UK Employment Law
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Hello and thank you for your question, which I will be happy to assist you with. Please let me know how long did you work there for?
What was the reason for your dismissal?
Authorising 4 additional days of holiday for a member of staff (unpaid). In absence of line manager HR confirmed OK to proceed. However upon her return she then stated I had not followed procedure and a gross misconduct charge was raised. I was sacked at the end of the meeting although she had accepted my resignation on the morning of the meeting as I had been offered another position.
There aren't templates for appeals as such because each appeal will be based on entirely different facts and will differ from case to case. Therefore, an appeal has to concentrate on the individual circumstances of the situation and deal with each issue that has been brought up previously. Aside from that, you are unfortunately in no position to ask for a compromise agreement or even challenge your dismissal.
If you have been continuously employed at your place of work for less than 12 months then your employment rights will be limited. Most importantly, you will not be protected against unfair dismissal. This essentially means that your employer can dismiss you for any reason, as long as its decision is not based on discriminatory grounds (i.e. because of gender, race, religion, age, a disability, sexual orientation, etc.) or because you were trying to assert any of your statutory rights (e.g. requesting maternity/paternity leave, holidays, for Trade Union activities, etc). In the event that the reason for dismissal was discriminatory, you can make a claim for discrimination in an employment tribunal as there is no minimum service required to claim, although you would need to provide some evidence to back up your claim.
If your dismissal was not based on any of the above grounds, your only protection would be if you were not paid your contractual notice period. Unless you were dismissed for gross misconduct, you would be entitled to receive your contractual notice period. If you did not have a written contract in place you would be entitled to the minimum statutory notice period of 1 week. Your employer would either have to allow you to work that notice period and pay you as normal, or they will have to pay you in lieu of notice.
If you were not paid your notice period when you were due one, that would amount to wrongful dismissal (which is different to unfair dismissal) and you could make a claim in an employment tribunal to recover the pay for the notice period that you should have been given. There is a 3-month time limit to submit the claim.
I am not looking to make a claim and have secured a reference from my old company which is a standard reference only. The prospective new employer has advised that they would like to see a letter appealing the decision before they will confirm the offer of employment. I am unsure what to put into such a letter or whether this process is worth undertaking. I do not wish to return to my previous employer either.
ok so why do you wish to mention a compromise agreement?
The new employer stated that this could be part of the appeal as I had already resigned from the position before the dismissal. I think they feel that my previous employers could have just accepted the resignation and not proceeded with the dismissal and this is possibly what they are looking for before offering the new contract of employment. As I have no understanding of this, that is why it was in my original question.
Asking for a compromise agreement makes no sense and I believe the new employer simply wants to see that there were no valid reasons for dismissing you. Even if you had handed your resignation in, you are still an employee until your notice period expires and the employer may still dismiss you if they find a valid reason for doing so. The new employer may not want to take you on if they find that there was a genuine reason for dismissal. As such the purpose of the letter is mainly going to be a refute of the reasons for your dismissal - they want to see your reasons for believing the dismissal should not have happened
OK, is it best just to send a standard letter to the previous employer outlining why I feel the dismissal was unfair as I had been advised to follow the procedure by HR? If so, are there any standard paragraphs for a reply?
That is the best route to take but there aren't standard wordings for appeal letters - the only standard wording is at the beginning where you are making it clear that you are appealing the decision to dismiss you and then state the actual reasons why you are appealing and do not agree with their decision - it must be in your own words.
OK, thank you for your assistance.
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