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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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i am a registered nurse and have worked same nhs hospital

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i am a registered nurse and have worked for the same nhs hospital for 20 years, following an incident on 15th February where i was very drunk at my boyfriends flat and banged my head. Due to the fact i was bleeding from my head my boyfriend called paramedics The paramedics called the police because they felt i was being abusive to my boyfriend. i had to be taken to the hospital E.D. and i became abusive to staff. So the police arrested me and detained me overnight and then wanted my boyfriend to press charges against me for domestic violence, which he didnt want to do and has not done.
when i was at the police station i was in possession of a small amount of a class b substance which i had taken off my boyfriend earlier that night because i didnt want him to take it.
following this i made a self declaration to my professional body the NMC.
they did a further crb check and it showed i had received a caution in 2012 for battery,(this was an altercation between myself and my stepdaughter i did not batter or hurt her in any way deliberately, she had misunderstood something i had said and it resulted in us having an argument ) i had not realised i had got this official caution on record and therefore did disclose this information to my employer or the nmc.
i have been suspended for gross misconduct. and they are currently carrrying out an investigation.
do you think i will be dismissed, despite having a good working record for 20 years with that employer?
Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Were you actually advised by the police that you ere being cautioned at the time?


Thanks for your help


Yes I think they did explain it but I


I was very upset at the time and don't think I actually took it in properly and I threw all of the paper work away.

Ben Jones :

Hello, sorry I was offline by the time you had replied. Misconduct is a common reason for taking disciplinary action and it is also a potentially fair reason for dismissal under the Employment Rights Act 1996. It could be a single act of serious misconduct or a series of less serious acts over a period of time.

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

  • Conducts a reasonable investigation;

  • Follows a fair disciplinary procedure;

  • Has reasonable grounds for believing the employee was guilty; and

  • Show that dismissal was a decision that a reasonable employer would have taken in the circumstances.

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 dismiss. When deciding on whether dismissal is appropriate, the employer should consider the nature and seriousness of the offence and the employee's length of service and disciplinary record. They also need to act with a degree of consistency if other employees have previously been disciplined over similar issues. Unless the offence was one of gross misconduct, ACAS recommends that the employee should be issued with a written warning.

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.

In your specific case, you are accused of withholding information about you caution when you were specifically asked to disclose that. This can amount to a misconduct offence, whether it was done unintentionally or not. They key is whether the employer’s investigation finds that you acted deliberately or with malice or tried to hide things from them, all of which will make this a more serious issue. If this was genuinely a case of you forgetting to disclose it due to the state of mind you were in at the time and there was no deliberate attempt to hide that, it should be treated less seriously, although it may still result in a warning. So it is about the investigation now and that is why it is impossible to say whether this will result in a dismissal or not, but you have a long and clean record behind you and this should certainly work in your favour.

If there are any doubts or evidence that the above requirements have not been satisfied, an appeal can be submitted to the employer straight after the disciplinary outcome is communicated. If the appeal is rejected a claim for unfair dismissal can be made in the employment tribunal. The time limit to claim is 3 months from the date of dismissal and the claimant needs to have at least 2 years' continuous service with that employer.

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


YES thankyou

Ben Jones :

you are welcome, all the best

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