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  • FIRST POST
    • Mickey154
    • By Mickey154 14th Apr 19, 11:01 PM
    • 7Posts
    • 5Thanks
    Mickey154
    Would I have grounds to claim constructive dissmissal
    • #1
    • 14th Apr 19, 11:01 PM
    Would I have grounds to claim constructive dissmissal 14th Apr 19 at 11:01 PM
    I wonder if any one can give me some advice. I've worked as a chef for the same place for over 12 years now. Ive worked up the ranks and am now head chef.

    I've always been on I guess you would call it a zero hours contract. I get paid by the hour. Different hours every day every week. I have always worked a minimum of 45 hours a week normally 50 hours is a average and more in summer.
    We never get any notice of our rota. Rota is always put up on a sunday evening For the next day and that week .

    Any way recently my employer has decided to employ 2 new people to work in kitchen with me and the sous chef , we did not need more staff. They have no chef qualifications and seriously can not cook. We have to re cook every thing they cook it's that bad

    Any way, my employer has decided to drastically cut mine and the sous chefs hours and give the hours to these 2 new members of staff. The 2 new staff are working over 40 hours a week.

    My hours are now barely 25hrs a week. I'm really not happy. The sous chef is not happy either. We were given no warning that they were going to cut our hours only found out when saw rota.

    Im really angry and feel I'm being treated very badly considering how long I've worked for them. I can not live on 25hrs a week. I have a family ( 4 children to support). 25hrs a week is a insult I won't be able to pay all bills or put food on table.

    On top of this I've lost all motivation working there as the boss won't let me do my job. She is over 70 she has lost the plot and it a control freak. She is also a cheap skate cutting costs where she can. She buys the cheapest poorest quality food and charges customers extortionate prices.

    She keeps changing every thing when I'm off. An example is that one of items on menu is garlic mushrooms in a creamy sauce. I normally make a nice sauce with cream. But no she has decided that milk thickened with cornstarch is good enough. It's duscusting. Most of the soups we sell are vegetarian and very popular. We used to sell hundreds of portions of soup a day. Now she has changed the soups to soups with meat and meat stock. The soups are not selling. She won't even let me do ordering. She insists on doing ordering her self and always orders rediculous amounts of stuff we do not need or never use.

    She even tries to cut costs when it comes to health and safety. She won't buy sanitizer to clean sides, she won't buy hand sanitizer or hand wash. We don't even have a proper first aid kit. She says it's all to expensive. The last time I had a accident I had to rush home and get my own first aid kit. Kitchen equipment keeps failing and she won't replace. I've had to go and get my own equipment from home some times to he able to do my job. Extraction system does not work in kitchen and it's started to effect mine and the sous chefs health breathing in constant Gready air as it's not being removed from kitchen. I could go on. It's not that she can't afford it, she is rich and greedy. Wants to make as much money as she can with out spending.

    I feel like I've been left with no choice but to look for another Job. I am going to send my CV out tomorrow and start apply for jobs. But I have a few questions that I hope some one can advice me on.

    Firstly as I feel I have no choice but to leave, would I have grounds to sue for constructive dismissal after I've found a new job and left. What evidence would I need to prove constructive dismissal. And do I need to follow a set procedure before leaving if want to claim constructive dismissal.

    Secondly I have been paying in to a pension scheme where I work. Would I loose this pension and the money I've paid in to it if I leave.

    Would it be worth me going to citizens advice bureau on my next day off.

    Any advice much appreciated
    Thanks in advance
Page 2
    • pmlindyloo
    • By pmlindyloo 15th Apr 19, 12:16 PM
    • 12,279 Posts
    • 14,098 Thanks
    pmlindyloo
    With all due respect to everyone, for something as important as this, I’d be asking someone that requires payment for their advice rather than the opinions of people on this forum.

    Personally I think your employer has behaved shoddily, that doesn’t matter though, it’s whether it breaks the law. An employment expert would have a good idea whether it does.
    Originally posted by sportsarb
    I do agree with this.

    It may be that you have a case for arguing that you were on a regular contract not a zero hours contract although the irregularity of your hours may go against this.

    Have a read of this:

    http://www.safeworkers.co.uk/zero-hours-contracts-explained.html

    If you want to argue this case then you are going to need specialist advice. You could google your nearest Citizens Advice and see if they have an employment specialist working there.

    However, I also agree that sometimes it is best to walk away and find another job with regular hours and pay. Going to an Employment tribunal could be stressful and the outcome unknown. I am not sure what you wish to achieve through this route as regards your own position.

    You have had advice about the other aspects of your employment and how you can report your employer for all her failings and this may be the best route.

    I understand your anger about the situation but unfortunately life is unfair. You and your family are the important ones here.
    • gettingtheresometime
    • By gettingtheresometime 15th Apr 19, 12:22 PM
    • 4,527 Posts
    • 11,593 Thanks
    gettingtheresometime
    Again thanks for your replies. But I am shocked and find it hard to believe that you are all siding with my employer and think what she is doing is acceptable. Ozzuk I can't believe what you are saying. your saying that it's ok for a employer to reduce your hours to zero instead of sacking you, to force you out of your job so they don't have to sack you there for getting out of any legal trouble. That's shocking and a big loop hole.

    So if any employer wants to get rid of employee they don't have to sack them they can just reduce there hours and force them out. So no need to sack staff any more and no unfair dismissal cases to worry about.

    All of you seem to be saying that employees have no rights and can be treated like dirt and that's fine employer can do this it perfectly fine. Employees are worthless. It's a joke.

    Oh and guess what I've not been paid. I was meant to be paid last Friday but no pay recieved. I was promised my pay would be in this morning but nothing. Now she is saying she won't pay me as she wants all money for her self. Her words not mine.

    I guess you are all going to say that there is nothing I can do and that this is acceptable too and perfectly legal and that I should walk away and accept loosing over a months wages. Even if I get a new job quick I still have to wait a month or more for first pay. How do I pay bills and keep a roof over my family's head.

    Not one of you have answered any of my actual questions or given me any advice. Just siding with my employer and telling me to move on.

    I guess I should just move on then and loose my wages. After all I have no rights so there is nothing I can do.
    Originally posted by Mickey154
    She is treating you very badly - no one has said any thing to the contrary - but not illegally and unfortunately for you they are two different things.


    As for wages yes you can sue her for them but I guess then you may find you are literally put on zero hours.


    What everyone has said is that it sounds as if she's running the business into the ground either intentionally or unintentionally. If the standard of the food is that bad no one will come back again and I guess, especially in these days of tripadvisor etc, she's hardly going to get word of mouth recommendations.


    With regards to the pension how long have you paid into it? I seem to remember that if it was less than two years (though that might have been two yrs of service I can't remember exactly now) you could have the return of your personal contributions less tax ie you wouldn't have the contributions that the employer might have made. If it was greater than 2 years, you had the choice of effectively freezing the pot (which would include the employer contributions) or transferring them to a different scheme. However my knowledge is probably out of date so the best course of action would to be to ring up the pension provider and ask, hypothetically, what your options would be.


    If you and the sous chef are a good team have you thought about opening up a rival establishment?
    Lloyds OD / Natwest OD / PO CC / Wescott / Argos Card cleared thanks to the 1 debt v 100 day challenge


    Next on the list - JD Williams
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 15th Apr 19, 1:26 PM
    • 35,482 Posts
    • 21,697 Thanks
    getmore4less
    How much holiday have you been getting?

    What holiday pay have you been getting for that holiday?
    • Ozzuk
    • By Ozzuk 15th Apr 19, 1:39 PM
    • 1,641 Posts
    • 2,370 Thanks
    Ozzuk
    Sportsarb thank you. You are right. I only came on this forum as I thought Some one might have been in a similar situation in past and might be able to offer some advice. But was wrong and have Just wasted my time.

    Ive made a appointment to see a employment lawyer on Wednesday. My wife's dad has lebt us money to pay for it. Hopefully I will get some proper advice then.

    I won't bother posting back here again
    Originally posted by Mickey154

    To be clear...it is terrible how she is treating you, I feel for you, but as I said, if you want to take action pay for advice - because on the face of it the hours stuff is unfair, but not illegal in my unlearned opinion.

    I also think zero hours contract are appalling - but you agreed to it, so those are the terms you are working under.

    Personally, I hope you do find something that will support your case, I think it is unlikely, but good luck to you.
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 15th Apr 19, 2:14 PM
    • 7,223 Posts
    • 9,460 Thanks
    TBagpuss
    Again thanks for your replies. But I am shocked and find it hard to believe that you are all siding with my employer and think what she is doing is acceptable. Ozzuk I can't believe what you are saying. your saying that it's ok for a employer to reduce your hours to zero instead of sacking you, to force you out of your job so they don't have to sack you there for getting out of any legal trouble. That's shocking and a big loop hole.

    So if any employer wants to get rid of employee they don't have to sack them they can just reduce there hours and force them out. So no need to sack staff any more and no unfair dismissal cases to worry about.

    All of you seem to be saying that employees have no rights and can be treated like dirt and that's fine employer can do this it perfectly fine. Employees are worthless. It's a joke.

    Oh and guess what I've not been paid. I was meant to be paid last Friday but no pay recieved. I was promised my pay would be in this morning but nothing. Now she is saying she won't pay me as she wants all money for her self. Her words not mine.

    I guess you are all going to say that there is nothing I can do and that this is acceptable too and perfectly legal and that I should walk away and accept loosing over a months wages. Even if I get a new job quick I still have to wait a month or more for first pay. How do I pay bills and keep a roof over my family's head.

    Not one of you have answered any of my actual questions or given me any advice. Just siding with my employer and telling me to move on.

    I guess I should just move on then and loose my wages. After all I have no rights so there is nothing I can do.
    Originally posted by Mickey154
    I don't think anyone is siding with your employer or saying that what she is doing is acceptable.

    What we are saying (indeed Polgara said it explicitly) is that someone behaving in ways which areunfiar or unreasonable or not good practice, and someone behaving in ways which are unlawful and give you a legal way of getting redress, are not the same thing.

    I think you might find it helpful to talk to ACAS, and then to an employment lawyer, who will be able to advice you about whether you would be likely to be able to claim constructive dismissal (and what ypu need to do before resigning if so)

    In relation to your health issues, you may have a claim but I suspect that you would have to prove that she was negligent - so either that there are specifc H&S rules about what is required regarding extrator ans / ventilation which she has breached, or that you have reported the issue and she hasn't done anything to remedy it. Either way, you would need to show that she had been negligent and that that caused your health issues.
    That's something you will need to get advice about.

    It sounds as though she is an unplesant person and a bad employer, but that doesn't automatically mean that she has acted unlawfully.

    I still think that your best bet is to try to get a new job as soon as you can, and in the mean tim, get some proper advice and follow it.
    • Marvel1
    • By Marvel1 15th Apr 19, 4:19 PM
    • 4,074 Posts
    • 4,487 Thanks
    Marvel1
    If you left, anything you can report to the FSA for surprise visit?

    I would leave the rep is on you as the chef if the food is bad. I use to visit a restaurant a few times, lovely steaks, one time I went it was bad - found out the chef left and a new chef in, tried again a second time - not been back since.
    Last edited by Marvel1; 15-04-2019 at 4:22 PM.
    • pinkshoes
    • By pinkshoes 15th Apr 19, 4:45 PM
    • 16,361 Posts
    • 22,562 Thanks
    pinkshoes
    The OP didn't get the answers they wanted so has said they won't be posting again.

    OP, if you are still reading replies, then just because people don't agree with you, doesn't mean they aren't offering good advice.

    Life is short. Yes, your employer is treating you unfairly, but as you are on a zero hours contract it is not illegal. You are therefore wasting money on legal advice.

    Put your CV out there, get another job and move on with your life.

    My dad had an emergency quadruple heart bypass many years ago. The company who he has worked for for 25 years dismissed him for therefore being incapable of doing his job rather than supporting him. A legal case would have been stressful, so I am glad he chose to move on.
    Should've = Should HAVE (not 'of')
    Would've = Would HAVE (not 'of')

    No, I am not perfect, but yes I do judge people on their use of basic English language. If you didn't know the above, then learn it! (If English is your second language, then you are forgiven!)
    • sportsarb
    • By sportsarb 15th Apr 19, 5:36 PM
    • 776 Posts
    • 536 Thanks
    sportsarb
    I think the OP has done what made sense and is going to get professional advice. There will be things in law that aren't known to people on here, there will be aspects of the case that haven't been teased out but that someone who knows what to ask will be able to tease out.
    • Masomnia
    • By Masomnia 15th Apr 19, 6:50 PM
    • 17,814 Posts
    • 39,650 Thanks
    Masomnia
    I think you're doing the right thing in getting professional advice OP as this is far from a straightforward case. Quite right to say that what is writing is not as important as the actual facts of the relationship ie if neither of you treat it as a ZHC then it isn't really, and a tribunal would not see it that way either.

    You can use that to your advantage though. If you did find a new job you can just leave and start work elsewhere, after all if it's a genuine ZHC you've got the right to turn down any work that is offered to you. So I think it would be wise to decide which way you want to play it and stick to it.
    I could see that, if not actually disgruntled, he was far from being gruntled. - P.G. Wodehouse
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 15th Apr 19, 9:38 PM
    • 6,256 Posts
    • 6,946 Thanks
    TELLIT01

    I won't bother posting back here again
    Originally posted by Mickey154

    Sadly, all too common when somebody doesn't get the answer they want. Rather than accepting the reality of the situation they blame the messenger.
    • Takmon
    • By Takmon 16th Apr 19, 7:18 AM
    • 389 Posts
    • 332 Thanks
    Takmon
    I won't bother posting back here again
    Originally posted by Mickey154
    That's a shame for you because your financial situation outside of work is dire and you could learn a lot about budgeting and building up an emergency fund from this forum.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 16th Apr 19, 7:31 AM
    • 35,482 Posts
    • 21,697 Thanks
    getmore4less
    Staying till you find another job scuppers any chance of constructive dismissal.
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