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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 45360
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have just been dismissed from my job as a health visitor

Resolved Question:

I have just been dismissed from my job as a health visitor without notice so ave no income and £17000 i loans plus two children, one of whom is supposed to be going to university in 3 weeks. What can I do? I have put an appeal in but meanwhile what do for money? Thanks
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked there for?

Customer:

24 years for the nhs, 33 years as a nurse

Ben Jones :

And what specifically would you like to know about your situation?

Customer:

I want to know if I have a case to go to tribunal as the alleged incident happened in October 2013 and hasn't been investigated until July this year. I was dismissed on 12th August 2014.Obviously I have put an appeal in as the allegations are untrue and due to animosity from two junior members of staff who I was trying to manage. It is a long story but I was going through a lot of problems including health and personal issues . I was accused of 1) bringing wine into work and 2) consuming some whilst at work. which I dispute wholeheartedly.I did bring the bottle in an ill judged attempt to hide it from my husband a he was being very controlling and emotionally abusive but it was never a full bottle. I was suffering from depression and anxiety and had turned to alcohol as a crutch over the previous year but never drinking at work. I even lost my licence for 1 months but again not in wok time and continued to fulfill all my duties and more for the next 12 months. I was never questioned about the alleged incident in October a was even interviewed and given another senior post during the time that I was accused. I was old by a senior manager that it would be dealt with quickly and informally so didn't worry about it. The Union were very unhelpful and unprepared.

Ben Jones :

ok let me get my response ready please

Ben Jones :

Misconduct is a common reason for taking disciplinary action and it is also a potentially fair reason for dismissal under the Employment Rights Act 1996. It could be a single act of serious misconduct or a series of less serious acts over a period of time.

In order to justify that dismissal on grounds of misconduct was fair, the law requires that the employer:



  • Conducts a reasonable investigation;

  • Follows a fair disciplinary procedure;

  • Has reasonable grounds for believing the employee was guilty; and

  • Show that dismissal was a decision that a reasonable employer would have taken in the circumstances.


In addition, the employer is expected to follow the ACAS Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures. Altogether, it means that a disciplinary procedure should be conducted as follows:

1. Investigation - a reasonable investigation is needed. What is reasonable depends entirely on the circumstances and especially the nature and seriousness of the allegations. The more serious these are, the more detailed the investigation needs to be.

2. Disciplinary hearing - if the investigation provides sufficient evidence of misconduct, the employee may be invited to attend a formal disciplinary hearing. They must be given prior notice of the hearing, including details of the allegations, allowing them time to prepare. They have the legal right to be accompanied at the hearing but only by a trade union representative or a colleague.

3. Decision and penalty - following the disciplinary, if the employer holds a genuine belief that the employee was guilty, then they can go ahead and dismiss. When deciding on whether dismissal is appropriate, the employer should consider the nature and seriousness of the offence and the employee's length of service and disciplinary record. They also need to act with a degree of consistency if other employees have previously been disciplined over similar issues. Unless the offence was one of gross misconduct, ACAS recommends that the employee should be issued with a written warning.

The delay in dealing with this would also depend on what the reasons for this were – if the employer knew of this incident last year and no new evidence had been found since, then there is an unreasonable delay in dealing with this. However, if this was due to evidence only coming out recently, the employer could still take formal action now, even if the incident occurred last year – what matters is when they had actual knowledge of the allegations and the seriousness of the issues.

In summary, an employer is not expected to prove that the alleged misconduct had definitely occurred. Disciplinary action will be fair if the employer can show that it had conducted a reasonable investigation, followed a fair procedure and held a genuine belief that the employee was guilty. Finally, it must show that the penalty was a reasonable action to take in the circumstances and one that a reasonable employer would have taken.

If there are any doubts or evidence that the above requirements have not been satisfied, an appeal can be submitted to the employer straight after the disciplinary outcome is communicated. If the appeal is rejected a claim for unfair dismissal can be made in the employment tribunal. The time limit to claim is 3 months from the date of dismissal and the claimant needs to have at least 2 years' continuous service with that employer.

Ben Jones :

Hope this clarifies your position? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you

Customer:

Thanks, ***** ***** delay in investigation was unreasonable as they knew 11 months ago and there is no further evidence since then .However, what do I do about my finances meanwhile? I don't think I will win the appeal as the trust is trying to save money let , right and centre but I have to try as its so unfair. @i have at least 50 character witness statements from senior medical professionals but don't know if it will help. My main concern is that I may be unemployable as the NMC may strike me off the register which will limit my ability to earn a decent wage. At present I have no money at all and have been told that I am not entitled to any benefits for 26 weeks.Is that true? If so, what do I do? Thanks

Ben Jones :

whether you are entitled to benefits is really for the benefits office to determine as it will depend on your individual circumstances so until they have assessed your full situation you may not know what you are entitled to - all you can do is approach them and make a claim for benefits and they will then determine what, if anything, you are entitled to

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

Customer:

To be honest, I thought I might get more advice and information for paying . I have no new advice and although you say contact the benefits agency, that is easier said than done. I don't think you have grasped the urgency and gravity of how dire my situation is. I was advised to contact cab but don' feel supported or help in anyway. No further forward really. However, i appreciate your efforts in trying t help me.

Ben Jones :

ok but you may not appreciate that I cannot tell you much more about benefits because your eligibility depends entirely on your circumstances and only the benefits office can determine what you are entitled to - they will be asking you numerous questions and based on the answers and your personal circumstances they will determine what you may be able to get - this is a rather complex area so not something I can just give you advice on based on just a few minor facts I know about you. The CAB will not help you with benefits, you need to contact the Jobcentre Plus as soon as possible to register for benefits and they will guide you through the process

Ben Jones :

is that ok?

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 45360
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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