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gross misscounduct

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Pretty much just been fired from work for gross misconduct reason being I use top cash back when making work purchases, I have always spoken openly in the office about using TCB never hidden it from a…
charrisdaisy Avatar
1m, 2w agoPosted 1 month, 2 weeks ago
Pretty much just been fired from work for gross misconduct reason being I use top cash back when making work purchases, I have always spoken openly in the office about using TCB never hidden it from anyone but they class it as steeling? Any HR people have any advice from me... thanks
charrisdaisy Avatar
1m, 2w agoPosted 1 month, 2 weeks ago
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(1)
were you employed by Quidco?

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#1
Hello, I'm sure someone more qualified will come along with an answer soon, but basically you have gained a 'perk' by using TCB, which is frowned upon by companies, although I would suggest that someone should have given you a warning first. It's the same as using your Nectar card when you fuel up. I think it's to do with the tax man.
#2
You used top cash back with works money and you got the cash back? Or they did? If you did then I would say unfortunately it is obtaining money that you shouldn't get. I don't see any way out of it unless you have written authorisation that you could gain from company purchases,
#3
Was your workplace receiving the cashback?
#4
They most likely do not understand how it works. I personally would not use it at work because of profiteering type regulations and the fact that it may impact or bias you towards favouring companies featured on tcb.
#5
westy125
You used top cash back with works money and you got the cash back? Or they did? If you did then I would say unfortunately it is obtaining money that you shouldn't get. I don't see any way out of it unless you have written authorisation that you could gain from company purchases,


This is also my view sorry!

It will be classed as gaining a benefit by default if you have kept the cashback.

So if you buy something with your money then claim it back from your company at the full purchase price but you benefit from the cashback then you have claimed more than you have paid in reality.

Yes you may have metioned it, but unless you have written concent to work in that way then you are at risk of breaching company policy.

Yes your employer could have given you a warning but dependingn on how much you have gained, this may not be seen as approriate now

How much TCB have you made? that woudl be important

EliTom
#6
1 Keep your mouth shut.
2 Apart from you incriminating yourself what evidence do they have ?
#7
businesses are not meant to benefit from loyalty schemes. If they were then wetherspoons would buy all their beer from Tesco and get the points. I think if an auditor found out the company would get bent over royally
#8
Imo it sounds to me as though they were just looking for an excuse to get rid of you
#9
faulkner893
businesses are not meant to benefit from loyalty schemes. If they were then wetherspoons would buy all their beer from Tesco and get the points. I think if an auditor found out the company would get bent over royally

It's not that they can't.. they are just not bothered.

What business cares about benefiting some loyalty scheme? It's not their money, it's their investors and they don't care how you use the money as long as you make them money..

Edited By: SorJai on Jan 05, 2017 15:14
#10
it is illegal,but is it in your contract,it's the company's duty to train and inform you that this is a no no for tax reasons.
personally don't say anything else unless it's to a lawyer,the company will say you should have known....basically a company can't get two lots of incentives, and you're not mean that to pocket them...but depending on you're contract misconduct may not even have to be proven,just suspected....UK employment law sucks...
#11
what about business people who get loyalty points/airmiles with various airlines etc & use them for personal travel ?
#12
adrienne1945
what about business people who get loyalty points/airmiles with various airlines etc & use them for personal travel ?

It depends what is written into their contract ....

I am not allowed to use airmiles / hotel points etc when I travel on business - and yes it is a serious disiplinary issue if I do

It's about tax liability and benefits in kind

that is why I asked how much had been made via TCB!

If it's a few quid then it is very harsh - if it hundreds of pounds then it's reasonable

EliTom
#13
minimadtrix
Hello, I'm sure someone more qualified will come along with an answer soon, but basically you have gained a 'perk' by using TCB, which is frowned upon by companies, although I would suggest that someone should have given you a warning first. It's the same as using your Nectar card when you fuel up. I think it's to do with the tax man.


Our company promotes us getting points back for fuel. To the point they even sent out a shell points card with the fuel card. However we do also have private use of the company vehicle at 12p/m we are also free to use Tesco cards etc. I think it's ok with tax man as we are paying the private use mileage. However tcb points etc I don't believe are taxable as it isn't classed as an income and we pay vat etc on the purchase
#14
Its called cashback, its not your cash to have back. Id have sacked you too.
#15
adrienne1945
Imo it sounds to me as though they were just looking for an excuse to get rid of you
That's what I was thinking. It's likely there's more to this story or as you say, were looking for an excuse to get rid of the opening poster. I would be interested to know if the op had been at the company for very long and / or had any disciplinary issues before?
#16
Would be really interesting to see how much you gained?
#17
fawkes99
it is illegal,but is it in your contract,it's the company's duty to train and inform you that this is a no no for tax reasons.
personally don't say anything else unless it's to a lawyer,the company will say you should have known....basically a company can't get two lots of incentives, and you're not mean that to pocket them...but depending on you're contract misconduct may not even have to be proven,just suspected....UK employment law sucks...
What's illegal?
#18
If it were me I'd find a NWNF lawyer & fight it all the way. There'll be panic in business communities, & perhaps even in Parliament for those who travel on MP fact finding missions around the world. Some of those who benefit greatly may even pay you to drop the case !!!
#19
I'm no expert but this indicates HMRC's general guidance on similar matters:
https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/employment-income-manual/eim21618

"...
In general, air miles, petrol tokens, credit card points etc. acquired by an employee are not taxable if they were acquired in the same way as applies to any other member of the general public, for instance by buying goods or services on which such benefits are given,

Provided the vouchers, air miles or points belong to the employee rather than the employer, they are not considered as being provided by reason of their employment even if the goods or services giving rise to them happen to be purchased as part of the employee’s business travel or using a credit card provided by the employer.
... "



My interpretation is it is not a benefit in kind.

What is the wording of your dismissal?

Edited By: IamMT on Jan 05, 2017 15:23
#20
if you are using your card to buy the stuff then claiming it back then you haven't done anything wrong. if it's their card/bank details then I think it's a tricky one.
can they prove it in writing?
#21
No two ways about it unfortunately mate. You've been done! Weather or not they were looking for an excuse to fire you it's a more than reasonable excuse for sacking and one which you most certainly won't win if you fight
#22
http://www.landaulaw.co.uk/gross-misconduct/ Take a look, nothing bad can come from it if you've already been sacked. Hope you get things sorted and back on your feet soon.

If you do have a legal case then consider how your sleep, appetite and social life has been affected (_;)(_;)
#23
I can just imagine all those company business travellers who get the free upgrades & miles perks having fits at this, The repercussions could reach far and wide.
#24
My wife is head of HR for a 4,000 firm and said not a leg to stand on, unless pre-authorised. Spend the weekend working on your CV.
#25
adrienne1945
I can just imagine all those company business travellers who get the free upgrades & miles perks having fits at this, The repercussions could reach far and wide.


as said before - they do at theri peril unless pre-authorised

I cannot and do not do it and have quarter million air miles !

EliTom
#26
IamMT
nbgrobbo
My wife is head of HR for a 4,000 firm and said not a leg to stand on, unless pre-authorised. Spend the weekend working on your CV.
And what if your wife asked an intern to get her a sandwich from Tesco & the intern collected Tesco points on it before being re-imbursed by the firm?

Trivial, but they don't use interns. That said, if it was found out, they would be told to cease. If their procurement team were earning serious cash back, they would be in the same boat as the OP. There are degrees of misconduct.

That HMRC document you reference is tax legislation, which isn't the point of the matter.


Edited By: nbgrobbo on Jan 05, 2017 15:45
#27
Be careful how you progress this op, as if you take it further I wonder if they could inform Hmrc, and tell them how much you earned from it? You should just walk away and learn from it.
#28
as mentioned above - OP is not telling how much TCB was involved

EliTom
#29
As others have said, I think the amount involved is key, but seems harsh is only a small gain was made.
#30
Any politicians out there wiling to give advice, after all you're the experts at ripping people off and cashing in at every opportunity.
By the way OP, if you worked for me I would give you a pat on the back unless you were having to pay more up front by using particular sites, if I was losing money you would be sacked. Two faced but thats business.
#31
nbgrobbo
My wife is head of HR for a 4,000 firm and said not a leg to stand on, unless pre-authorised. Spend the weekend working on your CV.
No disrespect intended nor inferred: your Mrs is not in full possesion of all the facts / circumstances, and neither are we. Near-impossible to offer credible assistance at this stage other than mention an employer can do what it likes - its actions may simply leave itself open to possible legal redress.
#32
I think most of you are missing the point, it was Gross Misconduct for a reason. You have been seen to taking a kick back though the purchase, while you did not have a direct relation it may have influenced your decisions on who you purchased from and what suppliers were used. You obviously benefited when it was not to be. Unless you had permission to do this, you have no leg to stand on.

While you could play the i did not know card, its a compliance issue and commence sense would have said you dont do it! Out of interested how much money did you make or more background please
#33
I'm confused (and slightly off the topic) but why are people, including myself getting cold scores for giving out relevant information? Is it just because people don't like the truth?
#34
minimadtrix
I'm confused (and slightly off the topic) but why are people, including myself getting cold scores for giving out relevant information? Is it just because people don't like the truth?

Pay no attention to it.

There are people who says it's completely wrong, and some who says that's too harsh - there's too many opinion and chances are that you will always have someone disagreeing with you.
banned#35
I spent 6 months working as a home delivery driver for one of the biggest supermarkets and was told by management that if I collected Texaco star points (that's where our fuel cards were for) on company fuel then it was a sackable offence for profiting from company expenditure (or something similar).
We all still done it mind.
#36
Unless you're employer was telling you to buy from a specific retailers who they had negotiated prices with then the TCB would be seen as influential in your purchasing position. I am guessing that your employer asked you to purchase certain items and left you to find the best price for the items. So trusting you to find the best supplier based on price and availability. If you were in receipt of a commission for these purchases how can they trust that your purchasing choices were made in the best interest of the business.

So your only defence would be to prove that the purchases you made were the cheapest available to you and were of similiar availability. If you could prove this then you would have a position to appeal their decision. They could counter that you should have paid these monies back to the company. That would be a harsh position to take if you could prove the above, but given that you paid for these items then claimed those monies back, they could take a negative position and argue that you should have not claimed the TCB payment that you received in your expenses claim.



Edited By: Argoj on Jan 05, 2017 16:59: a
#37
We need more info, were you deliberately buying from places that offered more cashback rather than for the best price (presuming all complies with approved suppliers etc.).

MrPerks
if you are using your card to buy the stuff then claiming it back then you haven't done anything wrong. if it's their card/bank details then I think it's a tricky one.
can they prove it in writing?

Personally I think it's worse that way round. If you're buying it on your card, getting the cashback so you 'paid' less then claim back the full amount which isn't what it cost you then imo that's fraud. If it's the other way round and it's on their card and you're just getting cashback then you're not falsely claiming more than it cost, they're just paying the normal price. If I were to do it though I'd probably be more likely to do it if using my own card (despite what I just said).
#38
maybe the company you worked for were concerned what info tCb gather from purchases.
#39
Seems like a fair cop to me.

Your two problems are that, firstly, you were in a trusted position as product buyer for the company, and in that position, you were supposed to buy with the best interests of the company in mind. When you're taking kick-backs from merchants, any sensible employer's concern would be that you're acting more in your own interest than theirs, and mis-spending their money. Your actions may have put you on the wrong side of the Bribery Act 2003, which you might want to read up on.

The second is that your cashback become an untaxed cash income derived from your work. This is, arguably, tax evasion, and your actions may a breach of Britain's tax laws as well.

If I was you, I'd start working on my CV. You can fight the case if you want, but it might not be in your best interests to escalate these matters.
#40
I doubt your Contract would even mention these cashback sites. It's not a sackable offence if it doesn't, it's not even a warning if it's not mentioned. So check your contract. If your not with a union then I suggest CAB. You can claim compensation or find a lawyer which takes less fees and no win no fee. It's a winning situation for you hence why I would go to a lawyer, they love these cases. Give them a call and let them know the situation, worst they can say is no.

Edited By: MR1123 on Jan 05, 2017 17:08

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