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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50148
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I have been accused of being tearful on a nightshift and not

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I have been accused of being tearful on a nightshift and not my usual self. I was phoned and told this. I was already en route to boss in car to tell him I was unwell and needed time off. The phone call from the manager tipped me over the edge. I parked car and phoned a relative to come and pick me up and stayed in car. I was so upset that I drank a can of gin and tonic in car waiting. My boss came over as others had said I was in the car. I was obviously upset and it was 3 hours after shift ended. He removed my keys and put me in a taxi and I went home. I was excluded later that day. On the balance of probabilities I think they are assuming I was drunk the previous nightshift but this was simply not the case. I am awaiting statements from others about nightshift because I admit I was tearful and not myself but ill and certainly not drunk. This has never happened before and everyone is well aware I have been under considerable stress recently. I thank the boss because I did not realise you could be guilty of an offence of drinking in car.. Even though you had no intention of driving. It was 3 hours after my shift but in the companies car park. I am guilty of many things but I feel they are jumping to conclusions. What evidence do they need?

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

How long have you worked there for?

Customer: 2 years
Ben Jones :

do you know your exact start date as that would be relevant?

Customer: 5th Sept 2013-- not 2 years act
Ben Jones :

Are they actually taking formal action against you?

Customer: Yes
Customer: suspended pending investigations
Ben Jones :

The good news is that this is just a suspension pending investigations. This is not an indication of guilt and it is just a precautionary measure whilst the employer decides on what to do next. They will conduct their investigations and decide on whether this is something they wish to take further or if they will just drop the matter and allow you to return to work.


The bad news is that if they decide to do anything and take the matter further, up to and including dismissal, you will have few rights. That is because you have been continuously employed at your place of work for less than 2 years, which means 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, because 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.


So when it comes to evidence – they actually need none, as this only applies to employees that are protected against unfair dismissal once they have at least 2 years’ service with the employer.

Ben Jones :

Hello, I see you have accessed and read my answer to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? I just need to know whether to close the question or not? Thanks

Customer: Yes thank you
Ben Jones :

You are welcome, all the best

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