appreciated.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sangie595 View Post
    I really don't know what you are trying to achieve here. And you already know what I would do. I would have taken the deal on the table to go quietly, because I know that a TA never wins a battle against a deputy head teacher. So I'd have politely told HR that I was ok and I didn't need their intervention. HR didn't "get involved" - they were involved because you were arguing about the contract, which was always a red herring, and they have to know that. Nor do I have any idea who told you that resigning always looks bad on a CV. Getting sacked does. Falling your probation might. Resigning is up to you to explain. "I found the traveling too much"... "My mum was expecting to go into hospital and would have needed my help, but then my sister volunteered to do this as she's just been made redundant "....."There was a muddle on my contract and I wasn't happy with the way it was handled".... You can say whatever you want.

    But if you are intent on hanging in there until you are dismissed, whether now or later, then that's a choice you can make.

    Well HR got involved because of the letter I sent but it generally mentioned what had gone on and that I was accepting the terms of exit but wanted the terms in writing purely to cover myself with regard to owing any money to the Council in the event of an early exit which would not have been my fault. Unfortunately if I were to resign, which as you say would probably be the better option the "agreement" on owed monies would now not be on the table so if I resign early I will probably owe pro rata monies which I cannot afford.


  20. #40
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    Default Re: Employer not renewing a Fixed Term Contract but I am on a Permanent Contract so advice appreciated.

    Plus I have just remembered if I cannot get another job immediately I would need to claim JSA and I believe you can't claim that for a number of weeks if you resign.



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