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I really hope someone can advise me because I am so worried and stressed out.


I have worked for a company for 4 years, but for the first 3 years with an in house agency, and almost a year ago I was given a contract, with 2 YEARS probation period. Which is apparently standard for this company.


I was off sick in Oct last year due to flu. I am off sick again now due to severe stomach problems that I would rather not go into but my doctor has signed me off work for 2 weeks. I am on annual leave at the beginning of next week for 2 weeks. All being well I am due to go back to work on the 29th April.


I have had no contact from my employer only from a manager/"friend" through facebook who has messaged me several times now saying I need to contact work because they want to arrange a site visit. Pretty common I think when there is extended period of absence. Apparently they don't have my number, which I find highly unlikely, and they have my work email which they know I can access from home. I have tried calling our attendance manager on 4 occasions over the last 2 days but there is no answer and you can't leave a message.


I have a horrible feeling they want me in before my annual leave starts, so they can sack me, meaning they wont be obliged to pay me 2 weeks holiday pay?


I also earn a bonus, can they with hold this?


Should I be contacted through unofficial channels such as facebook?


Do I have to attend a site visit?


And ultimately, can they sack me?




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2 Year probation? Something smells :p


Well in short, the answer would probably be yes... This happened to me last Friday.

I wasnt ill but just told to go... (In my Probation period)


What does it say in your contract about being off due to illness?

So you ve been with the company for 4 years? But 3 were with agency? I suspect that they are some rights that you have.


We could do with some help from you.


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Receptaculum Ignis


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Thanks for your reply.


Yes I agree, 2 years probation is crazy. It actually says in my contract that its a year, but apparently that is an error. People have been to union over it and there is nothing they can do.


The company I work for is a large, very well known company throughout the world, but they seem to do whatever they want.


I know when I was sick last time, when I did my return to work I was told unofficially that if I was to be sick again it would go to a final written warning. In my contract it says I can get sick pay for 3 months, rather than the standard 6 months for people who are not in probation.


It's so unfair, because I've been there for 4 years, and I did a years probation at the start with the agency, then you have to go through the whole thing again when the company itself gives you a contract.

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Generally speaking, probationary periods are limited to three to six months with a limited provision to extend - but the reality of the situation is that you can be dismissed for any non discriminatory reason during the first two years in employment.


Unfortunately only service as an employee counts towards the two years - any time spent working through the agency doesn't, as you would have been a worker and not an employee during that time.


So whilst a two year probationary period is rather unusual, it's also very honest of the company!

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if it says 1 yr in writing then that is what it is, not an error. However, that doesnt give you any extra protection in law so having a probation period at all has no relevance.

So should you attend site visit? Yes, if you are well enough to travel. If you arent invite them to arrange meeting nearer to your home. Can they sack you? yes, for several reasons, the major one being you dont get any protection from being sacked until you have been there 2 years. Your period there with an agency may well be counted as continuous employment if the terms of the agreement was that you could only work for them alone at the time. You would need to look into that and take proper advice should it look ominous.

Annual leave is accrued for the time you are employed regardless of when the holiday year is so if you get 25 days/year and the year is april-march then you have to take your leave in that period unless there are good reasons not to. If the company says you an only take your leave in august it doesnt change the rate of accrual so sacking you before the holiday year isnt going to be at the forefront of their thinking.

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