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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50165
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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My wife works mail, in june of last year she was

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My wife works for royal mail, in june of last year she was involved in a road accident involving herself and 2 men in a work van
she was pulling out of a junction on a*****before she pulled out the van was not in sight when she started to pull out she was hit by a van traveling at least 55 mph
police arrived at the scene along with my wifes manager and the employer of the 2 men in the other van, thankfully no one was seriously hurt
an investigation pointed to it being a blameless accident
Now nearly a year on the other party involved have now come back blaming my wife
she is concerned as the royal mail do not show employees any support in these situations she is now fearful of losing her job and driving licence
also although she was not seriously hurt she was denied time off to visit hospital as she did suffer some pain for months afterwards she was forced back to work 2 hours after the crash
can you please provide some information on her rights
Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What rights do you want to know about - the employment side, the criminal side, the personal injury side? All of these are separate legal areas and you cannot get one lawyer commenting on all so you will have to choose separate specialists for each one. I can help with the employment side if necessary but I cannot advise on the other areas unfortunately


ben jones has not attempted to answer the question

Ben Jones :

No I have not because I hve not yet heard back from you - please read my initial post above and let me know how you wish to proceed


I want to know about her employment rights

Ben Jones :

ok how long has she worked there for?


2 and a half years

Ben Jones :

If an employee has been continuously employed with their employer for at least 2 years they will be protected against unfair dismissal. This means that to fairly dismiss them their employer has to show that there was a potentially fair reason for dismissal and that a fair dismissal procedure was followed.

According to the Employment Rights Act 1996 there are five separate reasons that an employer could use to show that a dismissal was fair: conduct, capability, redundancy, illegality or some other substantial reason (SOSR). The employer will not only need to show that the dismissal was for one of those reasons, but also justify that it was appropriate and reasonable to use in the circumstances. In addition, they need to ensure that a fair dismissal procedure was followed and this would depend on which of the above reasons they used to dismiss.

Misconduct, such as the allegations here, is a common reason for taking disciplinary action against an employee. It could be due either to a single serious act of misconduct or a series of less serious acts over a period of time.

In order to justify that disciplinary action on grounds of misconduct was fair, the law requires that the employer:

  • Conducts a reasonable investigation;

  • Follows a fair disciplinary procedure; and

  • Shows they had reasonable grounds to believe the employee was guilty.

In addition, the employer is expected to follow the ACAS Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures. Altogether, it means that a disciplinary procedure should be conducted as follows:

1. Investigation - a reasonable investigation is needed. What is reasonable depends entirely on the circumstances and especially the nature and seriousness of the allegations. The more serious these are, the more detailed the investigation needs to be.

2. Disciplinary hearing - if the investigation provides sufficient evidence of misconduct, the employee may be invited to attend a formal disciplinary hearing. They must be given prior notice of the hearing, including details of the allegations, allowing them time to prepare. They have the legal right to be accompanied at the hearing but only by a trade union representative or a colleague.

3. Decision and penalty - following the disciplinary, if the employer holds a genuine belief that the employee was guilty, then they can go ahead and formally sanction them. When deciding on the appropriate penalty, the employer should consider the nature and seriousness of the offence and the employee's disciplinary record. Unless the offence was one of gross misconduct, ACAS recommends that the employee should be issued with a written warning. In this case the action they may seek to take is significantly delayed following the incident and they should have dealt with this at the time, unless any substantial new evidence emerges.

In summary, an employer is not expected to prove that the alleged misconduct had definitely occurred. Disciplinary action will be fair if the employer can show that it had conducted a reasonable investigation, followed a fair procedure and held a genuine belief that the employee was guilty. Finally, it must show that the penalty was a reasonable action to take in the circumstances and one that a reasonable employer would have taken.

If there are any doubts about any of the above and there is belief or evidence that the employer has not satisfied these requirements, an appeal can be submitted to the employer immediately after the disciplinary outcome. If the disciplinary results in dismissal then a claim for unfair dismissal can be made in the employment tribunal. There are two requirements to claim: the employee must have at least 2 years' continuous service with the employer and the claim must be made within 3 months of the date of dismissal.

I hope this clarifies your position? If you could please quickly let me know that would be great, as it is important for us to keep track of customer satisfaction. Thank you

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 you need further help or if I can close the question? Thank you

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