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I have a question regarding a probationary period and noticed given. I started my job on the 2nd Jan 2018 as a trainee on a 3 month probation. 3 weeks prior to my probation period expiring, I was called into the office to be told that my probation period would be extended for a maximum of 3 months, on a month by month basis - confirmed in writing.

Today, on the first day of my extension, I was called into the office and told that my employment would be ending, effective immediately with pay in leiu of notice, due to the business struggling. Something that didn't appear to be the case 3 weeks ago when the employer confidently extended my probation prematurely.

Conspiracy theories aside, my question arises here...My contract states that the employer has the right to terminate the employment by issuing 1 weeks notice, in line with statute. However, the written confirmation of my extended probation states that I will be judged on a month by month basis. Does, the later dated express term of "month by month" in the confirmation letter, trump that of the implied term of 1 weeks notice?

The reason I ask is that it feels a little unfair that after giving a line of hope, an employer can issue a notice to terminate, on the day the extension starts. Does this reach the implied term of mutual trust?

Furthermore, could it be seen as a breach of trust to train me in a way that doesn't work, and then dismiss me for defending the allegations of mistakes? - The real reason in my opinion.

Many thanks.

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The short answer is no. Any arrangements surrounding your probation period extending do not trump the statutory notice periods set down either in law or in your contract.

It might not be "fair" but (and I hate to be the voice of doom and gloom) fairness isn't something that really factors in to the world of work and employment. Your rights are what is laid down in your contract and the local law beyond that it's all up to the employer's discretion.

Furthermore, could it be seen as a breach of trust to train me in a way that doesn't work, and then dismiss me for defending the allegations of mistakes? - The real reason in my opinion.

Nope, unless you can prove your employer expressly violated the terms of your employment contract you are on a hiding to nothing.

Nothing to do here but chalk it up to experience, polish up the CV and move on.

  • Hi Moto and thanks for the response. You said: "Any arrangements surrounding your probation period extending do not trump the statutory notice periods set down either in law or in your contract". The statutory notice period is a legal minimum, if an employer decided to increase this period, it could be used against them in court for failure to adhere to the agreement. Doesn't my employer have to stick to what he has agreed in the sense that he has expressly choosen to increase the assessment for another month? – user4163554 Apr 3 '18 at 17:59
  • There is a whole paper trail of defended allegations, none of which have been answered. – user4163554 Apr 3 '18 at 18:06
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    @user4163554 Re: first comment - no the only thing that supersedes the legal minimum is the contractual minimum (if larger) which, as you stated is one week. Re: second comment: no, not going to make a blind bit of difference, unless those allegations include them breaching the contract, and even then you'd have to prove it in court – motosubatsu Apr 3 '18 at 18:15
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    @user4163554 It's best for you to drop it. Going after an employer is a situation where even if you win, you lose. You will make yourself untouchable to future employers, even if you were to win a judgment against your previous employer. The only thing employers hate more than disgruntled employees who sue are disgruntled employees who sue and win – Retired Codger Apr 3 '18 at 18:50
  • Thanks for the responses all. Looks like Novichoks might be the only solution then! – user4163554 Apr 5 '18 at 6:59

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