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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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I'm an unqualified teacher working in a catholic school in

Resolved Question:

Hi ,
I'm an unqualified teacher working in a catholic school in HAckney. I have worked there for three years. A recent DBS check has shown that I have a conviction on my record . This was prior to my employment there and has been spent. It has nothing to do with children.
I have been suspended from work for 7 days whilst they investigate. I don't belong to a union and have a meeting with the deputy head next Tuesday. It's not formal as yet but have tried every avenue open to get advice with doors shutting in my face every time. I'm suffering with cancer atm. I'm struggling to keep things together . Please could you advise what I can do .
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Law
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Please do you hv any advice??
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

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

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Were you required to disclose this information when you initially applied and were accepted for the position?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
There was apparently a box to tick on the application form. However, I don't remember seeing it and at the time was given 10 minutes to complete the form.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

OK, thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Also, please do not responded to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Thanks for your patience. 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. 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.

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.

Having a conviction does not mean that you are automatically not able to work in this job or that you should be dismissed as a result. This is especially true if the conviction does not impact your ability to do the job, for example it is not related to children or does not in any other way question your fitness to work with children. What could be an issue is if you had not told the truth at the time of application for this job, for example if you were asked to declare any convictions or provided false information about your criminal record – that could be a misconduct issue which could result in disciplinary action now, but as mentioned it would depend on what was asked at the time and what you answered.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the options you have should this matter end up in disciplinary action or dismissal, 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 and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Thank you. If this results in a dismissal, an appeal can be submitted to the employer straight after the disciplinary outcome is communicated. If the appeal is rejected a claim for unfair dismissal can be made in the employment tribunal. The time limit to claim is 3 months from the date of dismissal and the claimant needs to have at least 2 years' continuous service with that employer.

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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