Short service dismissal
Published 29 May 2019
Short service dismissal
Whenever we start a new job we are always keen to make a good early impression.
There can be nothing worse than thinking that you are doing a good job only to be unexpectedly told that you are not, and that you are fired.
With under two years’ service anyone who finds themselves in this position cannot make a claim to a tribunal for unfair dismissal.
Many employers will not follow a full or fair disciplinary process in such circumstances.
So when former salesman Parvez, who had 11 months’ service, found himself in this position he did not know what his rights were or what to do.
His dismissal was out of the blue, and came as a complete shock. He had been a top sales performer and been assured by management that he was doing a good job.
When Parvez contacted the Castle Associates Employee Support Centre he was in desperate need of help.
He met with our representative and provided him with all of the details of the case, including the explanation of decision to dismiss him.
It was stated that Parvez was dismissed for poor performance and inappropriate comments and behaviour towards a customer. When his contract was terminated he was not paid his notice period.
His dismissal followed a meeting with his manager in which Parvez felt he was prevented from being able to respond to any allegation made against him.
He later described his manager as aggressive, hostile and not being interested in anything he had to say.
Parvez was not invited to attend a disciplinary hearing or provided with any evidence of his alleged poor performance or of a complaint ever being made against him.
He explained to our representative that during the meeting with his manager he was told that a female customer had complained.
Parvez had a rough idea who it was, but his manager refused to confirm the identity of the woman insisting that she had asked to remain anonymous.
He had previously had a number of clashes with one customer. At the time he complained to his bosses about her making racially offensive remarks.
Parvez made it clear he found comments directed at him hurtful and insulting. He was advised to ignore the customer and told that is how she is. His manager told him he should just laugh it off as she was a long-standing and good customer.
After speaking to Parvez our representative wrote an appeal letter on his behalf.
The appeal was on the grounds of wrongful dismissal, which he could claim with less than two years’ service.
The appeal also included the grounds that the company failed to protect Parvez against racial harassment. Dismissals which take place for a discriminatory reason will be actionable irrespective of length of service.
Employers can be liable for failing to prevent or stop acts of harassment by a third party directed against its employees if the failure can itself be said to amount to harassment under the Equality Act.
Prior to the appeal hearing our representative requested information from the company in order so that he could fully prepare for the meeting. The information requested included evidence of the apparent poor performance and customer complaint. No such information or evidence was provided.
Parvez wanted to clear his name in order to able to move on without a dismissal being on his record. He wanted limited financial compensation, including his notice period.
Prior to the appeal hearing he was fortunate enough to secure another job and so his desired outcome to the appeal hearing was a settlement agreement.
With this knowledge our representative knew what he was working to achieve. Following the introductions at the hearing, the chair asked Parvez what his desired outcome was.
Our representative initiated an off the record conversation in order to see if an agreement could be reached.
As Parvez was reasonable in terms of what he wanted as part of the agreement, it was agreed there and then. The company also agreed to remove the dismissal from his record.
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