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Sacked During the Probationary Period and With Less than Two Years’ Service

Published 17 January 2017

When Frank contacted Castle Associates for help with a dismissal appeal he admits he did not expect too much – but he did get his desired outcome.

Frank, a carer, was distraught when he was dismissed during his probationary period.

He knew the allegations against him were false and believed his bosses merely went through the motions before dismissing him just to give the impression they were being fair.

Frank had not previously been spoken to about his performance when invited to a meeting, the nature of which was not disclosed in advance

A colleague had made an allegation that Frank had physically assaulted him and failed to provide suitable care for a vulnerable service user. Frank categorically denied the allegations.

However, he was informed his contract was being terminated due to his employment proving unsuccessful within the probationary period.

Frank, who is of African origin and was the only black member of staff, was given the right to appeal, and contacted Castle Associates to help him do so.

Prior to the appeal hearing our representative requested further information from the employer, including any evidence to support the allegations and a number of company policies.

One of the policies clearly set out the process to be followed for a dismissal during the probationary period.

Our representative was able to highlight that Frank had never been informed he was not meeting required standards or invited to attend a final review meeting at which he could be accompanied by a trade union representative, both of which breached the company policy.

The employer confirmed at the start of the appeal hearing that it follows the dismissal during the probationary period procedure in all cases, and our representative highlighted the fact it failed to do so when dealing with the only black member of staff could be viewed as race discrimination.

The information requested by our representative was used to demonstrate Frank had also made a whistleblowing disclosure that had been ignored and that there was no evidence to support the allegations.

Frank’s desired outcome for the appeal was to be reinstated. Four days after the appeal hearing he received a letter to say his appeal had been successful and arrangements would be put in place to facilitate his return to work.

The company admitted it failed to follow its own procedures, but denied any suggestion of race discrimination and said it would look into the whistle-blowing disclosure.

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For employment law advice or if you are affected or want information and support by any of the issues in this article please give us a call. 

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