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taratill, Solicitor
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 6430
Experience:  15 years experience of advising on employment law matters
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Hi i have been dismissed for gross misconduct having glanced

Customer Question

Hi i have been dismissed for gross misconduct having glanced at my phone in work i am a lifeguard. The employer did not follow proceedure , i wasnt ever issued with a company handbook outlining disciplinary processes, at the disciplinary meeting i was informed that i need to made an example of for the other life guards, i was distressed at the time having just lost my best friend. i glanced at my phone as it vibrated in my pocket i did not text answer a call or make one and have produced my phone records. i have previous exemplery work record, no absences and no complaints whatsoever.i need to write a letter of appeal today,can you please help asap


Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  taratill replied 4 years ago.
Hello and welcome to Just Answer, how long have you worked there for?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

2 and a half years. I have had no Health and safety training as outlined in their hand book which i only managed to get a copy of on the day of my disciplinary hearing which i had to insist upon them giving me. it outline sin there the legal requirement to provide me with a copy of the handbook as it contains important information on h & s and that i shoudl be given training

Expert:  taratill replied 4 years ago.
Were you aware of the mobile phone policy?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I was never told not to look at my phone but if i am honest common sense prevails. I have admitted glancing at my phone. My best friend had just passed away and i was concerned over the safety of his brother who had gone missing since his funeral. I had text him prior to going into work and just kept my phone in my pocket incase he text so i could see he was ok.....i have explained this and provided a copy of my phone bill to show i hadnt infact text or called anyone

Expert:  taratill replied 4 years ago.
Do you know if others have been dismissed for this in the past and were you given the right to be accompanied at the disciplinary hearing?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Not to my knowledge. There was another incident the same day which formed part of the complaint by a customer that there child nearly drowned in the pool. I was on a break at the time as instructed by my manager so was not responsible but the member of staff on duty was given a written warning...the customer saw me glance at my phone and she included this in her complaint. It seems a little harsh that i have been dismisses for glancing at my phone where no incident took place and this member of staff who was on duty at the time a child nearly drowned and he has kept his job

Expert:  taratill replied 4 years ago.
Ok thanks so it would seem you are being made a scapegoat.

I would suggest that you appeal against your dismissal if you have not already done so on the basis that it is not in the range of reasonable responses for the employer to dismiss you because:
a) You were not given appropriate health and safety training and you were not aware that you could be dimissed for glancing at your phone.
b) Your employer has not taken into account your considerable evidence in mitigation (the issue with your friend).
c) Your employer's response to the customer complaint is disproportionate and unfair.

If your employer does not overturn the dismissal then you can bring a claim in the employmetn tribunal using the form you will find at

The employment tribunal will then consider if it was reasonable for you to be dismissed based on the evidence before it. On the basis of what you say you have a good argument that it was not reasonable.

If you have any further questions please ask. If I have answerd your question I would be grateful if you would give my answer a positive rating.

Thank you and all the best.