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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48736
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I am employed and was sign off work a doctor but worked

Customer Question

I am employed and was sign off work a doctor but worked withing the period for another employer. My employer got to know and has scheduled an investigative meeting with me
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Please can you tell me how long you have worked for the employer that were signed off from.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
6 months
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm on a year contract with them
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
OK, thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you as soon as I can. Please do not respond to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm still awaiting an answer please. It's almost over an hour
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your patience. Unfortunately there can be delays especially at unsociable hours. The first thing to note is that an investigatory meeting is not an automatic assumption of guilt and it is used to determine if you have done something wrong and if there is enough evidence to take the matter further. It is not illegal for an employee to be off sick from one job and receive sick pay, whilst continuing to work for another employer. Many employers incorrectly refer to this as the employee 'defrauding' the company and even take disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal. However, the legal position is that as long as the employee is genuinely certified unfit to work and this affects their ability to carry out the specific job from which they are signed off, they are able to be off sick from it. In the meantime if they are capable of performing another job, which is not affected by the reasons for being signed off sick, they can do so. For example, someone is signed off sick due to workplace stress as a result of heavy workload or bullying by colleagues. The stress prevents them from working in that specific job as the stressors are directly connected to it. It does not prevent them from continuing to work in another, less stressful job, where no stressors are present. It is also important to consider the conditions of the employment contract or relevant policies from the job the employee is signed off from. For example, the employee's contract could state that a condition of receiving company sick pay is that they do not work elsewhere, or they could even be a blanket prohibition on having a second job. In such circumstances it would be a potential breach of contract to have the second job, even if generally it would not be illegal to do so. In the absence of such a restriction and assuming the reasons for being signed off sick are genuine and do not affect you working in the second job, this would not be illegal. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the rights you have should the employer decide to take the matter further to a disciplinary, 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
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What are the rights i have should my employer decide to take the matter further to a disciplinary?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply. Please what are my right should my employer decides to take the matter further to a disciplinary level?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply. Please what are my right should my employer decides to take the matter further to a disciplinary level?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. The issue you will face here is to do with your length of service. If you have been continuously employed at your place of work for less than 2 years then your employment rights will unfortunately be somewhat limited. Most importantly, you will not be protected against unfair dismissal. This means that your employer can dismiss you for more or less any reason, and without following a fair procedure, as long as their decision is not based on discriminatory grounds (i.e. because of gender, race, religion, age, a disability, sexual orientation, etc.) or because you were trying to assert any of your statutory rights (e.g. requesting maternity/paternity leave, etc.). So even if what you did is not unlawful and technically you had done nothing wrong, if in the eyes of the employer you were guilty, they can still dismiss you. It is all to do with your length of service. However that is the worst case scenario, there is no guarantee that they will go as far as a dismissal but be prepared in case they do.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you Ben for that, I'm very grateful for the insight. Will this affect my DBS or ability to get a job?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Your DBS is not affected by this but they could include this on a reference so it depends if you want to use them as a referee
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank You Ben, you have been of great help to me. Please do I need to attend the meeting? I've sent the letter to my union but I've not received any feedback from them, in the light of the your advice i'll like to enquire if it is possible that you represent me and how much will it cost me?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, sadly I cannot represent you as I cannot take on clients via this site and in any event a lawyer is not able to attend internal meetings like an investigatory or disciplinary meeting. If you do not attend the meeting it will look suspicious and they can take a decision based on hat they know so it would be best if you try to attend
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Many thanks Ben, but my employer has specified in the letter sent to me that they are coming with an employment consultant who doesn't work for the company. From my research the person is a lawyer.Is that legal?You have really helped me greatly
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
That is possible but you can challenge them on the reasons for this person attending