Hi there CAG, it's my first time visiting and thought I'd give it a try. So here we go:
I recently started an apprenticeship in IT on the 18th of March, everything was going well and I was easily handling the work given to me. Then I was off for 5 days due to sickness, I followed the guidelines in my contract and contacted my line manager on each day of the sickness before a set time in the morning.
When I returned to work on the 22nd, I was brought into a meeting where I was told my Apprenticeship was being terminated on the grounds of poor performance. I was shocked at this, and asked for an explanation. They gave a few vague reasons which I questioned and asked for specific examples. As my 'mentor' was in the room with me, i expected him to be able to answer. He was suprised that I'd asked for examples and made a large effort to think of one. When he did he mentioned a piece of work I'd been working on, saying I'd missed out lots of code and this had caused problems down the line. When I told him that I'd tested the work he was using as an example, before sending it back to him, he just looked at his notes until a member of the HR department spoke up. They also gave other reasons, which I was offended at, such as saying that when given instructions that sometimes I would roll my eyes and do the work in a different way to what I was told. This was completely untrue, and as I was being taught to use software and hardware I'd never used before, I followed instruction to the finest detail as I feared making a mistake.
They told me that I would be paid up until the date of that meeting and that they'd like me to leave the premises. However It's now beyond the monthly pay date for the company and I still remain unpaid for 3 weeks worth of work.
The company terminated my contract under a clause which allows the company to terminate a contract within an unspecified probationary period.
After reading around on the Internet, I'm not so sure that this clause applies to apprentices and as far as I know, there are very few circumstances in which an employer can terminate an apprenticeship.
I've made attempts to contact my apprenticeship assessor without luck. With no reply to emails I sent the same day I was fired and I have made calls to her mobile and office but have either been told she is out of the office or gone straight to voice mail on her mobile. I have also attempted to contact ACAS but I was on hold for 15 minutes and resolved to try again at another time.
I'm still in shock as I thought everything was going great, and my colleagues were confirming that belief with compliments about my work. Going from that before being sick, to afterwards walking into the office to be completely ignored and nobody making eye contact with me until being in the meeting has left me shaken and confused about what happened. I feel as though I am being forced out because of the sickness.
If you've taken the time to read this wall of text, I thank you. Any help would be greatly appreciated.