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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46196
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I am a Finance Director at a privately owned IT Company that

Customer Question

I am a Finance Director at a privately owned IT Company that has been subject to online fraud. A fraudster set up a similar id to that of the CEO requesting funds to be transferred which would be returned in a week. I was at the doctors when email recd and sent it to my assistant. All future dealings were bewteen ceo and my assistant. Although we have documented processes there is nothing covered for approvals. My team due to urgency of the transfers failed to follow the procedures ie to get me to do the transfers, get approval before drawing down sums from our bank. After approvals were done I was asked by my finance manager to sign the transfers for an audit trail. The error I made is that I did not speak to my ceo directly but instead asked him to follow up with my ceo. He was following up but by email. However the email he was replying to was the fraudsters email.
My laptop was changed and I have been suspended. No similar action has been taken against the finance manager.
I have had an informal discussion with HR Director where they want to either have a settlement agreeement or I come back in a new role (They expect this role to be outside finance and at a lower salary).
The Questions I have are:
1) Do I have to accept either. I have not been convicted of the fraud and to me I do not see why I cannot retain my job.
2) As FD I challenge a lot of decisions made by the other members of management team. The HR Director is positioning that I do not get on with them (which is untrue. I maintain a professional relationship even though I may not agree with the decisions they make). Can the company dismiss me on the grounds that I do not work well as part of the management team.
thank you.
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 have you worked there for?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hello Ben. I have been with the company for 6 years and 3 months.

thanks

sanjay

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hello Ben

Please note I will be away from my pc for about an hour and therefore will be able to reply to anything else in a hours time.

Thanks Sanjay

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hello Ben.

I am able to answer any other questions you may have. I have not received any other details from you. Just wanted to make sure you have not sent anything.

Thanks

Sanjay

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello sorry I was offline by the time you replied. I am
On the move now but will respond fully later this afternoon thanks
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for letting me know. I am curious why the company believes they can dismiss me.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Many thanks for your patience. To answer your queries: 1. No you do not have to accept wither option given to you – this is what the employer is looking at achieving but whether you go down either route is up to you. You can reject the settlement offer and the new role and then it would be for the employer to decide how to take this further. They could continue with a disciplinary procedure and seek to discipline you, which could potentially end up in a dismissal. However, they would need to justify it was fair and reasonable in the circumstances to do so. 2. Any dismissal on grounds that you do not get along with the management team is unlikely to be fair. Not everyone gets on with their colleagues, it is a fact in most employment situations. However that does not mean that any employee that does not fit in or get on with others can be dismissed. Obviously if things get serious, such as bullying, etc then dismissal could be an option but even then the employer has to ensure they act fairly and be able to show that dismissal was justifiable in the circumstances. As far as the law stands if an employee has been continuously employed with their employer for at least 2 years they will be protected against unfair dismissal. This means that to fairly dismiss them their employer has to show that there was a potentially fair reason for dismissal and that a fair dismissal procedure was followed. According to the Employment Rights Act 1996 there are five separate reasons that an employer could use to show that a dismissal was fair: conduct, capability, redundancy, illegality or some other substantial reason (SOSR). The employer will not only need to show that the dismissal was for one of those reasons, but also justify that it was appropriate and reasonable to use in the circumstances. In addition, they need to ensure that a fair dismissal procedure was followed and this would depend on which of the above reasons they used to dismiss. However, I cannot see that not getting on with management would be a fair reason here. 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 1 year ago.

Thank you Ben.

I do have further questions to fully understand your response.

1. Could SOSR/ lack of capability cover the ability not to spot and stop the fraud.

The fraud started on 24 June while I was at doctors and ended on 6 July. There were 14 bank transfers made by my assistant. My defence has been that I thought the CEO was working directly with the CEO and in recent months the CEO did not include me in all commercial decisions. The company has to date not raised any concerns over my capability until this event. My assistant was asking for my approval before making the advances and I was saying to him that if the CEO is requesting them then get more details from him and was sending my approval.

Thanks

Sanjay

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
This really would be a misconduct issue, such as if you had not followed any strict rules or procedures in place aimed at trying to prevent such things from happening. A one off issue would not justify a capability dismissal, they should try and help you to improve your performance and only continuous poor performance should result in dismissal.
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46196
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks Ben.

I have left feedback. I am satisfied with your response to my query.

Kind regards

Sanjay

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
You are most welcome all the best

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