January 30th, 2008


When a probation period results in termination of contract...

Are any of the following usual practice:

1. not providing written notice, even though it's a contract term;
2. not paying outstanding holiday leave or take into account the effect statutory holiday days would have on the notice period;
3. having a third party send out a P45 without then checking that it's been received.

Never having been in this situation before I'm somewhat non-plused!

Anyway, the backstory.

As some of you will know my role as Applications Architect at TrafficBroker turned out to be much less than I had hoped for. I was continuously prevented from doing anything productive for the three months I worked there, and then when the company got cold feet about their grandiose development plans (a cool £250k for a web app that if they'd been willing to take my advice would have cost half that - and then only because they'd already spent £100k when I joined) the project was cancelled.

Apparently this decision was made at the start of December but kept quiet until the 19th so as not to spoil the company outing to Las Vegas. So thirty-three happy campers all went for a long weekend in Nevada whilst I sat undisturbed in London crafting the core database for what would be the production version of the application - having been given the impression that this mattered. Frankly I wish I'd done the shoddy job of designing it that the expensive consultants would probably have done, but I guess I take my reputation for real-time SQL a bit too seriously.

Anyway as soon as everyone's back in the office and the jetlag has cleared my project was cancelled was cancelled and two days later I was rushed out of the company. 'm not particularly sad about no longer working there as I didn't want to adopt the trendy monocultural practices that the CTO was introducing (for reasons outlined in previous posts), but I had expected that the whole affair would be handled better. But I guess professionalism has little place in a company that thinks nothing of flying thirty-three people to Las Vegas for a five day round trip, not taking that time out of their holiday leave but at the same time not offering any compensating holiday leave to the nine people remaining behind to work.

It was very apparent in the meeting that concluded my employment on December 21st - the last day of my probation period - that I would not be required to work my notice period, and whilst I tried to keep things amicable I couldn't help but feel somewhat shell-shocked under the circumstances. I naturally expected written notification of contract termination at the start of the new year as this was part of my contract, and to receive payment in lieu of my 6.49 days of unused accrued holiday leave. My holiday had been booked to start on December 24th and run through until January 7th, due to statutory holiday days, so it seemed reasonable that this would be the period I would be paid for.

However I have since been informed that I was only due payment through the end of December as my accrued holiday leave has been completely ignored, my P45 has apparently been lost in the post, and the company considers that written notification of termination is optional and something they don't care to provide. Considering they boast £1m per month in revenue and employ 40+ people I consider all of this very unprofessional.

Needless to say I am currently very frustrated and having difficulty seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Even my curmudgeonly nature is only capable of taking so many setbacks before I start asking myself what the point of any of this is, and I think after thirty-seven years I may have finally exceeded my quota...
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