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Unfair Dismissal? Advice


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I have just been contacted by a previous colleague for advice today and I am not really sure where she should turn, although I think she has been unfairly dismissed.

When she arrived at work today she was told she was being dismissed because she phoned in sick on Monday, the management then changed their mind and said it wasn't because of the sick day, but it was due to lack of commitment & not willing to do hours required. She had recently been offered to reduce her hours from full time to term time only and excepted (I was term time only and she took my hours when I left). When she said that she hadn't asked for term time but had been offered it the manager told her they hadn't offered it???

Following the change in her hours they moved her from preschool to toddlers, I questioned this and asked how they could put her in a full time room as there were no term time only children, however the manager told me it was OK.

The setting has told her they will keep her on until the 24th July (end of term) and then they are terminating her contract. Surely this is unfair dismissal, she didn't ask for term time only, she was offered it and excepted it. Does anyone know how to take the company to a tribunal?

Any advice welcome, sorry for the long post!



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There are some issues here that your friend needs to clarify with her employer-

1) 'lack of commitment'- has this ever been mentioned before? Have any disciplinary procedures been followed?

2) 'not willing to do hours required'. What does her contract state? What records are there regarding requests for a change of hours (either from her or her employers?)

3) 'terminating her contract'- what terms are in the contract? One week's notice? One month's? A term?

I don't think the move from pre-school to toddlers and whether or not there are term-time children in her room, is relevant here.

I would advise that your friend clarifies these 3 points, then seeks advice from either Citizen's Advice or, as others have suggested, ACAS. Today.

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