This letter is a response from the employer about our client who was being made redundant after he blew the whistle on malpractice. There was also a dispute over his contract of employment and notice period. This is the 2nd in a series of 4 letters (two from each side). Click on the links highlighted below to see the other letters:
Letter no 1
Letter no 2: see below
Letter no 3
Letter no 4 (Final outcome)
We are publishing these letters (suitably anonymised) even though the outcome was unsuccessful, so that you can better understand what’s involved in a complex case like this. The main problems with this case included the lack of adequately robust evidence to support our client’s claims and his failure to seek advice sufficiently early on about apparent problems with his employment contract.
If you would like more information and guidance on related topics, have a look at the wide variety of articles and guidance for employees offered on out website. In particular, our articles on Redundancy, Whistleblowing and Evidence gathering, may be of interest in relation to this case. You can also contact us at Monaco Solicitors if you think that we might be able to help.
[Employer UK address]
Telephone: [Phone number]
Private & Confidential
By Email Only
I am writing in response to the letter received from you dated [Date], which was received by email on [Date and time] which is in relation to [client name].
You have raised a number of points and I will respond to each one in turn.
3 year contract/company paperwork
The Company’s position has been made clear in this matter and refutes your claim that [client name] has a legally binding 3 year fixed term contract. As set out within his contract of employment dated [Date] and dated [Date], he was employed on a permanent basis with effect from [Date]. In accordance with clause 31.1 of the contract of employment, either party may terminate the employment contract at any time by providing the contractual three months’ notice or three months’ notice pay to the other.
The email chain you have submitted does not relate to [client name] and I can formally confirm that no employee working in the Abha is employed on a 3 year fixed term contract.
[Employer] has not varied his terms of employment or issued him with a new contract of employment and therefore the service agreement mentioned above is the only legally binding contract in place.
You also state that the reason for the redundancy and the decision to withdraw support to the Abha operation is in relation to the alleged whistleblowing initiated by him about illegal drinking. The company refutes this claim. The reasons for the redundancy have been made clear throughout the consultation process and these are ones of a commercial and financial nature and are in no way related to any alleged conduct issues.
You have made an allegation that [Employer] does not have local contracts of employment in place for a number of [Employer] employees which could be in breach of Dubai regulations and are “blowing the whistle” in relation to this. During the consultation process, [Client name] has repeatedly advised me that he has a local contract, of which the company does not have a copy of. He has repeatedly been asked to send of copy of the local Abha contract to the company. However, this has not been forthcoming and it is only during the final stages of the consultation process that he has indicated that a Abha contract does not exist. I am concerned that you are now “blowing the whistle” on this non-existence of a Abha contract when [client name] previously misled the company into understanding that one did exist.
For the reasons set out above, I confirm that with effect from the date on which [client name] signed the contract of employment and at the point of dismissal, he was not employed on a fixed term three year contract. With effect from the date of the contract of employment, he was employed on a permanent basis and either party could provide the other with three months’ notice to terminate the employment relationship at any time.
Whistleblowing regarding alleged illegal drinking
I can confirm that this matter was dealt with formally, with a formal investigation and formal action being taken internally. The company is not at liberty for reasons of confidentiality to disclose to you the exact nature of the action taken.
I refute your claims that [client name] has been victimised as a result of raising this matter with his line manager. [Client name] has not raised a grievance or any concerns formally with his line manager or a member of the HR team prior to him being notified of his role being at risk of redundancy.
You say that the Dubai authorities have become aware of this matter. However, there is no evidence that [Employer] is aware of to substantiate this claim. With this in mind, there is no requirement for [client name] to “clear his name”.
I cannot comment on other employees personal circumstances due to confidentiality reasons. You say that [client name] is raising a grievance in relation to this situation and is also invoking the whistleblowing policy. However, I am satisfied that this matter has been dealt with in line with company policy.
[Client name]’s Visa
[Client name] states that he is unable to travel to Dubai due to the above situation. However, as I have said, there is no ongoing investigation by the Dubai authorities and therefore, I do not believe there is anything preventing him from travelling to the Abha, that is his choice.
In relation to cancelling [client name]’s visa, could you please provide a copy of the visa (Bahrain and/or Abha) and details of the sponsor including contact name, telephone number and address.
The contract with [Company name] has always been run from the Khobar office and never in Dubai. Therefore there is no change to this situation, there is no role and this is not a TUPE situation.
During the consultation process, the role in. Abu Dhabi was discussed with [client name] on a number of occasions and whilst details of the role were still being finalised, he made it clear to me that he was “wanting to move on” and “return to [his country of origin] ” and to “draw a line underneath this”. At no stage did he say that he wanted to be considered for this role as he wanted to focus on “moving on” from [Employer].
To conclude, the Company refutes all your claims and has provided a response oran explanation to the points you have raised in your letter.