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Employment Tribunal Advice

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I started a thread the other day - http://www.hotukdeals.com/misc/what-would-class-a-senior-manager/936037/#post11241399 - about what could be classed as a Senior Manager, in it I touched on an issue … Read More
davidn84 Avatar
6y, 1w agoPosted 6 years, 1 week ago
I started a thread the other day - http://www.hotukdeals.com/misc/what-would-class-a-senior-manager/936037/#post11241399 - about what could be classed as a Senior Manager, in it I touched on an issue I was having at work regarding a dismissal and an appeal. Well they upheld their decision and i'm definitely dismissed. However, i'm now taking it to ACAS and to a tribunal for unfair dismissal.

I'm just wondering whether anyone has done this before or used ACAS before? Thanks in advance.
davidn84 Avatar
6y, 1w agoPosted 6 years, 1 week ago
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1 Like #1
African Caribbean and Asian Society?
#2
starsparkle2311
Don't you go through that TRAP DOOR, classic avvy man!!!

Thanks...got all the episodes on my iphone! lol
#3
So... what did you do? Was it something that any normal person would expect to be dismissed for but you're just making a fuss?
#4
ciazman
African Caribbean and Asian Society?

ACAS as in ACAS Site
#5
baffledsalmon
So... what did you do? Was it something that any normal person would expect to be dismissed for but you're just making a fuss?

Well thats the main point, I was accused of putting letters in a bin outside of work, but it wasnt actually me that did it, theres no CCTV of the area to prove it WAS me, but on the otherhand because theres no CCTV, they cant find out who it actually was.
#6
davidn84
baffledsalmon
So... what did you do? Was it something that any normal person would expect to be dismissed for but you're just making a fuss?

Well thats the main point, I was accused of putting letters in a bin outside of work, but it wasnt actually me that did it, theres no CCTV of the area to prove it WAS me, but on the otherhand because theres no CCTV, they cant find out who it actually was.

What sort of letters and from where? What makes them think it was you? Are you the only person who had access to them etc?
#7
You a postman? were the letters birthday cards?
#8
baffledsalmon
davidn84
baffledsalmon
So... what did you do? Was it something that any normal person would expect to be dismissed for but you're just making a fuss?

Well thats the main point, I was accused of putting letters in a bin outside of work, but it wasnt actually me that did it, theres no CCTV of the area to prove it WAS me, but on the otherhand because theres no CCTV, they cant find out who it actually was.

What sort of letters and from where? What makes them think it was you? Are you the only person who had access to them etc?

generaloneill
You a postman? were the letters birthday cards?

I handle complaints so it was letters sent to us to deal with, although they're not complaints about the company, but other companies. When they are given out they are initialled and the letters had my initials on them, but its an open plan office and the letters are NEVER locked up by anyone at anytime, so everyone in the office has access to them. I also do IT work so used to have to leave my desk throughout the day.

Edited By: davidn84 on May 16, 2011 23:17
#9
davidn84
baffledsalmon
So... what did you do? Was it something that any normal person would expect to be dismissed for but you're just making a fuss?


Well thats the main point, I was accused of putting letters in a bin outside of work, but it wasnt actually me that did it, theres no CCTV of the area to prove it WAS me, but on the otherhand because theres no CCTV, they cant find out who it actually was.


Well it's simple enough, if you can honestly say that it wasn't you (because if it was there really is no point going through with the tribunal) then all you need to do is make a convincing enough argument that in a scale of probabilities it is more likely not to be you.

Really should be simple enough if it wasn't you, i.e. find cctv evidence that it wasn't possible to be you who did it ( or co-workers to witness, files created at the time/ emails sent or even you not being in work at the time, not being the only one with access to the mail) Realistically, if they have no evidence to clearly state it was you who did it then the tribunal should be quite straight forward.
#10
chris90
davidn84
baffledsalmon
So... what did you do? Was it something that any normal person would expect to be dismissed for but you're just making a fuss?

Well thats the main point, I was accused of putting letters in a bin outside of work, but it wasnt actually me that did it, theres no CCTV of the area to prove it WAS me, but on the otherhand because theres no CCTV, they cant find out who it actually was.

Well it's simple enough, if you can honestly say that it wasn't you (because if it was there really is no point going through with the tribunal) then all you need to do is make a convincing enough argument that in a scale of probabilities it is more likely not to be you.

Really should be simple enough if it wasn't you, i.e. find cctv evidence that it wasn't possible to be you who did it ( or co-workers to witness, files created at the time/ emails sent or even you not being in work at the time, not being the only one with access to the mail) Realistically, if they have no evidence to clearly state it was you who did it then the tribunal should be quite straight forward.

I was hoping that that bit would have enough at the appeal stage but it wasnt. But ACAS advised that the company have to have reasonable belief, rather than actual evidence, that it was me, but they also shouldnt have any doubts, and I felt there was enough doubt for them not to dismiss me.
#11
davidn84

I handle complaints so it was letters sent to us to deal with, although they're not complaints about the company, but other companies. When they are given out they are initialled and the letters had my initials on them, but its an open plan office and the letters are NEVER locked up by anyone, so everyone in the office has access to them.
Well without knowing your company, the situation, your exact job etc etc, it's hard to give an opinion, however, remember you normally must have been in the job for a year before a claim to unfair dismissal is even upheld. Did you have a disciplinary meeting? What does your contract say about this sort of thing?
#12
davidn84
chris90
davidn84
baffledsalmon
So... what did you do? Was it something that any normal person would expect to be dismissed for but you're just making a fuss?


Well thats the main point, I was accused of putting letters in a bin outside of work, but it wasnt actually me that did it, theres no CCTV of the area to prove it WAS me, but on the otherhand because theres no CCTV, they cant find out who it actually was.


Well it's simple enough, if you can honestly say that it wasn't you (because if it was there really is no point going through with the tribunal) then all you need to do is make a convincing enough argument that in a scale of probabilities it is more likely not to be you.

Really should be simple enough if it wasn't you, i.e. find cctv evidence that it wasn't possible to be you who did it ( or co-workers to witness, files created at the time/ emails sent or even you not being in work at the time, not being the only one with access to the mail) Realistically, if they have no evidence to clearly state it was you who did it then the tribunal should be quite straight forward.


I was hoping that that bit would have enough at the appeal stage but it wasnt. But ACAS advised that the company have to have reasonable belief, rather than actual evidence, that it was me, but they also shouldnt have any doubts, and I felt there was enough doubt for them not to dismiss me.

Have they followed the formal procedure for this? I.e. is this considered gross negligence or have they given you a formal warning? (do you have any previous history of warnings or behavioural mishaps?)

By chance is the company currently under going financial difficulties? How long have you been employed?
#13
baffledsalmon
davidn84

I handle complaints so it was letters sent to us to deal with, although they're not complaints about the company, but other companies. When they are given out they are initialled and the letters had my initials on them, but its an open plan office and the letters are NEVER locked up by anyone, so everyone in the office has access to them.
Well without knowing your company, the situation, your exact job etc etc, it's hard to give an opinion, however, remember you normally must have been in the job for a year before a claim to unfair dismissal is even upheld. Did you have a disciplinary meeting? What does your contract say about this sort of thing?

The company is an ombudsman scheme, my role was to answer calls and respond to letters/emails/faxes sent to us requesting our help in resolving a dispute with one of our member companies. Correspondence with my initials on was found in a bin outside the office and instantly linked back to me because of the initials (i wouldnt be stupid enough to leave my initials on something like that if I was binning it right outside the office). I had a disciplinary hearing conducted by my immediate manager, whom I dont consider senior enough to have conducted that and I had my appeal hearing last week. I've also been there for over 3 years.
#14
chris90
davidn84
chris90
davidn84
baffledsalmon
So... what did you do? Was it something that any normal person would expect to be dismissed for but you're just making a fuss?

Well thats the main point, I was accused of putting letters in a bin outside of work, but it wasnt actually me that did it, theres no CCTV of the area to prove it WAS me, but on the otherhand because theres no CCTV, they cant find out who it actually was.

Well it's simple enough, if you can honestly say that it wasn't you (because if it was there really is no point going through with the tribunal) then all you need to do is make a convincing enough argument that in a scale of probabilities it is more likely not to be you.

Really should be simple enough if it wasn't you, i.e. find cctv evidence that it wasn't possible to be you who did it ( or co-workers to witness, files created at the time/ emails sent or even you not being in work at the time, not being the only one with access to the mail) Realistically, if they have no evidence to clearly state it was you who did it then the tribunal should be quite straight forward.

I was hoping that that bit would have enough at the appeal stage but it wasnt. But ACAS advised that the company have to have reasonable belief, rather than actual evidence, that it was me, but they also shouldnt have any doubts, and I felt there was enough doubt for them not to dismiss me.
Have they followed the formal procedure for this? I.e. is this considered gross negligence or have they given you a formal warning? (do you have any previous history of warnings or behavioural mishaps?)

By chance is the company currently under going financial difficulties? How long have you been employed?
It was considered Gross Misconduct which means it went straight to stage 4 of their disciplinary policy. The company isnt in any financial issues.
#15
davidn84
baffledsalmon
davidn84

I handle complaints so it was letters sent to us to deal with, although they're not complaints about the company, but other companies. When they are given out they are initialled and the letters had my initials on them, but its an open plan office and the letters are NEVER locked up by anyone, so everyone in the office has access to them.

Well without knowing your company, the situation, your exact job etc etc, it's hard to give an opinion, however, remember you normally must have been in the job for a year before a claim to unfair dismissal is even upheld. Did you have a disciplinary meeting? What does your contract say about this sort of thing?


The company is an ombudsman scheme, my role was to answer calls and respond to letters/emails/faxes sent to us requesting our help in resolving a dispute with one of our member companies. Correspondence with my initials on was found in a bin outside the office and instantly linked back to me because of the initials (i wouldnt be stupid enough to leave my initials on something like that if I was binning it right outside the office). I had a disciplinary hearing conducted by my immediate manager, whom I dont consider senior enough to have conducted that and I had my appeal hearing last week. I've also been there for over 3 years.

What process does the post go through? Does the post team literally open it and then proceed to directly bring it to your desk? Is anyone required to sign receipt of this post? Can you describe the steps the post takes from entering the building to getting to you?

My immediate take on this would be that the post team made an error of including your post with the envelopes etc and put it in the bin? Can you confirm what else was in the bin?

Edited By: chris90 on May 16, 2011 23:30
suspended#16
baffledsalmon
davidn84

I handle complaints so it was letters sent to us to deal with, although they're not complaints about the company, but other companies. When they are given out they are initialled and the letters had my initials on them, but its an open plan office and the letters are NEVER locked up by anyone, so everyone in the office has access to them.

Well without knowing your company, the situation, your exact job etc etc, it's hard to give an opinion, however, remember you normally must have been in the job for a year before a claim to unfair dismissal is even upheld. Did you have a disciplinary meeting? What does your contract say about this sort of thing?


Normally but its not set in stone.

OP, ACAS will have to remain impartial now it has got to this stage, and they will not be able to offer you any legal advice. It is not hard to go to a tribunal on your own and the judge there will appreciate that you have no legal training and will not let some smart ass lawyer out wit you.

Just fill in the form ET1 http://www.justice.gov.uk/guidance/courts-and-tribunals/tribunals/employment/claims/index.htm

ACAS will then ring your employer telling them you intend to take them to court, they may then make you an offer which you can either accept, counter offer, or refuse. Once again they cannot answer any questions directly that may give you advice but maybe you can word questions in a different way to get any questions you have answered.

I appreciate you may not want to air to many details openly but I have been through this exact process myself and have done quite a bit of research into it. Feel free to PM me if you wish





Edited By: jonny619447 on May 16, 2011 23:33
#17
chris90
davidn84
baffledsalmon
davidn84

I handle complaints so it was letters sent to us to deal with, although they're not complaints about the company, but other companies. When they are given out they are initialled and the letters had my initials on them, but its an open plan office and the letters are NEVER locked up by anyone, so everyone in the office has access to them.
Well without knowing your company, the situation, your exact job etc etc, it's hard to give an opinion, however, remember you normally must have been in the job for a year before a claim to unfair dismissal is even upheld. Did you have a disciplinary meeting? What does your contract say about this sort of thing?

The company is an ombudsman scheme, my role was to answer calls and respond to letters/emails/faxes sent to us requesting our help in resolving a dispute with one of our member companies. Correspondence with my initials on was found in a bin outside the office and instantly linked back to me because of the initials (i wouldnt be stupid enough to leave my initials on something like that if I was binning it right outside the office). I had a disciplinary hearing conducted by my immediate manager, whom I dont consider senior enough to have conducted that and I had my appeal hearing last week. I've also been there for over 3 years.
What process does the post go through? Does the post team literally open it and then proceed to directly bring it to your desk? Is anyone required to sign receipt of this post? Can you describe the steps the post takes from entering the building to getting to you?

My immediate take on this would be that the post team made an error of including your post with the envelopes etc and put it in the post? Can you confirm what else was in the bin?
The process would be that the admin team open the post, any post that required our department responding would be given to the Operational Manager who'd then put it on a shelf in the corner of the office, and then hand it out to each officer on a daily basis. There was nothing else in the bin apparently other than rubbish.
#18
davidn84

The company is an ombudsman scheme, my role was to answer calls and respond to letters/emails/faxes sent to us requesting our help in resolving a dispute with one of our member companies. Correspondence with my initials on was found in a bin outside the office and instantly linked back to me because of the initials (i wouldnt be stupid enough to leave my initials on something like that if I was binning it right outside the office). I had a disciplinary hearing conducted by my immediate manager, whom I dont consider senior enough to have conducted that and I had my appeal hearing last week. I've also been there for over 3 years.
In those circumstances, it seems as though you would have a good chance of 'winning' if you take it further. I don't know the exact process you've been through regarding your dismissal, but if you consult ACAS, they'll be able to advise if it was correct or not. As someone above has said, do you have any way of proving you couldn't have possibly dumped the letters - check your sent emails, any documents you may have saved etc as they will all have a date/time stamp. If it wasn't you, is there someone at work with a grudge etc who could have tried to get you in trouble?
Just speak to ACAS - they'll be able to advise much better than people on here who don't know your history.
#19
jonny619447
baffledsalmon
davidn84

I handle complaints so it was letters sent to us to deal with, although they're not complaints about the company, but other companies. When they are given out they are initialled and the letters had my initials on them, but its an open plan office and the letters are NEVER locked up by anyone, so everyone in the office has access to them.
Well without knowing your company, the situation, your exact job etc etc, it's hard to give an opinion, however, remember you normally must have been in the job for a year before a claim to unfair dismissal is even upheld. Did you have a disciplinary meeting? What does your contract say about this sort of thing?

Normally but its not set in stone.

OP, ACAS will have to remain impartial now it has got to this stage, and they will not be able to offer you any legal advice. It is not hard to go to a tribunal on your own and the judge there will appreciate that you have no legal training and will not let some smart ass lawyer out wit you.

Just fill in the form ET1 http://www.justice.gov.uk/guidance/courts-and-tribunals/tribunals/employment/claims/index.htm

ACAS will then ring your employer telling them you intend to take them to court, they may then make you an offer which you can either accept, counter offer, or refuse. Once again they cannot answer any questions directly that may give you advice but maybe you can word questions in a different way to get any questions you have answered.

Anything else you want to know?
Well Ive started ACAS' pre-claim service so waiting for them to do whatever they do. But they said that to go to tribunal it has to be 3 months from when i was dismissed and they'll warn me if the time limit is coming up.
suspended#20
davidn84
jonny619447
baffledsalmon
davidn84

I handle complaints so it was letters sent to us to deal with, although they're not complaints about the company, but other companies. When they are given out they are initialled and the letters had my initials on them, but its an open plan office and the letters are NEVER locked up by anyone, so everyone in the office has access to them.

Well without knowing your company, the situation, your exact job etc etc, it's hard to give an opinion, however, remember you normally must have been in the job for a year before a claim to unfair dismissal is even upheld. Did you have a disciplinary meeting? What does your contract say about this sort of thing?


Normally but its not set in stone.

OP, ACAS will have to remain impartial now it has got to this stage, and they will not be able to offer you any legal advice. It is not hard to go to a tribunal on your own and the judge there will appreciate that you have no legal training and will not let some smart ass lawyer out wit you.

Just fill in the form ET1 http://www.justice.gov.uk/guidance/courts-and-tribunals/tribunals/employment/claims/index.htm

ACAS will then ring your employer telling them you intend to take them to court, they may then make you an offer which you can either accept, counter offer, or refuse. Once again they cannot answer any questions directly that may give you advice but maybe you can word questions in a different way to get any questions you have answered.

Anything else you want to know?

Well Ive started ACAS' pre-claim service so waiting for them to do whatever they do. But they said that to go to tribunal it has to be 3 months from when i was dismissed and they'll warn me if the time limit is coming up.


Yup, the pre-conciliation service is basically them trying to arrange an out of court settlement. It is unlikely they will offer you anything until you send that ET1 form off to show them you are deadly serious about it. Though you will now have to wait for them to give ACAS an answer.
#21
To be honest, I haven't finished my training (only second year) so can't offer you any legal advice, but they don't appear to have much on you (the fact that it goes through so many people before it even gets to you means that anyone of those people could have made the mistake of putting it in the bin) and the entire lack of evidence that puts you to blame.

I would suggest trying to seek a mutually acceptable stance that both you and the employer would benefit from, maybe keeping your position but putting in place a procedure where you personally accept the post from the admin team, meaning any future misconduct can be dealt with appropriately.

If you have a clean record of employment, and no reason to doubt your intergrity I can't imagine a judge would rule in their favour based on the evidence you have stated =/
#22
baffledsalmon
davidn84

The company is an ombudsman scheme, my role was to answer calls and respond to letters/emails/faxes sent to us requesting our help in resolving a dispute with one of our member companies. Correspondence with my initials on was found in a bin outside the office and instantly linked back to me because of the initials (i wouldnt be stupid enough to leave my initials on something like that if I was binning it right outside the office). I had a disciplinary hearing conducted by my immediate manager, whom I dont consider senior enough to have conducted that and I had my appeal hearing last week. I've also been there for over 3 years.
In those circumstances, it seems as though you would have a good chance of 'winning' if you take it further. I don't know the exact process you've been through regarding your dismissal, but if you consult ACAS, they'll be able to advise if it was correct or not. As someone above has said, do you have any way of proving you couldn't have possibly dumped the letters - check your sent emails, any documents you may have saved etc as they will all have a date/time stamp. If it wasn't you, is there someone at work with a grudge etc who could have tried to get you in trouble?
Just speak to ACAS - they'll be able to advise much better than people on here who don't know your history.
Because it was paper correspondence there is no record of it until its put on the system and this correspondence had been dumped before being actioned so there was no record of it.
#23
It is down to the employer to prove you did it, I've only studied ACAS for a year now but it sounds like you will have a good chance of winning, as they cannot prove it is you. However, after the case (if you win) will you want to go back to the workplace, or do you feel as if you would be victimised?

If so, I would go for a cash settlement and get a better job, if you have been working there for quite a while.
#24
http://www.yourlegalrights.co.uk/employment/disciplinary-process

Who conducted the original disciplinary meeting? If it was your manager, he/she cannot conduct the appeal hearing. Obtain a copy of your companys disciplinary procedure and ensure they have followed through precisely.

Also check if you have legal expenses cover with your house insurance. This will cover solicitors fees which would run into thousands. They would appoint a solicitor on your behalf to manage your case.

Edited By: The Therapist on May 17, 2011 02:11
1 Like #25
If we are talking about a days work of letters & the OP just sat back in his chair & never wondered why everyone had letters to respond to except him,then it looks guilty.
Also how did they know they where in the Bin ???
Whoever told them must have been told by someone else or even placed them in the bin themselves.
#26
And why would anybody be checking the bin contents?
#27
This thread does not add-up oO
[mod]#28
The burden of proof is on the employer not employee so if it was not you then I would suggest (after you have fulfilled the requirements) to proceed with a case. If you are telling the truth then there should not be a problem.
#29
Bringing this back up again as further developments...ACAS started there thing and spoke to workplace today, workplace have agreed to look into it and allow ACAS to become involved. One of my points is that the disciplinary policy states that it must be my immediate manager who conducts the investigation, and a senior manager who conducts the disciplinary hearing. I asked this and the head of department, who did the Appeal, said that because the company appointed my manager as senior enough to do the disciplinary hearing, then another manager was chosed to investigate. But surely if it states that my manager must do the investigation, then he must do it and someone else the disciplinary hearing?

The bin question is that it was someone who empties the bins, seen them, and passed them back in to our company. He also said in his interview that it wasnt the first time, i queried this in my appeal and they said that it was dealt with accordingly at the time but for confidentiality reasons couldnt give any more details, i argued that it's the same offence so surely whatever punishment, if any, was given previously, its unfair to dismiss me for that offence (especially considering I havent actually done it).

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