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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50178
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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Thank you previous info. Just a further update

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Hi. Thank you for the previous info. Just a further update and question. She now has a date for a disciplinary hearing. She has been presented with the companies mobile phone policy. However nowhere in the policy does it state the company mobile cannot be used for personal use, or cannot be used abroad. The only communication regarding this was an email from finance department instructing not to take a company mobile abroad. This was after a previous high bill whilst using the phone abroad for work purposes. Further more in the mobile phone policy it states that holders of the mobile phone must not be contacted unless in working hours and on call. My wife regularly received calls and text from her bosses out of hours. Does this constitute a breach on their side?
We are prepared for her to be dismissed, and suspect it will be Gross Misconduct they are looking for. However as a healthcare professional, whilst we have no problem with dismissal we need to avoid Gross Misconduct. Given the info above do you feel our position has strengthened at all.
Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. I presume the fact that she was called did not affect the personal usage for which she is being disciplined?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The phone was still used for personal use regardless of being contacted by work being honest. The phone (and company laptop) was taken abroad because she was required to do a payroll submission and other work whilst away. Her bosses were aware of this. She wouldn't have needed to take the phone or laptop otherwise as she does have a personal iphone to use. If it makes a difference, she was on the hotel wifi, however it would appear that the wifi wasn't connecting all the time and unknown to her was switching to data.

Ok thanks I will get back to you later on with my response
Thanks for your patience. Whilst the policy does not state the phone cannot be used for personal use or taken abroad, she has still been previously informed in writing not to take it abroad so the company has communicated this request to her. However, I would see this as a request not to take it abroad AND use it, not a general request not to take it abroad in the first place.
I would still say that based on the evidence this falls short of gross misconduct – she did not intentionally use the phone data for personal use, she tried to use wifi but unbeknown to her it kept switching to data and using cellular data for her browsing. I would have said that gross misconduct could be a possibility if she had knowingly and intentionally used the work phone for personal browsing. This is not the case here so it would be the best argument to try and avoid a gross misconduct charge.
I hope this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating, or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
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