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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 44896
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have been dismissed from work of the

Customer Question

Hi,
I have been dismissed from work for misconduct of the quality system where I continusly asked for support but was not provided. I was the lab manager but my team was understaffed, we were losing around 2 experienced members a month because the pay was so low in comparison to what was expected out of the employees. We continusly asked for over time and was pushed to ask our engineers and technicians for over time. I was left with untrained staff and almost had my hands tied as I could not complete work on time due to this. For one year, I had no general manager, technical manager or an operations manager. I was expected to do these roles on top of my own and had expressed to the directors that we are failing and the employees are reaching breaking point. However this was not, taken into account on my dismissal, I have been accused of lying to the senior team, and misconduct of the quality system. I have gone through the disciplinary procedure which was performed by a general manager of a different sector of the company, I have a letter with the outcome that I can post to you if you like. Could you please inform me of what actions I can take. Thank you in advance
Best regards,
John Papasideris
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long did you work there for?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Ben,

i worked there since october 2010 and was given 2 internal promotions on that time frame.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thank you and when did the dismissal take place?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I was suspended on 02/07 and dismissed on the 21/07 after an investigation took place.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Still there?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

??

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello John, sorry I was called into a tribunal today and have only just returned. As far as the law stands, 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. The employer should have taken into account the mitigating factors you raised although there is no guarantee that they would have avoided a dismissal if the rest of the evidence justified it.
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
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? If your query has been dealt with please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts from the top of the page. If you need further help please get back to me on here and I will assist as best as I can. Thank you.

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