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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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I'm a restaurant manager and have been invited disciplinary

Resolved Question:

I'm a restaurant manager and have been invited for a disciplinary meeting. The allegations are breach of confidence and trust of something that happened 9 months ago.
I had no training on how to handle the situation, however I followed procedures from previous experience. A customer had found a piece of glass in her food. I handled the situation to the best and it resulted in a customer seeking compensation.
Any advice?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello how long have you worked there for?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Just over a year. I started in 17 June 2015
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Apologies for not getting back to you sooner, I experienced some temporary connection issues and could not get back on the site until now. All appears to be resolved now so I can continue dealing with your query. When is the meeting and have you been told what the potential outcome is?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The meeting is Friday and the potential outcome could be dismissal
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. The main issue here is that 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.).

So even if this incident happened some time ago, even if you did absolutely nothing wrong and handled it as best as you could even if you had received no training I this….they can still dismiss you simply because you are not protected against unfair dismissal yet. As I see no reasons to suggest there is discrimination at play here the dismissal could not be challenged.

I would hope that they do not go as far as dismissal and perhaps issue you with a warning but be prepared based on your rights in this situation.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the possible mitigating factors you can use in this case to try and defend the allegations, 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

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Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. As you have already mentioned, you received no training in this so you were basically dealing with a situation which you had no knowledge in and were acting in the best way you could considering the circumstances. The fact that there was glass in the food was not your fault – you were not responsible for this and the claim the customer has made stems from this fact, not the way you dealt with the issue. Also it is not your fault that the customer has decided to make a claim, some people are opportunistic in that respect and would use any excuse they can to make a claim so you should not be penalised for it.