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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 45310
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I was suspended from my job on the 15th of March this

Customer Question

Hello, I was suspended from my job on the 15th of March this year. i work for a pharmaceutical company called Alliance Healthcare. I am a delivery driver that delivers to pharmacies and doctors surgeries. the reason for my suspension was that I was failing to secure my vehicle and goods whilst making deliveries.I have attended 1 investigatory meeting which was a "fact finding exercise".
Prior to the meeting I was given 2 statements that were from the 2 managers that were watching me on my delivery route.Upon reading these statements I found several details that were incorrect.
I raised these issues during the meeting.I have now been invited to a second meeting with a compliance manager within the company tomorrow (Thursday)Supplied with this letter requesting my attendance, I find a second statement from one of the managers that seems to contradict the first statement.Is there a way in which i can raise this issue in the meeting and use it against my employers?I'm no lawyer but surely a written statement is supposed to be truthful and changing it suggests being untruthful?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked there for?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I have worked there for over 3 years, it will be 4 in August.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Hello?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.
What is the purpose of the second meeting? Still an investigation?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I quote the letterFurther to the investigatory meeting held on the 24th march I am writing to invite you to a meeting to discuss the matter further.
this meeting will be held on Thursday 7th april at 12.00pm in the compliance managers office at Hinckley service centre. the meeting will be conducted by myself with adey moore attending as note taker.the purpose of the meeting will be to discuss the areas as detailed below.failure to secure your vehicle whilst making deliveries.
gross negligence in the discharge of duties.this is a formal meeting and you may bring a a work colleague unrelated to the matter or trade union rep to the meeting. please confirm your attendance.depending on the facts established at the meeting, the outcome could lead to disciplinary action being taken against you and may result in further action, up to and including dismissal.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.
Thank you and finally - are the parts of the statements you argue are incorrect directly relevant to the allegations or are they just background details?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
They are relevant to the allegations and also there are background details that continue to be incorrect.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
My meeting is at midday tomorrow so any advice before then would be appreciated.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.
You can certainly bring these inconsistencies to the attention of the investigating officer at the upcoming meeting. Of course it is expected that the manager should have been clear in their evidence but often there may be inconsistencies or misunderstandings. His is not just in employment situations, it happens in official court hearings – that’s why you have cross-examinations to pick holes in someone’s evidence. There could be many reasons for this – it could be completely unintentional, someone’s memory failing them, it could be negligent, where they simply did not pay much attention when making the evidence, or it could be intentional which would make it more serious. So changing a statement does not mean that the initial ne is not truthful – it certainly would challenge the consistency of that person’s evidence and the employer may decide not to rely on them as much as they would have initially because they may find the person more difficult to trust now. But there is no guarantee the initial statement is incorrect – it could be the other way round. So you need to identify the inconsistencies, bring them to the employer’s attention and ask that such inconsistencies are discounted from the evidence. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the procedure an employer must follow to justify any disciplinary action being fair, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there I no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 45310
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and 3 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
If you could give me further detailed advice that would be great thanks.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.
Thank you. This is in relation to the overall procedure. 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.

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