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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 47907
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Having been bullied by my line manager where

Resolved Question:

Having been bullied by my line manager for succeeding where he has failed, I now find myself in the lovely position of being suspended on full pay, access to my emails is denied as they won't let me have my work laptop for gather my evidence to counter the 5 allegations thrust against me. I'm supposed to have two further disciplinary meetings on Monday, one of which they have stated I could be dismissed at!
I have over £800 of unpaid expenses and 30 years of employment without a single warning on any record, as I have only worked for the company for 16 months, I assume I have no real rights re wrongful dismissal so am I best just resigning and putting the whole shambles of MITIE into my own little history book?
Thank you in anticipation
Dave
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 :

Have you been told you are facing allegations of gross misconduct or just misconduct?

Customer:

They are as follows! Persistent failure to carry out (a) requests by my line manager (b) to fulfil my responsibilities of my role - Both are garbage but will be made to stick as after interviewing my team of guys, senior management have basically called us all liars!

Customer:

Also Personal conduct which affects the company reputation, Attempting to undermine Mitie Management and finally A serious breach of trust and confidence!

Customer:

Not a bad little set I'm sure you agree!!

Ben Jones :

You are correct in your assumptions because if you have been continuously employed at your place of work for less than 2 years then your employment rights will unfortunately be somewhat limited. Most importantly, you will not be protected against unfair dismissal. This means that your employer can dismiss you for more or less any reason, and without following a fair procedure, as long as their decision is not based on discriminatory grounds (i.e. because of gender, race, religion, age, a disability, sexual orientation, etc.) or because you were trying to assert any of your statutory rights (e.g. requesting maternity/paternity leave, etc.). In the event that the reason for dismissal fell within these categories, then the dismissal will either be automatically unfair, or there will be a potential discrimination claim.

If the dismissal had nothing to do with any of the above exceptions then you would not be able to challenge it and your only protection would be if you were not paid your contractual notice period, because unless you were dismissed for gross misconduct, you would be entitled to receive your contractual notice period. If you did not have a written contract in place you would be entitled to the minimum statutory notice period of 1 week. Your employer would either have to allow you to work that notice period and pay you as normal, or they will have to pay you in lieu of notice.

If you were not paid your notice period when you were due one, that would amount to wrongful dismissal (which is different to unfair dismissal) and you could make a claim in an employment tribunal to recover the pay for the notice period that you should have been given. There is a 3-month time limit from the date of dismissal to submit the claim.

As to whether you should resign or fact the disciplinary, there is no right or wrong answer to this to be honest. Some people leave as they see the outcome has been predetermined and do not want to go through the whole circus. Others will face the allegations and try their best – it really depends on the individuals and also the employer, in terms of what they have in mind. Technically if you were resigning you would be expected to serve your notice period, which means that in the meantime the employer could still go ahead with the disciplinary and try to dismiss you anyway, although that can only happen before your resignation if you are found guilty of gross misconduct.

What you could try and do is try to negotiate with them and agree that you are simply allowed to leave and they drop the disciplinary – play it in a sense that it saves them time and resources as they won’t have to go through the full disciplinary procedure and you are making things easier for them. At the same time you avoid having to leave in breach of contract by not working your notice period or having to face this sham disciplinary.

Customer:

It seems easier to go down the option of resigning on Friday before my meetings and inevitable outcome on Monday but to give them copies of my to date unpaid expenses which haven't been paid since June of last year despite me giving them to my line manager on three occasions! I guess I then wait till I have had my final pay and P45 before going down the route of the small claims court as I was contractually obliged to spend those monies looking after my team

Customer:

That is basically what you are saying isn't it Ben? It does seem a shame to leave as the client PwC are a joy to serve (I'm their internal FM manager) but Mitie are the real shockers and bullies with regard to this

Customer:

I have sent a Subject Access Request out today registered post requesting emails be sent to me regarding me but they take 40 working days to come through so will be around in two months time and with the greatest will in the world I cannot delay them that long even if I went of sick with stress as I understand they can discipline me in my absence which would make their job a whole lot easier to get of me, once more, I am understanding this right aren't I Ben?

Ben Jones :

yes unfortunately the employer is not obliged to conduct a fair disciplinary procedure in this case due to you having no protection against unfair dismissal so they can have you hung, drawn and quartered without an ounce of evidence, even if it is based on entirely false allegations. So if you strongly believe that they will be dismissing you, then you could resign before that but try not to create difficulties in getting the expenses back by refusing to work your notice period as failing to do so could place you in breach of contract and the employer could in turn argue that the contract is void and as such they should not have to pay your expenses

Customer:

Last one I think!!! Would they just let me slide off into the distance as I am currently on suspension anyway so it may be best to sort of pretend I haven't been there and let be skip off into the sunset with what I hope will be a box of my possessions from my desk and locker (which i still have the keys for!)? That way, we can I assume that there would be no potential problems with my facing the client so proudly announce that "I can't work for this bunch of £*&@$%*!!"

Ben Jones :

difficult to predict - most employers would try ti create as little fuss as possible so that those remaining are not unsettled, but I have seen employees being allowed to return then escorted off the premises and basically paraded in front of the other workers, so as to set an example basically. Only the employer knows for sure but I would hope it is the former

Customer:

Ben, you have been a great help and sort of confirmed my worse fears but it is always best to check first! I shall write my letter ready to scan and email on Friday!! I doubt they will go down the parading route as I run (soon to be ran!) the sensitive side of the business, case files and archives within my remit so I think they will just want my keys so they can empty my lockers and be done with it, they will probably courier them to me to save me going near the place!!

Customer:

Thank you very much for your help, much appreciated, I'll be ticking a good box for you shortly!!

Customer:

Best wishes

Customer:

Dave

Ben Jones :

you are welcome, all the best and hope the next job brings you more luck!

Customer:

AMEN TO THAT!!!

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