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Sacked while attending court? Is this legal???


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My girlfriend has been employed by Adecco to work for Barclays for the last 6 months.

 

In the 6 months she has never been off sick or turned in work late.

 

 

Her father died 5 years ago and there was no cause of death on his death certificate - Her family had waited 5 years until last week to put the case up at a Coroner's Court to find the true reason for the death of her Father.

 

She informed both Barclays & Adecco she needed time off to attend the case.

 

Both agreed but said she would have to take paid holidays for the leave, which she wasnt happy about, but did anyway.

 

On Friday 18th Jan, Adecco asked my girlfriend can she send a letter from the Court to prove she needed to be there - Which she did - From a member of the court, signed and on letterhead.

 

She called Adecco & Barclays in the morning who said this would be acceptable and faxed it over to them from Court.

 

Around 3pm my girlfriend called Adecco who said everything was fine and Barclays were Ok with this.

 

Around 5:30pm - My girlfriend received a call from Adecco stating Barclays had terminated her contract and for the reason that she never followed the Absense Policy?

 

Under the circumstances which Adecco & Barclays where fully aware of - I think this is a disgrace - This cannot be legal.

 

Any advice is welcome on this.

 

I really dont know where to go or where she stands with this.

 

Thanks in advance.

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does your girl friend know what the absence policy is or has it change recently that she was not aware of. Also why not asked them for a copy of the absence policy.

 

I am not sure about this but when you are employed with an agency they can terminate you contract with an employer as it is only a temporary contract. Who is paying your girlfriend is it Barclay's or Adecco.:-o

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How can the absence policy even be a factor if the time off was being taken as paid leave?

 

Presumably, even though Barclays have terminated the contract, Adecco are supportive of your girlfriend's position, having agreed from their side that her actions were in order? What are they doing to secure her an equivalent position or to appeal to Barclays to reconsider?

 

Not fully au fait with how individual agencies work, but I do know that recent case law involving the question of employee status for agency workers has made it increasingly difficult to pursue the end-user for breaches of employment rights.

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

 

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This is point 15 and 16 of the T&Cs of my girlfriends contract

If you look it states if she has been working there for over a month that they must give at least 2 weeks notice of termination of her contract. But then point 16 basically contradicts this point? So where would she stand after whats happened?

 

Do you think they can legally do this to her? Or do you think we could use legal action against either Barclays or Adecco through a tribunal?

 

"

15.
Termination
of Employment

The Employee’s employment may be terminated;

• By the employee on giving
Adecco
not less than two weeks’ notice of resignation from employment

• By
Adecco
without notice or payment in lieu of notice during the employee’s first month of employment or in the event of serious or persistent misconduct by the employee

• By
Adecco
on giving to the employee notice or payment in lie of notice as follows:

-
after one month and up to two complete years of continuous employment not less than two weeks’ notice

The Employee is not entitled to pay during any period of notice during which the Employee is not working on assignment to a client. "

16. Cancellation of Assignments

Either
Adecco
or the Employee can cancel an assignment at any time without notice and without liability.

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This really needs an opinion of somebody far more familiar with agencies, but it would seem that the T&Cs refer to 'employment' and 'assignments' as two separate entities. Term 15 seems to refer to the matter of 'employment' with Adecco, whilst Term 16 refers to cancellation of assignments with individual end users.

 

Your girlfriend is presumably deemed to be an 'employee' of the agency as there is a mutuality of obligation (ie an obligation on the part of the employer to find work and on the part of the employee to carry out that work). The references to 'employment' in that respect will refer to the relationship between your GF and the Agency. References to 'assignment' will refer to the relationship with the end user. The end user can indeed terminate their relationship with the agency worker at any time and without notice for whatever reason.

 

Any employment rights which your GF has will be with Adecco which is why I asked what their opinion is in this matter. She is presumably still an 'employee' of Adecco and they are trying to secure an alternative placement?

 

Should Adecco have dismissed your GF without notice then there may be a case for wrongful dismissal, in other words a breach of contract, for which the remedy is damages equivalent to the loss of pay in lieu of notice. Unfair dismissal claims cannot be brought with less than 12 months service unless for reasons such as discrimination (and one or two other events).

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

 

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Yeah that clears the t&c's, but in the meantime, Adecco are looking for work for my GF. Does she sign up for JSA? How does she pay her rent/bills/debts etc when Adecco wont be paying her as shes not on an "assignment" ?

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Guest grizzleguts

Hi, I am afraid that the Agency are trying to find your girl friend more work, so basically, they have not terminated her contract with themselves.

Temp's or Agency staff are not covered by the basic core rights (with regards to termination) as the usual employee, the agreement between Barclays & Adecco would have been for a temp, and Barclays would of had a clause that they could drop her at a flick of a coin, just as Adecco would of had a clause stating that if Barclays wanted your GF as permanent staff, Barclays would have to compensate Adecco a minimum of 8 weeks payment.

Unfortunately she is still on the agency books, however if you feel very strongly contact ACAS, and they will advise on the nitty gritty.

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