I was let go from my previous place of employment around two months ago. It was a pretty quick process- I was called in to the managing directors office in the afternoon, informed I was being let go, and then back to my desk to get my things and leave.

There was no disciplinary procedure involved, I was not given any specifics as to why I was being let go. I did ask if they had been unhappy with my performance or whether they just no longer wanted to pay the development costs for the back-office system for which I was the sole developer (I suspect they felt it would be cheaper to buy in separate modules that did everything the current system did, rather than pay my salary to continue developing it). The answer I received was a rather vague "A bit of both", in that whether or not my performance was an issue (and I should mention that up until that point, it had never been brought into question) they weren't getting the turnaround speed on features that they had hoped for.

I was disappointed but chalked it up to a lesson in managing expectations and moved on. As I had not been working there for 2 years I was not eligible for redundancy pay (I'm not even sure it was a redundancy, the word was never used). I was told they would pay my notice period but that I did not have to come into the office, and that I was on gardening leave. I spent the time to search for a new job, they were happy to provide a good reference- and I thought that was that- however when the final pay transfer went into my bank account it was far lower than I had been expecting.

I e-mailed their finance department and asked for copies of my pay slips (they used an electronic system, and as I had left the office quite quickly ne'er to return , I hadn't thought to print off hard copies). I was e-mailed my final 3 pay slips, the last one detailed 2 units (weeks) of pro-rata work before I was let go, 4 units of notice period paid at less than half the normal rate, and the days holiday I was owed in lieu. All told I appear to be missing over £1200 from the half pay notice period. At no point in the (short) meeting was it mentioned that it would be half pay, and I would not have agreed if it was. Nothing in my contract suggests they can pay half rate. It does mention they can dismiss a employee immediately (or put them on gardening leave) by paying the sum of their notice period.

I e-mailed their finance department about the discrepancy but have yet to receive a response and I'm curious as to my next move. My instinct is to contact the Citizens Advice Bureau, but I am wondering if there are other steps or precautions I should be taking beforehand.

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    Unsure about UK laws, but definitely give the Citizens Advice Bureau a call and inform them that you are waiting for a response from your employer but wanted to call on next steps if that doesn't work. At the very least they can start paperwork for you so that if there is a case, all you have to do is call and get it rolling.
    – Dan
    Commented Dec 12, 2017 at 17:40

1 Answer 1


NB: I am not a lawyer and this doesn't constitute legal advice

From how you've described it they can't do that - as you've worked there less than 2 years the minimum notice period they have to give you is 1 week but they would have to explicitly state in writing that this was the notice period being given and they have to pay you full wages during your notice period. If they have given you 4 weeks of notice period then they have to pay you in full for those four weeks.

CAB is a good first port of call and depending on what they say you may have to get a solicitor involved. It may also be worth giving the ACAS helpline a call on 0300 123 1100. If possible I'd make those call(s) before engaging any further with your ex-employer.

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    It's written in my contract that the notice period is four weeks. They also said in the interview that they would pay four weeks and with the "4 units" on the payslip it looks as if they have paid four weeks but at the lower rate. I also didn't receive the notice in writing at any point so there was no opportunity for them to change that. Thank you for the ACAS helpline I will definitely go to them as well.
    – ptr
    Commented Dec 12, 2017 at 9:32
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    yeah irrespective of the contractual period they could have given the 1 week minimum but it doesn't sound like they did that (or specify any alternative) so it should be the four weeks and according to the ACAS info in my first week they have to pay full wages for any notice period.
    – motosubatsu
    Commented Dec 12, 2017 at 9:34
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    What is "4 units" ? I have never seen that on a uk payslip before? Commented Dec 12, 2017 at 23:02
  • payslipsonline.co.uk/resource/products/88748/5ad93faf.jpg in the units column they sometimes put the "amount" of that item. so Basic Pay (1 unit) £5000 or whatever
    – ptr
    Commented Dec 13, 2017 at 8:04

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