Rights during prohibition period

This is a really weird one so I’ll keep it as short as I can but I’d appreciate any advice!

I’m a single dad with in rental property with my two kids, an 18yr old with ASD and a 10yr old with ADHD and going through the ASD assessment process.

I started what I thought was the perfect job in December, doing a role I had excelled in previously but working from home which allowed me to look after the kids after my wife bailed on us almost a year ago (made no attempt at contacting kids since).

The staff Christmas do was in a London bar/club 2 weeks after I started, it was an opportunity to meet my new colleagues for the first time. The party started at 5pm, I arrived at 9pm due to childcare issues. Let’s just say everyone was wrecked when I got there after having a free bar for 4hrs.

All was going well, getting on great with everyone. I’m a smoker and had been out a couple of times with other unhealthy people. 

One of the people there was a company director who I think took a dislike to me as a lady who works for the company that he was, shall we say, being very attentive towards, was more interested in talking to the new guy as we had common interests.

I had a quick chat with him in passing while heading out for another smoke. Or as I put it, going out for a fag. However, he said to me there and then, you can’t say that, you’re sacked. I thought he was joking, but no. He just kept saying we don’t want people like you working for us, you’re sacked, F off…

I tried explaining what I said ant meant to no avail (A number of my best friends are gay so would never use the word in that context!).

Anyway, due to time of night, location, impossibility of getting a cab (They’d closed the tube’s early) I ended up stuck in London overnight.

Anyway, I was hoping it would either be forgotten as he was so smashed or I’d get invited to an HR meeting. Neither. I received an email to my personal account with a letter confirming my dismissal, no reason given and no right to reply. Just a letter to sign to confirm I had received their dismissal letter.

They paid me what I was owed including a weeks notice.

They have put me in a terrible position financially as my universal credit payment this month has taken these wages into account, leaving me £600 short on covering bills, let alone living.

They are also insisting that I courier back my laptop etc at my own expense and claim it back. This is just not possible due to the financial situation they have left me in. I replied to their email chasing the goods, explaining my situation and giving dates and times where they could book a courier to collect. However, they never responded so I am now facing the prospect of them invoicing me for the items as threatened in the email. I am autistic and really struggle making phone calls that could potentially be confrontational.

I know that during probationary periods you can be sacked for anything. However this seems really unfair and I had no right to reply or opportunity to put my side of the story to HR.

Any suggestions? I have basically lost my perfect job due to some drunk idiot on a power trip, been left in a financial disaster and now face the prospect of being invoiced around £2k because I can’t afford to send my work items back!

Help! 😂
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Comments

  • Dakta
    Dakta Posts: 550
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    edited 27 January at 8:44AM
    You'll no doubt get better thoughts from others but as you know you can be let go for anything up to 2 years, barring unlawful discrimination etc. So it's a tough one

    Does your ex-company know you suffer from autism?

    Regarding the laptop, I'd personally stand my ground here unless I agreed in any kind of contract to pay to return items, which I think is unlikely. They sacked you, it's not like you terminated the working contract. In such a case, my first response is sending them a very polite but to the point explaining that you were happy to continue working there, you didn't chose to end the working relationship, you don't believe the allegation against you was in good faith, you don't beleive there was any due process in terms of an investigation, you beleive they didn't make any consideration or mitigation with regards your protected characteristic (if relevant and disclosed) , and I'd make it patently clear to avoid any ambiguity about refusal or withholding of company equipment that you are happy to have it retrieved from you - but you will not be contributing to the cost of it as any contract between yourselves has been terminated - by them.

    Actually fighting the sacking, as unfair as it feels (or is tbh, it sounds bad) might be difficult as the only real way to go about it is if they did discriminate against you unlawfully - which basically means you can be sacked for unfair reasons, and everyone might agree that it's unfair, but there's not a lot of actual recourse until you've hit the two year mark.

    It's no consolation right now, but he has done you a long term favour as he's freed you from being further affected by his standard of management. 

    This is of course assuming the info given is correct and in full. 





  • MattMattMattUK
    MattMattMattUK Posts: 8,186
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    They are also insisting that I courier back my laptop etc at my own expense and claim it back. This is just not possible due to the financial situation they have left me in. I replied to their email chasing the goods, explaining my situation and giving dates and times where they could book a courier to collect. However, they never responded so I am now facing the prospect of them invoicing me for the items as threatened in the email. I am autistic and really struggle making phone calls that could potentially be confrontational.

    and now face the prospect of being invoiced around £2k because I can’t afford to send my work items back!
    Write to /email them telling them that the items are available to collect, or that they can send you both packaging and labels for the items and you will return them using the packaging and labels supplied. They can send you an invoice, but it would be meaningless and would not stand up in court.

    With regard to losing the job, you should just move on, you have no prospect of reversing their decision and likely no prospect of anything else either so there is no point in wasting further energy on it, instead focus on finding a new job.
  • Undervalued
    Undervalued Posts: 8,799
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    This is a really weird one so I’ll keep it as short as I can but I’d appreciate any advice!

    I’m a single dad with in rental property with my two kids, an 18yr old with ASD and a 10yr old with ADHD and going through the ASD assessment process.

    I started what I thought was the perfect job in December, doing a role I had excelled in previously but working from home which allowed me to look after the kids after my wife bailed on us almost a year ago (made no attempt at contacting kids since).

    The staff Christmas do was in a London bar/club 2 weeks after I started, it was an opportunity to meet my new colleagues for the first time. The party started at 5pm, I arrived at 9pm due to childcare issues. Let’s just say everyone was wrecked when I got there after having a free bar for 4hrs.

    All was going well, getting on great with everyone. I’m a smoker and had been out a couple of times with other unhealthy people. 

    One of the people there was a company director who I think took a dislike to me as a lady who works for the company that he was, shall we say, being very attentive towards, was more interested in talking to the new guy as we had common interests.

    I had a quick chat with him in passing while heading out for another smoke. Or as I put it, going out for a fag. However, he said to me there and then, you can’t say that, you’re sacked. I thought he was joking, but no. He just kept saying we don’t want people like you working for us, you’re sacked, F off…

    I tried explaining what I said ant meant to no avail (A number of my best friends are gay so would never use the word in that context!).

    Anyway, due to time of night, location, impossibility of getting a cab (They’d closed the tube’s early) I ended up stuck in London overnight.

    Anyway, I was hoping it would either be forgotten as he was so smashed or I’d get invited to an HR meeting. Neither. I received an email to my personal account with a letter confirming my dismissal, no reason given and no right to reply. Just a letter to sign to confirm I had received their dismissal letter.

    They paid me what I was owed including a weeks notice.

    They have put me in a terrible position financially as my universal credit payment this month has taken these wages into account, leaving me £600 short on covering bills, let alone living.

    They are also insisting that I courier back my laptop etc at my own expense and claim it back. This is just not possible due to the financial situation they have left me in. I replied to their email chasing the goods, explaining my situation and giving dates and times where they could book a courier to collect. However, they never responded so I am now facing the prospect of them invoicing me for the items as threatened in the email. I am autistic and really struggle making phone calls that could potentially be confrontational.

    I know that during probationary periods you can be sacked for anything. However this seems really unfair and I had no right to reply or opportunity to put my side of the story to HR.

    Any suggestions? I have basically lost my perfect job due to some drunk idiot on a power trip, been left in a financial disaster and now face the prospect of being invoiced around £2k because I can’t afford to send my work items back!

    Help! 😂
    They are obviously entitled to their equipment back. However I would have thought that your offer of multiple dates and times for collection was perfectly reasonable. I would suggest repeating that offer, again in writing making clear that whilst you will keep the items safe until they are collected you would like this to be as soon as possible.

    Presumably you live reasonably close to where you worked? Is it not possible for you or a friend on your behalf to drop the items off so as to get this resolved? If you do make sure you keep some proof.

    Otherwise, as said above, within two years you have very few rights and can be dismissed for any reason that does not amount to unlawful discrimination or indeed for no reason at all. If you have a disability (for employment law purposes) and the employer was formally made aware of this (or it was so obvious that any reasonable employer should have been aware) then you would be entitled to "reasonable adjustments". However that doesn't mean you can't be dismissed for a valid reason.
  • tacpot12
    tacpot12 Posts: 7,836
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    I would raise a greivance with them, so that this director's behaviour is on record. 

    However, you don't want to be working there if they tolerate this behaviour from a director. You are much better off out of that business. You got the job there, so you can get another one.
    The comments I post are my personal opinion. While I try to check everything is correct before posting, I can and do make mistakes, so always try to check official information sources before relying on my posts.
  • Dakta
    Dakta Posts: 550
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    edited 27 January at 2:30PM
    tacpot12 said:
    I would raise a greivance with them, so that this director's behaviour is on record. 

    However, you don't want to be working there if they tolerate this behaviour from a director. You are much better off out of that business. You got the job there, so you can get another one.

    That's actually a good idea, and past employees CAN raise grievances.

    Definitely better out of it than in though, imagine living with someone like this. Treat it as ridding yourself of a bad manager, that's never a bad thing. 


  • lincroft1710
    lincroft1710 Posts: 17,446
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    You have made the Number One Classic Mistake - chatting up the boss' lust interest!


    The "going for a fag" was just a red herring, the director used it in case fellow directors asked why you were sacked. You were sacked by being over friendly with the woman he lusts after
    If you are querying your Council Tax band would you please state whether you are in England, Scotland or Wales
  • Marcon
    Marcon Posts: 9,920
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    Dakta said:
    tacpot12 said:
    I would raise a greivance with them, so that this director's behaviour is on record. 

    However, you don't want to be working there if they tolerate this behaviour from a director. You are much better off out of that business. You got the job there, so you can get another one.

    That's actually a good idea, and past employees CAN raise grievances.

    Definitely better out of it than in though, imagine living with someone like this. Treat it as ridding yourself of a bad manager, that's never a bad thing. 


    You seriously think they are going to keep such an assertion on record, given that it's someone who was employed for a couple of weeks v an established director, who will simply deny whatever complaint is made...? I'd leave well alone.


    They are also insisting that I courier back my laptop etc at my own expense and claim it back. This is just not possible due to the financial situation they have left me in. 
    OP - email them again, explaining that as you have previously explained in your email of [date], you are unable to afford the cost of the courier and asking them for their proposals to arrange collection, stressing you will do your best to be available provided you are given adequate notice. 
    Googling on your question might have been both quicker and easier, if you're only after simple facts rather than opinions!  
  • Dakta
    Dakta Posts: 550
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    I do believe in putting things on record, yes.

    I dont expect it to be taken seriously but yes puttings on record has its uses. Especially if you keep the putting it on record on record too. (Keep the email).

    That isnt to say id expect much but its these checks and balances that did me a tonne of good in a hopeless situation.







  • prowla
    prowla Posts: 13,092
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    Going for a fag is not an offensive term, even for people who are looking to be offended.
    However, if that is their attitude, you're better off out of there.
  • housebuyer143
    housebuyer143 Posts: 3,153
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    edited 28 January at 7:40AM
    As others have said, you have probably dodged a bullet. I worked for someone who sounds a lot like that guy, ruling through fear, sacking people he didn't like for no reason, yelling at people etc. 
    It was the worst job I ever had and I was a lot younger and stayed there much longer than was good for me. I think the smart ones were the ones who got sacked or left early on! If it wasn't this, then he might have taken a dislike to you because your children were at home when your were working, or that you prioritized them over the business, or that you don't have more suitable childcare etc.
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