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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48775
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have been let go after an issue at work, at the hr meeting

Resolved Question:

I have been let go after an issue at work, at the hr meeting and on the letter it quotes the reasons, then in the dismissal section they have put it under a Greivance policy section that is irrelevent to the original raised issue. Do I have a reason to make this unfair dismissal, speciall as the original reasons can also be answered too and resolved by training by the company.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked there for?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Sorry, I was an employee for exactly 3 years

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Can you please provide a brief summary of what actually happened in the lead up to the dismissal?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

We had an outage for a customer last week, it turned out to be related to security certificates provided by the customer but i had implimented them. I havent had up to the date training within the last 2 years of working with them and I didnt check the level the request was from the customer, They then put me on garden leave for a week, took me to an HR meeting on monday, sent me a letter on tues saying the had decided to let me go on gross misconduct, under section 4 of their policy, section 4 states "The Employees conduct outwith the office" for which they have no reason to let me go on.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
So did they not conduct a formal disciplinary hearing?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

yes, on monday there

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Btw, I also have 3 year perfect employment with them, no complaints, no illness,

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi. are you still there?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hi yes sorry I was preparing my response. Misconduct is a common reason for taking disciplinary action and it is also a potentially fair reason for dismissal under the Employment Rights Act 1996. It could be a single act of serious misconduct or a series of less serious acts over a period of time.
In order to justify that dismissal on grounds of misconduct was fair, the law requires that the employer:
• Conducts a reasonable investigation;
• Follows a fair disciplinary procedure;
• Has reasonable grounds for believing the employee was guilty; and
• Show that dismissal was a decision that a reasonable employer would have taken in the circumstances.
In addition, the employer is expected to follow the ACAS Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures. Altogether, it means that a disciplinary procedure should be conducted as follows:
1. Investigation - a reasonable investigation is needed. What is reasonable depends entirely on the circumstances and especially the nature and seriousness of the allegations. The more serious these are, the more detailed the investigation needs to be.
2. Disciplinary hearing - if the investigation provides sufficient evidence of misconduct, the employee may be invited to attend a formal disciplinary hearing. They must be given prior notice of the hearing, including details of the allegations, allowing them time to prepare. They have the legal right to be accompanied at the hearing but only by a trade union representative or a colleague.
3. Decision and penalty - following the disciplinary, if the employer holds a genuine belief that the employee was guilty, then they can go ahead and dismiss. When deciding on whether dismissal is appropriate, the employer should consider the nature and seriousness of the offence and the employee's length of service and disciplinary record. They also need to act with a degree of consistency if other employees have previously been disciplined over similar issues. Unless the offence was one of gross misconduct, ACAS recommends that the employee should be issued with a written warning. So in your case it would depend on what the reasons for dismissal were and if your actions did actually amount to gross misconduct. You said that you had implemented incorrect certificates for the client and the key is whether you should have known that they were not the right ones and an employee in your position should have known that. It would be relevant if you were not provided with training for this specific issue and that resulted in your knowledge on the matter being limited and you making the errors. Had training been provided for example would you have known what to do and avoided this? These are all the issues that a tribunal would look at.
In summary, an employer is not expected to prove that the alleged misconduct had definitely occurred. Disciplinary action will be fair if the employer can show that it had conducted a reasonable investigation, followed a fair procedure and held a genuine belief that the employee was guilty. Finally, it must show that the penalty was a reasonable action to take in the circumstances and one that a reasonable employer would have taken.
If there are any doubts or evidence that the above requirements have not been satisfied, an appeal can be submitted to the employer straight after the disciplinary outcome is communicated. If the appeal is rejected a claim for unfair dismissal can be made in the employment tribunal. The time limit to claim is 3 months from the date of dismissal and the claimant needs to have at least 2 years' continuous service with that employer.
I trust this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page). If for any reason you are unhappy with my response or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi,

This answers most of my question, however my main aim is now looking

At their failure to dismiss me under the correct policy section in their internal disciplinary document.

They had no grounds to dismiss me on the section they quoted withing the letter. Does that not make it invalid?

Thanks.

Ian

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hi Ian, no it does not - just because they have mentioned something in the letter which is incorrect does not make the whole process invalid. Errors happen - they may have misquoted the relevant sections. What matters is whether in the disciplinary process they presented you with the specific allegations and evidence and gave you the chance to defend yourself based on these and whether subsequently they based their decision on that information. Hope this clarifies?
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