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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 44875
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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i am a manager in a care home and after a shopping trip two

Customer Question

i am a manager in a care home and after a shopping trip two employees came back with an inapropriate piece of clothing for a resident, having previously been instructed what to buy. rather than send them back to get a refund i purchased the item and put the £10 back into residents cash box as taking it back would have cost £7.00 in fares and the resident would have lost out financially whereas by purchasing it they did not lose out.

My employer has now started discplinary procedures claiming a perceived financial irregularity, the complaint was made by a member of staff who is a serial complainer with bipolar. she has been moved on many occasions after complaining about someone. in addition the manager doing the investigation has presented the evidence in a way that suits their perception of what happened.

where do i stand who do i turn too

Sharon
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.Can you please tell me how long have you been with your employer

JACUSTOMER-522imvdp- :

15 years unblemished service with many recommends and i am used as on the job mentor and trainer for problematic staff

JACUSTOMER-522imvdp- :

Sharon

Ben Jones :

Ok thank you leave it with me I need to look up a few things and then get my advice ready.I will post back on here when done there is no need to wait and you will receive an email when I have responded.

Ben Jones :

Many thanks for your patience. 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. 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.

JACUSTOMER-522imvdp- :

Ok Thank you so i will wait for the hearing and see what happens but are you saying that if they perceive it was wrong they can give a written warning even though nothing technically happened?

Ben Jones : Technically yes they can because it would depend entirely on their investigation and the genuine belief they hold as a result of that. This is not a criminal court and the levels required to make a decision are certainly not as high as it would be there. But you can certainly appeal any decision and it should be heard by a new manager so it could get overturned
Ben Jones :

Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? Thanks

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