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Fixed Term contract not renewed due to miscommunication regarding positive COVID result


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I'm sorry but this may be a long post but I really need some advice :
My son has been working on a fixed term, claims based contract which usually finishes at the the beginning of January and then employees are asked back.. Unfortunately I was sent home from work to self isolate due to being in contact with a positive contact .I then started to feel unwell and sent for a test which unfortunately came back positive so my son had to also isolate.


During this time he had kept his employers informed that he was having to self isolate and that I had received a positive and he had ordered a test and was being tested. (which actually came back positive) This is where it starts to go wrong ,although he had contacted work and gave the names of the colleagues who he had been in contact he sent an email (or so he thought) informing them that he was positive .It was not until he returned to work that he realised that the email was sitting in drafts. The app said that he had to isolate until 28th (he went to work on 28th) which he showed them when he got to work, however it does say that you have to isolate 10 days from the test or from when you start displaying symptoms so he had been isolating for 14/15 days.


He was sent home as no one was aware of his test result and was told that the manager would contact him to arrange to speak to him but she was currently on holiday. He sent an email explaining all the time lines .He did not hear anything back until last week asking him what shifts he would be available for in the new year, all good we thought but then he received a letter yesterday stating 
"After a thorough investigation relating to your conduct upon receiving a positive COVID-19 test result, the decision has been made not to offer you further employment "

He replied saying that he did not know that there had been an investigation and requested the copies of the investigation. The reply was "

"as you are not currently in the employ of ---------------there is no legal requirement for me to provide evidence for this. However in light of your request for information, the following informed the final decision:"

The absence of communication with a manager upon confirmation of a positive COVID-19 result

  • The absence of communication with a manager to arrange your return to work following a positive COVID-19 test result
  • The high level of risk to people and business associated with the two points above
  • The approach to communication with colleagues and management upon your return to work


We have a duty of care to protect our employees and members of the public, and as we continue operating within this pandemic we must be able to fully trust our team to follow correct procedures at all times.

Can anyone help please ? Do they not have to provide evidence especially he was not given the opportunity to defend himself.

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Hi, I am not sure your son has helped himself much here. How many times has his contract been renewed previously? What's his length of service?

 

And then, what does the absence policy say? It would be unusual for an email to be ok, most require a phone call.

 

Did your son also not think it was odd no one had been in touch to even acknowledge this?

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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Yes. we realise that there has been an error on his part but he had been in contact with them all before Christmas (about 6 emails) and he also had correspondence a few days before telling him that they were having to cancel his shift on the 27th but was still on the rota for 28th December. He didn't occur to him that they did not know as when we received his result he wrote to inform them (which didn't get sent). 

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I need you to answer the questions in order to be able to try and help.

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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I thought I had answered your questions , have I missed some?

I absolutely appreciate that you are trying to help, I have taken a look at the absence policy but it pertains more to full time regular members of staff. His shifts were never the same each week or month. It states that he is to contact his manager on the first day of absence  (which he did)and if longer than 7 days then he would need a sick note from the doctors he had contacted the doctor to arrange this but there was a backlog on registering patients. (he only graduated from Uni in May during the first lockdown).

My concern is the affect this may have on any references. He graduated from University in May and this is the only job he has since then. I just feel that although I agree  and understand that the main point is the fact that he didn't send the email, at no point was he allowed to state his case officially.

 

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I asked

 

How many times has his contract been renewed previously? What's his length of service? 

-  It sounds like he has not been renewed if he only started in May, so continuity of service is not a factor here.

 

And then, what does the absence policy say? It would be unusual for an email to be ok, most require a phone call.

- he hasn't given a sick note - so he is in breach. That's clear enough.

 

But, if it is just about references - ask. He should just ask what the reference will say. Him, not you, by the way. Probably a good idea for him to find his way around forums himself too.

 

It sounds like they are not dismissing, they are just not renewing - huge difference. So there's no disciplinary, no need to state his case. They are doing a thing they are completely permitted to do. Extreme? Tenuous? Maybe. Legal? 100%. I'd probably have just said we're not renewing and leave it at that, but then again, getting a reason means he's had an opportunity to learn.

 

 A basic reference stating dates of employment is all many employers offer now; so he should just ask if that is what they do/ what to expect them to issue, and then you can stop worrying. In the middle of a pandemic no employer is going to think it is weird a FTC was not renewed. 

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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