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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 47368
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Can you advise, once an investigation meeting has taken place

Resolved Question:

Can you advise, once an investigation meeting has taken place and the meeting notes have been agreed. How much time does the company have to provide before they can schedule a disciplinary hearing?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Ben Jones :

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

Ben Jones :

Do you mean how much notice should be given of the disciplinary hearing?

Customer:

Yes

Ben Jones :

are you the employee?

Customer:

Yes

Ben Jones :

how long have you worked there for?

Customer:

Does that matter? Almost 3 years

Ben Jones :

it does because with under 2 years' service your rights are rather limited and the employer can give you whatever notice they want. But as you have more than 2 years' service you will be entitled to 'reasonable' notice, although the law does not stipulate exactly how long it should be. The employer is required to follow the ACAS Code and it states the following:

"If it is decided that there is a disciplinary case to answer, the employee should be notified of this in writing. This notification should contain sufficient information about the alleged misconduct or poor performance and its possible consequences to enable the employee to prepare to answer the case at a disciplinary meeting. It would normally be appropriate to provide copies of any written evidence, which may include any witness statements, with the notification."

Ben Jones :

But no mention of notice period before the hearing and that will depend on he volume of information the employee has to process, the complexity of the allegations and how long is reasonable to prepare a defence

Ben Jones :

In general it is reasonable to have notice of around 2 days up to a week - employers are not really expected to give longer than that

Customer:

My issue is that a business trip is being questioned. I was approved for a trip to Singapore and Sydney and then requested 10 days annual leave. My integrity is now being questioned and even though I have an email thread of approval from my manager and colleagues input, they are saying that my manager "informed me that 2 weeks plus out in market was not advisable" and should I have requested the annual leave.

Customer:

Is this grounds for misconduct and dismissal?

Customer:

Can I bring a solicitor to a hearing if that is next steps?

Ben Jones :

you cannot bring a solicitor to a workplace meeting, even if you face dismissal. You can only bring a colleague or a trade union rep.

Ben Jones :

I am not sure I understand the reasons for the disciplinary, what exactly did you do wrong?

Customer:

I don't understand it either but it looks like my manager is annoyed that i spent 1.5 weeks on a business trip and then took 10 days holidays so was out of office for 3 weeks. I asked approval for both but still got called into an investigation meeting.

Customer:

Can they realistically provide a warning or worse based on these facts?

Ben Jones :

I really do not see how they can justify a dismissal or even a warning in these circumstances - these were both trips approved by them, you followed procedure in requesting the leave and the trip was arranged by the employer. This is not misconduct

Customer:

there were a number of emails sent back and forth around the timelines of the trip and there was a question around whether i should go early in the month or late in the month. My manager is questioning whether my sales partners were fully onboard as I believe he asked for negative feedback after the fact.

Customer:

If they have a colleague state that they thought the trip should have happened later in the month, can they do anything with that? Even though that same colleague asked me to attend a meeting in the first week of the month!

Ben Jones :

at the worst I would expect a warning but a dismissal is unlikely to be fair, the thing is the formal allegations and the evidence is not out yet and of course I won't be able to see that so it is difficult to say exactly what the employer is trying to do or how strong a case they have

Customer:

One final thing, if I file a grievance on my manager now for unfair treatment, how will that impact this situation? Will it make it worse?

Ben Jones :

t shouldn't, in fact it could put the disciplinary on hold until the grievance i resolved

Customer:

Okay, thank you for your time and feedback. It has been helpful.

Ben Jones :

you are welcome, best of luck

Ben Jones and 2 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

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