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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Employment Law
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Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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For Ben Jones: Hi Ben, The company came back a week later

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For Ben Jones: Hi Ben,
The company came back a week later and offered me a trial in the new role. If the trial goes well, the broad terms re: hours and pay and location are acceptable to me. (We might fail to agree on the details but that's to discuss in the future.) My existing role has a 6 month notice period. Is a trial part of an extended consultation or is a trial performed as part of the old role's notice period? (They are saying notice period.) If a trial is for a role that has significantly different hours and pay than the prior role, is the trial conducted under those new hours and pay? If the trial is deemed unsuccessful, then is the remaining notice and severance paid according to the old role's terms or new or some combination? Finally, there is someone else in the company who was put at risk of being made redundant, and immediately went off onto long term leave for depression. And so, four months after she was advised her role was at risk, she is still employed, and paid. I happen to know for a 100% certain fact that she is not depressed. (Know her outside work.) I would never do this, consider it highly unethical, but how is it possible? (I ask this wearing my director/shareholder hat.) Please let me know the fee for this set of questions. Thank you.

Ben Jones :

Hello again, how long is your trial for?

Customer: Two months has been discussed. Nothing on paper yet but I am doing the new work and transitioning pieces of my old job to others.
Ben Jones :

Under law a statutory trial period starts when the employee's employment under their old contract ends and lasts for four weeks. It may only be extended to last for longer than four weeks for the purposes of retraining the employee in the alternative employment.


In terms of notice, there are a few options:

  • You are given explicit notice of termination, allowed to work it and once your old job terminates you start the trial

  • You are paid in lieu of notice and as soon as that is done and your old job terminates you start the trial

  • Nothing is mentioned regarding notice and you are simply asked to start the trial. You would be entitled to notice once the trial has ended and the trial will not count as part of your notice period


Any trial period will be on the terms of the job you are trialling. You do not get any notice period for the trial job so any notice terms will be related to your old job.


Finally, the employee that was off sick. The employer may be acting cautiously because of being informed that she is depressed. You may know that she is not because you know her personally but the employer, who can only rely on what she says and what her doctor has said, may have a different view. As such they may be reluctant to simply proceed in her absence in case she raised a complaint from a discrimination point of view. If the employer is not satisfied that she is really depressed they may ask for further evidence or ask her to attend an occupational health assessment to get further information on her condition.

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