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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 75097
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I was issued a letter stating I had to attend a disaplinary

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Hi I was issued a letter stating I had to attend a disaplinary meeting to discuss damage to my work van. At the meeting I explained what had happened and that I had not loaded the van and the load had nor been secured by Rb electrical. The meeting was adjourned as they stated they needed to check the tracker on my van which bares no relevance to the accusation. I have been working and still driving daily until morning when the hr person turned up and went upstairs with my manager and 10 minutes later I was called upstairs my manager then stated he could no longer work with me and he was dismissing me and I asked on what grounds and the hr person said that there had been to many things I asked her to state exactly what things to which there was no reply. I feel that this is constructive dismissal please could you advise
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Soham cb75ut
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: None as only just happened a half hour ago. initially I have asked for minutes of the meetings including all things said by both parties but this has not happened
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: Not that I'm aware of

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.

How long have you worked for this employer please? and what are you ideally hoping for so that I can best advise?

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
hi i have worked for them since January 2018. I feel I have been unfairly dismissed as i have answered the charge against myself but the manager tried to change the accusation by stating he needed to check the tracker i stated the disciplinary letter stated the meeting was over a non securement of a load. the meeting was postponed last Tuesday and i was not told when the meeting would resume. then this morning the hr person arrived and went upstairs with the manager and 10 minutes later i was called up stairs and the manager said he would start he stated he could no longer work with myself and was dismissing me i then asked specifically on what grounds and hr replied there have been to many thing which i asked her to be specific but i got no repl. the manager asked me to get my belonging from the van and to hand in the company phone and the van keys and i was asked to leave

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

Many thanks for your patience, I am pleased to be able to continue assisting with your query now. Apologies for the delay in replying, the site has been down for most of the day.

Going back to your query, alleged misconduct is a common reason for dismissing an employee and it is also one of the potentially fair reasons for dismissal under the Employment Rights Act 1996. It could be either due to a single serious act of misconduct or a series of less serious acts over a period of time.

In order to justify that dismissal on grounds of misconduct was fair, the law requires that the employer:

- Conducts a reasonable investigation

- Follows a fair disciplinary procedure

- Has genuine belief the employee was guilty; and

- Shows that dismissal was a decision that a reasonable employer would have taken in the circumstances

In addition, the employer is expected to follow the ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance procedures, which can be incorporated into their own disciplinary policy. It sets out various steps along the process which the employer has to follow to ensure the process is fair.

1. Investigation – the employer must conduct a reasonable investigation first. This could include interviewing the employee or other witnesses who may have relevant information. What is reasonable depends entirely on the circumstances and the nature and seriousness of the allegations. The more serious or complex these are, the more detailed the investigation needs to be. Conversely, simple matters will only require a simple investigation which can be completed in a day. The employer is not legally required to provide full details of the allegations prior to an investigatory meeting taking place.

2. Disciplinary hearing - if the investigation provides sufficient evidence of misconduct, the employee may be invited to attend a formal disciplinary hearing to answer these allegations. They must be given reasonable notice of the hearing, together with details of the allegations and any evidence to be used against them. They have the legal right to be accompanied at the hearing by a trade union representative or a workplace colleague.

3. Decision - following the disciplinary hearing and once the employer has had a chance to consider the employee’s response, they can make a decision on the outcome. If the employer holds a genuine belief that the employee was guilty, then they can go ahead and formally penalise them.

4. Penalty – this has to be a decision, which a reasonable employer would have taken in the circumstances. When deciding on the appropriate penalty, the employer should consider the nature and seriousness of the offence, any mitigating factors and the employee's length of service and disciplinary record. Other aspects, like expressing remorse and apologising and there being evidence the issues were innocent or unintentional should also help to a degree. Unless the offence was one of gross misconduct, ACAS recommends that the employee is issued with a written warning for a first offence.

In summary, the requirements of proof are not as stringent as in criminal law and an employer is not expected to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the alleged misconduct had definitely occurred. A decision on the balance of probabilities will be sufficient and a dismissal can be fair if the employer can show that it had met the above criteria, namely conducting a reasonable investigation, following a fair procedure and holding a genuine belief that the employee was guilty. Finally, it must show that dismissal was an outcome, which a reasonable employer would have taken in the circumstances.

If there is evidence that the employer has not followed a fair procedure as outlined above, the outcome can be formally appealed with the employer. After that, a claim for unfair dismissal can potentially be made in the Employment Tribunal. There are two main requirements to claim: the employee must have at least 2 years' continuous service with the employer and the claim must be made within 3 months of the official date of termination.

Hello, following my main response above, I just wanted to check that everything was clear. If you have any further queries about this issue, you can reply to me at any time on this portal and I will be happy to help. Thank you.

Hello, I trust that everything has now been resolved to your satisfaction and your original question has been dealt with. If you have any further queries about it, please do not hesitate to get back to me on here. In the meantime, I wish you all the best.

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