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Gross misconduct dismissal query

(14 Posts)
HellToupee Sat 27-Jul-19 04:01:11

Hi, I hope someone on here could help out with this query as my googling has not helped!

My friend was dismissed today for gross misconduct. A person she previously managed raised a grievance against her for bullying & harassment.

She stopped being this person’s line manager on 1st Feb this year and the issues they refer to are things they claim happened between June of last year and 1st Feb this year.

She was not suspended but put on paid leave (same thing isn’t it?). The grievance was formally made on 4th July of this year.

My friend thinks that there is a time limit on this, as in they only have x amount of months to raise a grievance after the fact?

Like I said, I’ve tried helping her by Googling but can only seem to find things on time limits for “official” employment tribunals.

Any help of information would be greatly appreciated!

OP’s posts: |
daisychain01 Sat 27-Jul-19 06:15:40

Did you friend have involvement and input in the internal investigation, for example being interviewed to put across her side of events?

Was she told why she was being suspended (when she was put on paid leave) and why she was eventually dismissed?

Was she given the opportunity to appeal?

These are the type of questions she needs to satisfy herself were done according to her employer's stated policy and procedures (disciplinary/grievances, bullying and harassment policies are all relevant).

If she feels they did not conduct the procedures correctly, she needs to contact ACAS as discuss the circumstances with them, and potentially invest an hour with an employment solicitor. She is in time to take her employer to Tribunal - time limit is 3 months from the date of her dismissal.

daisychain01 Sat 27-Jul-19 06:16:37

to discuss

BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz Sat 27-Jul-19 06:18:53

My friend thinks that there is a time limit on this, as in they only have x amount of months to raise a grievance after the fact?

I think your friend should be thinking "did I do and say these things? If so, why? And if not, then I stand firm.

Why is her first thought "that was ages ago"?

daisychain01 Sat 27-Jul-19 06:30:34

She should check her employer's policy on grievances to see if there is any time limit. If nothing is mentioned, then no time limit applies to the employee to raise their grievance.

That said, it tends to be based on what is reasonable. In the case of B+H it could take the victim a long time to come to terms with what they have been subjected to, so the timescales you mention regarding when they were subjected to those behaviours and when they took action lodging their grievance sound sufficiently reasonable to their employer for them to take the action the did.

Clearly if someone takes out a grievance 5 years after they were bullied or harassed it becomes increasingly difficult to amass the facts, and employment circumstances change, eg people leave the company, company gets taken over or changes its structure etc).

FossiPajuZeka Sat 27-Jul-19 06:40:42

The time limit, whatever it is (I have no knowledge there) is such a tenuous grounds for complaint. Surely the only questions are - did misconduct actually take place, what lessons can your friend learn from this, and have all parties been treated fairly?

I suspect that time limits are generally laid out in the organisation's policies & procedures rather than statutorily dictated.

If the gross misconduct did happen then a period of 4-6 months for a mistreated person to go through a process of recovery sufficient to be able to trigger this kind of process doesn't seem at all unreasonable.

KatherineJaneway Sat 27-Jul-19 06:43:11

I would check the employee handbook or HR manual to see if timeframes are mentioned but I highly doubt there will be or the grievance would not have been allowed to progress. The timeline you described is not long and the fact that she left line managing that person then the individual took a few months to report is not unusual. It can take time to process and a build up of courage to raise a grievance against a former manager.

Is she planning on using timeline as a way to appeal the decision? If so she is barking up the wrong tree imo. She should focus on what the evidence was against her and whether the grievance process was followed correctly so she had a fair hearing.

Aridane Sat 27-Jul-19 06:47:20

There are strict time limits for bringing a claim for unfair dismissal.

Plus - sort of - for constructive dismissal.

Could this be what your friend is called conflating with?

DustOffYourHighestHopes Sat 27-Jul-19 07:05:17

What everyone else said. Check the employer’s grievance policy. If nothing’s in there, it’s tough luck.

You’d be looking at the date of the latest alleged act only - the others will probably be claimed to form a chain of continued harassment.

Unless you can see obvious holes in the evidence or in the decision making process, my advice is to get another job and look forwards not backwards.

daisychain01 Sat 27-Jul-19 07:22:07

OP the best thing you can do as a friend is to talk through what happened and encourage them towards self-reflection, plus seek professional counselling.

At the heart of every bullying situation, is a damaged person who has low self esteem and possibly themselves the victim of bullying in childhood or early adulthood. If they are a bully at work, you may even be picking up some of those behaviours in your relationship with them.

The key thing is for your friend to learn their lesson and treat people with respect and that starts with self.

Moondust001 Sat 27-Jul-19 07:46:49

I agree with others here. Focussing on the time is took to make the complaint is the wrong thing to consider. The right thing is whether she did it or not.

slipperywhensparticus Sat 27-Jul-19 07:49:54

Did she do it?

HellToupee Sat 27-Jul-19 12:04:26

Thank you for all the replies!

Obviously I can only go on the person I know her to be as a friend but as I don’t work with her I can’t say “she did/didn’t do it”. She is adamant she didn’t.

There has been a whole process (I’ve seen the paperwork) so I think her employer has followed the correct procedure? She is not planning on using the x amount of months rule in an appeal; I think she was merely wondering as the alleged offences date back to last year. She is planning on fighting her corner and like I said is adamant she did not do this.

Thank you all again!

OP’s posts: |
Moondust001 Sat 27-Jul-19 12:33:53

Well if she didn't do it, then her fight is with the evidence that she did. Remember that this isn't like a criminal court - the employer only has to have a reasonable belief that she did what is alleged. So "guilt" or "innocence" isn't the test applied by a tribunal. They won't sit down and rehear her case and come to their own conclusion - they will only determine whether, on the basis of what they are told, the employer acted to form a reasonable belief.

The other thing is, just because she thinks she didn't bully someone, that doesn't mean that the person didn't perceive her actions as bullying. She may genuinely think she didn't bully, but may have done. It is, in my experience, relatively rare for someone who is the victim of bullying to complain after they have got out of the situation - simply because they most often simply want to move on, plus their story seems less believable "after the event". And to move immediately to a dismissal is also quite uncommon, so the employer must have felt that they heard something substantial in the evidence against her. She needs to reflect on why that is.

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