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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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I have a disciplinary hearing at work over the following.

Resolved Question:

Hello,
I have a disciplinary hearing at work over the following.
Did i carry out a Sexual Assault on a girl at work.
I didn't and the Girl says I didn't.
Whether I made a comment regarding a photo of someones daughter saying 'I would'
The Mother says she's not interested and what a waste of time
Whether I wrapped a car in Shrink wrap and cracked a windscreen.
This was a mistake and belonged to a senior member of the business, he thought it was funny and laughed it off. And said in a statement that he didn't want it to go further.
Whether I stuck a stick on someones car in the car park
I did this in my own time not the companies, the person found it funny and we both had a laugh and a joke about it.
what can be done about this
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.

How long have you worked there for?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I have worked for the company (Marks and Spencer for nearly 4 years
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I have never been in trouble before,
I have a perfect record of excellent performance
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.

Has the company said what the potential outcome could be?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
They have handed me a pack after I was interviewed, it could range from a Written Warning, Final Warning or I could be sacked.The girl is on my side saying it never happened and should be going ahead
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.

Thank you. Regardless of whether the affected people have laughed off the incidents and are not going to pursue the respective matters further, if the employer believes you have done something wrong, been guilty of misconduct or their disciplinary policy, they can still discipline you and take further action if necessary.

The issues here are really misconduct-related ones and 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.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the rights you have on challenging the outcome of the disciplinary, whatever that is, 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 is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 46815
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.

Thank you. 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.

A new feature in the employment tribunal’s claims process is mandatory early conciliation with ACAS. This requires prospective claimants to notify ACAS and provide details of their intended claim and they would then try to negotiate between the claimant and respondent to seek out of court settlement in order to avoid having to take the claim to the tribunal. It is possible for the parties to refuse to engage in these negotiations, or that they are unsuccessful, in which case they would get permission to proceed with making the claim in the tribunal.

If negotiations are initiated and settlement is reached, then the claimant would agree not to proceed with the claim in return for the agreed financial settlement.

The conciliation procedure and the form to fill in can be found here:

https://ec.acas.org.uk/Submission/SingleClaimantPage

In terms of the time limits within which a claim must be presented, the early conciliation process places a ‘stop’ on that and the time between notifying ACAS and them issuing permission to proceed with the claim would not count for the purposes of these time limits.

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