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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 47863
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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good afternoon i have a questionWhile i was at work yesterday

Resolved Question:

good afternoon i have a question

While i was at work yesterday making hot drink on the coffee machine a customer arrived and smacked me on the shoulder even with event been record on cctv i have been suspended and waiting to pass on a disciplinary is there any law protecting a staff not to be verbally or physically abuse?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Why are you being disciplined?

Customer:

I been suspended for agressive behaviour

Customer:

When even on camera at no time i get agressive i even take a step back to start with

Ben Jones :

How long have you worked there for/

Customer:

I have been working there since 2008 so it will be now ovrr 5years

Ben Jones :

Employers have certain duties under the Health and Safety at Work Act and under common law to take reasonable care to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their staff. However, if this is an isolated incident and there have been no indications of such incidents occurring then it is unlikely the employer can be held responsible in any way.


 


Of course there is a potential that this is a criminal offence as well because it can amount to assault but that is not something that the employer can do much about and it would be for you to bring it to the attention of the authorities.


 


The disciplinary is separate to this and in order to justify that disciplinary action on grounds of misconduct was fair, the law requires that the employer:



  • Conducts a reasonable investigation;

  • Follows a fair disciplinary procedure; and

  • Shows they had reasonable grounds to believe the employee was guilty.


 


So if you believe that the disciplinary is not fair you can appeal if necessary.

Customer:

So i cq

Customer:

So i can b verbaly n phsycally abuse while at work and get dissmissed?

Ben Jones :

potentially you can but that would depend on whether the employer conducts a reasonable investigation and following that they have a genuine belief that you were guilty. However, in the circumstances I do not believe that it would be a fair outcome

Customer:

So will i have case to fight if the outcome is dismissal when cctv show evid3nce of me stepping back after being abuseand i dont show any sign of agressivity?

Ben Jones :

yes certainly. The first step is to appeal to the employer if that is unsuccessful then you can go to the employment tribunal.

Customer:

Will statement of on site security will help my case? They got cctv footage of the ustomer taunting me once outside?

Ben Jones :

anything that shows you may not be guilty would help

Customer:

So i can defend myself using the term unfair dismissal as i felt threaten nand unsecure whjle doing my job

Ben Jones :

if the outcome is a dismissal then yes it would be a potential unfair dismissal and you have legal protection against that

Customer:

And as i will have no witness with me can i record the whole disciplinary

Ben Jones :

yes but make sure you only record details about yourself, not about others

Customer:

Meaning? I cant record the whole chat?

Ben Jones :

you can but if the hearing discussed personal details about others then recording them could be a breach of data protection rules

Customer:

Ha ok i see thx a lot and will their side have to agree with it or they can refuse?

Ben Jones :

agree with?

Customer:

With me recording the interview

Ben Jones :

no they do not have to agree to it, there is case law that supports secret recordings

Customer:

I can record without telling them?

Ben Jones :

yes

Customer:

Ok thank u very much for your help i hope it wont come to that i really appreciate your help

Ben Jones :

I hope so too, all the best

Customer:

Thx a lot

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