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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 49826
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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My son is being faced with a disciplinary hearing at work.

Customer Question

My son is being faced with a disciplinary hearing at work. He is in the 3rd year of his apprenticeship as an electrical engineer, the allegations are pertaining to:
Failure to achieve exam results - he has achieved his HNC whilst being with the company but has failed 7 out of 9 of the HND units, the apprenticeship only requires completion on the HNC. He has had problems with feedback from the college he attended being unable to contact lecturers and receive feedback on work submitted. His employer raised concerns in his yearly review last sept but has not raised any further concerns until notice of this disciplinary hearing. He has always submitted the work requested of him.
Attendance at College - the company obtained attendance records from the college on 17th September pertaining to the year sept 13 to June 14. There are a number of occasions where he has been marked absent, however he has definitely attended the college on each day he was scheduled to. There was a mix up in his timetable with him being slotted in as an individual around classes as he has previously obtained some of the set modules through another college. There have been times that he has been unable to find the class or lecturers that has been timetabled and received no help from the college office when seeking advice. The first he was aware that there was an issue with his college attendance was on Friday 19th September.
Attendance at workplace - there have been a number of times that he has been late to work due to the distance from home to workplace - 50miles and road conditions and traffic hold ups this was raised in his yearly review last year and he has now made steps to overcome this by buying a property closer to the workplace (10 mins away).
His yearly report last year ranged from solid performance to unacceptable. A development plan was set to be reviewed quarterly in December 13 and march 14 but has not been done, the first follow up he received of his performance was in June this year with an informal word from his manager suggesting that he wasn't making improvement nothing else has been received in writing. He has had no support or feedback from his team leader during the past 2 years, although he gets on well with the other team members of the shifts and always completes what is asked of him.
He was issued with a letter on Monday 22nd sept for a hearing on Wednesday 24th, they have given him another opportunity today to present any evidence as he has been unable to contact the college, regarding his attendance. He has asked the college why he has been marked absent when he was in college , the feedback received was that registers were correct. We further contacted the college yesterday by e-mail asking for the names of lecturers who confirmed this and what timetable they had, we received no reply yesterday and were unable to contact the college by phone.
He has the follow up hearing today by on the face of it he is in contradiction of his contract in these aspects, although I do not believe they have given him due warning of these actions they are taking and have not presented him with time to improve. They have just gone straight to formal disciplinary.
Should he see what the outcome is and hope they don't dismiss him for gross misconduct, he will suggest in the meeting this afternoon that he is wiling to undergo a review period to monitor his performance and attendance. Or should he just hand his notice now? His union rep has suggested handing in his resignation saying that he feels the company haven't been providing the right training and support, he has even offered to fund completing his HND himself.
It seems like they haven't given him adequate notice throughout the year of any concerns and are just throwing the book at him now all at once.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
Ben Jones : Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What does he want to achieve, is he happy to try and stay and fix this or does he simply want out?
JACUSTOMER-qx4z47bf- : He is happy to try and stay and fix it , as other wise it could jeopardise references for further employment
JACUSTOMER-qx4z47bf- : Have you any advice you can provide? My son has further meeting this afternoon and needs a response within the next hour
Ben Jones :

Hi, I would say it is probably best to try and deal with this head on first and see if this will result in anything before resigning. The issue with resigning is that even though he may hand his notice in now, until that expires the employer can still proceed with any disciplinary action against him so it could still end up in a dismissal before his notice has come to an end and the reason for termination would be dismissal, not resignation.

It is a good idea for him to try and discuss a review or to at least6 be given some time to try and fix these issues rather than going straight for a dismissal. Whilst the employer can go for a disciplinary straight away without giving him the opportunity to improve first, when it comes to dismissal this should only be seen as a last resort so for example they should be looking at a warning now, with a timeframe to resolve the issues and look at dismissal only if this has not happened down the line.

Or it could also be that some sort of agreement is reached with the employer where they allow him to leave and they agree not to pursue any disciplinary action against him and as part of that he could also try and agree some sort of reference with them, although all of this can only happen with the employer’s consent.

Ben Jones :

Hope this clarifies your position? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you

Ben Jones :

Hello, I see you have accessed and read my answer to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? I just need to know whether to close the question or not? Thanks