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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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A week ago my colleague was verbally aggressive with me,

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Hi, a week ago my colleague was verbally aggressive with me, he cornered me shouting in my face, I pushed him to the side so I could get by as I was scared, he then grabbed my wrist and spun me round and I pulled away. I said I didn't need this and to leave it. Nothing more was said and we said goodbye to each other at the end of the shift. The following day this lad reported it to a manager, and I reported it to a different manager. Nothing was said and I worked to shifts after this then was on holiday for a week. Whilst away a third manager ( who has been heard to say in the past he dislikes me), started to interview 2 work colleagues who were there during the incident, both colleagues statement are more in my favour, but this manager is saying it was gross misconduct and it is being investigated, the other lad was suspended his first shift back and I have arrived at 7 this morning to work after my holiday, others have warned me I am going to be suspended to but they short staffed this morning, more staff arrive at 9:30 so I guess I am going to be suspended then. Can they do that, work me because there short then suspend me. This is mental torture this morning, working but knowing this is coming later this morning?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked there for?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
2 years 5 months
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
A number of staff this morning have asked why I am here as they thought I was suspended, so I have just found the manager to ask what's happening as staff were saying this, he said because staff have said this they have made this worse for me, I asked if he can just get the suspension done now and he said no I'll do it in my own time later this morning, I feel like this is deliberate mental torture.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
A suspension is not a form of punishment or any indication of guilt and neither does it 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. So it is possible to initiate the suspension at any time if it is necessary. 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. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the full procedure the employer must follow if they are to take this further to a formal disciplinary and what your rights are, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there I no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
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Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. 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. 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.