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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 48737
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I was dismissed in Feb 2013 for breaching the standards of

Resolved Question:

I was dismissed in Feb 2013 for breaching the standards of behaviour. I accessed a family member's records out of frustration. The Department had failed to respond to 3 letters sent to them and failed to resolve the problem on 5 separate visits. I accompanied the family member to get this resolved (that was the 5 visit) and was accused of being rude, hostile and aggressive. This was a shock as the lady I was speaking to for nearly 1 hour said nothing like this in her statement. When I put in a claim for benefit my records were now accessed to obtain my contact number linking my appeal with my JSA claim. They destroyed CCTV before I was even aware an incident took place and basic fundamental procedures did not take place when an incident takes place in the office such as completing an incident report, security intervention or Police called. I believe I have been framed after the Secretary of State overturned the decision of the family member and reinstated payments. I worked for them for 23 years and have now lost out on redundancy payments.
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. How long have you worked there?

Customer:

23 year. I stated that already

Customer:

Are you still there?

Customer:

What is going on? Why are you offline?

Customer:

Have you taken my money without a response?

Ben Jones :

Hello, I am still here, my connection dropped for a few minutes. What is your specific question about your situation please?

Customer:

I have already given you the details. I want to know what my options are. How I begin to pursue this case

Ben Jones :

Yes I have the details thanks but was not sure of what you wanted to know about it as you did not ask any questions. What were the specific allegations against you, what stands of behaviour are you alleged to have breached that justified dismissal?

Customer:

accessing the family members records

Ben Jones :

And you agree that this was not allowed under the rules of your employment

Customer:

I agree but as I mentioned it was done out of frustration. On the visit to the office I was unaware an incident had taken place

Ben Jones :

So you have gone to tribunal and lost, when was the decision made?

Customer:

In October last year

Ben Jones :

ok I don't want to be the bearer of bad news but I hope you realise that your chance to challenge this was the tribunal and if you have lost that you do not have any further opportunities to take the matter further. The only thing you could have done is appeal the tribunal decision but you are way too late to do so now beuse this must be made within 42 days of the tribunal judgment being made

Customer:

I hear you but what about a case against the Department for deleting the CCTV evidence, accessing my records without good reason and not following through with their own incident procedure. As for the union could I not take out a claim against them?

Ben Jones :

Why the union?

Customer:

I received no help from them. When I was completing the Tribunal forms I requested help with this and did not get the assistance

Customer:

Are you still there?

Ben Jones :

You won’t be able to take action for the deletion of the CCTV, there is no legal requirement for them to have held it for longer than they believed necessary. The failure to follow procedures is a procedural failure which would have only been relevant in an unfair dismissal claim, which you have already lost so it is no longer relevant and no claim can be made for that. The only claim you potentially have is for negligence against the union but I can tell you now it won’t be easy, because you need to show that they had acted negligently, to such a degree that fell below the standard of a reasonable union in their position and that as a result you have suffered losses. The problem is that you will not be able to show that even if they had helped you with the form you would have won your case so proving that you have suffered losses and calculating these would be more or less impossible as you can never guarantee that things would have been different even with union help – receiving help from a union certainly does not guarantee success at tribunal so it is not enough to simply state you would have won had they helped you.

Customer:

Thank you for that but I paid my fees for 23 years. Regardless of my reason for leaving I had a right to expect assistance from the union. The Department had made errors too which could have been highlighted at the hearing. I felt as though I was let down by them as well as the organisation I worked for so many years.

Customer:

Sorry I didn't finish. I contacted them from the 1 day of dismissal and have diary entries of all the times I requested help. Help did not arrive until my appeal hearing and then I was advised that she was going to look into something for me. This never happen. No emails were responded to from the rep. I saw her for the first time at my appeal hearing and never again. Is this not negligent?

Customer:

Plus why would you destroy evidence without notifying me of an incident. That is clearly not right.

Ben Jones :

I understand that but whilst you may be able to prove negligence, that does not automatically guarantee any compensation and there are further steps you must meet to show that you have suffered actual losses as a result of their negligence that can just be attributed to that. This is where you will struggle because it would be extremely difficult to show that the primary reason for you losing the case was the union's failure to help you as requested - tribunal cases carry an inherent degree of risk and the outcome could be unpredictable at the best of times and would depend on many factors and to actually show that you would have definitely won with union help would be an almost impossible task. I am not saying that you cannot make the claim because you can if you wanted to but just need to make you aware of what you re going to face if you do it and are likely to find yourself expensing more precious time and money pursuing this

Customer:

OK, I do understand. Lets leave it here for now and thank you for you advice.

Ben Jones :

You are welcome, hope it clarifies your position

Customer:

Yes it does but I will still pursue it whatever way I can.

Ben Jones :

You can do, I just had to give you an objective professional opinion on where you stand with that

Customer:

I hear you and thank you for that. At least I know the battle ahead.

Ben Jones :

All the best, XXXXX XXXXX positive comes out of it eventually

Customer:

Thanks and goodbye.

Ben Jones :

Bye

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