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UK-Justice, Barrister
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 16193
Experience:  Called to the Bar in 2007
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I have been suspended from work for clocking out 10mins early

Customer Question

I have been suspended from work for clocking out 10mins early and failing to tell my manager I was leaving,It was for an emergency issue that I took a call on my mobile at work so I left to see to the issue.The company have classed this as grosssmisconduct.are they right about this and what could be the possible result of disiplinary outcome.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  UK-Justice replied 3 years ago.
Thanks for your question. Please remember to rate my answer SMILEY FACE OR ABOVE so that I am credited for my time.

How long have you been there?

Is there a policy on clocking out early?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

21 months and yes if you want to leave early and allready know this then an employee pass out form should be filled in

Expert:  UK-Justice replied 3 years ago.
And I assume it was not?

Was your absence authorised?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No just a call to me at work from my mother saying there was an issue at home so i left 10mins early

Expert:  UK-Justice replied 3 years ago.
An employer can dismiss an employee based on their conduct. The conduct can be a single incident or over a period of time. Normally an employer would have a HR policy dictating the process and you should check to see if there is such a policy in place.

In order to show that dismissal on grounds of conduct was fair, the employer would need to show:

1) Employer had honest belief - The employer needs an honest and genuine belief that the misconduct occurred. It does not need to be beyond doubt but the employer needs to have a genuine belief.

2) Investigation – an employer needs to carry out an investigation. It would be witness evidence of other people. What is a reasonable investigation depend on the circumstances. Clearly someone such as a Tesco would need to carry out a more thorough investigation that, say a one man band.

3) Disciplinary hearing - if the investigation shows evidence that misconduct may have occurred then the employee will be ask to attend a hearing. They can take a trade union rep or a fellow employee, but a Solicitor. The panel hearing the allegation will hear from the management and the employee and reach a view whether the misconduct occurred. If the allegation is not upheld, that is the end of the matter.

A) The Decision – if the Employer is satisfied the misconduct has occurred then the allegation will be proven. The employer can then go on to consider mitigation such as employees’ previous record, length of service etc.

B) Sanction - unless the offence in question amounts to gross misconduct (i.e. that destroys all trust and confidence between the employer and employee), the ACAS Code of Practice recommends that the employee should be issued with a warning first. This can be verbal, written or final written.

The ACAS code of conduct can be found at:

In conclusion, an employer is not expected to prove that the alleged misconduct had definitely occurred. To be able to justify dismissal as being fair, it has to show that it had conducted a reasonable investigation, followed a fair procedure and held a genuine belief that the employee was guilty. It must be proven on the balance of probabilities rather than beyond reasonable doubt.

In order to claim unfair dismissal the employee must have been working for at least 12 months continuous service.

If an employee is dismissed they have 3 months (less one day) to bring a claim at an Employment Tribunal. Therefore if dismissed on 1st Jan they would need to bring a claim by 31st March.

However based on what YOU have said, although the misconduct has taken place there are significant mitigating circumstances.

Ideally you would need some sort of evidence about the issue at home, so you can show the panel it is not just an excuse and indeed there was an issue.

You should have sought permission as per the Company rules and this is a contravention. But depending on the nature and seriousness of the phonecall you could provide this in mitigation.

So while there has been misconduct you could ask them to consider a verbal or written warning. This is because you had a good reason. I am not saying that is an excuse for breaching as you should have gotten permission - but it does explain the situation.

Please remember to click *** OK SERVICE *** or above so that I am credited for my time. The question does not close and you can ask follow ups.

Important: If you feel the need to rate as one of the lower two scores, it counts as negative feedback so please reply to me via the REPLY with any further questions you may have. I will be happy to assist you further.

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