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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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I work for a local authority housing office. A Police investigation

Resolved Question:

I work for a local authority housing office. A Police investigation is currently going on for theft of the Council's cash. During our internal auditors' investigation it was brought to our attention that the cashiers had not followed all of the Council's Financial Procedures ie. the safe key had not been signed for by the person taking the key home at night. I am one of the people who regularly takes the safe key at night but my job does not have any other involvement with the cash. I have never been on Financial Procedures Training or seen the Financial Procedures Document as it is not part of my job. I have been told by my Manager that it is everyones responsibility. I am now part of an Disciplinary Investigation and told I could get a written warning for not signing for the safe key. It is my opinion that it is the cashier's responsibility to ensure the safe key is signed for as he cashier has been on he training and read the procedures and I have not. I was not aware that I had to sign for the safe key.I have worked for the council for 17 years and never been asked to do so.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What is your specific query in relation to this please?

Customer:

I want to know if my employer can give me a written warning for not signing for the safe key when I did not know it was in the financial procedures ? Why would I know as I am not a cashier and never been asked to go on training or to read the procedure. It is not part of my job. I am a housing officer and spend 50% of my day out of the office.

Ben Jones :

Were you aware of any procedures in relation to this?

Customer:

No.

Ben Jones :

what was your responsibility when taking the key?

Customer:

I was given the key at the end of the day by the cashier- many times witnessed by the manager. I take the key home and return it to the cashier the next day. The cashier is not allowed to have the safe key as well as the cash box keys overnight.

Ben Jones :

ok let me get my response ready please

Ben Jones :

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.


 


If you are accused of breaching security procedures or policies but were never made aware of such a policy or received training then it is difficult for the employer to justify disciplinary action against you, unless what you did was negligent and an obvious breach of common sense procedures.


 


If there are any doubts an appeal can be submitted to the employer immediately after the disciplinary outcome. Apart from the appeal the only other action you can take is to resign and claim constructive dismissal, so obviously think carefully before you proceed as that is a risky decision.


 

Customer:

This is the response I thought you would give. My brother is a manager in the construction industry and he also told me my employer can't justify a warning if they have never given me training on financial procedures and I have never had any knowledge of the procedures. Thank you for the re-assurance.

Ben Jones :

You are most welcome. Please take a second to leave a positive rating for the advice I have provided as that is an important part of our process. Thank you and feel free to bookmark my profile for future help:



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Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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