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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 47349
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have been summoned to a disciplinary hearing at work with

Resolved Question:

I have been summoned to a disciplinary hearing at work with gross misconduct being muted. I passed some information to a colleague. The only ommision I made was who was giving the instruction. The colleague did not carry out the instructions and it seems I am being held liable. Don't quite know legally where I stand. I have read the company discipline proceedure and it seems this is a million miles from gross misconduct. Can you help?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

How long have you worked there for?

Customer:

About 2 years

Ben Jones :

Do you know your start data as that may affect your rights?

Customer:

August 2012 . Not sure of exact date

Ben Jones :

so is the omission the only act of gross misconduct they are accusing you of?

Customer:

Yes thats correct. The information was passed and I have a witness who overheard my telephone conversation. The words I missed were "graham said"

Ben Jones :

did that affect the final outcome, for example the employee's failure to do the task?

Customer:

Yes. The instruction relayed was not carried out.

Ben Jones :

and what were the repercussions of this?

Customer:

The stock in question was ultimately sold by myself. The instructions were to box the stock in a certain order in case it did not sell, then it could be frozen and sold at a later date. However the issue seems to be that the person given the instructions denys receiving it. But as I said before I have a witness to my phone conversation

Ben Jones :

The main problem that you will face is that if you have been continuously employed at your place of work for less than 2 years then your employment rights will unfortunately be somewhat limited. Most importantly, you will not be protected against unfair dismissal. This means that your employer can dismiss you for more or less any reason, and without following a fair procedure, as long as their decision is not based on discriminatory grounds (i.e. because of gender, race, religion, age, a disability, sexual orientation, etc.) or because you were trying to assert any of your statutory rights (e.g. requesting maternity/paternity leave, etc.). as there is no discriminatory issue here this protection wold not apply.


 


If the dismissal had nothing to do with any of the above exceptions then you would not be able to challenge it and your only protection would be if you were not paid your contractual notice period, because unless you were dismissed for gross misconduct, you would be entitled to receive your contractual notice period. If you did not have a written contract in place you would be entitled to the minimum statutory notice period of 1 week. Your employer would either have to allow you to work that notice period and pay you as normal, or they will have to pay you in lieu of notice.


 


So the key really is whether your actions could be classified as gross misconduct. Whilst this is ultimately for the employer to decide, it does need a common sense approach, based on what happened, what policies say about this, how similar incidents have been dealt with in the past and what the repercussions have been. I would not say this is serious enough for gross misconduct and whilst you would not be able to challenge a dismissal, you can still push for your notice period if they fail to pay it.

Customer:

Ok thank you

Ben Jones :

you are most welcome, all the best

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