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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50518
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I have been suspended as general manager, having been

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I have been suspended as general manager, having been accused of not accounting properly for 2 of my team members hours by not insisting that they signed in and out, resulting in a tribunal. I want to tell you that after I was suspended the 2 girls carried on working for the holding management, where they still did not sign in and out for another 4 shifts. The 2girls went forward and asked for money that I owed them when I was manager, there was evidence they worked, but they refused to pay them. I would have payed them the new management are to blame for not paying them. What can I say in my defence?

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

How long have you worked there for?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
20 years

Are you facing a formal disciplinary as a result?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I am

ok it is rather difficult to say what you can tell them in your defence. we are a Q&A site which generally discuses the legal position rather than building a case for internal issues?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Ok thanks
What is my legal position that I should take on this to defend myself

sorry I think you misunderstood - I cannot give you reasons for defending yourself. We discuss things like procedural requirements for the disciplinary proceedings to ensure it follows the law, your legal options on challenging an unfair decision, or a dismissal etc

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Ok thanks
If the company go ahead and dismiss me would I be able to challenge that as unfair

So that is where it all depends on what they found and what they believed happened. The requirements under law are:

Disciplinary hearing - if the investigation provides sufficient evidence of misconduct, the employee can be invited to attend a formal disciplinary hearing. They must be given prior notice of the hearing, including details of the allegations and any evidence to be used against them. They have the legal right to be accompanied at the hearing by a trade union representative or a colleague.

Decision - following the disciplinary hearing and once the employer has had a chance to consider the employee’s response, they can make a decision on the outcome. If the employer holds a genuine belief that the employee was guilty, then they can go ahead and formally sanction them.

Penalty – this has to be a sanction, which a reasonable employer would have taken in the circumstances. When deciding on the appropriate penalty, the employer should consider the nature and seriousness of the offence and the employee's length of service and disciplinary record. Unless the offence was one of gross misconduct, ACAS recommends that the employee is issued with a written warning for a first offence. I would say with 20 years service behind you and assuming a first offence it would be very difficult to justify an instant dismissal for this.

In summary, the requirements of proof as not as stringent as in criminal law and an employer is not expected to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the alleged misconduct had definitely occurred. Disciplinary action will be fair if the employer can show that it had met the above criteria, namely conducting a reasonable investigation, following a fair procedure and holding a genuine belief that the employee was guilty. Finally, it must show that the penalty was one that a reasonable employer would have taken in the circumstances. I would say the reasonableness of a dismissal would be most difficult to justify here.

Please take a quick second to leave a positive rating for the service so far by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars above. I can continue answering follow up questions and in particular can also discuss the steps you can take to challenge a dismissal. There is no extra cost for this - leaving your rating now will not close the question and means we can still continue this discussion. Thank you

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I suffer from panic attacks I cannot attend disciplinary will that effect any claim to a tribunal for unfair dismissal
This is the first disciplinary in 20 years but invite says possible dismissal no notice

Hi there whilst you can try and ask for an alternative way of dealing with the disciplinary, such as through writing or over the phone you would be expected to answer the allegations in some way. If you can get medical evidence such as a report from a doctor to confirm you have panic attacks then that will help arguing your case that you cannot attend. Hope this clarifies?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thank you
I have been to grievance they refused to listen to me I told them I was suspended in public they said onky 5 people were there this is not in public I have written all my responses down for them they would not look at it
Should I write it all again especially the fact I was suspended in public
I have also asked for my paperwork under data protection for past 6 years
They have not complied with the commissioners office their 40 days were up yesterday should I tell them I will not attend until they supply this

You could indeed say this, at least it can buy you some more time. You can say that you require these documents in order to be able to properly defend yourself and build a case and they have had plenty of time to supply them. So as you are now being hindered by their actions you will not attend the hearing until you have been given a fair opportunity to defend yourself. Hope this clarifies?

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