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Dear Sir, I wonder if you could advise me please I am

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Dear Sir, I wonder...
Dear Sir, I wonder if you could advise me please?

I am a newly qualified Solicitor (residential property) and 8 weeks ago (after applying for over 200 jobs) I was offered my first interview and offered a position as assistant solicitor in a small firm of solicitors (16 people). Because I am newly qualified, it was a position whereby they agreed to provide me with all the training I needed. I was SO excited about my job.

I soon found out that 4 other people had worked in my position in the last year alone, and one of them was taking the firm to an employment tribunal for bullying and racism.

The reason being that the firm is run by two female solicitors who are complete bullies. I have been screamed and shouted abuse at for 8 hours a day for the past 8 weeks. It has been a nightmare. Initially, when I started with the firm I was in an office with two secretaries, who were very nice and we got on well. Within a week I was told that I was not allowed to speak to them or interrupt their work. It is very difficult, when you start a new job, not to ask people in the room with you where things are etc. So they moved the secretaries away from me. I was told I was not to socialise with them or speak to them. I then had the two bullies in my office, one either side and it has been the worst experience of my life. They have had me in tears every day, shouting and telling me to do 100 things at once. They seem to enjoy it, and egg each other on.

Two weeks ago, I suffered a severe chest infection and was prescribed antibiotics and steroids by my doctor and signed off sick for 3 days. I only took one day off sick, as I was so scared of the consequences, and when I went back, still very unwell, I was again abused and shouted at. I have been told that I will not be paid for that day's sick. Are they allowed to do this? I was signed off sick by a doctor.

Last Friday I was called in and told that I was not up to the job, I could not fulfill my contract, as i lacked experience and needed more training than they had time to give me. I was given the option of leaving there and then or working my notice.

I asked if I could think about it.

I then went in to work yesterday morning and said that I did not want to work my notice, but that I needed the money, and could I be paid if I did not work it. I was told that I could choose to work my notice and be paid, or not work it and not be paid.

I, therefore, chose to work for the next four weeks.

The thing is I don't know if I can cope with working the next four weeks. The atmosphere is so dreadful and I am being screamed at all the time. I know that eventually I am going to end up shouting back or having a breakdown and running out of the building.

I was given the following letter yesterdy:

"Further to your meeting with... on Friday 25th June, please acceept this letter as confirmation of one mont's notice to terminate your contract of employment on Friday 23rd July 2010 as you are unable to fulfil the requirements of the position in accordance with your contract. It has become apparent that you require a great deal more training and supervision than was anticipated from your interview.

You have advised me this morning that you would like to work your noitce period and I confrim that this is acceptable.

You have also asked this morning for time-off for job interview and we would be prepared to allow you the time out of the office, but this is to be taken as holiday or unpaid and would ask that you provie as much notice as possible for the time required.

Whilst you remain employed by this firm, your Practising Certificate must remain in the office. I understand that you requested this from our receptionist on Friday and I would ask that you return it immediately"

Yours sincerely

My questions are this please:

I REALLY do not want to work my notice period, working there is making me ill. Do the firm have to pay me if I do not work my notice period? My contract of employment provides that they have to give me one month's notice during my initial three month trial period.

I am considering going to the doctor today, and if I am signed off, will again they have to pay me for the one month's notice period.

For the past 8 weeks, I have arrived at work at 8.30am and left at 5.45pm (my hours are 9-5.30). And yesterday at my meeting with the office manager, I suggested that I would arrange for any potential interviews to take place after 4.30pm and work through my lunch hour. I was told that any time I had off work to attend interviews, I would not be paid for, and I was not allowed to work through lunch and leave early to attend an interview. I thought that, as they had given me my notice, they had to allow me time to attend interviews. Is this correct?

Am I entitled to take them to a tribunal for bullying, if I can't take it any more?

If I state that I am leaving because of bullying, will they have to pay me for the month's notice?
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: UK Law
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Answered in 3 hours by:
6/29/2010
Solicitor: Senior Partner, Solicitor replied 8 years ago
Senior Partner
Senior Partner, Solicitor
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 13,330
Experience: 30 years experience in business law and related topics such as employment law
Verified
If what you say is true then these people are not fit to run a law firm but the answers to your questions are that you have no right to pay for your notice period if you refuse to work it.
you could claim that their conduct amounts to constructive dismissal but that is not an easy claim to run particularly since you are leaving because they dismissed you not because

you cannot bring any other claim because you have not been there long enough to acquire unfair dismissal rights and bullying amount so t a breach of contract which as I say could give you a constructive dismissal rights.

My best advice is to standup to them and tell them that you will not accept their behaviour and that they are rude and unpleasant. They might just shut up.

Tell them they have no right to your practising certificate it is yours not theirs whether they paid for it or not.

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