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Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What specific queries would you like me to deal with in relation to this?
I would like to know if this is common practice re my governing body, NMC and I will fight this all the way.
I am aware that you do not know all the facts but just to get an idea what you think please
The employer has a duty to refer any cases that they believe will impact your ability to continue practising in your profession. So anything to do with dishonesty, fraud, theft and the like, as well as serious issues of misconduct. It is still a subjective decision though and would depend on what the employer believes in the circumstances so you cannot say whether it is a common thing or not – every employer is different and some may refer it, others may decide to deal with it internally. In any event a referral does not mean anything yet – all it means is that they are informing the NMC about this and they would then carry out their own investigation to decide what, if any, further action is necessary. So there is just as much chance of the NMC dropping this as they cannot find any evidence to support this, so do not assume the worst just yet.
In terms of legal representation, by law you are not actually entitled to have a lawyer present with you at these meetings, even if they have resulted in a referral to the NMC, but the employer could allow that so if they have done so you could consider it, but obviously you also need to think about any costs that you may be incurring in the process.
As far as your employment is concerned, 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 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.).
So they could very easily dismiss for an untrue allegation, a rumour or no reason at all – dismissal could be difficult to avoid if that is the route they want to go down. Similarly, they cannot be stopped from referring this to the NMC if they believe you have a case to answer. However, they still need to be careful if they were to provide any references in the future in terms of their contents and they need to ensure at least some reasonable investigation has taken place before they make any statements in a reference in relation to this.
That was not what I expected to hear however I did have an inkling that legal representation was not permitted in these cases. Is there nothing I could take them to tribunal for as they have already made mistakes which my rep picked up on and although I have not contacted anyone from company apparently my suspension is common knowledge to staff, relatives etc, surely this is not allowed?
It's not something that you can take them to tribunal for unfortunately - all of this would amount to potential constructive dismissal but you need the 2 years to make a claim so even if they have treated you in this way, it does not allow you to make a claim. You can only really get them if you can show discrimination as the reasons for the way you are treated
You are welcome