Our Head Office will be closed for the Christmas Period from 1pm on 24th December 2019, and will reopen on 2nd January 2020 at 9am. Please email us with your enquiry and we will get back to you once the office is open.

Call us for a free Consultation on: 0333 772 0611

A box full of trouble with the disciplinary process

Published: 

Wed 3 July, 2019

Cartoon man next to boxes

A box full of trouble with the disciplinary process

No employee wants to feel like they have suffered an injustice and it’s not just an individual who has been unfairly dismissed who will feel that way.

Receiving any type of formal disciplinary sanction unfairly can be just as maddening.

Richard had worked for a distribution company for the best part of two decades and thought he had seen it all.

He had seen the business ownership change hands and faced the uncertainty and negative rumours that things will change for the worse, which sometimes come with a TUPE transfer.

He had seen a number of colleagues and good friends leave the company after a number of redundancy consultations, which he felt fortunate to survive.

The one thing that Richard had not experienced, however, was being put through the disciplinary process.

That was until he was involved a dispute with a colleague who accused him of throwing a boxed item of stock at him in a dispute over who was responsible for returning it to the sender.

Richard, who denied the allegation, was issued with a final written warning. What made matters even worse, was that his employer issued the disciplinary sanction based on an allegation it did not put to him prior to a disciplinary hearing.

When Richard was invited to attend the hearing it was to face an allegation of being rude and aggressive to a colleague.

The hearing was chaired by Richard’s manager, who also conducted the investigation stage of the disciplinary process and made his own personal allegations of unprofessional conduct against Richard during the meeting. 

In the outcome letter the allegation of throwing a box at a colleague was dismissed. The final written warning was issued for ‘repeated acts of unprofessional conduct towards colleagues.’

Richard believed it was unfair and he contacted the Castle Associates Employee Support Centre for help.

He provided our representative with all of the paperwork and discussed the case with her. Richard wanted to know if he had grounds to challenge the disciplinary outcome, and he was informed that he did.

Our representative wrote and submitted an appeal letter to the company on Richard’s behalf. This initiated the disciplinary appeals process.

Richard was invited to attend a disciplinary appeal hearing. Prior to the hearing our representative requested evidence to support the allegation of repeated acts of unprofessional conduct towards colleagues.

She was provided with the statement from the worker who said Richard threw a box at him and one from the manager who chaired the hearing. The manager’s statement listed incidents, the most recent of which was said to have taken place three months earlier.

At the hearing our representative presented a wide-ranging argument to challenge the outcome and highlight that the process was unfair

She told the hearing there was a clear conflict of interests in the manager conducting the investigation, chairing the disciplinary and now providing a witness statement. This was said to be a breach of the ACAS Code of Practice as the company clearly had the resources to ensure different people conducted different parts of the process

It was also argued that the company unfairly issued the warning for matters not put to Richard with evidence prior to the disciplinary hearing.

Our representative maintained that as the allegation of throwing a box had been dismissed, it was unfair and illogical to rely on his statement as evidence of Richard’s unprofessional conduct towards colleagues.

She said the manager also unreasonably delayed raising his allegations, presented no evidence to support them and in failing to act promptly he had effectively endorsed the conduct he was now complaining about.

The appeal hearing chair asked a number of questions to clarify points of the appeal before adjourning the hearing. The following week Richard received a letter informing him that his appeal had been successful, and the warning overturned and removed from his record.

“A reputation built on success”

 

For free employment law advice or if you are affected or want information and support by any of the issues in this article please give us a call. 0333 772 0611

Were here to help when you need it.

   "A reputation built on Success"

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.

Call us today on 0333 772 0611 or request a call back

Minimize close

Request a call back

forum

Testimonials

5

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

Dillip

5

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

Chelsea

5

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.

David

5

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.

Hannah

5

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

Harminder

5

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.

Mandie

5

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

Indie

5

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

Billy

5

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

Geiverson

5

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

Mohammed