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UKSolicitorJA
UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 4312
Experience:  English solicitor with over 12 years experience
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After more than 5 years of bad governance, including removing

Customer Question

After more than 5 years of bad governance, including removing two CEOs and fire two long term staff members, my chairwoman and board have constructed a disciplinary action against me which, as a public figure, will damage my reputation and affect me getting future work. I am isolated from my colleagues and both me and my colleagues have been threatened with further disciplinary action if we contact each other.
The Disciplinary policy is constructed in such a way that every avenue returns to the chairwoman for decision. I have spoken to an employment lawyer and they said "this is a fight you can't win"
I need to know how to move forward. Quitting is not an option because then these people will continue doing what they want to the public stakeholders in their care.
Please tell me how to move forward and who to contact to start an action against the chair and the board, who are doing whatever the chair says.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What is your position in the organisation - are you an employee for example?

JACUSTOMER-rg4jhhb5- :

Hi Ben,

JACUSTOMER-rg4jhhb5- :

I am a contracted expat from New zealand. I have been with the organisation for four years. First I completed a two year contract and was so successfull that they re-signed me for four more years

JACUSTOMER-rg4jhhb5- :

I am the second most senior manager after the CEO. The CEO has just been replaced for the second time, and has been in position for one week. He is being instructed what to do by the chairwoman and dutifully follows what she asks.

JACUSTOMER-rg4jhhb5- :

I am under such pressure from the suspension letter, which states I am not allowed to contact any one or disclose anything that I don't know what I am allowed to tell you.

JACUSTOMER-rg4jhhb5- :

Can we agree a time to be able to chat, as it appears you are not available?

Ben Jones :

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX be available fully later this afternoon but what I will do is get a few more facts from you now, then prepare my response and just post it on here, then you can access it at your leisure this afternoon.


 


So just to confirm – you are actually an employee of the charity, working under a contract of employment?

JACUSTOMER-rg4jhhb5- :

The organisation is a national sporting association.

JACUSTOMER-rg4jhhb5- :

I am still under contract

Ben Jones :

ok but are you an employee

JACUSTOMER-rg4jhhb5- :

I am not a lawyer, so don't understand the definition of an employee?

Ben Jones :

that's ok, this may help:

www.hmrc.gov.uk/employment-status/index.htm#1

Ben Jones :

So if you answer the questions and let me know what you think you are that would be great

JACUSTOMER-rg4jhhb5- :

The real question is, is there a higher authority I can go to which will assist me in bring these people to justice for their ongoing bad governance, or is the legal system set up in such a way as to protect them and destroy my career?

JACUSTOMER-rg4jhhb5- :

Looking at HMRC now. will respond in a moment

JACUSTOMER-rg4jhhb5- :

Yes - I am an employee

Ben Jones :

Ok great thank you. So what are you suspended for and do you believe it will result in dismissal?

JACUSTOMER-rg4jhhb5- :

Deliberate disregard for management instruction

JACUSTOMER-rg4jhhb5- :

Serious unprofessional conduct

JACUSTOMER-rg4jhhb5- :

Failure to undertake expected duties of role

JACUSTOMER-rg4jhhb5- :

Bringing the association into disrepute

JACUSTOMER-rg4jhhb5- :

I don't believe it will lead to dismissal

JACUSTOMER-rg4jhhb5- :

as I this is the first I have heard of any of these accusations

JACUSTOMER-rg4jhhb5- :

In my nid if I had done something wrong, someone should have told me and asked me to correct it

JACUSTOMER-rg4jhhb5- :

That is why I think it is constructed and abusive of their powers

Ben Jones :

Ok thanks, XXXXX XXXXX please leave it with me, I will get my full response ready and post it on here this afternoon so you can access it later on

JACUSTOMER-rg4jhhb5- :

Thnk you very much for your time

Ben Jones :

Thank you for your patience. Your situation is strictly one of employment law where your rights will mainly be internal and if necessary you can take the matter to formal resolution in the employment tribunal, an independent body which can issue legally binding decisions. However, you can’t just make a complaint for anything and there are specific claims which you can make and I will explain what you could be able to claim for below.


 


As an employee you will have certain rights in law, such as protection against unfair dismissal as well as the implied right to be treated fairly. As far as disciplinary action against you is concerned, that would generally be left to the employer to decide whether it is necessary, although they are expected to follow certain rules and procedures in the process. Misconduct, such as the allegations against you, 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 (www.acas.org.uk/media/pdf/k/b/Acas_Code_of_Practice_1_on_disciplinary_and_grievance_procedures-accessible-version-Jul-2012.pdf). 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.


 


If you are not dismissed but believe that the disciplinary action was unfair and can show that it was done unreasonably or maliciously then you can also consider whether you can no longer continue working there as a result. In that case you are able to resign and claim constructive dismissal. The same requirements as for unfair dismissal apply.

JACUSTOMER-rg4jhhb5- :

Hi Ben,

JACUSTOMER-rg4jhhb5- :

Thanks for your answer. Unfortunately this is a very weak answer and does not relate to the questions directed to you. The reasons for me saying this are as follows -

JACUSTOMER-rg4jhhb5- :

A disciplinary will follow the course as set out by the Board which is chaired by the person who has constructed these issues for whatever reason they have!!! I am aware that this will happen and there is nothing I can do about it. From what I can see the system is designed to protect the chair and persecute the employee. The question I am asking is this - They have caused an action which is destroying my reputation. This reputation is needed by me to get the highest level of job for which I am qualified in the international market place. I need to know how to stop them from this corruption and prevent them from affecting the children and other stakeholders under their care. As an employee of a Government funded association I cannot afford to get the best lawyers involved so what avenues do I have to pursue these ineffective Public Service Directors

JACUSTOMER-rg4jhhb5- :

Is there a Government Ombudsman in charge of Good Governance and if so how do I contact him/her. Is there an Ombudsman i charge of Public Service Directors and if so how do i contact him/her?

Ben Jones :

You cannot just make a claim against them to preserve your reputation. If you disagree with the disciplinary action taken against you, then you can either challenge it internally and defend it that way, attempting to overturn it and remove this from your record, or if that is not possible then unfortunately all you can do is resign and go down the constructive dismissal route. You cannot just take action that would legally stop them from continuing with the disciplinary action – that simply does not exist.


 


You are confusing employment matters (which the disciplinary action is) with governance issues, which I am afraid are not the same. You are an employee who is facing an employee-related matter, which is the internal disciplinary. Any Ombudsman does not deal with such internal disciplinary issues, the Ombudsmen are there for the public where they are receiving a public service from a specific organisation, this is not the case here

JACUSTOMER-rg4jhhb5- :

That is a ridiculous statement! I am not assking you at all about the disciplinary. I have been in business for 30 years and know very well aht and how a disciplinary works. I am not talking about my situation and I am not asking advise about stopping the disciplinary.

JACUSTOMER-rg4jhhb5- :

Lets start fresh

JACUSTOMER-rg4jhhb5- :

I am asking how, within the law in this country, I can start action against the executive who has been not been using Good Governance Codes for at least five years. I have an MBA and know what Good Governance is and from what I have been able to ascertain there is no way that Bad Governance can be questioned. Is there any way that Bad Governance can be questioned. Who do I speak to, to start the ball rolling to hold these people to task over their inability to do the job that the public has asked them to do.

Ben Jones :

ok well unfortunately I won't be able to assist with that as it is not my area of law. Sorry for the crossed wires earlier but if this is your specific query I will have to opt out of the question and allow someone else to answer it if they can.

JACUSTOMER-rg4jhhb5- :

So how do I do that please?

Ben Jones :

I will do that, you do not have to do anything. As I have not answered your question you do not have to rate my response if you are asked to as that would just delay things so just leave the question as it is, I will release it to the UK Law forum and if someone can assist you they will be in touch

JACUSTOMER-rg4jhhb5- :

Thanks Ben, have a lovely afternoon

Ben Jones :

You too, sorry I could not assist you on this matter

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 2 years ago.
Hello,

It seems the professional has left this conversation. This happens occasionally, and it's usually because the professional thinks that someone else might be a better match for your question. I've been working hard to find a new professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're OK with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you!
Nicola
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Nicola, I am happy to wait for that appropriate answer.


 


Thanks

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 2 years ago.
Hello,

We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.

Thank you for your patience,
Nicola
Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 2 years ago.
Hello,

Just so that there is no further confusion, please outline your outstanding question.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hello, Copied and pasted from above. (I am asking how, within the law in this country, I can start action against the executive who has been not been using Good Governance Codes for at least five years. I have an MBA and know what Good Governance is and from what I have been able to ascertain there is no way that Bad Governance can be questioned. Is there any way that Bad Governance can be questioned. Who do I speak to, to start the ball rolling to hold these people to task over their inability to do the job that the public has asked them to do.)


 


Thanks

Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 2 years ago.
Thank you.

It would appear that the relevant Ombudsman in your case is the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, the Ombudsman will advise you if they are able to investigate your complaint and you may contact them here

http://www.ombudsman.org.uk

Hope this helps

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