Employment Law: Tina, Fred

Tina, Fred, Sam and Esther have all worked for Garden Products of Dundee Ltd. 

Tina had worked for the company for 6 months when she was given two days’ notice of dismissal and told that she was being sacked for incapability. She was never warned that her performance was inadequate. During her notice period, she sabotaged some machinery, a fact not discovered by Garden Products Ltd until three weeks after she had left. 

Fred, who had worked for the company for nine months, had always been a practical joker. Last week he had an argument with his manager, during which the manager said “I can’t stand you joking around any longer and neither can the bosses, just clear off!” Fred replied that he would not stay where he wasn’t wanted and walked out. The next day he received his P45 with a note from the company accepting his resignation. It is customary within the company for all resignations to be tendered in writing. 

Sam, a transgender single parent, has been employed for one year and 11 months. His contract entitles him to six weeks’ notice and contains a disciplinary procedure entitling him to a hearing and an appeal. Last week he was given two weeks’ notice of dismissal. He had attended a meeting which asked about his home circumstances prior to receiving this notice. The reason for his dismissal, as stated in his notice letter, is bad time keeping. He struggles to balance work with his childcare commitments and his ongoing medical treatment and he feels this is unjustified. He exercised his contractual right of appeal, but the decision to dismiss was upheld. 

Esther is a Spanish national. She had worked for Garden Products for one day a week for eight months, as a book-keeper. Six months ago she left the firm so that she could study to be an accountant, but after a month she dropped out of the course because she was pregnant. Her claim for income support has been turned down, and although she is looking for work she has not yet been successful. 

Advise Tina, Fred, Sam and Esther.

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