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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50475
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I am a regional sales manager for an American firm based in

Customer Question

I am a regional sales manager for an American firm based in uk. Last Thursday I was entertaining some important customers and we found ourselves in a "Nightclub" where I eventually spent £2000 on my company credit card.
I informed my manager this Monday, apologised for my severe lack of judgement and offered to pay the money back from my own pocket.
He immediately started talking about Gross Misconduct and that I would lose my job.
At no time have I signed or been given anything with respect to what the card should or could be used for and can find no correlation between excess expenses, on company card or otherwise, in my terms and conditions of employment. I certainly can find no official guidance on what it can or can't be used for!
It is now Friday lunchtime and I have heard nothing. Surely, if my bosses considered my conduct to be so wrong, I should have been suspended from duty officially while an investigation was carried out? I have been told to continue my duties as normal until they decide how to proceed!
Can you advise on what my position is likely to be?
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. How long have you worked there for?

JACUSTOMER-8t13lcsr- : 1 year 1 month and passed 6 month probation with flying colours and have no verbal or written warnings to my employment record
Ben Jones :

Hello sorry I was called into a rather lengthy meeting before you managed to get back to me. It is not necessary to suspend someone who is facing allegations on grounds of misconduct. Suspension should only be used as a last resort by the employer and in circumstances where the employee's presence is likely to damage the business in some way or have a negative impact on other employees, clients, etc. So the fact that you have not been suspended is realy a non-issue at this stage - the employer could till proceed with formal disciplinary action if they believe it is necessary.

The main issue here is that if you have been continuously employed at your place of work for less than 2 years then your employment rights will 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 discriminatory grounds (i.e. because of gender, race, religion, age, a disability, sexual orientation, etc.) or because you were trying to assert any of your statutory rights (e.g. requesting maternity/paternity leave, etc.).

If the dismissal had nothing to do with any of the above exceptions then you would not be able to challenge it and your only protection would be if you were not paid your contractual notice period. Unless you were dismissed for gross misconduct, you would be entitled to receive your contractual notice period. If you did not have a written contract in place you would be entitled to the minimum statutory notice period of 1 week. Your employer would either have to allow you to work that notice period and pay you as normal, or they will have to pay you in lieu of notice.

Whilst you should be given the right to defend any allegations made against you, if the employer wants to dismiss then there is little stopping them from doing so and you will not be able to challenge their decision. Hopefully this will either result in a warning or no action being taken but be prepared in case they do go all the way to dismissal.

Ben Jones :

Please let me know if this has answered your query or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this?