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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 60512
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I wonder if you can. I am a companion for a work colleague

This answer was rated:

I wonder if you can.
JA: Was this discussed with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: I am a companion for a work colleague and on Monday had the hearing and the chairman said he was unsure and needed to speak to some more people with the decision to be done today. Appartently he is speaking to people today and will share the information later with us. Can he still make the decision without giving us time to look at what has been said and have another meeting to respond?
JA: Does the workplace operate with employees, freelancers, consultants, contractors or with unionised employees?
Customer: The chairman and HR taking notes
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Yes they have never given us anytime to prepare for the first meeting Dan was told Friday afternoon that the meeting was Monday at 2pm

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

What is the hearing for?

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
harrassment
No proof, she said he said only
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
I can not phone you
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Please refund my £5.00 and I will ask elsewhere. Thank you for your time

Thank you. I am in court today and will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can, which will be at some point today. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Can I just check how long the person facing the disciplinary has worked there for?

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Around 5 to 6 years

Thank you. Ans was this a formal disciplinary hearing?

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
very much so. With no evidence and only she said he said

Ok thanks. The key here is whether the employer is going to be using any additional evidence against the employee then they should be made aware of it before any decision is made and given the opportunity to answer it. This is all to ensure a fair process is followed and that the employee has a fair chance to answer the allegations. It really depends in what that information is, and how it will be used – if it is just to corroborate existing evidence then it is probably not going to be considered ‘new’ evidence, but if it is something that has not been discussed yet then he should at least be given the opportunity to consider it and respond to it.

Does this answer your query?

Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
thank you until after the 3pm meeting and whether they go for or against. We will be appealing as they can't rule against if they can not prove that it was harassment!!! Which they can not as its all he said she said.

That’s not quite the case though, if you look at employment law and what is required. In order to justify that disciplinary action on grounds of misconduct was fair, the law requires that the employer:

{C}· Conducts a reasonable investigation

{C}· Follows a fair disciplinary procedure; and

{C}· Shows they had reasonable grounds to believe the employee was guilty

However, the requirements of proof are 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.

Does this clarify things a bit more for you?

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
if the Chairman said he was not convinced and wants to talk to more people. Would that suggest that he is a normal guy and can see through what has been said? And fingers crossed as I will put my life on the line say stand up and say not once ever in 10 years has his guy ever acted, done or said anything to imply harassment, and so will everyone in the office and they are all women.
Also as the person that accused him talked about it to everyone, can we bring this up as a new thing and can she get disciplined for this?
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
It does but it is far from fair. I feel that if you can not prove that the harassment has taken place how can you rule against the accused? It is then your opinion or perception which is what this case is. One person's perception but not the majority.

He can make his own complaint against the accuser, if he knows that it was all untrue and maliciously done. In the end, it does depend on the employer, their investigation and their genuine belief but that is what appeals and tribunals are for, in the event the wrong decision is made. Hope this helps?

Customer: replied 2 day ago.
Hi,
One more question please.
The decision was given on Wednesday at around 4.05pm verbally, followed by a letter. We expected the punishment, but they have put another punishment in that was not said at the decision. It was already in the letter given to Dan and then HR told him as he stood there with the letter unopened in his hand. They have said the the final written warning will be held on his file infinately. This was not stated at all the the decision meeting. Surely you can not keep putting things on after the decision has been given?

So the second punishment was in the letter which they handed tpo him at the time they verbally confirmed the original outcome?

Customer: replied 1 day ago.
No we were verbally told the punishments after they disappeared for 35 minutes.
They are:
1. Dan will personally write a handwritten unserved apology to her and hand this to HR.
2. Respect her space and dignity at all times and avoid any confrontation or initiating contact with her.
3. They have moved his workstation to create a distance.
4. Ensure his behaviours are in line with the company code of conduct.
Nothing whats so ever about this final warning was mentioned at all in the verbal delivery last Wednesday.

Also they have put the two incidences down put haven't said unfounded or even said anything like that.
Customer: replied 1 day ago.
Sorry that the warning would stay live on his record indefinitely. This was never mentioned

The verbal confirmation of the outcome is not a formal step so they could have still added anything in the formal outcome letter which is the official record of the meeting decisions. What they cannot do is make a decision for something which was not discussed at the disciplinary hearing, so sanction him for allegations which he did not have the chance to answer. Also, it is rather unlikely an indefinite warning would be considered fair - it should last for a reasonable period, like a year, or two maximum