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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 47345
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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can they discipline me at work

Customer Question

I'm being disciplined at work. I held a charity event outside of work hours in a pub to raise money for a charity I had taken the money home prior to taking it into my work due to timings of collection and me being currently off as holiday from work, I counted the money and the next day gave it to cash office member to double check and count. I am now being taken to a disciplinary meeting regarding this as it's apparently a breach of trust? There is no policy on this on work and I myself never got any help or advice regarding this night...[email protected]


 

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?

JACUSTOMER-dzjuua1v- :

8 years

Ben Jones :

what was the company's involvement in all of this?

JACUSTOMER-dzjuua1v- :

There involvement was basically me as an employee....

JACUSTOMER-dzjuua1v- :

We raise money for cancer research from time to time.. I held the event outside of work hours myself

JACUSTOMER-dzjuua1v- :

I have been told it was wrong taking and counting the money it should of gone straight to work

Ben Jones :

what has happened in the past with such events?

JACUSTOMER-dzjuua1v- :

I've never been involved with anything outside of work like this its the first time my place has carried out one, I contacted the headoffice and they were aware of the event.. And everyone else in the company were aware. I got charity goblets to collect in myself I wasn't supplied any form of collection bucket from my work either

JACUSTOMER-dzjuua1v- :

We usually just run event things in work hours

Ben Jones :

So you were not given any instructions at all?

JACUSTOMER-dzjuua1v- :

No..

Ben Jones :

Have you been told what the potential outcome of the disciplinary could be?

JACUSTOMER-dzjuua1v- :

The investigation has already taken place and they have said I have to wait for the invitation for disciplinary etc.. It's apparently put me in a position that they question my integrity

Ben Jones :

ok let me get my response ready please

JACUSTOMER-dzjuua1v- :

One man in the investigation said he will recommend nothing comes from this.... So why invite me to a diciplinary? I asked what would it be classed as gross misconduct... They shook there heads and said no..

JACUSTOMER-dzjuua1v- :

Sorry

Ben Jones :

The good thing is that the employer does not believe this is a gross misconduct issue so your job should be safe. You are therefore looking at a potential warning.


 


In terms of the fairness of the disciplinary procedure, misconduct (such as the allegations here) is a common reason for taking disciplinary action against an employee. It could be due either to a single serious act of misconduct or a series of less serious acts over a period of time.


 


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.


 


In addition, the employer is expected to follow the ACAS Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures.


 


Following the disciplinary, if the employer holds a genuine belief that the employee was guilty, then they can go ahead and formally sanction them. When deciding on the appropriate penalty, the employer should consider the nature and seriousness of the offence and the employee's disciplinary record. Unless the offence was one of gross misconduct, ACAS recommends that the employee should be issued with a written warning.


 


In your defence you can certainly raise issues such as lack of clear policy over this, the unprecedented nature of this event as others have always been held in work, the reasons behind your decision to take the money home (such as timings and holidays) and the fact there is no evidence of you tampering with the collection or any other reasons to raise suspicion.


 


If there are any doubts about any of the above and there is belief or evidence that the employer has not satisfied these requirements, an appeal can be submitted to the employer immediately after the disciplinary outcome.


 

JACUSTOMER-dzjuua1v- :

But how can a disciplinary happen on something there are no guidelines for

Ben Jones :

well that is still possible - it does depend on what has happened though. You have to appreciate that it is impossible to have rules and procedures to cover every single eventuality and it does not mean that the employer cannot discipline if there are no specific rules but it could make it more difficult to justify

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

JACUSTOMER-dzjuua1v- :

So charity money was not made in work hours, no instructions on collecting, no collection buckets supplied, no people from a position instore to oversee the night apart from myself,

JACUSTOMER-dzjuua1v- :

No support on how to get money from a night I organised, to work since the night finished at 1:30 in the morning, still they can take me to a disciplinary?

JACUSTOMER-dzjuua1v- :

I also know the investigator at the time is running the marathon and collecting donations from people... Is this not a contradiction

Ben Jones :

There is nothing stopping an employer from taking you to a disciplinary, just as there is nothing stopping them from sacking you if they really wanted to - the issue is how you respond and deal with it. If he person is collecting money himself for work, jut as you did, then you can use that as further defence in addition to the factors I mentioned above - the employer is required to act consistently in such circumstances

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: replied 3 years ago.

I have received my letter inviting me to a disciplinary it states it is to discuss the allegation of deliberate failure to act in accordance with the companies policies and procedures. Specifically regards XXXXX XXXXX handling of cancer research money which undermines trust and integrity, ...


There are no procedures or policies in place that I'm aware of or can find anywhere at work regarding outside work fundraising. How can this be with held


 

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
Hello sorry I was offline when you asked your follow up question. If the employer is referring to specific rules and procedures then you need to ask them to point you to these specific rules and to make it clear exactly what it is you are supposed to have breached with your actions. They can't refer you to policies that do not exist or have not been communicated to the employees so that is a strong appeal point at this stage, something you can use in your defence.

If your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer - it only takes a second to do and is an important part of our process. I can still answer follow up questions afterwards if needed. Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
Hi, you rated poor service even though I answered all your queries to date as soon as I can. As mentioned I was unfortunately offline yesterday evening when you asked follow up questions as we are not on here 24/7. I provided an answer (above) as soon as I saw your query...
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Sorry I was unaware you had answered my second part I will amend my rate for


you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
Thanks and sorry for any misunderstanding
Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
I Googled my problem and got the answer I was first issued I haven't been given any thing sustaintial, I was looking for answer of experience something of substance
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

If you need any more specific advice I am happy to help