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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 51225
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I have been through a disciplinary hearing with my employer

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I have been through a disciplinary hearing with my employer and dismissed due to misconduct. I used the corporate credit it card for personal expenses and was late clearing the balance. I had mitigating circumstances that I am going through a divorce and a victim of domestic violence and needed the funds to cover emergency legal costs.I am aware that the company has frequently just given warnings to employees who have misused the card.Can I appeal and use inconsistency as a reason?

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 6 months ago.
Not long, since July last year.

Whilst you can use inconsistency as grounds to appeal you cannot legally challenge this any further. This is due to your length of service - if you have been continuously employed at your place of work for less than 2 years then your employment rights will unfortunately be somewhat limited. Most importantly, you will not be protected against unfair dismissal. This means that your employer can dismiss you for more or less any reason, and without following a fair procedure, as long as their decision is not based on a reason which makes a dismissal automatically unfair, such as discrimination due to a protected characteristic (i.e. because of gender, race, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, etc.).

The argument of inconsistency is something which can only be challenged under the unfair dismissal argument so as you do not have the legal protection to challenge that. Therefore, you are entirely free to raise it in the appeal but the employer is not obliged to consider it so from now it is very much down to them,

I trust this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars above - this is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you still need me to clarify anything else, please reply on here and I will assist as best as I can. Thank you

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thank-you for your reply. Wow I didn't realise I had to be there two years to gain better legal protection.Does the fact that I was being treated for mental health issues at the time and they knew about it help me case?

you have to show that the condition you were suffering from was a disability. It has to be something which has lasted for more than a year and was having a substantial effect on your day to day activities. On top of that you also have to show that it was a reason for the dismissal - it does not in itself justify misconduct so you cannot use it as an excuse for what happened, but if you can show that as a reason of having a disability you were treated worse off than others who do not have one, then there is a potential to argue it. Hope this clarifies?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thanks Ben, I'm busy writing my appeal letter. One last point to clarify. When I applied for the job it was advertised at one location, local to me. All the way through the 1 month interview process they were happy with the advertised location. In the last minute as they offered me the job they changed the location to the other side of the country with no relocation package. I took the job and said I'd try to make the move happen. I incurred lots of costs preparing the house for sale including conveyancing etc. I asked the company for help or a salary advance they said no. Out of desperation since my funds were depleted and I couldn't get credit I used the corporate card for personal commitments. Is there any way I can leverage this in my appeal?

It would be difficult to do so using these details. You are basically trying to shift part of the blame on the employer - it is a risky tactic in this case, as discussed your rights are rather limited and if you try to make it appear like they are partly responsible for this, it will unlikely go down well. If it was me, I would not use it. Hope this clarifies?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Sorry Ben last question. Are they allowed to disclose to 3rd parties why I was dismissed? Within hours of leaving they called my GP and my kids social worker to tell them what happened any what I was dismissed for.

Strictly speaking, no, not unless they had a regulatory obligation (you have to check if that was the case, I do not know the specific industries and if they will have that). But overall it is unlikely they would have been required to share it with your GP. That in itself could be a data protection breach, however without financial losses resulting from the sharing of that information, it could be difficult to challenge

If your original query has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate the service so far by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars above as it is an important part of our process. I can still answer follow up questions if needed and the question will remain open. Thank you

Ben Jones and 4 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thank you Ben.

you are most welcome

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Sorry Ben for adding. I have the appeal hearing next week and nerves are kicking in.I am trying to argue that the disciplinary process wasn't followed correctly for the following reasons:1. My line manager had told me to clear the balance and it would be ok and he was getting help with HR to explore options eg a payment plan, he never mentioned disciplinary or dismissal.
2. He instead actually contacted them to start the disciplinary and didn't inform me.
3. He continued to work with me on updates on paying the card and getting the HR issue behind me to focus on the job.
4. He then out of the blue hit me with and email starting the disciplinary process and for the first time explained the potential for dismissal.I have evidence to support these conversations were happening in the background from transcripts of his conversations with HR and emails between him and HR.I also believe they wanted to dismiss me to free up the role to be based in another location.I've also got evidence of the mitigating factors of anxiety attacks leading up to and during my use of the card and that I kept informing them about the difficulties. I worked there previously for 8 years with a clear record butAlso got evidence of previous cases where they only let people off with a warning.I know it's a roll of the dice and I have no legal cover. Trying to find the best argument to overturn the dismissal.Any advice would be appreciated.

Hello, thanks for getting in touch. We do ask that customers post any related follow up queries within 7 days of submitting their original question if they want it to be covered by the initial fee. After that time, if you need further support, we kindly request that a new question is posted as we cannot offer indefinite assistance under one fee. If you need any further help on this matter please post it as a new question on our site, starting it with 'for Ben Jones' as I am familiar with your case and can deal with it most efficiently. Many thanks