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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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, there I was recently a witness at a work hearing. When

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Hi, there I was recently a witness at a work hearing. When I was being cross examined I answered "no comment". This was not to be awkward bye due to anxiety and stress. I was told afterwards this could be misconduct, I have a letter from the doctor saying I'm on medication and felt overwhelmed during questioning which I sent to the company involved. I am now worried sick I will be on a misconduct charge. I feel I have done nothing wrong.
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? Did you answer any questions in the cross-examination?

Customer: I have worked in my job for 13 years, I answered the first lawyers questions, when I was being cross examined I answered a few question but after a short while I then said no comment to the rest. This was due to anxiety and stress, I thought my chest was going burst. I also had given 5 statements. This was nearly four years after the incident, I have also provided a letter from my doctor saying I was totally overwhelmed during the hearing.
Customer: I just need to know if this could be misconduct. It was not delibrate being awkward but I would state mental health issues. I had stated before the hearing I did not wish to attend due to anxiety and health reasons but was basically threatened with my job if I never attended. It is not my work that's the problem. The scottish social work service is the governing body of my work and the hearing was with them. I feel I did nothing wrong and just need to know I wouldn't lose my job on this.
Customer: Can I also state it was also a case of u might face misconduct, nothing has happened. I suffer badly from depression and anxiety and I'm just worried.
Customer: I honestly did nothing wrong I feell..I just don't like this threat hanging over me..
Customer: This was also not a court hearing but work related hearing
Customer: I was also a witness, not the acussed
Ben Jones :

Hello, for you to lose your job the employer would need to show that you had committed such a serious act that it amounts to gross misconduct. In the circumstances, you agreed to act as a witness you attended the hearing, you answered a number of questions there but eventually found the situation too much and simply could not answer the rest. This is not misconduct. No one can intimidate you to provide answers and as a witness you can choose what you answer, as long as you tell the truth. Citing ‘no comment’ is not lying and it is being dishonest that would amount to misconduct. So in the circumstances whilst you may not have been as helpful as one would have hoped, it does not mean that it is misconduct and if the employer is seeking to dismiss you then it is likely that this would be an unreasonable response and any dismissal is likely to be unfair. This means you would have the option of challenging it in the employment tribunal if necessary.

I hope this clarifies your position? If you could please quickly let me know that would be great, as it is important for us to keep track of customer satisfaction. Thank you

Customer: So do u not think this would go anywhere?
Customer: I am also worrying over something that hasn't happened...
Customer: Hi, what do u think?
Ben Jones :

Hi sorry I was offline by the time you had replied and have only just returned. I cannot say with any degree of certainty whether this would go anywhere or not, especially as the employer is the one who calls the shots here and it is impossible to predict what they are going to do. It is one of those situations where you will have to wait and see how things turn out and deal with the situation depending on what happens. My earlier answer referred to the legal position and that the employer may find it difficult to justify a dismissal as being fair - they can still dismiss you but you would then be able to challenge the fairness of the dismissal if necessary. So that is why t is best to play things by ear and monitor how the situation develops - you could be worrying over nothing but only time will tell

Ben Jones :

Does this clarify your position?

Customer: Yes thanks
Ben Jones :

you are welcome, all the best

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