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.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ben Jones Your Own Question
Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69188
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
Type Your Law Question Here...
Ben Jones is online now

I have just had a disciplinary with my employer in the

This answer was rated:

Hello, I have just had a disciplinary with my employer in the financial industry on the grounds of misconduct due to discussing pay and commission with a colleague in the same roll. I don’t beleive the other party has had the same as I. I was wondering if this seemed right?
Assistant: Have you discussed the disciplinary action with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: It was my manager and hr manager who were in the meeting and I have been suspended for 48 hours pending investigation.
Assistant: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: I am an employee and do not belong to a union
Assistant: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Only that I told my manager due to a forced restructure in roll and commission and this being of detremant to earnings if I remained in the same job, that I would be looking for new employment

Hello, I’m Ben, a UK lawyer and will be dealing with your case today. I may also need to ask some questions to determine the legal position.

How long have you worked for this employer?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Hi Ben, many thank. Ask away.

Thanks. How long have you worked there for?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I joined 01/06/2017
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
My job roll changed on 02-01-2020 with no offer of redundancy. They said I could go into one of two new roles with no alternatives.

Thank you. Was there a specific policy in the workplace preventing you from discussing these details with others?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I believe it may be mentioned in the company policies’ however there were changes to the structure in which they compared it to another departments commission structure which is common knowledge in the office

Ok thanks. If you had breached any rules or policies, the employer can take disciplinary action if needed. The issue you have is that the person you discussed it with was not treated in the same way as you. That could depend on the evidence the employer had and what they believed happened. For example, they may have believed, or been told, that you instigated the conversation, in which case you are more at fault than the other person and therefore should be the ones that is disciplined. They should act consistently though so if you believe the evidence was equal and you were both equally at fault you can use your appeal against the disciplinary to highlight that and ask for more lenient treatment.

Does this answer your query?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** helps. What are your thoughts regards ***** ***** restructure and pushing me into one of two new roles without an option of redundancy?

It depends really on whether they are considered suitable or not. If there is a redundancy situation, the employer has a duty to make a reasonable search for suitable alternative employment (SAE). If such positions exist they must then be offered to those at risk of redundancy. The objective is to avoid having to make someone redundant and keep them in a job.

There are two possible outcomes of this:

· The employee accepts the offer – in this case their employment will continue in the new role and thee would be no redundancy

· The employee rejects the offer – if that happens and the employee expects to still be made redundant, whether they do depends on the suitability of the offer and the reasonableness of their rejection, which I will discuss below.

If the offer is considered suitable and the employee unreasonably rejects it, they will be deemed to have resigned and would not be made redundant or be entitled to a redundancy payment. If the offer is unsuitable and they reasonably reject it, they can still be made redundant and receive redundancy pay.

Reasonableness is based on the subjective reasons the employee has for rejecting it, such as personal circumstances, health, family commitments, etc. Suitability is based on both objective and subjective criteria, with the most common factors that make an offer unsuitable as follows:

· Job content/status – drop in status (even if pay remains unchanged), changes in duties, which do not match the employee’s skills

· Pay and other benefits – significant drop in earnings/benefits (e.g. basic pay, bonuses, overtime, commission, etc)

· Working hours – change in shift pattern, significant extension/reduction of working hours

· Location – new location making it unreasonable to travel to the new place of work

· Job prospects – going from permanent to temporary or fixed-term work

Where an offer of alternative employment has been made and its terms and conditions are different to the employee's current terms, they have the right to a 4-week trial period. This is an opportunity for both employer and employee to determine its suitability. If during the trial period they decide that the job is not suitable they should tell their employer straight away and terminate the trial period. Assuming the above criteria apply and the offer was not suitable and was reasonably rejected, they should still be made redundant from their original job and receive redundancy pay.

Does this clarify things a bit more for you?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
That helps a lot. Thank you.

All the best

Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Hi Ben, sorry to bother you. I have my meeting at 3 o’clock today. I have checked over my contact, please see pictures. I says ‘it is strictly prohibited to disclose your salary to any other member of staff.’ I did not disclose current salary but mentioned a previous employments figures and said including previous commission structure was nearly back up to this level. On the contract with regards ***** ***** is does not mention this cannot be discussed(see attached) the main point of conversation was on the new commission structure and how this would lead to a drop in income. If I were to be dismissed on these grounds would it be unlawful dismissal?

I cannot say if it will be and or not, only a tribunal can decide that. After all, there is a pay secrecy clause here and that can be lawful if implemented by the employer in the contract. I see your argument about believing that what you discussed is not your salary but that is slightly splitting hairs to be honest as it is all to do with the pay you receive, which all comes under pay or salary. Best advice is to apologise for any unintentional breaches and express remorse, asking for a second chance

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thank you for your prompt response. This will certainly help.

No problem, good luck

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I will let you know the outcome to see I’m what the potential next steps are. I do appreciate your help.

sure, thanks