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Myth #1 A new employee can’t be dismissed before the end of their probationary period – NOT TRUE
• Probationary period is not a legal requirement
• Usually either 3 or 6 months; satisfactorily completion should be confirmed inwriting
• If the employment relationship’s not working, bring to early conclusion
• Must give notice in writing
• Or pay in lieu (if the contract allows it)
• Good practice to hold a review meeting
• Right to respond
• Learnings for employer
• Be mindful of discrimination (protected characteristics)
Myth #2 You can’t make a pregnant employee redundant – NOT TRUE
• Must be procedurally fair process, checked for risk of bias or sex discrimination in any selection process
• If she qualifies for statutory maternity pay (and remains employed at qualifying week), you must pay in full (39 weeks)
• If already on Maternity Leave, first option on available position (that she is qualified to do)
• Even where she might not be your first choice
Myth #3 An employee can’t take you to Employment Tribunal without 2 years’s service – NOT TRUE
• Usually 2 years to take you for unfair dismissal
• Not necessary for ‘automatically unfair dismissal’ – eg related to pregnancy or acting as a trade union representative
• No service requirement for discrimination claim (any of the 9 protected characteristics)
• No service requirement for wrongful dismissal (employer’s breach of contract of employment)
• Eg underpayment of wages, failure to pay holiday pay
• High risk strategy to assume you are “safe”
• Check with HR Advisor
Myth #4 You must not contact an employee when they’re off sick – NOT TRUE
• Need to maintain regular contact
• Duty of care
• Reasonable adjustments to help them return sooner
• Not daily calls, texts, e-mails – harassment
• Work-related stress
• Make the mutual obligations clear in your ‘Managing Absence’ policy

Myth #5 An employer must not give a bad reference - NOT TRUE
• No obligation to give a reference at all
• References must be factual, true and accurate
• No expressing subjective opinion or information you can’t back up with evidence
• What you can say
• What you can’t say
• Shouldn’t mislead the recipient that someone performed better than they did
• Subject Access Requests (SARs)

• Getting things wrong can be costly
• Consider whether you need HR help
• A good choice of freelance HR providers in Worcestershire
• Regular on a monthly retainer
• Or ad hoc ‘pay as you go’
• Consider if you’re happy with remote advice or whether on occasion you’d like HR to support you in contentious meetings
• Identify the right HR for you and build a relationship – before you need it

For further information please contact June Mills
June Mills HR Solutions
07706 506518

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