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Kasare, Solicitor
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 1301
Experience:  Solicitor, 10 yrs plus experience in civil litigation, employment and family law
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Ive been dismissed after over 4 years as an employee. I had

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I've been dismissed after over 4 years as an employee. I had no warnings/clean record but was suspended on full pay for 2 weeks whilst they "investigated". At the end of the 2 weeks they dismissed me for "bringing the company into disrepute".... five words. I have appealed in writing but now they say they need to know my reasons for appeal before they call a meeting with me. Do I have to give my reasons, do I have to go ahead with a meeting as it's a foregone conclusion? They made their mind up when they suspended me. Should I ask for copies of my contract & their disciplinary procedures? They have not mentioned pay in lieu of notice, nor my holiday pay. Their letters to me give wrong dates for the "suspension" meeting and the date of my dismissal.
Hi thanks for your question I will assist you with this.
Did they tell you what it was you were accused of - other than "bringing the company into disrepute"? Did they specify the allegations at all?
Did they interview you? If so, did they send a letter inviting you to an interview and did they notify you that you could bring a colleague or representative from a union (if applicable)?
Did they present you with evidence of the allegations and their findings?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

They called me into a meeting and claimed that I had been overheard to say to a single customer that the business ran better when the manager was absent, which it did. That was it... suspended on pay for 2 weeks. There was no advance warning, no letter, no notification that I could be accompanied. They did not present evidence other than hearsay. Monday july 7 returned to be told i was dismissed. This was confirmed in a letter dated July 7: "Your conduct was unsatisfactory". Reasons for dismissal : "Bringing the company into disrepute".

And did you say this?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes, I stand by that. I was the only full-time employee other than the manager and I'd been left for months to keep the business going whilst he went off on a long honeymoon and then spent most of his time away developing a new venture. He was hardly ever present and would then reappear for a brief time and cock things up.

Thank you for that, I presume you were dismissed effective immediately?
The company has failed to follow a fair procedure to dismiss you. They have also failed to have a procedure in place to allow you to raise grievances, to the point that you made a comment to a client.
Effectively they have dismissed you over your conduct. However, when they called you into the meeting, were you given the opportunity to explain the comment or the reason for it or were you simply dismissed?
Essentially, a company suspends an employee they have to notify them of a date, in writing, allowing sufficient notice (usually 5 days) for the employee to attend a disciplinary meeting. This letter also requires that the employee has the right to have a colleague or union rep attend with them; the exact issue of the disciplinary meeting; any evidence or allegations; it must also advise that dismissal could be a possibility.
If they have failed this important step, then that is the first ground of appeal and or a tribunal complaint.
You do not say that there was an arranged meeting per se, simply that you returned on the Monday - was this when the 2 week suspension expired? - and was told verbally and then in writing that you were dismissed. Again this is a failure of the company.
If the manager you complained of, to the client, was part of the "disciplinary" process, then again, unless it is a small company, with no other person to deal with this, this is a failure.
I could go on, but essentially they have breached the rules on dismissal of an employee fairly and indeed, it is quite likely that should you present this to a tribunal you would succeed.
The company should follow the rules as set out by ACAS - - they dont have to but if they dont and you take the company to a tribunal, the company could be ordered by pay more compensation as a result of their failures. The link to ACAS will explain the procedure fully.
However, before you do that, you should appeal - this is usually within 7 days of the dismissal. However, if the letter does not confirm a time to appeal as soon as possible.
Your appeal is based on the following:
1. They failed to follow a fair and open process;
2. Their decision was unfair and you were not provided an opportunity to explain your position/reasons
3. They failed to consider other options other than dismissal
4. That you have worked their for a period of time without any previous problems and therefore the decision to dismiss was unreasonable.
If after this, they do not change their position, I would recommend you make a complaint in the tribunal for unfair dismissal.
There are a number of organisations that can assist you with this including CAB and ACAS.
If there is there anything else regarding this I can help you with, please ask.
Good luck!
Kasare and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Many thanks