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How long had you worked there? Also, did your employer have a meeting or investigation carried out regarding this?
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There is sadly no guaranteed way of proving your innocence. In the end you can only use what is available to you and if there was nothing more than character statements that you could put forward, then you will only be able to rely on your own evidence. The issue is that in allegations of bullying there is often not much neutral evidence and it is the accuser’s word against the alleged bully’s. In some circumstances here simply won’t be any further evidence that can be provided. So you will not be able to do much more apart from to reiterate your position, try to look for holes in their version of events and basically attempt to persuade the employer that their evidence is inconsistent.
Also note that an employer does not need hard evidence to be able to make a decision, including dismissal. In order to justify that dismissal on grounds of misconduct was fair, the law requires that the employer:
· Conducts a reasonable investigation;
· Follows a fair disciplinary procedure;
· Has reasonable grounds for believing the employee was guilty; and
· Show that dismissal was a decision that a reasonable employer would have taken in the circumstances.
So 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.
At this stage your only option is to appeal and if that fails, you will have to start thinking about whether to make an unfair dismissal claim in the employment tribunal.
This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you need to follow if you have to take this matter further, 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
Thank you. if the appeal fails then your only option is the employment tribunal where a claim for unfair dismissal must be submitted within 3 months of the original dismissal date. 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:
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.