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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Purposes further ageism attack I have worked at road chef

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For record purposes further ageism attack
I have worked at road chef for 5 years, 100% attendance, never late, never sick and regularly come in at very short notice when asked, never had any warnings or cautions and always informed I carry out all my tasks correctly
On arriving in work a couple of nights ago 11 pm i was immediately confronted by my line manager and a very young burger flipper from MacDonald’s to take notes and told i was now the subject of a serious mca investigation
Firstly i admit i made a procedural clerical error regarding the subject to be discussed
I was told i had not posted a sum of money that was on a pdq slip which i had sent upstairs at my end of shift, i have worked here 5 years and this regularly occurs about 5 times a month ever since i have been here by various receptionists, the error has always been corrected by the line manager and no one has ever been told off or cautioned, any moneys taken by myself are always entered on the arrival sheet and stated if cash / pdq / pci
A confrontational one hour interview of me then followed, i was rail road into this with no time to think or recollect events of the error on my part, after about 15 minutes i inquired if the non posted money had gone missing and i was told no,
At end of interview when i had a small amount of time to think i recollected the events of the night in question, it had been a busy night when at around 03 00 am four young boisterous army youths arrived and asked could they have a room i informed them four people were not allowed in one room so they said they would have two rooms, the system we use does not allow two rooms to be booked together so i processed the first room and took a pdq machine payment for both rooms and posted the first rooms payment, i started to process the second room and entered their info on computer they were loudly bantering and said they did not want to wait so i gave them the keys of the second room and they left reception, in the confusion i did not finish processing the second room so were not checked in or payment posted, i always check for unpaid balances at end of my shift but as i did not check them in no unpaid balance was showing. my personnel taking breakdown sheet sent up in pod clearly shows payments for both rooms
When i do my end of shift in addition to normal paperwork i send a personalised breakdown allocated to each room of any moneys taken, this is saved on computer in case of any query it can be referred to. Now returning to the un posted room the arrival sheet clearly shows both room payments taken on checking in and the arrival sheet for the second room was stapled to it.
The night after the interview on checking the arrival sheets for the night in question i was surprised to find in drawer the arrival sheet still there as star had insured me all relevant papers had been sent to HR
I would have thought if there was any query on any room the first thing to be checked would be the arrival sheets?
Please see copy of e mail messages between star and myself regarding this
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello what specific queries do you have about this?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
would employer be justified in giving me a disciplinary for this clerical error
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. It is entirely possible for an employer to take disciplinary action if they believe you have done something wrong or not followed correct procedure. The taking of disciplinary action does not mean you are guilty – it means the employer thinks you have done something wrong and they are bringing the case against you, allowing you the chance to defend yourself. It is still possible that following the disciplinary they find you not guilty and take this no further. So yes, it is possible for them to take disciplinary action against you if you have done a clerical error, even if there are factors which mean you can explain what happened and can mitigate any wrongdoing on your part. But that is something which you can still raise as a defence at the disciplinary, so even if they know of these now, they can still require you to formally defend yourself by raising these at the disciplinary hearing.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the law on disciplinary hearings and what is expected of the employer to ensure it is carried out fairly, 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

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 and if you need me to discuss the next steps in more detail? In the meantime please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts from the top of the page. The question will not close and I can continue with my advice as discussed. Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
thanks, ***** ***** been informed invited for disciplinary meeting 07 00 Monday morning will update you after meeting, surely this should have been invited to investigation meeting (fact finding) at this stage, i suspect this is pre judged already at this and my fate is already decided prior to meeting ? my one off error has regularly occurred by other staff about 10 times a month over last 5 years and has just been rectified by hotel manager with no cautions to anyone ever being issued, we have a new site director and there was a theft by a member of staff recently so now everything tightened up
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Have you not had an investigatory meeting at all?

Please remember to leave a rating for the response s far so I can continue assisting you further, many thanks

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
had investigation by my line manager a couple of days ago with a note taker, copy of interview paper given to me then they were sent upstairs to ops manager, now informed disciplinary meeting Monday, very highly evidence withheld and not given to ops manger, i.e. client arrival sheet clearly showing both rooms and amount taken via a visa slip, secondly my shift till roll also not forwarded, when i queried this hotel manager brushed it off stating to late to to give ops manager now as a decision had already been reached on existing papers,now have been told to go to ops manager for disciplinary, this non posting of payments has the last 5 years occurred about ten times a month via other staff but no comment has ever been made to staff concerned but merely been corrected by hotel manager, thanks john
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Ok it looks like the investigatory meeting has already been held so there is no formal requirement to have that now – they can proceed straight to the disciplinary if needed.

As mentioned, I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the law on disciplinary hearings and what is expected of the employer to ensure it is carried out fairly, 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.
thanks appreciate it is Sunday, but if possible if i could have your further info ASAP as meeting 07 00 in morning, will let you know result, thanks again john PS 5 star rating left
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. The info is really in terms of what the law requires of an employer to conduct a misconduct disciplinary 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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