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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 47863
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I am currently suspended and have today received an invite

Customer Question

I am currently suspended and have today received an invite to a disciplinary hearing. This is to happen next Wednesday. The company disciplinary policy states that I should receive a copy of all documentation to be referred to at a disciplinary hearing in advance yet my invitation letter states that they confirm the sales documentation, specimen signatures, call log to the customer and customer statement will be made available to you the day of the hearing.
What do you advise if I don't have the appropriate evidence to defend myself prior to the hearing?
Also, the evidence shown in the investigation meeting is an official logged complaint with call centre.
I have worked for the company for 10+ years and have only previously had a disciplinary hearing with final written given based on lateness, which has 5+ years ago.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, what would you like to know about the second part of your query relating to your disciplinary record?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I would like to know that my good standing with the company has any impact on the outcome and nothing has happened like this before. I don't recall the incident nor is it in my character.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
It is correct that you should be provided with the evidence to be used against you in advance of the hearing to allow you to prepare a defence. If they have not provided this then you can ask for an adjournment of the hearing until they have given you the relevant documentation. If they refuse to then you can raise a grievance to complain.
In terms of the general procedure that needs tonne followed, Misconduct is a common reason for taking disciplinary action against an employee. It could be due either to a single serious act of misconduct or a series of less serious acts over a period of time.
In order to justify that disciplinary action on grounds of misconduct was fair, the law requires that the employer:
• Conducts a reasonable investigation;
• Follows a fair disciplinary procedure; and
• Shows they had reasonable grounds to believe the employee was guilty.
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 formally sanction them. When deciding on the appropriate penalty, the employer should consider the nature and seriousness of the offence and the employee's disciplinary record. Unless the offence was one of gross misconduct, ACAS recommends that the employee should be issued with a written warning.
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 about any of the above and there is belief or evidence that the employer has not satisfied these requirements, an appeal can be submitted to the employer immediately after the disciplinary outcome. If the disciplinary results in dismissal then a claim for unfair dismissal can be made in the employment tribunal. There are two requirements to claim: the employee must have at least 2 years' continuous service with the employer and the claim must be made within 3 months of the date of dismissal.
I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. 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.