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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I pack dry dog food in bags in a factory. Because most of the

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I pack dry dog food in bags in a factory. Because most of the big companies we supply will not accept part full pallets, we can end up with, lets say, 20 bags on a pallet at the end of a run that we store until the customers next order. These bags will have the correct best before date on them.
We have been instructed that when the next order comes in we are to top up any part pallets of the same product, but instead of putting that day's relevant best before date, we are to put the same best before date that the other 20 bags had on them. After the part pallet has been topped up we then obviously set the best before date to the correct date. My two questions are, 1. Is what I have been told to do, honest, right or even legal? And 2. Should I have written authorisation from a suitably qualified manager to cover myself. Many 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. can you tell me how long you have been working there and do you know if this is normal procedure or company policy for this

Customer:

I have worked there for 18 years and this is the first time I have ever been instructed to do something that is clearly dishonest. Normally we put the appropriate bb date which is usually 12 months from pack date.

Ben Jones :

OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am in a tribunal today so will prepare my advice during the day and get back to you this afternoon. There is no need to wait and you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you

Ben Jones :

Many thanks for your patience. The main issue here is whether the actual bags themselves have the correct BB date as that is what will be going out on sale and what the customer will see. In terms of labelling the actual pallets with a BB date that does not match its full contents then that could be a case of misseling or misrepresentation, because the company would be selling a pallet which is made out to be of products with one BB date when not all the contents match that. This is not necessarily illegal in a criminal sense but could be a contractual issue where the sold products do not match their description. However, that is an issue for the company, not you personally as you re just following the employer’s instructions. It is the employer that would have final responsibility for this, rather than the staff individually, especially as you are only following their instructions. But it would certainly not hurt to get something in writing to confirm their instructions, which should ideally be from someone in authority, like a manager.

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

Customer:

Unbelievably this new system is being introduced to improve traceability, customer complaints etc.

Customer:

Many thanks Ben, I had a chat with the QC Manager today and all appears to be sorted, written authorisation from him on its way to shopfloor by Monday. Result!

Ben Jones :

great, thanks for letting me know, all the best

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 46731
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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