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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 47050
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Im currently under employment without seeing my contract in

Customer Question

Hello,Im currently under employment without seeing my contract in the French Alps Morzine under a UK contract.5 Days ago on the first Staff night out I managed to lose everyone and became lost while intoxicated, during this episode i tried to get help by asking 4 french guys for help, of which was not successful. After taking about 10 steps i was hit over the head which caused me to fall to the floor and then get beaten up causing fractured ribs after medical examination a couple days later.During this time since the incident I have carried on working without medication even though I knew I had either a broken or fractured rib, the company was obviously aware of this and never took me to the medical centre until they had time of which was yesterday, 4 days later.I now have been sacked over the phone, on the basis that I haven't met my work duties to their standard even though I've been working up to 15 hours a day on fractured ribs, trying my best to every extent to meet their standard without taking into consideration that I'm in complete agony and most likely not medically fit to work.My phone and wallet was stolen in the attack, so obviously i am without a debit card or credit card at present which leaves me in a very vunerable positon financially and for my own safety in a climate that is in minus temperatures.They are refusing to acknowledge this or take responsibility which i believe after doing employment law that they have a duty of care regardless, I have been told by the doctor that due to my ribs being fractured he would not sign me off to fly as the risk is to high of the bone snapping due to the air pressure and potentially puncturing the lung during flight.Seeing as i have had no contract handed to me this becomes a verbal contract, I'm under UK employment law, im in a vulnerable position medically and financially, what are my rights and how should i proceed?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked there for?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ive been here for one week today, the incident happened on the second night
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Forgot to add they paid for all my medical bills as i obiously have no debit card seeing as it was taken off me during the mugging
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

And what are you hoping to achieve?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Im asking what my rights are, im literally being told that im being placed on the streets when ive been medically singed off.Ive done employment law so clearly they have a duty of care under the circumstances to makes sure im taken care off and as i cant fly or travel they have an obligation to follow through with this or risk prosicution ?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

You will find that your rights are not actually as extensive as you may believe. First of all you are not protected against unfair dismissal because you have less than 2 years’ service, which means that you could be dismissed for more or less any reason and without a fair procedure. So they could go ahead with the termination of your employment, even if the reason you could not perform your duties was due to an injury. As you had no contract in place and had worked there for less than a week you would not be due a notice period by law and the dismissal could be done with immediate effect.

As far as the duty of care is concerned, employers have a duty of care to their employees, which means that they should take all steps which are reasonably possible to ensure their health, safety and wellbeing. However, you need to distinguish this from you turning up to work unfit for work, for whatever reason and not declaring yourself medically unfit and signing yourself off. You cannot realistically blame the employer and say they have breached their duty if you knew you were unwell and voluntarily turned up to work and continued working, without declaring yourself unfit for work and going off sick as you should have.

Also the employer’s responsibilities only apply for as long as there is an employment relationship, once that has been terminated so does the duty so you cannot hold them responsible for looking after you after they have terminated your employment and because you do not have means to look after yourself. This is really a moral argument, not a legal one. So yes, I completely agree that they are failing from a moral point of view, but not from a legal one. So when you mention prosecution this is not going to happen here – there is nothing criminal on their part that would warrant prosecution – legally they have not acted incorrectly. From a legal perspective, you are no longer their problem because you are not their employee and even though you have ended up in this situation because you decided to work for them, it does not make them legally responsible unfortunately.

So you can try and appeal to their human side and ask for compassion in what is obviously a difficult time for you, but if they refuse to help then it would be for you to find other means to finance your stay there, such as by asking family or friends, trying to check into hospital or as a last resort – asking for consular help.

I'm sorry if this is not necessarily the answer you were hoping for, however I do have a duty to be honest and explain the law as it actually stands. This does mean delivering bad news from time to time. I hope you understand and would be happy to provide any further clarification if needed. If you are still satisfied with the level of service you have received I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page. Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your response.Though from my understanding (uni hand down) regardless of them sacking me they still have a duty of care as employers as the incident happenened under their wathch. They have a moral obligation to make sure i return home as stated in my contract, regardless of the cirumstace.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
As from a company point of view, they cant ethically sack someone who has broken 4 ribs, chuck them out on to the streets on -15 degrees and get away with it when the individual has no debit or credit cards, in a british court surely a judge would see this as unethical and illegal?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

You cannot attribute the incident to 'their watch' - this happened whilst you were intoxicated when you had nothing to do with work and they would not have had a responsibility over your whereabouts or actions. The argument that they have a moral obligation has no legal grounds to be pursued - it is just that, a oral argument and that will not stand up legally anywhere. Th same is the argument about the sacking - legally they are perfectly entitled to sack someone even if they are injured, it is still just a moral argument which has no legal leg to stand on - the court will not debate arguments on moral grounds, it is the law that matters and the law allows them to do it

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I think your missing the point,This was a work event out on the night i was introduced to other members of staff, i got lost and got beaten uo.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

I certainly have not missed the point - it does not matter that this was a work event, this was nothing to do with the performance of your duties and the contractual relationship you have with the employer, this was a social occasion, even if it was work related and you cannot place blame or a duty f care on the employer because you happened to get intoxicated, lost, and beaten up by unknown individuals. The employer does not have legal responsibilities in this case, as mentioned it is a moral expectation but that is not a legal requirement

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

My full response should be visible on this page. Could you please let me know if it has answered your original question or whether you need me to clarify anything else in relation to this? If your query has been answered I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating, selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page. Thank you

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