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tdlawyer
tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience:  11 years experience of general practice.
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I have been suspended from work after scratching the side of

Customer Question

I have been suspended from work after scratching the side of my bus on a wall whilst driving the bus out of the bus depot garage. I have received a letter asking me to attend a disciplinary meeting the letter says the meeting may lead to my dismissal for gross misconduct from negligence. Is having an accident whilst carrying out my duty's negligent?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  tdlawyer replied 2 years ago.
tdlawyer :

Hi thanks for your question. My name is Tony.

tdlawyer :

How long have you worked there for please?

Customer:

5years

tdlawyer :

Okay. In that case, you have the absolute right not to be unfairly dismissed from your job.

tdlawyer :

This means that your employer cannot dismiss you for something that was genuinely an accident which has not had the most serious and significant of consequences.

tdlawyer :

In answer to your question, therefore, it is highly unlikely that they could legitimately dismiss you do something that was accidental whilst carrying out your duties.

tdlawyer :

I expect that they might suggest that it was not accidental, and that he had actually intended to damage the side of your bus.

tdlawyer :

That is probably what they might say if they were keen to dismiss you. But if this was a genuine accident, and the ultimate decision upon that would be one for a tribunal to consider (if you were dismissed), then you are likely to receive a warning at worst.

Customer:

Can you clarify in law can that be classed as negligence

Customer:

And is that gross misconducted

tdlawyer :

It might be negligence if you were careless, but this doesn't mean it's gross misconduct.

tdlawyer :

Gross misconduct is something where you are effectively saying you don't want to be bound by your employment any longer. An accident, no matter how bad, is purely an accident and isn't gross misconduct.

tdlawyer :

Employers have to put this kind of statement in letters so don't take too much that.

tdlawyer :

It would, however, be gross misconduct if it was deliberate damage by you.

Customer:

They are bound to say that it was careless

tdlawyer :

Again, careless isn't gross misconduct.

Customer:

Thank you for your help

tdlawyer :

You're welcome!

Customer:

But I still don't know for sure

tdlawyer :

That's because there is no sure fire way of knowing. It's all about being reasonable, and your employer has to be reasonable.

tdlawyer :

If they dismiss you and you've had an unblemished record for 5 years etc., then it's potentially going to be very unreasonable, and that means it's an unfair dmissal. That means you can complain within 3 months to the employment tribunal.

tdlawyer :

I would be surprised if they dismissed you to be honest.

tdlawyer :

The law is deliberately vague like this to allow massive flexibility to do the right thing in each case.

tdlawyer :

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

tdlawyer :

Why have you rated this poor service please?

Customer:

Because I need a definite yes or no answer and the answer you are giving me is vague

tdlawyer :

The answer was - An accident is not gross misconduct. Is that not your question?

tdlawyer :

Negligence is NOT gross misconduct.

Customer:

In my staff hand book

tdlawyer :

They always say things like this, but it doesn't mean that will be accepted as such by a tribunal.

tdlawyer :

The Courts/Tribunals have been very clear about this.

tdlawyer :

Otherwise, I would put "Drinking coca-cola during 9-5 is gross misconduct" and then dismiss you for doing it - do you think a tribunal would permit that?

Customer:

It says under gross misconduct that negligence is one of the items of gross misconduct

tdlawyer :

I've just answered this above, I knew what you were going to say :)

Customer:

Ok that makes it a little clearer I see you have taken payment and I would like to thank you and re-rate you better if I could please

tdlawyer : Is very much welcome a better rating - thank you ;-). If you just re-rate it should go through.
tdlawyer : What rating do you want to give?
tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience: 11 years experience of general practice.
tdlawyer and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I was sacked the next day by gross Misconduct through negligence, after asking your advice and I took it to the appeal stage, and it was upheald I am now going to the final appeal stage with the managing director,

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