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Employment Terminated Whilst Sicknote in force

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My GF has just had her employment terminated whilst she had a sicknote that doesn't expire until 11/12/07.


Here are the details:


She started a new job and worked for 10 days, it became apparant that her manager was a bully and she became so anxious about going to work that on the day that she went sick she broke down in tears once she arrived at work so decided to phone in and advise that she was ill and that she would be going to the doctors.


The doctor sited work related stress and gave her a 2 weeks sick note, before this expired she was issued with a further 2 weeks which takes her to the 11 Dec.


She recieved a letter from the Ops Director expressing her surprise at the lack of regular contact etc etc and invited my GF to a meeting for today to discuss her health and return to work.


Once the meeting had commenced they asked if she would be ok to return to work and she began to state her reasons for becoming ill in the first place when they said that due to performance issues and failure to adhear to probationary requirements!!


They did pay ssp eventually after a prompt and sternly worded letter.


My question is, does she have any case for tribunal?


Thanks in advance

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Hi there. How long exactly had your GF been an employee of this company?


Was the Ops Director specific about which Probationary Requirements have not been complied with? Exactly what were the issues which the company had with her performance? What were the company rules regarding absence through sickness? Is there any suggestion that your GF was the subject of discimination due to being female (ie was the bullying boss male?) or for any other reason?


Unfair dismissal is tricky with less than 12 months service, but there may be an option for Wrongful Dismissal if the employer is guilty of a breach of contract, or alternatively if it is clear that your GF has been treated badly due to Sex, Religion, Race etc then there may be a case for Discrimination. If the stress was directly work related and the employer was made aware of this and did nothing then there could be a breach of Health & Safety for failing to protect the health of the employee, but without more facts it is difficult to advise further.


Has your GF appealed the employer's decision? Has she cited the bullying and consequent stress as a contributory factor in the illness? If she feels that there are grounds to persue this through Tribunal then it may be seen as important that she has taken some steps herself to resolve the issue through Grievance procedures or an appeal against dismissal.


Hopefully whatever happens next she will be able to gain employment where she is happy and healthy.

Any advice given is done so on the assumption that recipients will also take professional advice where appropriate.






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I know form my experiences with the tribunal and how the system work, if you girlfriend has been ill through stress at work and has expressed this at the meeting and they terminated her employment, I would say yes dam right she has a case.

To start with you have to put down on letter that you are putting in a ‘grievance letter’ and make sure you write down everything that has gone on as this letter is one of the main paper work in your case, if you fail to put down everything and remember later on in court it wont really count as they will say ‘ why didn’t you put this in your grievance letter’, also how the stress made her physical feel ECT , also make sure you state in the letter that all ‘correspondence ‘ is via letter not verbal as its your word against there’s in court which does not really hold up, also tell them they have 28 days to respond to your letter before you take legal action.

The problem with tribunal is there are time frames & rules and if they are not followed correctly your case will be thrown out to re start again, yes its frustrating but the law is ****, & more so for those who suffer and want justice.

Your gf has her sick notes and docs to back her up which is great case.

If her ex employer does not respond in the time frame then go to the next level and seen legal advice or contact ‘ACAS’ as they will gild you to the next level.

You have up to 3 months to put your paper work in & make sure you send the letter to the right place and they have to sign for it once received which I believe costs £ 1.

Hope this helps a little.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sadly, due to ten days work (then a two week sicknote) you probably just miss out on the one months service to claim constructive dismissal. However if you add notice to that...


Have you done anything since your first message?

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Sadly, due to ten days work (then a two week sicknote) you probably just miss out on the one months service to claim constructive dismissal. However if you add notice to that...


Have you done anything since your first message?


Hi, the only thing that we have done since the post is seek advice from a solicitor who has advised that without 12 months service she doesn't have a leg to stand on regardless of the circumstances.


Thanks for posting though!!

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Solicitor isn't quite right.... what he means is that without twelve months service it isn't worth his while.


What I would actually (you can do all of this yourself, without a solicitor) suggest is to submit a written appeal against this dismissal, claiming Wrongful Dismissal, and claiming a monetary amount.


Was her notice period (or that of other colleagues) one week or one month?

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In the first instance, write a letter to the HR Manager at the former place of work. Head the letter APPEAL, and state in the contents that you are appealing against her dismissal that occurred verbally on Thu 6th Dec.


Put that unless she is reinstated or re-engaged, you will be claiming one months' wages from the Employment Tribunal. Also put that if there is no response within 28 days (of the date of your letter) you will proceed with the matter by going to tribunal.


Good luck


Can you confirm (and post to the forum) when her first day of work was, and also what the contract says about notice (it could be different for within the first three months perhaps). Has she received a letter setting out the dismissal? Are they proposing to pay her any notice pay (or SSP) from 6th Dec onwards? When is she due to receive her final wages?

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