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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48772
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Hi On Friday 28th Feb, I was put on Garden Leave from my

Customer Question

Hi

On Friday 28th Feb, I was put on Garden Leave from my company who believed I'd leaked confidential information to the customer. However I also handed in my notice prior to that with my last day being This Friday (7th march). On the 28th Feb I also gave another letter saying I will now be leaving as of immediate effect. Today I got a letter for an investigation meeting (not a disciplinary hearing) to hear my view. My Questions:
1. Do I need to go to this meeting as I have resigned as of immediate effect last friday.
2. After this Friday I no longer work at Wincanton (They have also confirmed 7th March via letter as my last day) - so can they proceed with any disciplinary action?
3. I have not said/written anything and there is also no proof (unless someone is making something up to my bosses) that I have said something - What can they do me for?
4. If I don't go to my meeting on Friday 7th March (my last day - can they call me, take me to court or anything else as its my last official day at the compnay?)

Please advise ASAP.

Thanks

Harry
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. How long have you worked there for?

Customer:

1 year 9months

Ben Jones :

What is your contractual notice period for leaving?

Customer:

2 months. But I have a written sigbed statement saying they agree and except my last day being 7/3/14

Ben Jones :

1. Do I need to go to this meeting as I have resigned as of immediate effect last friday.


 


You are technically in breach of contract because you left before the expiration of your notice period. So you should still be employed with them in their eyes, meaning they can decide to conduct the investigatory meeting without you and also commence disciplinary proceedings without you if needed


 


2. After this Friday I no longer work at Wincanton (They have also confirmed 7th March via letter as my last day) - so can they proceed with any disciplinary action?


 


As above, until your employment was supposed to terminate they can do this so they have until Friday to discipline you if needed.


 


3. I have not said/written anything and there is also no proof (unless someone is making something up to my bosses) that I have said something - What can they do me for?


 


Depends entirely on what their investigation uncovers – the whole purpose of it is to gather evidence on the allegations and decide what action is necessary based on that, so it does depend on what the investigation uncovers. I would say the worst is dismissal


 


4. If I don't go to my meeting on Friday 7th March (my last day - can they call me, take me to court or anything else as its my last official day at the compnay?)


 


Legally they can sue you for breach of contract but that is highly unlikely as the losses are minimal and not worth pursuing. If they can shoe you actually leaked confidential information which has caused them losses they can also potentially sue but if you have not done this then that is also unlikely.

Customer:

What if I am sick on Friday and do not go? That's my last day of work.

Ben Jones :

it depends on whether they believe it is genuine or not - if they suspect it is not and just done to avoid the meeting they can still potentially proceed in your absence.

Ben Jones :

Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? Thanks

Customer:

So best to go on Friday?

Customer:

If I do not go and they do not take action on same day. What can they do? As no longer working.

Ben Jones :

they can still sue you for the two claims I mentioned above but that would be unlikely

Customer:

Sorry can you please confirm the 2 claims? I misplaced answer. Thanks

Ben Jones :

Legally they can sue you for breach of contract but that is highly unlikely as the losses are minimal and not worth pursuing. If they can show you actually leaked confidential information which has caused them losses they can also potentially sue but if you have not done this then that is also unlikely.

Customer:

Ok I'm probably thinking a bit more than I should but what if someone says I said it? Ie make it up? Because he hates me?

Customer:

Then it's just him saying right?

Ben Jones :

to take legal action they need more proof than that, it won't really be sufficient

Customer:

Excellent thanks for that.

Customer:

Final question...

Customer:

As I requested 2 weeks ago that I would like my Notice shortened to 7th march. They agreed and I have this in writing. Does this mean that 2 months no longer exsists and my contract ends on 7th?

Ben Jones :

Yes, if they had agreed to it specifically that would be the case

Customer:

Let me quote what it states in the letter I got today via email ...

Customer:

26/2/14 you communicated your intention to resign giving your last working day as 7/3/14. Although ur contract states 2 months notice period the company agreed to release you early as you gave your reason to start new employment on 10/3/14.

Ben Jones :

than that is fine, they have agreed your employment terminates on 7th Mar

Customer:

It then mentions that the general manager met with me Thursday 27/3/14 and advised me of the allegations she had received of my misconduct. This is wrong as she met me on Friday 28 feb in morning at 7:15am.

Ben Jones :

ok the last part is irrelevant, it is the initial that confirms

Customer:

she then says that shortly following our conversation you sent another letter saying you now want to resign immediately. "I can confirm this has not been accepted"

Customer:

I mean the last part is what I'm saying. She met me on Friday morning at 7:15 and not on Thursday. She mentioned Thursday

Customer:

Can I call you? Will take max 10 mins to finish this and will be satisfied please? XXXXXXXXXXX /p>

Ben Jones :

it is really irrelevant to be honest, it makes no difference to your rights if they got the date of the meeting wrong by a day

Customer:

Pleaseeee Ben??

Customer:

Can I call or you can call me? XXXXXXXXXXX /p>

Ben Jones :

this is only an online service unfortunately so all must be discussed through here

Customer:

Can I email u my letter? So u can advise more?

Ben Jones :

you can attach it here but what else do you need to know, did you not post the specific paragraphs above?

Customer:

just worried as letter mentions that I've been accused of talking with a senior member of the companies customer regarding breach of trust and damaging company reputation


Customer:

But I havent talked to anyone about company rep, about any employee or anything

Ben Jones :

yes but they can say whatever they want, they can say you've been to Mars but it would not allow them to take formal action against you unless they can prove it, so at this stage the allegation on its own means nothing

Customer:

Excellent gives me sigh of relief

Customer:

Ok if I have more q can I contact u tomorrow or have to pay again?

Customer:

And how do I put excellent rathg for u?

Ben Jones :

you would need to post a new question but can ask for me by name and I will get it. Now you can just click on the smiley face :)

Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Sorry just thought of a q -


 


If they do not take any disciplinary action on Friday or any action on Friday, they cant sack me right? because I no longer work for them. Is that correct?? or sue me for breach of contract for leaking confidential info as aint done nothing and its word of mouth against word of mouth.


 


also cant sue me for breach of contract leaving company early because got early termination in writing


 


am i correct?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
if no action is taken by Fri then your employment terminates then and you cannot be sacked after that. They can sue you for breach of confidentiality but only if they can show you have done it and they have suffered losses. The breach of contract claim could still be made as you left earlier than your official leaving date but again they must show losses have been suffered which is unlikely
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Even though they have agreed for my last day to be Friday 7 March?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
I mean you left before that date so you have still breached the contract
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No I have not left before that date - I wanted to leave on 28th as immediate resignation - but they have put me on garden leave on that day .


 


the letter today states they reject my immediate leave and I am still on garden (suspended) leave until they carry out investigation. They want me on friday to investigate my side.


 


the company is silly - they know I'm leaving on Friday but still going through this process ha.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
The way I understood it is that you agreed to leave on 7th but then tried to leave immediately a week earlier on 28th so if you did without the employer's agreement then that is the breach of contract - by leaving a week earlier than agreed but as mentioned it is not really relevant as they are unlikely to be able to show losses have been incurred as a result so a claim is not really worth it
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

This is the letter....

 

What can they do in the meeting?

If I do not go can they do anything?

Can they do any disciplinary action?11

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
this is just an investigatory meeting, they cannot take action to dismiss you or issue a warning, etc - if as a result of the meeting or after it they find evidence to justify disciplinary action, they must invite you to attend a formal disciplinary hearing to defend yourself and at the end of it they can decide what action to take. But you will no longer be an employee of the company as they have agreed to release you on 7th so you can still attend the investigatory meeting but after it you will not be employed by them so even if they try and discipline you at a later date you do not have to do anything and they cannot take formal action against you as you will no longer be working for them
Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Can they invite me to a disciplinary action on the same day?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
no, you need to be given proper notice to allow you to consider the allegations and prepare a defence. A couple of days minimum I would say, which would take you outside of your employment
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

excellent thank you - you do not know how much relief you have given me - weight lifted of my chest :)

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
Glad to hear it, let me know how it goes this week
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

They can't turn around and say that we don't agree for you to leave on 7th march now can they? because they already agreed to let go?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
yes, you have both agreed to it, you have written proof of it too and you can demand that they stick to it
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The investigation is set for 12pm....


 


1. They have a tendency of not sticking to time and making people wait....how long can they keep me waiting? can I walk out?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
i suggest you wait around for at least a couple of hours if necessary, try and be cooperative and this will look better for you, rather than walking out at 12.01