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Accused of theft but innocent


Tue 19 December, 2017

man and 3 hands

To be labelled a liar and thief by your employer and urged to resign rather than be sacked is probably as bad as it can get for an employee.

This is exactly the position Ged found himself in before he contacted Castle Associates for help.

Fortunately for the catering assistant from Newcastle our representative was able to ensure there was a happy ending.

Ged attended a disciplinary hearing accused of stealing money from the till in the staff canteen where he worked.

The evidence against him included CCTV footage, statements from a colleague who said Ged pocketed some money after closing the till and a security guard who searched Ged and found £2.50 in his uniform pocket. Ged was suspended on full pay.

New company policy meant staff cannot carry money with them while working. It was introduced in response to money going missing from the tills.

At an investigation meeting Ged explained the money was for the Lottery syndicate of which he was a member. The colleague who ran the syndicate confirmed that Ged did in fact owe £2.50, but that it was not due to be paid until the following week.

The company felt that this, along with the CCTV footage, the breach of policy and witness statements was enough evidence to instigate disciplinary action.

The supervisor who conducted the investigation accused Ged of lying and later advised him to resign because he was going to be dismissed. Ged who had worked for the company for four years strongly protested his innocence and stated that if he was sacked it would be an unfair dismissal.

When our representative reviewed the case he found there was no evidence to confirm that the till had money missing when it was cashed up. He also established the policy in relation to staff carrying money was a new one, which had only been communicated verbally at a meeting two weeks before the incident.

At the hearing the CCTV footage, which had been reviewed by our representative prior to the meeting, was played. The film showed Ged from behind walking away from the till and appearing to put his hand in his left trouser pocket.

Our representative referred to the security guard’s statement, which confirmed that when he searched Ged a short time later he found the money in his right hand pocket.

It was also highlighted that the CCTV footage clearly did not support the colleague’s claim that he saw Ged put money in his pocket after closing the till.

Our representative had requested evidence from the employer prior to the hearing, which included copies of Ged's rota. This was used to show that Ged’s days off and the different shift patterns of the colleague who runs the syndicate meant that paying his Lottery money on the day was the last opportunity to do so before the Lottery draw.

Our representative acknowledged that Ged had breached company policy in having the money in his pocket. He argued that it was a new policy that had not been communicated properly, that there was a reasonable explanation for what occurred and the evidence did not support the allegation.

At the end of the meeting the disciplinary hearing chair informed Ged that he would provide him an outcome in writing and include details of how to appeal should it be necessary to do so.

Ged was given an informal warning for breaching company policy but cleared of theft. While he was suspended Ged secured another job but wanted to clear his name before he left.

It later turned out the colleague who was a witness against Ged had been stealing from the tills for months, and he was dismissed.

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We offer support on a wide range of employment law and HR issues. Our dedicated adviser are here to answer your questions and help you with your concerns. Your call is free and with no oblgation. Calls may be recorded for monitoring and training purposes.

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Very helpful 15 minute consultation. Would be happy to consult again. Many thanks.



I got a call back from them on the same day and it's been very helpful and understanding,Many thanks



What an amazing team. I recently found myself on suspension after a call of mine was monitored by the company I work for. I felt at the time that it was unfair and did acknowledge the mistake straight away.



Fantastic support and high quality service in a difficult time of my life. I got clear advice on my rights and would definitely recommend Castle Associates to anyone.



Brilliant advice. Gave me fantastic invaluable advice on my situation and I would definitely highly recommend using them.



From a very horrible 2 years of grievances with my work manager and work place of 10 years. I unfortunately was left at a dismissal hearing with no representation or Union member to help me show and explain my side of the issues involved.



I emailed last night and received a call back this morning from the adviser. She was extremely patient and helpful. Thank you.



Emailed for some advice and my call was returned in less that 12 hours - very happy with advice given.



Very helpful answering my queries, they got in touch very quickly and provided with free advice over the phone.



I appreciated the time with an adviser who lead important information to me and was very supportive.