Recently a colleague of mine quit to start his own business. It turns out that he has stolen the client database which I was not involved in nor knew about until yesterday. My director told me that I was not allowed to speak to my former colleague outside of work. this wasn't just because of what he did. They ban all employees from talking to former employees. My former colleague message me last night, to which I briefly replied stating that I was in trouble yesterday for talking to him and implied to him that I didn't want people to know he contracted me. I then blocked him on facebook so he could not message me again. The message has been forwarded to my employer by my former colleague and I now have been suspend on full pay, with a disciplinary on Monday for gross misconduct and breach of trust. Is this lawful for my employer to do? Does using a confidential message sent via facebook to my former colleague against me breach data protection / employment law? Also, is it legal to voice record the disciplinary meeting?
Please note one colleague has already been fired for making contact with him.
I started working for them in November 2011.
I've been a Sales Manager for over two years, and have recently been re-promoted.
I also have an exemplary disciplinary record, never being sick or receiving a warning, besides one I was given yesterday (and clarified today in writing as a written verbal warning) for previously seeing the colleague in question at a poker night when he was off work sick.
Please could you answer the first point, in that;
Is it lawful for my employer to discipline me on the basis that I have had communication with a former employee / friend, after they had banned me from speaking to him, even though this happened outside of my working hours and I didn't give him any detailed information that would effect the company?
Ok, thank you.
Finally, if I was to be dismissed on these grounds, could I make a claim for unfair dismissal? If so on what basis.
My hours of work are Monday to Friday 8;45 to 17:15, however daily we are made to work until 6PM. There is also the constant threat of being made to come in to training on a Saturday, even though this is outside of our working hours, if performance is low.
We also incur "fines" which are forced payment to the companies charity foundation if our work falls below standard, even if that is marginally, i.e. a small mistake on the computer system when entering an order will result in a £50 fine.
Could these actions of my employer be used against them at a tribunal if I was to be dismissed for this incident.