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Screwed up completely, need some advice

(31 Posts)
Fuckedupcompletely Tue 28-Nov-17 13:41:43

In short, messed up at work due to impaired judgement caused by mental health crisis which crept up on me.

Went through work's disciplinary procedure, showed that I was visiting Dr's, had medication, was doing therapy to avoid repeat performance and was expecting a written warning or final written warning with supervision for 6-12 months so that I could show that i was dealing with the issues that caused the poor judgement and the errors and could build trust back up.

Have now been told that I am to be dismissed, but I have been given the opportunity to hand in my notice and receive a factual reference stating the dates I worked and that I resigned.

Feels to me as though they have me over a barrel, they want me out and this way I get a good reference, but I'm disappointed that after 10 years with the same company, they aren't giving me the opportunity of a second chance, given that the issues were caused by illness.

I understand from acas that I can accept the dismissal and appeal but that my pay would stop from dismissal. Presumably if I handed in my notice, I would be paid my notice period? I need the money so I can't see that I have any choice in how I proceed.

Mynametodaywillbe Tue 28-Nov-17 13:48:40

Do acas believe you are being dismissed unfairly? Was the disciplinary process fair and carried out correctly?

Feeling that you have no choice but to resign rather than appeal is concerning.

IceniLacuna Tue 28-Nov-17 13:50:48

I thought they couldn't go straight to dismissal if you haven't already had a final written warning? Unless they have defined what you did as gross misconduct. There are some examples of gross misconduct here. Are they defining it as gross misconduct and have you had any written warnings about this?

Have they complied with everything on this page?:

daisychain01 Tue 28-Nov-17 13:58:18

Could you use the notice period to find a new job. In your situation having a positive reference is very useful to put the past behind you.

Based on your OP, your employers have been through the disciplinary process, and are trying to be even handed by allowing you to resign and give you a way out of a difficult situation (not sure how serious the circumstances are, so it's a bit difficult to say).

If you resign at their instigation, they will be keen to comply with the contractual obligations, you just need to ensure they do that, which will include paying your notice period fully - plus accrued holiday and benefits during your notice period.

If this is to be covered under a Settlement Agreement, then find out if they will pay you to get a solicitor to review the agreement as being fair and compliant. Anything your solicitor flags as not being contractually compliant, take it back to your employer.

Bluntness100 Tue 28-Nov-17 14:02:42

I think this will be down to what you did op, what was the level of “messed up”. They are clearly moving to gross misconduct and summary dismissal and it becomes very complex when it becomes a mental health issue and the level of oversight required to prevent it happening again and the risk of it happening again. You could seek an employment lawyer and get their advice.

What has Acas said? It doesn’t appear they feel this is unfair dismissal?

daisychain01 Tue 28-Nov-17 14:05:15

I thought they couldn't go straight to dismissal if you haven't already had a final written warning?

This is true. However the employers are giving the OP an alternative, so they don't have to continue to grind through Disciplinary when the OP is already stressed. They probably would keep going to the bitter end, but in this instance, I feel they are trying to do the decent thing, to give a dignified way out.

Yes, one perspective is they have the OP "over a barrel" but depending on what the OP did, and thats not relevant here - maybe it's for the best. The OP needs to decide if it's for the best or if they want to keep going through disciplinary to dismissal if that's they way it is heading.

I know which I'd prefer (but it isn't about me!)

Bluntness100 Tue 28-Nov-17 14:09:29

Yes, one perspective is they have the OP "over a barrel" but depending on what the OP did, and thats not relevant here

It might not be important for us to know but if this is gross misconduct it’s very relevant, something such as she assaulted a colleague may make it untenable to continue to work there so they have no option. So what the “messed up” was, is very relevant to why they are taking this action.

Fuckedupcompletely Tue 28-Nov-17 14:17:44

I'm concerned about saying what I did as this is of course a public forum.

They are saying it is gross misconduct, based on failure to follow procedures and breach of trust.

Gingernaut Tue 28-Nov-17 14:18:13

If the 'mess up' amounted to what would normally look like gross misconduct, the disciplinary proceedings are a formality. Normally, instant dismissal is a possibility.

This way, the disciplinary findings won't go on the record, the reason for the resignation won't be recorded officially and won't be on any reference.

The OP does get sanctioned by the DWP as they voluntarily left their job.

There is a point to be negotiated - can you negotiate a reference that stated you left on the grounds of ill health rendering you unable to do your job?

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Tue 28-Nov-17 14:25:38

Do ACAS agree that what you did counts as gross misconduct?

Unless it doesn’t, I can’t see how you’re being treated unfairly.

I understand that the incident was due to mental health issues - but is it something that not being seen to take severe action on could harm the company? For example - anyone working in a care setting, guilty of gross misconduct has to leave. Authorities will need to see documentation of the incident & be satisfied with the disciplinary action taken. In a case like that employers have very little choice.

Of course that’s just an example - your incident could well have had no human consequences at all.

Bluntness100 Tue 28-Nov-17 14:29:12

It’s hard to tell if this is a breach of trust in them trusting you or a breach of trust as in colleagues are unable to work with you and what the consequences of that breach were. I would say if you’ve been there ten years with no issues it was serious.

Agree, what does acas say. The fact they aren’t helping you avoid dismissal indicates they also agree gross misconduct?

Bluntness100 Tue 28-Nov-17 14:30:38

There is a point to be negotiated - can you negotiate a reference that stated you left on the grounds of ill health rendering you unable to do your job?

This would make it hard for her to get future employment.

Gingernaut Tue 28-Nov-17 15:32:52


The OP will still have to give a story about why she resigned and she will have any benefits withdrawn as she will be deemed to have made herself unemployed.

DancesWithOtters Tue 28-Nov-17 15:42:47

I think it completely depends on what you did.

If you accidentally sent an invoice out addressed to the wrong client then YANBU.

If you embezzled funds and paid £500 to yourself, or punched your boss in the face then I think you would have to accept the offer of resignation.

Fuckedupcompletely Tue 28-Nov-17 16:42:04

I tried to fix a problem with my money rather than asking the client for the money, as it was my mistake not to ask them for it in the first place, so I was trying to put things right at my cost. It made sense to me at the time. With hinsight, and strong antidepressants, I can see that I made an error of judgement and did wrong, but it was for the right reasons.

The only person out of pocket is me, and the breach of trust is management's breach of trust towards me.

Fuckedupcompletely Tue 28-Nov-17 16:43:05

Honestly, acas weren't that much help this morning, but I have a meeting with an employment solicitor tomorrow to discuss.

Bluntness100 Tue 28-Nov-17 20:23:16

So Did you invoice incorrectly or not invoice and you tried to fix it by you paying instead of invoicing and explaining the error?

I think it’s good you’re speaking to an employment lawyer. I’m not sure I’d have that down as gross misconduct really.

KernowgirlinDevon Tue 28-Nov-17 20:33:23

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Fuckedupcompletely Tue 28-Nov-17 20:36:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Dozer Tue 28-Nov-17 20:42:13

That sounds like gross misconduct, sorry.

MrsScareface2 Tue 28-Nov-17 20:43:43

Hi op sorry to hear your in that situation
Did you try and cover it up or did you speak to a manager about the mistake?
How did the error get found out- through audits?
I manage disciplinaries as part of my job. Do you have any past examples of similar?

I think it's favourable that yor actively seeking help for your recent mental heth problems and can prove this
In the past have your employers made reasonable adjustments for your condition?

Level75 Tue 28-Nov-17 20:55:16

I'm an employment lawyer. If you have depression you're probably covered (as a disabled person) by the Equality Act. The error of judgment seems to arise from your disability so to dismiss for this could be 'discrimination arising from disability'. Their action (dismissal) could potentially be justified but in the context of your long service and agreement to work with your doctor if it was me I'd be advising the company not to dismiss based on the brief information provided. I'd email them and explicitly state that your decision making was impaired and ask what reasonable adjustments they have made to the disciplinary process and/or what accounts has been taken of the medical evidence when reaching the decision to dismiss.

Timmytoo Tue 28-Nov-17 21:00:30

Truthfully is that really gross misconduct? I’ve done this numerous times and always thought I was doing a good thing. I have ADHD and GAD so sometimes I miss a detail or whatever and I’ve often stuck my hand in my pocket to avoid trouble etc or to avoid putting the person out? obviously not huge amounts but a bit here and there. I never in a million years thought this was gross misconduct!!

Timmytoo Tue 28-Nov-17 21:01:03

And sometimes my boss even knows even my previous boss and I’ve never been reprimanded for it.

Fuckedupcompletely Tue 28-Nov-17 21:06:34

Not sure how the error was found out. Have a feeling that my secretary may have made the boss aware but it doesn't really matter.

I owned up to it when asked about it, but was fuzzy on some of the details.

Asked mn to delete the post with the name change fail, but I think they've deleted the one below it too which was in the correct user name.

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