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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 44362
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I was suspended from work 3 weeks ago, due to allegations

Resolved Question:

I was suspended from work 3 weeks ago, due to allegations made against me, last week i was called into work to speak to the head of HR and the owner of the company. i was asked to resign, without being told what the allegations are I have written to the company requesting an investigative meeting but as yet have not heard back. I am not convinced that any meetings going forward will be held without prejudice, it seems that they have made up their mind which way this will go.
I have been with the company for 14 years and have a clean disciplinary record, not even a warning.
please advise what is the best way forward
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today. What are the allegations?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Hello Ben,
I had a relationship for 3 months with a work colleague,(started back in April 2015) when i stopped seeing her she took it pretty bad, it looks like she has made some allegations, At this moment in time i don't know what the allegations are,
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 months ago.

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.

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.

The fact that you have been offered the chance to resign should not automatically mean that the subsequent disciplinary procedure will be unfair or biased. Of course that is a possibility but the employer does have a duty to act fairly if they were to proceed with a disciplinary. Therefore, if they discipline you and they have not followed a fair procedure their decision can be challenged if necessary.

At this stage you should either resign and consider a constructive dismissal claim (not recommended as it is a difficult one), or let them proceed with the disciplinary and then challenge the outcome as necessary.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the law on disciplinary proceedings and what is expected of an employer to ensure it is fair, 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: 44362
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 3 months 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.

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