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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48775
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Hi there. My employer is really stressing me out with this

Resolved Question:

Hi there. My employer is really stressing me out with this disciplinary hearing. I am almost 8 months pregnant and already going through a high risk pregnancy and they have supported me in now way shape or form to date. My hearing is on Wednesday, 10am, this week, they didn't produce all the information and evidence against me until last Wednesday evening at 7pm. They then missed out a key part of the evidence which I didn't get until Thursday evening. I have no access to company property to prepare my argument and gather my own evidence for my defence so they have said I need to drive 2 hours to one of their offices for supervised access. This is on Tuesday as that's all they have available. But how do I gather all the information I need and submit it for consideration by the panel in less than a day considering the hearing is the day after they provide me with access. If that's not bad enough they decided to add another allegation on Friday at 4.30pm and some random bits of information that will be used at the hearing regarding the other allegations and told me it's only a bit if information So don't see why it would be a problem in terms of the time I have to prepare. The policy clearly states I should receive all information 5 working days before the hearing and they've gone against this. It's taken them 10 weeks to gather this information and I'm not even being given a full day to prepare my defence.

I genuinely do feel like the decision of the hearings have already been pre-determined as the information coming through at the last minute highlights people are still searching at the last minute for things to hold against me, and Their decisions to simply add allegations, and information at the last minute and to make me attend an office 2 hours away the day before the hearing to quickly try and gather my evidence for my defence, no time for anybody to consider my evidence before hand in detail etc makes me feel it is of no concern to them whether I can prepare or not as the outcome has already been decided regardless. This is really having a impact on me now, I can't sleep, my stress and anxiety levels have hit the roof, my appetite has disappeared which I'm afraid is having an effect on my unborn child, I actually feel depressed by it all so badly, as if they are targeting me and purposely trying to make my life difficult. I feel tormented now and it's just too much.

What are my options here please because I'm so fearful of 1) the way this all seems to be planned out and already judged by them and 2) more importantly my own and my unborn child's health which I know is deteriorating by the day. I can't even go off sick as they will probably hold the hearing in my absence and at worst sack me. Would really appreciate some advice please.
Thank you
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. What are your specific queries in relation to this?
Customer:

Hi, 1) the way this all seems to be planned out and already judged by them - is it right and fair how I am being treated, are they allowed to do this.?why have a policy if it's not gong to be followed and 2) more importantly my own and my unborn child's health which I know is deteriorating by the day. I can't even go off sick as they will probably hold the hearing in my absence and at worst sack me. So what are my rights and options in this situation please?

Ben Jones :

First and foremost the employer should follow its own disciplinary procedure, so if you have the right to be given a minimum period of time to consider evidence this must be adhered to, otherwise the disciplinary may be procedurally unfair.


 


As far as the law stands, the ACAS Code of Conduct says that:


 


"If it is decided that there is a disciplinary case to answer, the employee should be notified of this in writing. This notification should contain sufficient information about the alleged misconduct or poor performance and its possible consequences to enable the employee to prepare to answer the case at a disciplinary meeting. It would normally be appropriate to provide copies of any written evidence, which may include any witness statements, with the notification."


 


So there is no specific notice requirements and also it is not a legal requirement to provide all the evidence or witness statements, as long as sufficient information about the allegations is provided to allow the employee to prepare a defence.


 


All you can do here is ask for a postponement, or even consider a grievance to formally complain about this. The employer could grant it or they could refuse. You cannot force them to delay the disciplinary. If they decided to proceed then you just have to work with what you have and depending on the outcome you can then consider taking the matter further, such as appealing to the employer and considering a claim for unfair dismissal.

Ben Jones :

I hope this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating, or if you are unhappy for some reason with the advice - please get back to me and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you very much

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