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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 48193
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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2 friends have been suspended from a voluntary organisation

Customer Question

2 friends have been suspended from a voluntary organisation they and 11 others made a formal complaint which has never been properly dealt with and now accusations have been made against just 2 of them the other 9 have never been spoken too.They have been accused of bullying financial irregularities.
For meeting already scheduled they were asked 24 hours before for a huge amount of information.From the tone of the letter it was obvious this had become some sort of disciplinary hearing. One of the leaders was unwell and off work so was unable to attend the other felt as there vulnerable were 3 people attending to question her and she did not have all the information available. She didn't have time to organise someone to attend with her and felt she was being bullied. Throughout the whole process both have not talked to anyone out side the original complainants only me as a former regional leader for support ie general public. Although they have been accosted and asked questions neither have spoken about what is going on. What rights do they have and how do they clear their names
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

What are the allegations?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
can i continue later need to pick up my grandaughter
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is ***** ***** my colleague has asked me to assist with your query as it is more my area of law. How long have these people been working there for?

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 48193
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
i have an appointment at 1pm when will you contact me
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
this is a voluntary organisation have 1 has been a leader fro 20 years 1 over 10
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Just tried calling a couple of times, when will you be available after your appointment?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
about 4 oclock
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

I am afraid I am in tribunal from 2.30, back there all day tomorrow. So if you want I can just continue on here and refund you the phone call part of the fee?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

The first thing to note is that 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.

If the meeting was just an investigatory meeting then legally there is no specific time frames for providing notice or information before the hearing. They can just be told to attend with no notice. It is the formal disciplinary hearing at which they must be given details and information about the allegations. You say this has turned into a disciplinary hearing but that may not be the case in reality so it will become obvious in time, once it becomes clear where they are actually taking any formal action as a result of that meeting, such as warning, dismissal or other sanction. Also for an investigatory meeting there is no legal right to be accompanied, only at a formal disciplinary.

These people will have rights in terms of protection against unfair dismissal as they have more than 2 years’ service. This means that to fairly dismiss them their employer has to show that there was a potentially fair reason for dismissal and that a fair dismissal procedure was followed.

According to the Employment Rights Act 1996 there are five separate reasons that an employer could use to show that a dismissal was fair: conduct, capability, redundancy, illegality or some other substantial reason (SOSR). The employer will not only need to show that the dismissal was for one of those reasons, but also justify that it was appropriate and reasonable to use in the circumstances. In addition, they need to ensure that a fair dismissal procedure was followed and this would depend on which of the above reasons they used to dismiss.

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 and assuming this resulted in dismissal, 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. Alternatively if they are not dismissed but they believe that they cannot continue working there any more as a result of this, they can consider resigning and claiming constructive dismissal instead.

I will also ensure that the phone call part of the fees you paid is refunded as I will not be able to fulfil this because we cannot find a mutually convenient time. Thanks

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
please refund phone call fee as i need advice now
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
can i please have response on line
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
please can you tell me what is going on i don't feel this is a viable way to spend money or time if you don't respond
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Have they any right to know who has submitted complaints or allegations we believe the only person with any knowledge would be the person with any knowledge would be the person the original complaint was made against
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, if the complaint was submitted in confidence then they do not have to be told who made it. However, if this goes to a formal disciplinary the employer must give them sufficient details of the complaints to allow them to fairly defend themselves. However, that does not mean that the complainant's identity will be automatically disclosed