In a situation not unfamiliar to anyone who keeps an eye on Donald Trump’s social media, the 45th President of the United States has once again stirred controversy when his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson discovered he was out of a job via Twitter.
We may have become used to the reality television world that is American politics but what about closer to home? If your boss suddenly made your position unavailable, where would you stand?
Could you be fired on Twitter and have no rights in the UK? Maybe. The law states that you must have two years service before you have the right not to be unfairly dismissed.
However, if there is a discriminatory (or other protected) reason for the dismissal, you will have dismissal rights from day one of your employment.
Realistically, if you found yourself in a situation where your boss made the sudden decision to fire you without prior warning, there would have to be a justifiable reason to do so, such as gross misconduct and even then it would never be appropriate to do so in such a public manner.
Due process should be followed which includes a private meeting, where the situation is clearly explained to you, including the reasons for your dismissal.
If it’s simply a case of clashing personalities, this wouldn’t normally justify immediate termination of your employment and you may have a case for dismissal.
Generally, the reputational damage to organisations signalled by such rash actions normally reign in that sort of tendency – but, as evidenced by Trump’s trigger finger, there are some loose cannons out there and, if you’re in the firing line, its important that you know your rights.