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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 44903
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Hi can you please help me with some advice, I have a dismissal

Customer Question

Hi can you please help me with some advice, I have a dismissal appeal come on Monday.
My situation is that last year April 2013 I was charged with common assault and a section 4 I informed my HR Manager and Line Manager of my situation a kept them updated alway to my trial which took place on the 10th June 2014, in which I plead guilty to all charges and was sentenced to 22 weeks, which I only served 9 week. The company was informed immediately of my situation. On 11th June 2014 the store manager sent me a letter of potential termination of contract on 4 grounds breach of confidence due to my conviction, not informing the store of my situation, unavailable to cover my duties while imprisoned and failure to report absence and reason for it. I given a deadline to respond to which I did but the store claimed they did not receive I letter so preceeded with the investigation without my input and with union representative resulting with me finally being dismissed for Gross Misconduct on 2 grounds breach of confidence based on my conviction and inability to cover my shift while imprisoned. Now I have looked at the acas employment law handbook and it states that having a criminal conviction is not a solid enough base to dismiss an employee unless the conviction itself effects the company also I have read my staff handbook there is nothing in it which states that gaining a criminal offence outside of work can warrant a dismissal. Referring to the other issue which is inability to cover duties it states in the staff handbook that it doesn't warrant a instant dismissal as I had informed the store before being sentenced that it could be a possibility.
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. How long did you work there for?

JACUSTOMER-591qe8gd- :

9 yr 10mths

JACUSTOMER-591qe8gd- :

Hello

Ben Jones :

There is no law that specifically allows an employer t dismiss someone charged with a criminal offence or if they are subsequently convicted. In fact the ACAS Code which employers must follow states that “"If an employee is charged with, or convicted of a criminal offence this is not normally in itself reason for disciplinary action. Consideration needs to be given to what effect the charge or conviction has on the employee's suitability to do the job and their relationship with their employer, work colleagues and customers".

Some further points that are relevant include:

  • The employer should consider whether the conduct is sufficiently serious to warrant instituting the disciplinary procedure. Off-duty conduct which has no bearing on employment is unlikely to justify disciplinary action.
  • In cases where the employee is not available for work because they are in police custody, employers should decide whether, in the light of the needs of the organisation, the employee's job can be held open.
  • When coming to a decision the employer should follow specific policy or rules that allow them to take such action or which state that the specific reasons for dismissal can be used
Ben Jones :

After the appeal, if it is refused, your only option is to consider a claim for unfair dismissal in the employment tribunal which must be submitted within 3 months of the date of dismissal

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 :

Hello, I see you have accessed and read my answer to your query. 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? I just need to know whether to close the question or not? Thanks

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