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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 46798
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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In Dec last year I informed my line manager that I would be

Resolved Question:

In Dec last year I informed my line manager that I would be taking out a grievance against a senior member of staff for bullying and misappropriation of funds, my line manager agreed that I should and said she would inform the director. 4 days later I was then suspended for a purchase I made on my corporate credit card. In feb I was arrested and interviewed at the police station, bailed to return in May, searched and interviewed again for a further 5 hours, the out come NFA all criminal charges dropped. 2 weeks later I received a letter from my line manager stating that the Anti fraud and corruption team are continuing their investigations and I remain suspended, on Monday I received an email from the solicitor who represented me when I was arrested to say that the DC who lead the interview had noticed a post I had put up on my Facebook and warned her that the LA could peruse a private prosecution against me. Today I received an email from HR about leave entitlement and at the end of the mail told me that the member of staff I took the grievance out against was no longer working for the borough had retired and therefore my grievance (submitted in Dec 2013) would now not be heard.

I have now been signed off sick with depression, stress, anxiety and panic attacks, I am on anti depressants, sleeping pills and having weekly therapy, I can barley get out of bed, I am frightened I don't know what they are going to do next, I feel that my right to a private family life has been violated that they are watching my every move, I don't understand why the DC is looking at my Facebook if the police have dropped their investigation against me, can they ignore my original grievance just because the staff member has retired? I don't feel I can take any more investigations as it will tip me over the edge I have no idea what to do next the union are useless I feel that I am being victimised and that their treatment of me is totally disproportionate I know for a fact that other staff who have been accused of a similar crime have not been arrested and questioned at a police station, please help.....
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 for?

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

How long have you worked there for?

Customer: 15 years and I have an explemplay record, I have won numerous awards , input into gov white papers at Downing Street etc....
Ben Jones :

What is the grievance for exactly - is it just about the actions of this member of staff and what were you hoping to achieve by raising it?

Ben Jones :

OK, thank you, XXXXX XXXXX this with me - I will look into this for you, get my response ready and get back to you on here. No need to wait around and you will get an email when I have responded, thank you

Customer: Thank you
Ben Jones :

Sorry before I go - What is the grievance for exactly - is it just about the actions of this member of staff and what were you hoping to achieve by raising it?

Ben Jones :

Not sure if my responses are coming up so just in case they did not - I just need to confirm with you what is the grievance for exactly - is it just about the actions of this member of staff and what were you hoping to achieve by raising it?

Customer:

Yes the grievance was for mistreatment & bullying this happened in from of 2 witnesses and the fact that a 50k grant from the DOE had not been spent on the training that I was running , training that she instructed me to do - without the grant I could not run the training in the way or to the standard that our partner agency and the DOE expected it to be done so she told me I should not continue as the lead facilitator, tried to blame me for her mistakes and could not explain where the grant had gone.

Customer:

I wanted to know why the grant given for this project was not spent on the project thus making my job near on impossible and I wanted her to acknowledge that she had not managed or supported the project in line with the standards laid out by the DOE and our partners, and an appoligy for her treatment of me and the lies that she told the foster carer's and other staff members as to why I was no longer facilitating the training that I had been running for almost a year....

Customer:

I also wonder if I am being discriminated against because I was looked after by this local authority as a child I was in care from aged 13-18.

Ben Jones :

Whilst the person in question may have retired and certain aspects of the complaint against him may no longer be relevant and there could not be much the employer could do about them, there could still be other parts that can be investigated and dealt with. For example anything in relation to bullying that was not known at the time cannot be dealt with at this time because usually it would involve the employer disciplining the culprit, and of course if they have now retired that would no longer be possible. However, there could still be issues that could be dealt with, such as if there were others involved or if others knew of this but did not deal with it appropriately, as well as whether any procedures currently in placer were ineffective and need to be revised, etc. Similarly, with the failure to approve the grant, the employer should consider whether this was an isolated issue with this particular individual or if it goes further to the top and there were others involved in the decision making process or as above if there was a failure in procedures which would not just be confined to this member of staff but would go further afield.


 


So as you can see there are many other factors that could be relevant and still worth investigating, even if the person against whom the original grievance was raised has now left. You have the right to raise a grievance if needed and the employer must consider that and deal with it, including holding a grievance meeting. If they believe that there is no case to answer they can advise you of that in a formal decision after the grievance has completed, bit not just simply refuse to deal with it from the outset.


 


So you can request again that this is heard formally and that the correct procedure as specified under the ACAS Code of Conduct is followed. Whilst you cannot force the employer to actually hear the grievance it does mean that such a refusal could potentially be dealt with as a breach of trust and confidence which can eventually force you to resign and claim constructive dismissal. I understand this is not necessarily the ideal way to deal with this but it is the only option if all internal attempts to have this resolved have failed.

Ben Jones :

Hope this clarifies your position?

Customer:

Thank you for your response, please could you clarify if the police can monitor my Facebook emails etc even though the police investigation has finished. And what about the disproportionate treatment of me compared to other staff who have been accused of far worse? Also can the authority peruse a private procecution and if so based on what if the police have dropped the case?

Customer:

what if my mental health is so bad that I canto face attending a disciplinary hearing, could I resign due to ill health and take out a constructive dismissal for personal injury as well as the breech of contract re the grievance?

Ben Jones :

The police issue is a separate matter and I can't really assist as it is a different area of law - you need a criminal lawyer for this so if needed you can ask this as a separate query on our site. If your health is not good enough to attend work at the moment and you cannot also face a disciplinary then you may ask the employer to postpone that until a time when you are mentally fit to attend and deal with the issues. It would be reasonable of the employer to allow this if you have been formally signed unfit to attend work. You cannot really take a breach of contract claim against the employer for not holding a grievance meeting - you have not suffered any losses as a result of that, but you can pursue the constructive dismissal claim and seek compensation for any actual and future loss of earnings you have incurred as a result of being forced to leave

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

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 46798
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
Hello, could you please let me know if I have answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this – this is needed so I can either keep the question open or close it if no further advice is required? Thank you

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