Job contract ended early. No explanation given.


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Oct 7, 2003
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"London, a small village on Mars..."
My brother is working as a Security Officer at the same place I am. He was taken on with a short term contract (as far as I remember) that was renewed every 3 months. It was due to run out on the 21st August but was brought forward to the 14th. There was no explanation in the letter he received. Also this was complete news to our supervisor too and there were 2 more guys who joined after my brother. Not sure yet if they received a letter, assuming a last-in-first-out policy would be used by the employer.

Thing is, our employer is using some kind of Employee Benefit system example and my brother was put on it even though he signed the letter which removed him from this scheme. The reason being that you pay less NIC and tax and are supposed to claim benefits back via "expenses" (there's a lot more to it than that - basically our employer stood to receive a fair amount of money from this scheme). But where we work there are no expenses. Instead they put him on it and must have claimed these expenses for him, without my brother's knowledge. He asked our supervisor to call the office and say he didn't want to be on it. The same day a letter is written and sent to my brother saying his contract is over. He has two weeks notice. But, as I said, the contract should have been over on the 21st.
So, is it a coincidence that he's sacked on the same day he wanted out of this scheme? Or did they get rid of him because they wouldn't be able to earn the best part of £2000+ a year from his employment? (Like I said this EBS is complicated but we worked it out to discover the employer gains most of the money back).
Can you just get rid of someone that easily? And if the two guys who were employed after him are still there what was the reason?
I do understand that if a position ends than you are redundant from that position but as far as I can tell there has been no change in the shifts at work. Also our supervisor would have the final say on who would go and he swore blind he knew nothing of it.
Any input would be welcome.
Can you just get rid of someone that easily?

Yes. On a short contract, the employee has basically no rights. I would suggest that if the employer had been upset at his behaviour, he would be gone, now, end of story.

But its not nice, it never is. If at the end of the contract he walks away, all he can realistically do is write a calm and thoughtful letter to whoever runs the scheme detailing what happened. If shennanigans are going on, they will find out. But don't kick up too much, your brother needs references. And if he stirs too much trouble, they won't be 'helpful' references. If you get my drift.
Its tough, but from what you have said, its maybe best to roll with the punches.
To add. I spoke to one of the guys who was employed after him and he too received that letter. His contract ended on the 17th but was brought forward to the 14th too. It would seem, then that there is no conspiracy! The worst thing though is the fact that there was no idea it was coming. The site where we work has had some major changes which resulted in fewer shifts and hours. However no one was made redundant at the time. I wonder why now?
Maybe your reading too much into it. Its a short term contract and they want it to finish up 7 days early and given the news has been broken they are giving 2 weeks notice. So long as that is acceptable so far as the contract goes, I'd recommend accepting it and moving on.

I work as an IT contractor and as a contractor its not our place to question what is going on, they either want us or they dont and so long as the terms of the contract are maintained by both sides theres no issue with it.

Could be any number of reasons - could be getting paid more than the other guys, may have received some negative feedback - in any case it doesn't matter, so long as they are respecting the terms of the contract, they dont have to provide any explanation if they dont want to.

So far as EBS's are concerned - I cant imagine thats the case for a short term contract but if it is going on, that would be illegal. I'd be sure of whats going on before throwing any accusations around.
And if he stirs too much trouble, they won't be 'helpful' references. If you get my drift.
Its tough, but from what you have said, its maybe best to roll with the punches.

I wouldnt worry too much about the reference. Employers cant just give you bad references these days. References are mostly made up of factual information now and they cannot just put negative opinions in them.

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