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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 49821
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have worked for a national vehicle rental company for four

Customer Question

I have worked for a national vehicle rental company for four years. 100% attendance and no other issues, but over the last 12 months I have been involved in 3 minor damages to vehicles whilst manoevering large vans out of very tight parking spaces. Last week our HR director plus assistant manager conducted an investigation and now they have called me to another meeting at which they say that I may be disciplined for "misconduct". I dont feel that innocent damage could be called thus, but they say it is in the company rules, which I dont have to hand. Do I just accept a written warning? Can they do this? They didnt even give me a transcript of the "investigation" or accident reports. Stephen
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 years ago.

Ben Jones : Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Have you requested to see the rules they referred to?
JACUSTOMER-bzh984n7- :

Hello there. No. They probably gave me them when i started and I mislaid them.

JACUSTOMER-bzh984n7- :

I think its's called "damage to company property", but it's not deliberate and done in the face of dfificult working conditions.

Ben Jones :

Hello again, there is no formal definition or list of what can amount to misconduct and it can cover a rather large number of actions and events. You have the more common types of misconduct, such as insubordination, violence, theft, swearing, misuse of equipment, dishonesty, etc. At the same time there are actions that may not immediately appear to be misconduct that would also be dealt with under the employer's disciplinary policy, such as sickness absence, poor performance, etc.

In your particular case it is entirely possible for what you have done to be dealt with under a disciplinary procedure and be treated as misconduct, although it would depend on what policy the employer has in place and whether you have breached that.

I understand that this damage was not done deliberately but it is still damage and the employer could take action as a result. Your best course of action now is to attend the disciplinary and try to defend yourself and provide mitigating circumstances that would hopefully prompt the employer to be more lenient with the decision they take. For example, you mention difficult conditions - if there are conditions which make it difficult for you to manoeuvre the cars without incident and the employer can improve these conditions - mention it. Similarly, if you have not been given a copy of the policy or did not even know it was there - raise that as well. Finally, whatever decision is taken you can appeal it.

Ben Jones :

has this answered your query?

Ben Jones :

I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating - your question will not close and I can continue providing further advice if necessary. Thank you