Employment – Engineered dimisal Help needed

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  • Employment – Engineered dimisal Help needed
  • pcb


    My Wife got a new job on 19/08/08 with the caveat that after 13 weeks probation she would be made a permanent employee.

    These 13 weeks came and went with no negative comments about her or her works.

    She had a review on 19th December and the only comment was that he was not vocal enough with the sales team and that they would have another meeting in mid January to discuss some other things mentioned. All regarding parts of the job that she didn’t understand and that would require further training etc.

    During this time she has found out she is pregnant and is due on 08/06/09! Yay!

    She informed them in writing of this on the 05/01/09.

    Today she has been informed that her probationary period has been increased, 8 weeks after it officially ended, for how long was not specified, and that she would have a 2nd review on 22/01/09 to discuss this. Her manager also said this was stated in the last review but she must have misunderstood her. Again nothing given in writing to confirm this.

    Strangly she was given a £595 pay rise today! Aparently this was given to eveyone, although I think it was planned before she gave them the letter stating she was pregnant.

    It was also mentioned that she was dismissive of a request from the sales director regarding of some information yesterday. Another colleague heard this conversation and says this is untrue.

    To be honest I don’t know what to do and would like some advice on how to fight this. She has had a really bad past 12 months apart from the baby and want to try and help.

    Please can anyone offer some sensible advice.

    Thnaks in advance


    I cannot offer advice but offer you this link,

    http://www.berr.gov.uk/whatwedo/employment matters/work and families

    Good Luck


    Join a union ( sorry but its by far the best advice)

    She needs to see what is written in the company HR handbook and contract/. IIRC if you reach the end of a probationary period it is normal that you are assumed to have successfully completed probation unless your contract / hr handbook states that you have to receive confirmation to complete probation. ( it is getting more common tho that you have a clause in your contract that you have to be notified that probation has ended otherwise probation continues}

    I gather you believe that she is being eased out because she is pregnant?

    You do not normally have recourse to tribunals with less than a years service unless it is a case of discrimination. Being sacked for being pregnant would however count as discrimination.

    I say it again – join a union. I do find it amusing that any mention of unions on here gets slagged off severly but every week there is an employment query like this. CaB / Law centres are another source of free advice or there are other solicitors or commercial advice companies.


    Have a look at the ACAS website. Its got lots of info you’ll need. From my (limited) experience, employees dont have much in the way of protection in the first two years of employment. However the employer should have followed a process. OOOPs looks like TJ has covered it all above



    Thanks for the advice, TJ do you have a union recommendation for a white collar office worker?



    pcb – take your pick http://www.tuc.org.uk/tuc/unions_main.cfm
    Find out if any of the others are unionised and what union they are in?

    GMB / PCS / unite maybe?



    Thanks again.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash

    Get the colleague to document that conversations asap, btw!


    Yeah she is going to do that today


    As far as I understand it, once your original probation period is up, and you don’t have a fixed term temporary contract, they are obliged to treat you as a permanent employee.
    If she’s told them she’s pregnant, and they try to get rid of her, they might as well take down their trousers, bend over the table and wait for the employment tribunal to right royally f*!k them.

    Premier Icon piedi di formaggio

    Union – TJ’s right on this

    Premier Icon takisawa2

    What Davy says sounds right, but I can offer nothing other than to say congrats on your impending time vacum/baby.

    [/i]dont have much in the way of protection in the first two years of employment.

    A woman has exactly the same rights on day one of employemnt as when she has done 10, 20, 30 years of employment when it comes to maternity rights….

    Premier Icon theotherjonv

    maternity rights are really protective – some would even say over protective.

    Not that I wish to generally perpetuate a claim culture, but equally if they’re playing dirty then you can too. Unless the co is absolutely clear on their position, documented, etc. (and it sounds they aren’t) maybe even the hint of an action based on discrimination on grounds of her pregnancy would redress the balance. In reality they might offer a redundancy package that is more beneficial to avoid having to fight the claim, also in reality if it went to a claim and she won then her position back at work might become uncomfortable to the point of being untenable, but tbh they sound like the sorts of folks you wouldn’t want to work for anyway.

    I’d recommend documenting all you can on this asap, and then talk to someone qualified rather than a bunch of middle aged cyclists, though.


    At the moment the only thing that’s happened is that her probationary period has been extended. The issue under question is whether or not they informed her of the extension at the time the previous period expired. They have to have it in writing. Email also counts here so if it was sent but missed by your wife then they will have a record of it.
    If there is no written record, then I think, as other people have suggested, that continuing employment after the period expires implies a permanent contract
    This might be a prelude to something more sinister but until that happens you probably shouldn’t worry. If it does go sour, then her pregnancy will give her a very high degree of protection. As has already been pointed out here, protection from discrimintation on the grounds of sex/gender, race, sexual orientation, belief or age is all automatically guaranteed regardless of length of service. The other thing to know is that there is no limit on how much a company can be sued for under a discrimination claim whereas wrongful or unfair dismissal is limited to a claim of £50k.

    Premier Icon Sandwich

    Discrimination is open-ended for compensation. If it’s not in writing it never happened. If it all goes pear shaped any solicitor should pick the case up on a contingency fee basis, watch your hands for snatching!!


    Many thanks for all the replies.

    My main concern is my wife, the stress of this situation is already starting to tire her out and make her ill!

    Premier Icon winstonsmith

    they won’t get away with dismissing her when she’s pregnant and would have to be fairly stupid to try. that’s a rule most employers do know….

    is she just going to get statutory maternity pay, or an increased amount from her employer? if it’s jsut smp, then they have to keep on paying even if she resigns once she goes on maternity leave. (i know this because i’ve been giving advice on the same issue in work) also it might be less stressful and better for mum n child to get outa there

    anyway, as others said, go get some proper advice

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