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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 46794
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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My husband has been suspended misconduct last week

Resolved Question:

My husband has been suspended for gross misconduct last week as he has been working at weekend for 13mths no pay just time in lieu because travelling has been difficult at weekends he has was told to take a taxi on company account he has signed for each trip and has put this into accounts on 3 occasions taking a cab to football as CEO said that it was unfair that he missed his football whilst doing the company a favour. They are now saying that this was not approved cost to company £4,000 and £300 for football tripe. He is very stressed about the whole thing and our GP has now signed him off sick and given him tablets. I am shocked that it has taken 13mths for this error to appear and think that this should have been pointed out earlier. He has worked for the company for 13 years he worked at the weekends because essential building works needed to be carried out and no one else wanted to do it He was told he could take time in lieu and would receive a increased bonus payment as yet not received he offered to pay for football taxis and was told by member of accounts that was ok. He was escorted from building last Thursday and as you can imagine is very distressed he is 58 and is afraid of being unemployable as we have a mortgage to pay and my salary would not cover things.
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.

Ben Jones :

What would you like to know about this situation?

Customer:

I would like to know what the next steps and procedures are and whether this is a sacking offence

Customer:

No answer recieved

Customer:

No answer received

Ben Jones :

What evidence is there that this was approved by the company?

Customer:

nothing in writing just a verbal agreement for all

Ben Jones :

Being placed on suspension is not an automatic assumption of guilt and does not amount to disciplinary action. It is there to be used as a precautionary measure whilst an employer investigates any allegations against the employee. Reasons for suspending could be in the case of gross misconduct, breakdown of relationship, risk to an employer's property, their clients or other employees, to preserve evidence or ensure it is not tampered with, avoid potential witnesses being pressured or intimidated, etc.

During the period of suspension the employer should conduct a reasonable investigation into the allegations against the employee. If the investigation gathers enough evidence to justify the taking disciplinary action that could be the next step. In that case the employee has the right to be informed in advance of the allegations against them and be given the opportunity to prepare for the hearing.

On the other hand, if the investigation does not find enough evidence to justify a disciplinary, the employer should terminate the suspension immediately and allow the employee to return to work as normal.

In terms of taking formal action, misconduct is a common reason for taking disciplinary action against an employee. It could be due either to a single serious act of misconduct or a series of less serious acts over a period of time.

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



  • Conducts a reasonable investigation;

  • Follows a fair disciplinary procedure; and

  • Shows they had reasonable grounds to believe the employee was guilty.


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 formally sanction them. When deciding on the appropriate penalty, the employer should consider the nature and seriousness of the offence and the employee's disciplinary record. Unless the offence was one of gross misconduct, ACAS recommends that the employee should be issued with a written warning. If he has been claiming company expenses when unauthorised to do so then it can amount to gross misconduct but it really depends on what the company finds in the investigation and if he was really not allowed to do this or if he can get evidence from those that authorised it to back up his story.

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 about any of the above and there is belief or evidence that the employer has not satisfied these requirements, an appeal can be submitted to the employer immediately after the disciplinary outcome. If the disciplinary results in dismissal then a claim for unfair dismissal can be made in the employment tribunal. There are two requirements to claim: the employee must have at least 2 years' continuous service with the employer and the claim must be made within 3 months of the date of dismissal.

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

Customer:

unable to read top lines please resend

Ben Jones :

can you not scroll up? What is the first thing you can read?

Customer:

can you not scroll up is the only thing I can see and yes I did scroll up

Ben Jones :

have you managed to see the full response yet?

Customer:

No

Customer:

finally got whole document

Customer:

finally got whole document Thanks will let you know outcome

Ben Jones :

ok thanks, ***** ***** best

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 46794
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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