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tdlawyer
tdlawyer, Laywer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience:  Lawyer with 9 years experience in employment related issues.
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I have been suspended on full pay for breaching 4 company policies

Resolved Question:

I have been suspended on full pay for breaching 4 company policies and am accused of gross misconduct. I have been forwarded copies of the policies with my suspension letter. All of the policies have dates written / ratified on the front and dates for next review. All of the dates for next review are 2 years in the past, IE 2012. Does this give me a point to dispute the allegations as I have breached policies that may be deemed out of date?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  tdlawyer replied 3 years ago.

tdlawyer :

Hi, thanks for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I can help with this.

Customer: Ok
tdlawyer :

Are you saying that there was an internal policy saying that they would have been reviewed, but appear not to have been?

Customer: Not entirely sure about that but all 4 policies were ratified in 2009 woth a review date of june 2012.
tdlawyer :

Okay, this is what it seems like to me. But, the botXXXXX XXXXXne is that these appear to be the effective policies in force at the time of the alleged misconduct?

Customer: It would appear so, yes. I hoped that I may be able to argue that they are out of date.
tdlawyer :

Sadly, I don't think you're going to get far with that argument. Is your concern that they have defined something as misconduct in the policy and you appear to have done that?

Customer: Yes. Social media comments.
tdlawyer :

Okay. There was a case in March this year which confirmed that simply because an employer calls something gross misconduct not not mean that it will be treated that way. Can I just check first, how long have you been there for?

Customer: 7 years, unblemished, no warnings of any kind.
tdlawyer :

Okay. What was the nature of the social media posts?

tdlawyer :

In general terms. Don't forget - this is a public forum.

Customer: Our organisation has agreed to sacrifice one of my teams posts in order to secure further funding. The CEO came to our meeting this week snd acknowledged that he has kept this info from us for the past 6 months. I then put on fb that they have sacrificed one of us in order to keep the contract. Very stupid, i know now but I felt really let down.
tdlawyer :

But why do they say that is gross misconduct? It doesn't sound very "gross" to me?

tdlawyer :

Gross misconduct requires there to be a massive one off failing in the employment relationship between employee and employer. Your issue, if anything, may have been stupid and ill advised, but I don't see that it's that serious to end the relationship between you.

Customer: I think its because they think i may have brought the org into disrepute or caused damage of some sort
tdlawyer :

Well, I don't see how this does bring the organisation into disrepute. It's a commercial reality sometimes that people have to be scarified to keep commercial options viable with customers, it doesn't bring them into disrepute. If, however, you had told people that had a secret allegiance with some banned political party, for example, that would be a different ball-game.

tdlawyer :

And anyway, even if this was gross misconduct, which I seriously doubt on what you've said, then that's not to say they will dismiss you for it. I expect a tribunal would be very critical of them for doing so in the circumstances.

tdlawyer :

The employer should consider mitigating circumstances anyway, such as your key contributions, unblemished record, length of service etc.

tdlawyer :

Any decision to dismiss you has to be taken fairly and reasonably. If you are dismissed, you have the right to claim for unfair dismissal.

Customer: Ok. Thankyou for the advice.
tdlawyer :

Is there anything else I can answer for you?

Customer: No thanks. You've been a great help
tdlawyer :

Thank you. XXXXX just ask whether you're happy with the service today?

Customer: Yes.
tdlawyer :

Thank you. Hope all goes well for you, maybe let me know the outcome, and we can discuss what might happen next (if anything).

Customer: Thanks.
tdlawyer :

Bye.

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