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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48158
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Hello, I am currently studying for a counselling diploma,

Resolved Question:

Hello,

I am currently studying for a counselling diploma, and have been suspended due to disciplinary action with two others. We have co-operated with our tutors and director of course and they have not yet made a decision. We believe we have been treated unfairly and they have caused us unnecessary distress. We are going to complain, but we do not know to whom should we complain/seek advice etc,

kind regards,

Annette
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. Who has suspended you - the placement where you work?

Customer:

The training organisation where I am currently studying for level 4 diploma

Ben Jones :

A suspension is not an indication of guilt and it is just used as a precautionary measure whilst they carry out an investigation and decide whether to take this any further. So whilst I understand that this can be unsettling and upsetting, at this stage there is not much that can be done apart from to cooperate with their investigation and seeing where they will take this. They could just allow you to return back as normal as much as they could decide to take this further and for example formally discipline you. If the latter happens then you will get the chance to formally defend yourselves as necessary. In terms of complaining at this stage, that would very much depend on the internal complaints procedures that apply in the organisation. You should check what these are and who you need to complain to - I cannot tell you who the person would be because that would of course vary from one place to the next so it is for you to check what the specific complaints process in your particular organisation is. Complaints to outside bodies would not be appropriate at this stage as this is very much an internal matter, especially as it is just a suspension at this stage and no formal decision has been made.

Customer:

Thanks Ben, the other thing is in the student handbook they say that have an independent advisory board that will address any grievance the student has, we have asked for further information and they have not given this. Also we have been told that we do not have any support at the moment from the college, and we have a student rep on the panel whom we have not yet met, and there is no plan for this to happen. We have not made any statements, or signed anything, yet they are saying we have made statements. We have been abandoned and so far this has gone on for three weeks. When the decision is made we are going to take action because we feel it has all been handled very badly and caused us distress. Do you think we should do nothing and wait for outcome?

Ben Jones :

Well to clarify first, causing you distress in itself is not a cause of action, at least from a legal perspective. It does not stop you from making an internal complaint about it but legally it is not a claim that can be made. So if you want to raise a grievance you are entirely free to do so at any time and you may certainly use the distress caused as a ground for complaint, so if there is a specific procedure you must follow and this is detailed in the handbook you must do so. I know it mentions there is an independent board that will deal with this and it could be that they become involved at the employer's request once they receive your grievance rather than you making your complaint directly to them. For now I would advise you hold fire to see what happens with this investigation and once you know the outcome and the next steps they will take you will have a better idea on what to do and what to complain for

Customer:

thanks Ben

Customer:

Thanks for the advice Ben it is very helpful.

Ben Jones :

You are most welcome, all the best

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