As a temporary agency staff member I wasn’t legally protected, despite two years of service

I was 19 and had a job in an insurance and wealth management firm. I was on a temporary contract sourced from the local recruitment agency. It was a busy time. We all worked hard. There was talk of a move to a permanent role and more specific training with good progression opportunities.

When I found out I was nearly five months pregnant I told my boss first thing that Monday morning. My employers seemed supportive and again a quick move to a permanent role was mentioned, with a plan to return after maternity leave. I was thrilled.

But then that Friday at 5.30pm I was called into the office. Talk turned the other way: I hadn’t met targets this week, there were complaints. This was all news to me. I was escorted to my desk to collect my things. I was told not to come back. I was in shock, but I was young and naive and I never questioned it. They gave the agency a glowing reference, not citing any issues. As a temporary agency staff member I wasn’t legally protected, despite two years of service. They were completely covered. I have heard other similar stories to mine.

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