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Alice H
Alice H, Solicitor/Partner
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2850
Experience:  Partner in national law firm
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I could use your advice. Just over 4 years ago I made a

Resolved Question:

I could use your advice.

Just over 4 years ago I made a stupid mistake, I was convicted of a drink driving offence (dr10) received an 18 month ban and a fine. I asked my solicitor if I needed to notify my employer, to which she advised "only if you are required to drive for work", which I don't. So I did not notify them, I hid my shame and didn't tell a soul in the office.

A recent look at my employee handbook however states that I must notify HR immediately about any convictions.

I work in back office operations at an investment bank. I'm terrified, I should notify them but will I lose my job if I do?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alice H replied 3 years ago.
My name is***** and I'm happy to help with your question today. I need to ask you some preliminary questions to be able to help you.

Does your employer carry out criminal record checks?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes, they do at the time of recruitment. They are exempt from the rehabilitation of offenders act and so can get the full history of spent and unspent convictions


 


I completed a test over 6 years ago when I joined and passed with flying colours as this is my only offence.


 


The handbook states that they have the right to check existing employees at any time, but to my knowledge I have not had another check.


 


I do not think the offence itself would cause too many issues as I am not required to drive for work, please correct me if I am wrong. My biggest concern is that through my ignorance I have not disclosed it immediately as per the company policy.


 


If I disclose this now what are the possible outcomes?

Expert:  Alice H replied 3 years ago.
OK thanks for clarifying the position.

From an employers point of view failure to disclose a criminal conviction can amount to misconduct and/or breach of contract. There is a relationship of trust and fidelity between an employer and employee and this means that when events such as the one you've mentioned occur they rely on you to tell them. Failure to do so could result in disciplinary action.

If you do not tell your employer they may never find out. If you do tell them then they could discipline you. But I think dismissal four years after the incident in question would be unfair especially as you'vr completed the sentence imposed by the court and the offence itself is not for dishonesty.

So the bot***** *****ne is that if you don't tell them they may never find out. If you do then there coukd be consequences for you. Nobody can tell you what to do or how to go about this situation - only you can make that final decision.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I can accept a disciplinary if it is just a warning and I get to keep my job.


Can this be grounds for dismissal?


 


My work history has been exemplary for the last 6+ years, evidenced by 3 promotions in the time, (2 of which after the event)


 


Can this single incident be enough grounds for dismissal?


I know that ignorance is no excuse, but if I were to come forward of my own volition as soon as I realized that this should have been disclosed, could that improve my chances?


 


If they do dismiss me, would I have grounds for unfair dismissal?

Expert:  Alice H replied 3 years ago.
Yes, withholding details of a criminal conviction which you are required to give could result in dismissal but as you have an exemplary record and the offence is not dishonesty or violence there is a chance of a warning. Coming clean about it, apologising and showing remorse will go in your favour and they are less likely to dismiss if you are open and honest about this now. Obviously nobody can say with any certainty what your employer will decide but if they act unreasonably then yes you coukd have a claim for unfair dismissal.
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