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Employer says I am temporary and lets me go, is this right?


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Hi, I have been working for a contract company since Sept-13, I was employed on a fixed term, 12 month, term time contract. When the contract expired we were waiting to find out if the company had won the tender for another year but it was dragging on and on so the manager said our contracts would roll on.

 

Apparently all staff are only ever offered 12 month contracts which I understand, and this is fine. However me and the girl who started with me and on the same terms, have been "let go" because apparently we are "the only temporary staff".

 

I can't understand how this can be the case, surely all staff are the same?

 

Also, I work a set amount of weeks per year and they restarted the count after my 12 month expiry and so IMO it was implied I would continue to work there for another year.

 

We were told even if current company did not win the contract we would transfer to the new one over TUPE. Turns out they didn't win the contract and our details were in the TUPE paperwork but we've now been told we were temporary (news to me) and no longer required.

 

There is an element of nepotism here as the boss' son who worked PT has now been given FT hours (he wanted this) so basically, how can they say I was not required when they've given him my hours? Conveniently this is just in time for the new company taking over. He has worked there for 3 years and he changed his job role/hours a few months ago which boss denies (?!)

 

Can anyone give their thoughts on this? I think this is very dodgy and I'm not sure it is legal?

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Hi, I have been working for a contract company since Sept-13, I was employed on a fixed term, 12 month, term time contract. When the contract expired we were waiting to find out if the company had won the tender for another year but it was dragging on and on so the manager said our contracts would roll on.

 

Apparently all staff are only ever offered 12 month contracts which I understand, and this is fine. However me and the girl who started with me and on the same terms, have been "let go" because apparently we are "the only temporary staff".

 

I can't understand how this can be the case, surely all staff are the same?

 

Also, I work a set amount of weeks per year and they restarted the count after my 12 month expiry and so IMO it was implied I would continue to work there for another year.

 

We were told even if current company did not win the contract we would transfer to the new one over TUPE. Turns out they didn't win the contract and our details were in the TUPE paperwork but we've now been told we were temporary (news to me) and no longer required.

 

There is an element of nepotism here as the boss' son who worked PT has now been given FT hours (he wanted this) so basically, how can they say I was not required when they've given him my hours? Conveniently this is just in time for the new company taking over. He has worked there for 3 years and he changed his job role/hours a few months ago which boss denies (?!)

 

Can anyone give their thoughts on this? I think this is very dodgy and I'm not sure it is legal?

 

It's only unlawful to dismiss you if the dismissal is purely because of your fixed term status. However, a dismissal because the fixed term contract has expired would not be unlawful as there is an exception in law that expiry of a contract cannot amount to unlawful treatment.

 

The other complicating factor is that technically you are no longer fixed term, as the contract wasnt renewed on fixed terms, so you could even be an implied permanent employee.

 

With under two years service, you would have to demonstrate that the dismissal was automatically unfair because of your fixed term status (and not because the contract itself has expired) but it could be problematic, as above.

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Thanks for the replies. In our department there are 2 different job roles, I'll call them A & B.

 

Job A is full time 40 hours x 2 people

Job B is part time 20 hours x 2 people

 

In Sept '13, two males carried out Job A and us two girls did Job B. Last summer, boss' son and other girl swapped roles and he joined me in doing Job B 20 hours p/w. He also does an additional role at 12 hours per week in another department.

 

It was my last day yesterday and I took a copy of the new rota which states Male 1 40 hours Job A, Boss' son 40 hours Job B.

Boss son has been removed from his other dept job and the rota for that says 12 hours - Temp. So they've given him my hours and are getting a temp in to cover his other job?

 

The client has told me they requested 40 + 40 + 20 hours for this rota, so my employer isn't fulfilling this so I'm not sure if they will get a temp in to cover those hours too? Why would they get rid of me when the hours ARE there?

 

They didn't say I was let go because the contract had expired, all it says is that we are temporary and no longer required, it doesn't seem to be anything to do with the fact my fixed term contract ran out in Sept because so did other staff and for some reason they aren't claiming they are temporary, only me and other girl?

 

Since the fixed term 12 month contract expired all I was told is it would roll on until the tender was finalised and we could have another contract to sign, more than 13 weeks has elapsed since it expired doesn't this give me any rights or is this an old rule I'm thinking of?

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I'm not sure where 13 weeks comes from... If you work under a series of fixed term contracts for four years, you are deemed permanent. If a contract expires and isn't renewed but you continue working, you're also considered permanent (with no fixed timescale to establish permanency).

 

If you have been "let go" simply because you have under two years service (and thus can't claim unfair dismissal) then that dismissal won't be unlawful. You have to demonstrate that you are fixed term and the dismissal was for that reason alone to have any cause of action.

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I think the 13 week is coming in with respect to severance pay where once you go over 12 weeks severance pay has to reflect that I'm not sure i'm on the right track though Becky2585 maybe you can clarify or just tell me i'm talking B*&*^*s :-)

All information given above is purely my own opinion. Some based on personal experience. Where backed up by case files I will make that known. However, until then please take all of what I say with a pinch of salt and accept it only as a reference. :madgrin::madgrin::madgrin:

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I think the 13 week is coming in with respect to severance pay where once you go over 12 weeks severance pay has to reflect that I'm not sure i'm on the right track though Becky2585 maybe you can clarify or just tell me i'm talking B*&*^*s :-)

 

I'm still not following that part I'm afraid :) there's no such thing as "severance pay" as a statutory right in law - only to notice pay (after one months service) and redundancy pay (after two years service).

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That's what it was the notice bit, that's what I was getting at. See I knew you would put me right. You say tomato, I say tomarto :).

All information given above is purely my own opinion. Some based on personal experience. Where backed up by case files I will make that known. However, until then please take all of what I say with a pinch of salt and accept it only as a reference. :madgrin::madgrin::madgrin:

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I think when I was thinking of 13 weeks it was possibly an out of date notion that if an employee works for that length of time they automatically enter into an employment contract? This was just from what I'd heard in an old job but a few friends have mentioned the concept to me when I've been talking about my current issue.

 

For me to accuse the employer of dismissing me due to my fixed term status does this mean they'll counter that it isn't the case because everyone is fixed term? But I'm still confused as to why they refer to me as temporary in the dismissal letter. Can a fixed term contract turn into a temporary contract without my knowledge? :/

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If you have been "let go" simply because you have under two years service (and thus can't claim unfair dismissal) then that dismissal won't be unlawful. You have to demonstrate that you are fixed term and the dismissal was for that reason alone to have any cause of action.

 

Thanks so is this still lawful for them to do even though they state I am no longer required even though I clearly was required because my hours have been given to her son? Even though I was only there 15 months.

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Im wondering if there is an unlawful redundancy situation here?

 

OP carried on working after the expiry of the temp contract - If that means her contract became permanent then we would need to deal with is as a normal dismissal/redundancy situation.

 

OK clever brains, discuss :)

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The SabreSheep, All information is offered on good faith and based on mine and others experiences. I am not a qualified legal professional and you should always seek legal advice if you are unsure of your position.

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Im wondering if there is an unlawful redundancy situation here?

 

OP carried on working after the expiry of the temp contract - If that means her contract became permanent then we would need to deal with is as a normal dismissal/redundancy situation.

 

OK clever brains, discuss :)

 

...which in the absence of having to pay redundancy pay or follow a procedure unfortunately means simply paying notice, in the OPs case.

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I have just rang ACAS and they just said I need to outline an appeal against my dismissal in writing to the company and then seek legal advice. But is all this a waste of time?

 

I do think I've been treated unfairly, my job IS there, she gave it to her son. But because I've been there less than 2 years they can do what they like?

 

Everyone who works there is on a fixed term contract. I'm so confused, surely this isn't right?!

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