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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 73393
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I am being pushed to a decision with settlement to leave my

Customer Question

i am being pushed to a decision with settlement to leave my company through a disciplinary that was upheld through appeal and I don't know how i should respond, where I stand and if I agree to leave, what I should be entitled to
JA: Was the disciplinary action discussed with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: Manager and HR
JA: Does the workplace operate with employees, freelancers, consultants, contractors or with unionised employees?
Customer: employees
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I initially had my contract of employment terminated and subsequently upheld at the appeal and have been employed with them for 1 year
Submitted: 7 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 7 days ago.
Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 7 days ago.

Please explain the circumstances that have led to this in some more detail

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
My colleague and I were due to deliver a live webinar and 10 minutes prior to 'go-live' we were chatting privately about current affairs, news and more specifically, a political debate that had been going on in the media over that weekend.
We were using a new software on that day for the first time which neither of us had had official training on, i'd had no prior experience before that day so my colleague of 10 years employment had set it up. Whilst we were chatting privately, unbeknown to me, my colleague switched his microphone on and due to the lack of knowledge of the software, the latter part of our chat was aired live to approximately 7 delegates awaiting the course start. We were both suspended later that day pending a disciplinary investigation/hearing. a recording had been made by one of the delegates and sent in to work and the conversation was deemed by my company to contain undertones of a sexist and racist nature. I refuted the allegations as the conversation was out of context and in no way substantiated and was subsequently sacked for not being remorseful for having the conversation, as stated by the business partner holding the final hearing.
I appealed and attended online of which was understood better by the independent holding the hearing and subsequently re-instated. Now they are posing difficulties of re-integration to the business and have place an alternative offer for me to leave the business which essentially 3 months pay.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 7 days ago.

OK I understand and thank you for providing this information. Please do not worry and leave it with me for now; I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can which will be at some point today. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 days ago.

Many thanks for your patience, I am pleased to be able to continue assisting with your query now. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues you have experienced in your situation.

The main issue in the circumstances is the fact that you have only been continuously employed at you place of work for less than 2 years. That means that your employment rights will, unfortunately, be somewhat limited. Most importantly, you will not have legal protection against unfair dismissal. This basically means that your employer can dismiss you for more or less any reason, and without following a fair procedure, as long as the decision is not based on a reason which makes a dismissal automatically unfair. They can proceed with a dismissal even if you had done nothing wrong and also without following any specific fair procedure or proving that any of the allegations are true.

As mentioned, there are some exceptions to this, in which case the 2-year rule does not apply. These include situations where the dismissal was wholly, or partly, due to:

- Discrimination due to a protected characteristic (i.e. because of gender, race, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, etc.)

- Taking, or trying to take, leave for family reasons including pregnancy, maternity/paternity leave, parental leave, adoption leave or leave for dependants

However, if the dismissal had nothing to do with any of the above exceptions, you would not be able to challenge it due to not meeting the minimum service criteria for claiming in the Employment Tribunal. In that case your only protection would be if you were dismissed in breach of contract. That would usually happen if you were not paid any contractual notice period due to you, unless you were dismissed for gross misconduct. That is where you were guilty of something very serious which justifies immediate dismissal, without any notice pay.

In any other circumstances, you would be due a minimum notice period, as per your contract and associated pay. If you did not have a written contract in place you would be entitled to the minimum statutory notice period of 1 week. The employer would either have to allow you to work that notice period and pay you as normal, or they can decide to pay you in lieu of notice. That is when you are paid for the equivalent of the notice period but your employment is terminated immediately and you are not expected to work through your notice period.

Therefore, if you were to refuse the settlement offer, they can still easily dismiss you simply by giving you the required notice period. If the current offer is better than  that, you should seriously consider accepting it, to avoid the risk of walking away with something less, which could easily happen.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 days ago.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.