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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50178
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I have worked in a prison 15 months and have been

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I have worked in a prison for over 15 months and have been wrongly accused of something and have been suspended on full pay. I am Spanish and do not understand what to do next, they told me they have been watching me, but I have never done anything wrong and I do not know what to do next?
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What have you been accused of?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Trafficking drugs and phones, they said they have evidence but it is impossible as I have never done it. I work as a sub contractor for Mitie the maintenance company that do all the repairs for the prison
So you are not directly employed by the prison? Is it Mitie that has suspended you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The prison have suspended me and will apparently not allow me back as they said they don't trust me, but Mitie have said I am on full pay
OK so who is your employer - Mitie or the prison? Also how long have you worked for that employer (I understand you have worked for the prison for 15 months but is your overall length of employment with the employer longer?)
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Mitie no I have been employed by Mitie since I started at the prison, prior to that I was a manager at McDonalds
Thank you and are you an employee or self employed?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Employed by them as a permanent worker
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have 2 letters that came together on Tuesday one from the prison and one from Mitie, Mitie's one says suspension pending investigation
Thank you. Being placed on suspension is not an automatic assumption of guilt and does not amount to disciplinary action. It is there to be used as a precautionary measure whilst an employer investigates any allegations against the employee. Reasons for suspending could be in the case of gross misconduct, breakdown of relationship, risk to an employer's property, their clients or other employees, to preserve evidence or ensure it is not tampered with, avoid potential witnesses being pressured or intimidated, etc. During the period of suspension the employer should conduct a reasonable investigation into the allegations against the employee. If the investigation gathers enough evidence to justify the taking disciplinary action that could be the next step. In that case the employee has the right to be informed in advance of the allegations against them and be given the opportunity to prepare for the hearing. On the other hand, if the investigation does not find enough evidence to justify a disciplinary, the employer should terminate the suspension immediately and allow the employee to return to work as normal. The issue here is that the allegations have come from a client, not your employer. The employer simply has to follow their client’s instructions and cannot challenge them. So if the prison believe you have done something wrong and they do not want you on their premises, the employer has to remove you whether you are guilty or not. If the prison do not want you back then Mitie will have to find you another job and place you working elsewhere – they cannot challenge the prison’s decision not to allow you back. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the rights you have in the event that no other work is available for you, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there I no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for that but I have to tick a box as to whether I want no further action or wishes to make representation, The prison have said it is on an allegation of misconduct, basically I entered a prisoners cell (it is my job to unblock toilets, sinks etc) the offender was known to be trafficking and they said they could not find my job sheet to prove it was on my list, I know from my manager that they (Mitie) found the job sheet and my note book to say what jobs I did and it was on them both) but I have also been informed that the prison work on probability and if they mistrust me and can decide that 51% then I will not be allowed back, do you think it is worth me fighting to clear my name or just getting another job? I am a qualified hydrolic engineer by trade. I have to reply by 19th March
As the prison are not your employer they have no duty to conduct a fair investigation so they can use whatever factors they want to come to a decision on whether you are guilty or not and whether to allow you back on their premises. The employer will have to respect that decision. That does not mean you will lose your job though – you will not be allowed to work in the prison, but if Mitie have other suitable work for you then they can offer you that instead. You have nothing to lose by challenging this – the worst is that they still find you guilty which they could do if you do not challenge it. The problem is if your employer has no other work for you to do. They they can look at terminating your employment. They would legally be able to do this because you are not protected against unfair dismissal – you need 2 years’ service for that. So they can use more or less any reason they want to dismiss and that is a possibility if there is nothing they can move you to. I suggest you explore the option of other work before deciding on whether to move employers.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your help,
You are most welcome, best of luck