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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48210
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I am in the middle of a suspension from work. the person who

Customer Question

i am in the middle of a suspension from work. the person who sent me the suspension letter was also one of the people who I had the altercation with , he is also the person who sent me the disciplinary hearing letter and he is also chairing the meeting , he has also given a witness statement. all the statements have not been checked and signed by the witnesses none are dated or timed as to when the interview took place. also there are 3 witness statements missing from the list that they gave me of who they interviewed one being the mans who suspended me and who is chairing the disciplinary. the investigation report does not state the position in the college of who wrote it, nor does the information in it the same as the witness statements, the investigator has used his own words , the investigator who wrote the report has not given and conclusion or recommendations, they have kept me waiting over 21 days for my disciplinary to take place and have only given me 2 working days to collect my evidence and they are running my grievance in the same meeting.can any one help 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.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
good morning , sorry its early but I need to work on this
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Please can you provide a brief background on your issue and please also advise how long have you worked there for?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am a chef and I have worked for this theological college for 5 years my estranged husband works there too. we have been separated for 2 years and him and the rest of the college staff have been trying to get me out . they have been constructively making things difficult for myself and my new partner (catering manager) whom I did not leave my husband for we started our relationship later. things have been really bad for 2 years and the director wanted to contract out the catering but couldn't do it till myself and steve were gone so they made things difficult and took staff away so that we would fail. steve has resigned because he couldn't cope anymore with the harassment but put in a grievance which they are paying him £12,0000 to go away !! I has a really bad shouting incident with the director and the principle and they suspended me . but this incident was boiling up over the past 2 years and was contrived and constructed to get me out.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Good morning and no problem at all. 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

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Many thanks for your patience. Whilst shouting/swearing in the workplace can be a disciplinary matter, the background to the situation will need to be considered and if you were provoked or deliberately set up then these factors need to be taken into account as a partial defence.

My concern here is that one single person has been involved in the whole process so far. This could be understandable in a very small company, for example a one man band running his own business, so he would be the only manager who can deal with such issues, but in larger employers where there is more than one manager the duties should be split and wherever possible different people should deal with the investigation and disciplinary. Also, if a person has been involved in the incident that led to the disciplinary they should not be involved in the formal disciplining process as there is likely to be bias. Some of this is actually dealt with under the ACAS Code of Conduct, which employers must follow if there is a disciplinary issues at work. Check here:

http://www.acas.org.uk/media/pdf/f/m/Acas-Code-of-Practice-1-on-disciplinary-and-grievance-procedures.pdf

In terms of your rights, you cannot have a lawyer get involved in the disciplinary process – that only happens once your employment has terminated. Until then all you can rely on is a trade union rep or a colleague to accompany you at any formal meetings. However, if you re dismissed as a result then you will have the right to challenge this. Similarly, if you are left with no other option but to resign, you also have the right to take this further.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the options you have should this result in dismissal, or you are forced to resign, 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 is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have just received an email from my employer stating that they do not have to give me an extension on the time to hold my disciplinary and that I cannot bring a friend for support , I don't have any colleagues or union rep to take along they are being constructively difficult and not allowing me any help or support .Dear Michele,I have taken advice and we have no obligation to allow you an extension of time or to be accompanied by anyone other than a Trade Union representative or work colleague. For that reason we will be going ahead with the Disciplinary meeting on Tuesday 7 June 2016 at 10am as noted in my letter of 1 June 2016.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Thanks I will call in around 5 mins

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Just tried, says you re unavailable?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
sorry I'm free now
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

A new feature in the employment tribunal’s claims process is mandatory early conciliation with ACAS. This requires prospective claimants to notify ACAS and provide details of their intended claim and they would then try to negotiate between the claimant and respondent to seek out of court settlement in order to avoid having to take the claim to the tribunal. It is possible for the parties to refuse to engage in these negotiations, or that they are unsuccessful, in which case they would get permission to proceed with making the claim in the tribunal.

If negotiations are initiated and settlement is reached, then the claimant would agree not to proceed with the claim in return for the agreed financial settlement.

The conciliation procedure and the form to fill in can be found here:

https://ec.acas.org.uk/Submission/SingleClaimantPage

In terms of the time limits within which a claim must be presented, the early conciliation process places a ‘stop’ on that and the time between notifying ACAS and them issuing permission to proceed with the claim would not count for the purposes of these time limits. In your case that is 3 months from dismissal