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hazelmere

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Hi, this is quite a long and complicated story but will try to keep to the point.I have worked in the same job for 5 years where I have been the only employee for most of that time, I have had an exemplary work record until very recently. At the beginning of the year I had an accident (out of work) that caused me to be off work for 15 weeks. After 6 weeks my employer decided that he was not going to pay me full pay any more for various reasons and I felt this was unfair. After an exchange of letters I spoke to ACAS and things had deteriated so much between myself and my employer that I took steps to recover the money through the employment tribunal. I returned to work 4 weeks ago and you can imagine how awkward things were between us, he would not speak to me,or discuss business matters, making it impossible for me to do my job, but I persevered,even requesting a meeting with him in my own time to discuss these things. ACAS had also spoken to him to try and settle the dispute out of court, an idea which he rejected, by this time he had appointed a solicitor to fight his corner. Things at work got a little better for a few days and we even had a conversation (work related), however the last straw came last week when he gave me unreasonable shifts for the coming week with only 3 days notice. We had always discussed shifts and agreed cover mutually between us and to suit us both, I have felt since returning to work that he wanted me out . The tribunal was this Tuesday, and the last few weeks at work have been incredibly stressful and awkward. After I told him that I could not do the shifts for various reasons (by text ) he basically said that was the rota, take it or leave it, I felt such anxiety and stress that I had severe chest pains and left work long before my shiift had ended and I went straight to the doctors,I had ECG etc and he confirmed the anxiety attack was as a result of the situation at work. The following day I phoned my employer (no more texting,not a good idea), and asked that we could discuss my hours. At this meeting when I asked him why I had all the late shirts he said that was why he employed me. I put forward my reasons for not being prepared to work those hours,things got heated between us and he said he wanted to have me disciplined over my walking out the previous day, when I told him the circumstances he told me it was 'b...s...'. I asked him if he could be reasonable regarding the shifts and give me an assurance that it would not happen again, he was not prepared to do this so I told him I was leaving ,to go to the doctors again because of the impossible situation he had created for me at work. He said if I walked out ther and then not to return to the premises at all, I took this to mean that I was dismissed. He shouted at me and swore at me calling me a 'f' in idiot'. That was a week ago, I have spoken to ACAS and also had some legal advice from employment specialist solicitors, and I have now written to him asking him to give the reasons for my dismissal in writing. I know that I have 3 months to bring a case for unfair or constructive dismissal but in the short term I am not sure whether to register as unemployed or sick, and who would pay my SSP now that I am not employed. Incidentally the tribunal was adjourned for 3 weeks to gather further evidence, so I still have that hanging over me. Any advice or similar cases would be helpful and appreciated.

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Hi there,

 

Reading through all that, one thing you might want to edit to make it easier to offer advice, are some actual dates. The timeline is a bit unclear.

 

I think the first thing that needs to be resolved as a matter of urgency - which it sounds as if you're trying to do - is how your employment ended. Going by what you've said, from your employers point of view I think it would be easier for him to fight a constructive dismissal case rather than an unfair dismissal.

 

Obviously your employer should be treating you the same way after the grievance as before. If he is changing the way he's making up rotas in a way that would clearly be to your detriment, and can't show any proof that it's only as a result of business needs changing then I would think that's something that would stand in your favour. I'm sure you've already been advised this.

 

One thing that is clear is that your work situation had created a very informal way of dealing with things. The way you describe your employer speaking to you, while possibly acceptable in the day to day running of things, certainly isn't acceptable in relation to disciplinary matters. However, one thing that may look unproffesional from your part is where you say you left because of the impossible situation and you needed to go to the doctor. You don't say whether you mentioned to him any symptoms that would require immediate medical treatment. Did you seek medical treatment immediately after leaving work (or at least within the same day)?

 

Your question about what you claim in benefits has particular relation to your employment status. This is something you'd need to discuss with the jobcentre or social security office. As far as I know, if you're not in employment you'd no longer be eligible for SSP but rather incapacity benefit which would have a bearing on whether you need to look for other employment and possibly how much you recieve.

 

The whole thing sounds like a particularly distressing situation. I do wish the very best in getting it resolved.

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I just want to clarify it's not criticism when I mention the bit where you may look unproffesional. Putting myself in that position I think I may have reacted the same, if not worse! Just trying to look at it from any possible tribunals perspective.

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I'm assuming that you've been paying NI??

 

If so, get down to your GP and get a sick note, preferably for a month.

 

You can apply for an IB application pack by ringing 0800 88 22 00.

 

My concern is that you have nothing in writing to say that you have been dismissed. Your employer may try and turn this around by saying that you simply did not turn up to work and/or ring in to say you were ill etc.

 

Have you stopped being paid?

 

Your employer cannot just dismiss you without a hearing and any solicitor will be advising him of that.

 

If you receive no response to your original letter asking for dismissal reasons then I would follow it up with a recorded letter delivery in 7 days.

 

Don't be surprised if you get a letter back saying that you walked out of your job though!!


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hi, thanks for the advice. Just to be clear then, it was thursday 11 June when I walked out and went straight to the doctor's with chest pains, obviously this was recorded on my medical notes and the doctor agreed it was most likely as a result of the situation at work. I rung the following day and requested a meeting with my employer to discuss my hours. During the meeting things got heated and yes, I did tell him that I was walking out because he was making me feel ill and the chest pains had returned, thats when he told me not to return and not to come back onto the premises. Within an hour of me returning home that day he rung and asked me to clarify my position "was I going back" I reminded him what he had said and he just hung up on me. I was advised by ACAS to get him to give his reasons for my dismissal in writing. I hand delivered the letter asking him this on Wednesday 17 June but have had no reply or contact yet. I think you're probably right when you say that he will say I walked out, but I'm still confused as to where I stand especially if he doesn't reply soon.

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Hi again, yes I've always paid NI. What's an IB pack?

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Hi again, yes I've always paid NI. What's an IB pack?

 

It's Incapacity Benefit Hazel.

 

If you ring up they will register your claim from today, but you will need a GP's note asap.

 

As regards your employer, I would send another letter via recorded delivery, chasing up the first.

 

Best of luck!!


If you feel I've helped then by all means click my star to the left...a simple "thank you" costs nothing! ;)

 

Restons MBNA -v- WelshMam

 

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Hi,I went to doctors yesterday and got a sick note for a month, but if I send it with the IB forms and then my employer turns round and says he didn't dismiss me, I walked out, shouldn't I then have claimed SSP ? He also hasn't replied to my letter of a week ago asking for written reasons for my dismissal. I am going to hand deliver another similar letter today, but what if he doesn't reply to that either? I feel really stuck until I get a reply from him.

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Hi,I went to doctors yesterday and got a sick note for a month, but if I send it with the IB forms and then my employer turns round and says he didn't dismiss me, I walked out, shouldn't I then have claimed SSP ? He also hasn't replied to my letter of a week ago asking for written reasons for my dismissal. I am going to hand deliver another similar letter today, but what if he doesn't reply to that either? I feel really stuck until I get a reply from him.

 

The problem is that you are in limbo as your employer has not made any contact with you. Nonetheless, it is your belief that your contract of employment has been terminated and you have confirmed this via your letter asking for reasons of dismissal.

 

Even if your employer states that you walked out of your job, your employment will still have been terminated. It will be the manner of termination that will be disputed and not the termination itself.

 

Normally, it would be your employer who would pay your SSP and claim it back on your behalf...I don't think you can claim this directly yourself unless you are self employed.

 

Have you received any payments at all from your employer? Either wages or sick pay?? I believe you are allowed 5 working days of sickness absence before a note is required.

 

You can ring up and register for your IB pack on the phone...if you don't return the forms then your claim won't be processed I believe.

 

I would also be inclined to make an appointment to see someone at CAB as they may be able to help also.


If you feel I've helped then by all means click my star to the left...a simple "thank you" costs nothing! ;)

 

Restons MBNA -v- WelshMam

 

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hi, took your advice and wrote a second letter, hand delivered it too....still no reply. Meanwhile spoke to an employment law solicitor with regard to bringing an unfair dismissal case on a no win no fee basis. She says each letter that for each letter I've written I should technically give him 14 days to reply therefore 14days from last letter is 11 July, she also thinks his solicitor will be advising him to wait to see what the outcome of next Thursday's tribunal is before replying. Meanwhile...went to see doctor and explained situation to him, he gave me a sick note for a month stating 'stress reaction', but I decided against submitting the sick note as it would have meant I couldn't sign on and receive jobseeker's allowance (humilliating experience in itself),also I figured if the benefits office write to him regarding my claim , it would force him to give an answer to my question. Anyway, can't really do anything about unfair/constructive dismissal till after the outcome of the tribunal on Thursday. I just thought you might be interested in an update!

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hi, took your advice and wrote a second letter, hand delivered it too....

That is not what you were advised to do.

 

The advice was to send it via recorded delivery. That way you would have a evidence trail (ie the signature for the letter) that your letter was received.

 

As it is, your employer can flatly deny that any letter was received and as you hand delivered, you can't prove otherwise.

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I just thought you might be interested in an update!

 

Yes indeed, thanks for bring us up to speed Hazel.

 

Best wishes for Thursday, let us know how you get on and we can take it from there. ;)


If you feel I've helped then by all means click my star to the left...a simple "thank you" costs nothing! ;)

 

Restons MBNA -v- WelshMam

 

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Hi Hazel,

There is no such thing as incapacity benefit [iB]any more...it is now called Employment support allowance....clai for it but dont cash any cheques if you receive any as you can always withdraw your claim and return any money that you are not entitled to.

 

One more thing ,the Employment law is designed to favour the employer not the employee.

 

which ever way you look at it your days are numbered ,i would cut my losses and look for another job.

 

Best of luck

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Hi again,the thing with sending it recorded delivery and it being a golf club is that a number of people may have signed for the letter, not neccessarily him, so he could still say he didn't get it. I actually handed it on both occasions to our administrator, to pass to him. She has no loyalty to him, only to the golf club itself. I've also applied for a few jobs, just waiting to hear, thanks again.

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incidentally madari,I'm intrigued to know why you think employment law is designed to favour the employer and not the employee, I would have thought (and from the research that I've done) that a lot of it was there to protect the employee.

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:(:(Actually, changes my mind I think you're right after all. I lost today! The judge said not enough evidence, even though he had paid another employee the same benefits a couple of years ago. Also even if I had won I couldn't have got the money he owed me because I just found out today that he's dissolved the company! Bang goes my unfair dismissal case,any ideas on where to go next with this one or how to get the holiday pay that he owes me ?

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Sorry i didnt catch your earlier message and i am also extremely sorry that you lost your claim,I wish i could have had a chance to speak to you personally.

 

The employment Law is designed to favour the employer so to prevent floodgates to an already over worked tribunal system[i know this from personal experiance].

 

whats more, all the employment legislations dont mean a thing as no one tells you that to exercise your right to complain, you do so at your own peril.

 

`In other words shut up and put up or you know where the door is`

Edited by madari

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well well, I have now taken further legal advice and done some more of my own digging, and it seems that it takes months to dissolve a company and there is a procedure which my employer has not followed either. If you are advised that when a company is dissolved all the liabilities die with it, this is not the case especially where the company has n ot gone bust. The company should not have traded for 3 months prior to application to dissolve {it's still trading now!) also my employer is obliged to let me know and put in place provisions for rfedundancy payments etc.. I discovered today by looking at the companies house website that he first applied on 10 march ( when we were still friends and he was still paying me full pay while i was off sick) I can hardly believe the deviousness of this creep that i once considered a trusted friend. It's now clear why he wanted me out of my job, so he could get out of his obligation to pay me redundancy pay which would amount to a few thousand, lucky i also discovered that i can get legal aid ! watch this space :)

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well well, I have now taken further legal advice and done some more of my own digging, and it seems that it takes months to dissolve a company and there is a procedure which my employer has not followed either. If you are advised that when a company is dissolved all the liabilities die with it, this is not the case especially where the company has n ot gone bust. The company should not have traded for 3 months prior to application to dissolve {it's still trading now!) also my employer is obliged to let me know and put in place provisions for rfedundancy payments etc.. I discovered today by looking at the companies house website that he first applied on 10 march ( when we were still friends and he was still paying me full pay while i was off sick) I can hardly believe the deviousness of this creep that i once considered a trusted friend. It's now clear why he wanted me out of my job, so he could get out of his obligation to pay me redundancy pay which would amount to a few thousand, lucky i also discovered that i can get legal aid ! watch this space :)

 

Well done Hazlemere!! Let us know how you get on ;)


If you feel I've helped then by all means click my star to the left...a simple "thank you" costs nothing! ;)

 

Restons MBNA -v- WelshMam

 

MBNA Cards

 

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