How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ben Jones Your Own Question
Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 55271
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
Type Your Law Question Here...
Ben Jones is online now

My partner has recently been suspended pending an

This answer was rated:

My partner has recently been suspended pending an investigation into misconduct. He works in a call centre and they have been listening to calls and found that he has hung up on some customers. Other people who work there do it too, but he has been caught. He may be dismissed after the suspension. He has also previously had hearings into other issues which aren't his fault. He speaks quite fast and has tried to speak slower, but because of this he had an investigation into giving misinformation to a customer and was given a warning, despite it not being deliberate. In addition, he has had some time off due to mental health and was given sanctions from promotions because of it. Due to this, they have said he is likely to be dismissed. What can be done to stop him being dismissed because of this, and are there any legal issues in this procedure?
Assistant: Was the suspension discussed with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: With a manager I think
Assistant: Does the workplace operate with employees, freelancers, consultants, contractors or with unionised employees?
Customer: Employees. It is an outsourced call centre for Sky
Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: He is also not allowed to speak to anyone else from work until his meeting

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

How long has he worked there for?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Over 2 years

Does he know the employer may be listening in on his calls?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.

Ok thanks. In reality there is nothing you can do which will guarantee that they will not dismiss him. If they wanted to they will, no matter how much resistance he puts up.

If he is being accused of doing something which is commonplace, then he should try and point out that he is not the one who does it, however it will not really be a defence if he has clearly been told this is against the rules and he knows he should not be doing it.

The main positive here is that he has been working there for more than 2 years, which means he is protected against unfair dismissal. Therefore if he believes he should not have been dismissed he can challenge the employer over it. It is a free claim so the risks of taking it further are relatively low and whilst he cannot force them to take him back, he can get compensated.

For the time being he should defend the allegations as best as he can and hope that they give him another chance. I do not see anything that stands out with the procedure so far which would give you a strong argument that this is flawed so it would come to the employer and what they believe should happen. As a saving grace he could ask for further training to ensure that he does not do things he should not be doing and improves his performance.

However, if this does end up in dismissal he can initially appeal to the employer before considering whether to claim for unfair dismissal in the tribunal.

Does this answer your query?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thank you for your help. What do you mean exactly in this part ‘I do not see anything that stands out with the procedure so far which would give you a strong argument that this is flawed so it would come to the employer and what they believe should happen’. What procedure exactly are you referring to and what do you mean we could argue it is flawed? Sorry I just want further clarification.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Also does the fact that this is the first time they’ve confronted him about this make any difference? He’s also just told me they’ve called it gross misconduct

I meant what has happened so far, the fact they have suspended him for this and are considering potential disciplinary action - they would have the right to do it. What is important is how they proceed further and they must ensure they conduct a reasonable investigation.

In fact, 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

So if they jumped straight to disciplinary without investigating the allegations, then it could make it flawed.

The fact it is the first time would not make much difference because there will always be a first time. What it may make a difference to however is the seriousness of it all and perhaps he can argue that for a first offence he should be given a formal warning rather than be dismissed. Hope this clarifies a bit more?

Ben Jones and 3 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
it does thank you for your help

you are most welcome