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Dismissal near start of employment - advice needed

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Hi folks,


I just started as a barista in a franchise outlet of a well-known coffee shop chain last week, as a summer job before I go back to university in late September.


I was invited for an interview last Sunday, which I passed and was invited back for a trial shift (1-2 hours) on Tuesday - this went fine and I was offered the job, starting proper the following day. I worked two full shifts, Wednesday and Thursday, 12-7.


Now, at the interview I had informed the manager that I wouldn't be able to work the coming Friday and Saturday due to being committed to volunteering elsewhere in the country. On the Thursday evening, after my second shift, I told him I wasn't sure what time I would be able to make it back on the Sunday so wasn't sure I'd be able to work then either.


He said, "Ok, we'll sort something out". Which I took to mean it was ok - otherwise I would have tried to get out of the voluntary work, as I need the money from the job.


However getting back today (Sunday) I get a text message from the manager at 8pm reading:


"Hi Neil, We had to start someone else to cover your shift today ... they seem more flexible and more of a team member. [OTHER MEMBER OF MANAGEMENT'S NAME] will work out your pay tomorrow and you can collect your money or we can post it. Sorry, [MANAGER'S NAME]"


There had been no mention of any trial period, and as I say the idea that my not being available that weekend might lead to my early dismissal was never mentioned. Indeed the two shifts I had worked went very well, with not problems. I was even given multiple uniform items, and was told I'd have forms and paperwork (I assume including contract etc.) early next week (as soon as they could print them - there was no printer set up in the outlet).


I am writing to ask if I have any rights in this situation, or are employers allowed to behave like this at the start of an employment? Is there anything I can do, beyond asking them to reconsider?


Keep in mind that having just started I haven't yet joined a union, else I would certainly be turning to them just now.


Thanks in advance,



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There is little or no protection if you have been employed under one year. (The only exceptions being discrimination, which do not appear to apply in your case)


Your only entitlement is payment for the period you worked.

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