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Disciplinary at work

(13 Posts)
StillMooing Mon 15-Nov-10 16:55:20

Iam looking for some advice for my friend if anyone can help.

She was involved in an incident outside of work in which a colleague accused her of assault. The police were involved and she was charged she originaly pleaded not guilty and was suspended from work on full pay. Part way through her suspension she was asked to return to her job but in a different office, which she did until she appeared in court.

A few day before appearing court she changed her plea to guilty because she was having to pay her own legal fee's and it was becoming too expensive and also she had found out that she was pregnant and didn't want the stress of a trial.

She appeared in court and pleaded guilty and her solicitor explained that she was actually injured herself in the incident by the colleagues dog and this caused her to lash out as she tried to get away, My friend actually phoned the police herself and her colleague didn't report any assualt on the night but did so a week later.

In court she recieved a curfew order and had to pay compensation to her coleague.
It also came out she had a previous conviction.
Her employer sent someone to the court hearing.

Her boss rang her after the court appearance saying she was back on suspension.
She has now recieved a letter asking her to come into work and gross misconduct was mentioned as she hadn't declared her conviction to them when she started and later when asked recently.

The reasons for this were they didn't ask when she started and when she was asked recently the conviction was spent so she didn't think she had to tell them.

She feels they have been funny since she told them she was pregnant, she repeatedly emailed her boss who is in the other office in another town and her HR dept but recieved no acknowledgement from them.

Sorry this is so long.
She has asked me to go to the meeting at work with her as she isn't in a union, Will her employers allow this?

seeyoukay Mon 15-Nov-10 19:03:24

They may allow you to go along but if you don't work there or are not a trade union representative then you can't force them to let you go.

StillMooing Mon 15-Nov-10 20:57:09

Thank you

She's going to ask them if I can attend.

flowerybeanbag Tue 16-Nov-10 10:26:21

Is the gross misconduct charge really about not declaring a spent conviction, rather than the assault itself?

How have they been 'funny' since she said she was pregnant, other than not responding to emails? Does she think this is relevant to her disciplinary somehow?

In terms of allowing you to attend, they are under no obligation to allow it at all, the deal is for a TU official or a colleague. She can ask, though, but should probably be starting to think about which colleague to ask if they say no.

StillMooing Tue 16-Nov-10 12:40:54

Thank you flowery

She said the letter mentioned gross misconduct as she lied to them when they asked her a few months ago if she had any previous convictions. (Someone anonymously rang work saying she had a conviction)She told them no because it was a spent conviction, was she correct to do this or should she have told them.

About the pregnancy she just said she emailed several times over a period of over two weeks but nobody replied or acknowledged her.

She did have an appointment with a solicitor arranged through citizens advice but work want her to go in before that appointment and when she rang to ask if she could have her disciplinary a few days later they said no because it wasn't a good enough reason.

StillMooing Tue 16-Nov-10 12:46:23

Also she isn't allowed to contact anyone from work except for two named people so this makes it difficult to ask a colleague to go to the hearing with her, which was why she wanted me to go, she said she would ring and ask if I could go rather that us just turning up and them refusing to let me in.

flowerybeanbag Tue 16-Nov-10 12:47:18

Generally there is no requirement to disclose spent convictions but there are loads of exceptions. Having said that if her job or work means it is exempt from the protection for offenders, she ought to have been told.

What does she do for a living?
How much notice was she given about the hearing?

flowerybeanbag Tue 16-Nov-10 12:49:08

x-posts yes absolutely she should ask first rather than you just turning up.

If she wants to ask a colleague she should explain to the person she is allowed to contact and ask to be permitted to speak to the relevant person in order that she can exercise her right to representation.

StillMooing Tue 16-Nov-10 13:25:58

Thanks again flowery

She was given a letter by hand at her house at about 4pm yesterday and the hearing is tomorrow morning.

She's a sales executive.

StillSquiffy Tue 16-Nov-10 15:35:13

From an employer point of view I can imagine that they didn't engage in conversation with her because they didn't want to pre-judge or take action ahead of court outcome.

Now that court outcome is an admission of guilt (regardless of reasoning behind it) and because your friend failed to disclose the conviction (especially when directly asked about it), I fear that the case for gross misconduct is building - if they don't take some clear steps to discipline your friend then they may open the company itself up to accusations of harassment/bullying from the colleague who was assualted. The company is in the position of having to do right (in both legal and moral terms) by both your friend and the woman who she has now been convicted of assualting. Hopefully they will have taken legal advice and will match their actions to the circumstances behind the original fracas.

StillMooing Tue 16-Nov-10 16:17:16

Thanks for advice Still squiffy, it seems to be looking that way.

She's been told that I can't go so she'll probably have to go in on her own as the only person from work she could ask is on holiday.

Does anyone know if she will be eligible for maternity allowance if she loses her job, she has worked 32 weeks out of the 66 up to her due date but she also has a part time job working 10 hours per week earning £60 per week and she is worried this could affect her Mat allowance and that she may only be able to claim £60 per week Mat allowance.

Could anyone advise on this please.

flowerybeanbag Tue 16-Nov-10 16:44:07

I find it very strange they are taking action for gross misconduct based purely on non-disclosure of a previous, spent conviction rather than anything to do with what's happened recently.

detailed guidance on eligibility for MA

I would say asking for a postponement on the grounds than less than 48 hours notice was given and was inadequate notice to prepare for a gross misconduct disciplinary hearing is reasonable.

StillMooing Tue 16-Nov-10 17:12:52

Sorry I was mistaken before, she's been round today and shown me the letter and it mentioned the conviction and what's recently happened, a log of what happened in court and also logs of meetings she had with her manager and what was said when she was called into the office a few days after the incident. This was a few months ago and she can't remember if the log is completely accurate, she wasn't told the conversations were being logged at the time or asked to sign anything to say what she had said.

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