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tdlawyer
tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience:  11 years experience of general practice.
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Hi, I was recently arrested, accused of theft from employer.

Resolved Question:

Hi,

I was recently arrested, accused of theft from employer. I was bailed and then the case was declared nfa. The items that I had, I'd asked for and they were given. I'd asked on three occasions and the items were gifted. Could I sue for constructive dismissal?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  tdlawyer replied 3 years ago.

tdlawyer :

Hi thanks for your question. My name isXXXXX can help with this.

tdlawyer :

What action has your employer taken please and how long have you worked there for?

Customer:

Hi,

Customer:

Thanks for the response.

Customer:

Full story is as follows:

Customer:

1. I left work early in the month of May for 1 weeks leave

Customer:

2. I arrived home and was greeted by the police who arrested be for theft from work

Customer:

3. They asked me if I had the items in question, I did so I gave them to them and went for questioning

Customer:

4. I explained that the items were gifted (I had asked for them on three occasions a couple of years earlier). The items were to be scrapped as there was no value in them

Customer:

5. The officer released me and said that he thought that the charged would be NFA'd as the items were gifted

Customer:

6. He had indicated that the situation would be finalized within a couple of days.

Customer:

7. Couple of days came and went and I heard nothing (still off work at this point)

Customer:

8. Police eventually returned my items in person 1 week after I was arrested. The policeman said that my workplace had challenged them as to how they could deem that there was no charge to answer but the police had refused to budge as the items were gifted. The policeman said that his view was that my ex employer would look to take action under contract law, I asked whether he meant termination and he said yes.

Customer:

9. Shortly after the police left, I received a text message from my boss asking me to attend a meeting (before my work start time, at a location that was not my normal place of work). My view is that this would have been for suspension subject to investigation and then the sack.

Customer:

10. I'd been with my previous employer for nearly ten years and had a faultless record.

Customer:

11. Having received the text (still on holiday) I reviewed my options and decided that the best option would be to resigned with immediate effect. I was very stressed regarding the situation, anxious and struggling to sleep and I felt that ultimately I didn't have the spirit to try and fight what I believe was a done deal. My resignation was accepted.

Customer:

12. I should point out that when I was arrested a number of items were confiscated including a work laptop. When the police came to my house the second time all items were returned except the work laptop.

Customer:

Thanks

tdlawyer :

Are you saying that your employer would have known that this was a non-genuine complaint, as it had gifted the things to you?

Customer:

The business that I worked for is very big. A member of the public noticed the volume of items for sale of ebay and 'reported' me to a central security area within the business. They reported to the police without checking the status of the items. During the investigation, it was ratified by the supervisor that gave me the items (on three occasions) that they were gifted as they were surplus to business requirement and essentially scrap. From what I understand there has been no action taken against the individual who gifted the items

tdlawyer :

Okay. The problem with constructive dismissal is that it's very hard to prove. You need to show that the employer intended to destroy the relationship and the legal agreement between you. If you had said to me, this was a non-genuine complaint, and the organisation was smaller, I might have said that it seemed likely the employer was deliberately trying to be mischievous and that points to a breach of the implied term of mutual trust and confidence. However, with a larger organisation following what might be a standard procedure, it's very much more difficult to do that.

tdlawyer :

You've resigned now, so it might be difficult to undo that. You might take the view that by making a complaint for constructive unfair dismissal you have very little to lose anyway.

Customer:

What would be the process that I would go through to file a complaint for constructive dismissal and, in your view, likelihood of success?

tdlawyer :

All I can say about success rates is that it will be difficult. They always are. In terms of the process, you have 3 months from the date of dismissal (resignation effective date) in which to file the complaint with the Employment Tribunal. You can do this by going to the ET website here: http://www.justice.gov.uk/tribunals/employment

tdlawyer :

Are you within the time period?

Customer:

Yes, I resigned on 9th May.

tdlawyer :

Okay, and do you think your claim will be under £74,000?

Customer:

I would have thought so yes. What determines the level of the claim?

tdlawyer :

In rough terms, your notice period or the amount of time it takes you to find another job. If you have elements of unlawful discrimination in your claim (e.g. race or sex discrimination) it can mean being awarded more damages, but that doesn't seem to be the case in your instance.

tdlawyer :

There is also a what is known as a basic award, for unfair dismissal, which is a few thousand pound, so doesn't really impact on the calculation in the majority of cases.

Customer:

No thats not the case in my instance. Notice period was 3 months, which I worked none of. I am actively seeking another job. Salary was 36k so maximum would be about 9-10k

tdlawyer :

Ah okay, that's well within the limits. Employment Tribunal is your best route.

tdlawyer :

Hopefully, once you make a complaint at the Tribunal, your employer will seek to resolve it with you.

tdlawyer :

Can I ask whether you're happy with my service today please?

Customer:

Yes. Thank you for your help

tdlawyer :

You're very welcome. Thank you!

tdlawyer :

Is there anything else you would like to ask me?

Customer:

No that's fine. Thanks for your help.

tdlawyer :

Thank you.

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