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Unfair Dismissal?


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Hi,

 

I had been working as a personal assistant for almost two years and was recently dismissed.

 

I was texted by the person supporteds mum to tell me that they would be coming in to discuss my job. When I started I was contracted to 17 hours and another worker had 3 hours at the weekend. When the other worker left I was offered the extra hours and accepted. I had been informed in an informal chat (all meetings were informal no notes taken and would be without warning) that there were changes happening with the persons support ie Autism in Scotland would be talking up the hours I had been given and there was some talks of me working alongside them. I was obviously unhappy about my hours being cut but recognised that I hadnt taken the steps to have the hours formalised. All I asked was that I was given as much notice of the changes as possible so that I could sort my finances.

 

Months later there was still no notice of the changes. I then received a text whilst I was working telling me that they were coming in to speak to me at 12. This meeting occurred in the Kitchen of the flat of the person supported and I had no representation. I was then told that I no longer had a job and that Autism in Scotland were to be taking over as they required more flexibility. It's important to note here that on more than one occasion I was contacted through text late at night and expected to not come in the next day and would not be paid. Eventually I told them this wasn't acceptable and I would hope that we could come to a mutual agreement on notice for not coming in and was told it was to the same as me calling in sick ( I still have this text). I extremely upset because I had no Idea this was about to happen and was told that I was not to work my notice (two weeks) but would be paid for four.

 

Anyway I received a letter a few days later and it was the first time It was described as dismissal. I was very upset by this letter and was surprised to read that the situation had been discussed with a care manager from the council, Autism in Scotland (who are not linked to my employment in any way) and the person supported themselves. I would also assume Care in Scotland were party to this as they are responsible for my contract and wages. I found this distressing as I take pride in work and have been described as very competent in similar roles. I was really uncomfortable that my competence had been discussed in these meetings and that my reputation was at risk. I was never invited to any of these meetings and I also never received support and supervision throughout my time within the role. The letter also mentioned that they would be seeking someone who was more in line with their sons personality.

 

At the end of the letter it stated that I had six days to reply if i wanted to dispute it. At this time my older sister had been diagnosed with cancer and the day prior to my dismissal had been in for a radical hysterectomy (they were aware of this and stated in the meeting that they had been holding off telling me for weeks because of this). So because of the situation with my sister I stupidly didn't reply- I didn't have the time or energy and there also wasn't an address to reply to. On a side note within the dismissal letter envelope was a personal letter saying how grateful they were for all my hard work!

 

On the way home from the hospital a few days later I was looking for a job on my phone and found almost the exact advertisement that I had applied to to get the job but for one less hour a week. I knew this was for my old job because of the mention of Autism in Scotland and the fact that the address shows up on the map in gumtree when you post an Ad.

 

In my opinion I have been dismissed on my personality and if not I was dismissed without being given the opportunity to improve on my performance. I was unaware that they were unhappy with my work- I never had support and supervision. It also states in the dismissal letter that they need someone who could be more flexible- I was never asked to change my hours or be more flexible and can't help but speculate that this was something to do with me not accepting that I could be told not to come to work within 12 hours of starting my shift. Most importantly I feel that my reputation in my field of work has been tarnished due to being discussed at meetings and this could affect me gaining future employment. I am currently studying a post grad to become qualified in this field and already have associations within the sector. I also was not given the offer of representation at the meeting where I was told I did not have a job and this was not recorded.

 

What I would like to know is have I been unfairly dismissed? Secondly has my stupidity in not replying to the letter (I was sent a text to ask if I received it and I said yes) resulted in me not being able to take it further and Lastly if I do have a case what are my next steps?

 

Thanks in advance.

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employed for almost 2 years so the best you can hope for is getting paid for your normal notice period for them not following the proper procedures. You can submit a formal appeal against both the dismissal (not much chance they will change their mind as they have the advantage of you working less than 2 years and a new person will be at zero service so a win-win for them) and the method of how this was doen- no formal contact with you, no disciplinary meeting at which you could attend and be represented, no notice period, no indication of the reasons for dismissal before or after the event.

You can go to an ET for this but will cost more than you can possibly win or you can use the small claims procedure to recover the monies due to you should they not pay you up for the notice period. Get you formal complaint in to the highest level you can and copy any supporting evidence to that person so they know that the correct procedures havent been followed.

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Looks like a sham dismissal to me to avoid having to TUPE you to the new employer. Really annoying; not much you can do. Looks like at least they would give you a decent reference?

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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Looks like a sham dismissal to me to avoid having to TUPE you to the new employer. Really annoying; not much you can do. Looks like at least they would give you a decent reference?

 

Yeah they have said they will give me a good references but in all honesty I would rather not have anymore dealings with them. I have another job with the council which ive had for 7 years and can get good references from them. Probably time to just let it go and hope Karma exists!

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employed for almost 2 years so the best you can hope for is getting paid for your normal notice period for them not following the proper procedures. You can submit a formal appeal against both the dismissal (not much chance they will change their mind as they have the advantage of you working less than 2 years and a new person will be at zero service so a win-win for them) and the method of how this was doen- no formal contact with you, no disciplinary meeting at which you could attend and be represented, no notice period, no indication of the reasons for dismissal before or after the event.

You can go to an ET for this but will cost more than you can possibly win or you can use the small claims procedure to recover the monies due to you should they not pay you up for the notice period. Get you formal complaint in to the highest level you can and copy any supporting evidence to that person so they know that the correct procedures havent been followed.

 

Thanks for the advice. Sounds like it would be more hassle than it's worth whist trying to finish my post grad and find alrernative work.

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