Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

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  1. #1
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    Default Help with letter to appeal dismissal - unfair dismissal

    Hi all

    Appreciate some urgent help, my sister was dismissed and wants to appeal. I think it is a clear case of unfair dismissal and right now really need a good letter to send to appeal the dismissal first of all.

    She really cannot work for that company again (they are a joke) and just wants her name cleared so she hasn't been 'sackedicon' to future employers, and the few weeks loss of earnings.

    She was in retail on a shop floor, not long promoted to supervisor and put forward for management. about 8 months ago she was stock taking with one other girl and the prev staff had left a nightmare job to do....during the stock take they both each wrote on the top of the notes they were taking (which are only for counting up, they are scraps that go in the bin after) one single swear word each about the state of the job left to them (my sister even put little ** so it was more polite!)

    Turns out the figures could not be phoned that one day and they were faxed instead, faxing those comments. Upshot is, a disciplinary was called and from an spotless employment record they gave her 'level 3' notice - which was explained as the most serious and if the same behaviour happened again it could lead to dismissal. She asked about appealing and her District Manager told her there was no point, it shouldn't cause her problems unless she did them same kind of thing again. She didn't appeal. Oh, also want to point out the same manager that encouraged her not to appeal told her she was being sacked until she 'fought tooth & nail for her, she should be grateful thats all she got'!!!

    OK, 8 months later....another employee is caught breaking one of their basic security procedures by leaving the shutter partly open whilst closing up and also staff going under it like this (they demand you raise and drop it fully every time.

    All the staff are asked if they have done this and they all say yes, and disciplinarys begin. Thing is, there used to be 2 cashing up and closing until the compnay cut hours and staff and reduced this to 1 person....alone in that store at night cashing up. Company demands the shutter is closed fully, they were leaving it partly open. My concern is now that to lock yourself in a shop on your own at night, with no way of anyone checking on you, knowing if you are ok, if you got hurt you wouldn't be founf until morning etc - breaches your basic health & safety rights. I should add the store is in a huge shopping complex with security guards etc, not on the street!

    Sorry for the big long story! Turns out now the 'level 3' notice given before was actually a final written warning and they have found her guilty of misconduct and dismissed her now. She is the only one to be dismissed and her own Asst Manager was only given a letter of concern and probation for the same thing!!!

    Help!!!

    Dipply75

    I am in no way a legal advisor and only speak from my own experiences and the helpful advice of those in the same boat!
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Help with letter to appeal dismissal - unfair dismissal

    A very basic (and I mean basic!), appeal letter is letter no.11 on this link:

    http://www.lra.org.uk/microsoft_word...nce_9-2008.pdf

    Che

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    I am sorry that work means I don't get into the Employment Forum as often as I would like these days, but nonetheless I'll try to pop in when I can.


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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Help with letter to appeal dismissal - unfair dismissal

    Thank you so much for that, letter done and going special delivery on Monday as they say she only has 7 days to get the appeal to them from the date on the letter (14th)

    Do you thinkshe should put lots of info on the reasons she si appealing or just keep it simple and save it for the hearing? (not want to give them time to prepare/coverup?)

    Dipply75

    I am in no way a legal advisor and only speak from my own experiences and the helpful advice of those in the same boat!
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    Default Re: Help with letter to appeal dismissal - unfair dismissal

    Hi all, any input would be much appreciated!

    Sister went for her appeal hearing, which was a sham to be honest. They ignored her questions and simply quoted what sounded like political soundbites to everything - saying lots without saying anything.

    Outcome of the appeal was for them to uphold the dismissalicon, so off to the Tribunal Service we go.

    Her appeal centres around the fact that when they reduced staff hours, some jobs auomatically became lone working - in her case this would be late at night. Policy and procedure was never updated or changed to reflect this, even though procedure still required 2 people for most jobs. No risk assesment ever done and her health & saftey a risk by continuing to follow the same old procedures.

    Managers simply said to cope as best you can when asked, staff left to figure out how to juggle 2 jobs at once, work extra unpaid hours simply to complete essential work (ie cashing up and closing up).

    At the appeal she asked these questions and they answered by asking how SHE could have done things, changed things...she answered that every job could only be done following procedure if she then worked extra unpaid hours every night (approx 2 per night). They answered that was the right way and she should have done this....that is why she was disciplined.

    They still did not acknowledge the health & safety issues, simply stating 'there is always an 'element' of lone working and they do have a lone working policy' - thats it.

    The other issue is consistency. She was dismissed, the other staff given final written warnings - all except one. The Asst Manager was only given a letter of concern on her file - not even a formal disciplinary action.

    So! Have to submit the claim to the Tribunal today (today is the deadline), if their is any advice I would be very grateful.

    Dipply75

    I am in no way a legal advisor and only speak from my own experiences and the helpful advice of those in the same boat!
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Help with letter to appeal dismissal - unfair dismissal

    Quote Originally Posted by Dipply75 View Post
    The other issue is consistency. She was dismissed, the other staff given final written warnings - all except one. The Asst Manager was only given a letter of concern on her file - not even a formal disciplinary action.
    The inconsistency argument won't fly.

    She was already on a final written warning, so a single further 'offence' took her to dismissalicon. The Asst. Mgr undoubtedly had a spotless record, so didn't reach the dismissal stage as it wasn't classed as gross misconduct.


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    Default Re: Help with letter to appeal dismissal - unfair dismissal

    Hi patdavies, thanks for the reply

    I understand the difference in that my sister had something on her record already, her point is (which I did not explain clearly, sorry!) that all the other staff had clean records also - this was all their first disciplinary - they went straight to final writen warnings and the asst manager basically got nothing.

    The other worrying thing is that my sister was the only one that brought up the issue of health & safety (one girl was pregnant and still working in that locked store late at night).

    There is a culture in there of not arguing, just do as you are told. None of them would appeal as they thought they would then be first out the door if there are any more staff cuts required and they have 'argued' with them.

    Dipply75

    I am in no way a legal advisor and only speak from my own experiences and the helpful advice of those in the same boat!
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    Default Re: Help with letter to appeal dismissal - unfair dismissal

    Dipply I will be interested to hear how your sister gets on. I was dismissed 3 weeks ago (they call it gross misconduct). I had been employed by this company (retail) for 10 and a half years. Not one day off sickicon, going to other stores to help out when asked to do so, struggling through days when my MS and RLS (restless leg Syndrome) was affecting me. Still I never called in sick. Had a welfare meeting once because I couldn't take public transport to work, and my car had broken down, and my partner was away on business with his. The RLScould be particularly severe when I took public transport. In short, this Welfare meeting was very aggressive and was basically an interrogation ( a fact which I commented on at the time and so is recorded in the notes of the meeting). I was in tears at that meeting. So I know that because of my MS and particularly the RLS they wanted rid of me. So when I forgot to put bags of banking back in the safe one night, even though the shop was closed at the time and then securely locked, they had their chance. I have now been sacked for Gross Misconduct, after my manageress reported the bags still on top of the safe the next morning, when I had a hospital procedure scheduled and an operation 3 days after that. In short, I had a lot on my mind. So now I have an appeal meeting tomorrow and I am very nervous. I cannot go back to the job, my relationship has totally deteriorated with the manageress, and I am now signing on for Jobseekers Allowance for the first time ever. And I have 'dismissed for gross misconduct' on my employment record. Who will employ me now? And all I did was to forget something. No money lost, or stolen. It was all there the next morning. It has been understood in that shop for a long time that the manageress had a problem with me, but no one could figure out why. I have worked alongside this woman for over ten years, so for her to do that to me was incomprehensible to me, I just would have put the money back in the safe and given the person who left it out a right good lecture But both her and Head Office, for their own reasons, have jumped on this chance to get rid of me. But I have proof that they have contravened the Disabilty Act (now known as the Equality Act), as regards both my MS and RLS (the Welfare meeting ) , and I am taking my Union Rep into the Appeal meeting tomorrow. I am so nervous, and just don't know what to expect. Dipply I sincerelyhope your sister gets the result that she wants.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Help with letter to appeal dismissal - unfair dismissal

    Hi

    You also need to request copies of the following from the company:

    * Disciplinary & grievanceicon Policy/Procedure. (You want both not whats in a staff handbook as this will be a shortened version)
    * Lone Working Policy/Procedure. (You want both not whats in a staff handbook as this will be a shortened version)
    * Health & Safety Policy.
    * Cashing Up Policy/Procedure
    * Company Policy/Procedure on Opening & Closing.

    Once you get these have a good read and take time to digest them and pick everything up from their own policy/procedure they should have done but didnt
    (Note one thing to keep an eye out for with the Policy/Procedure they will always have a start date and a next due review date. keep a lookout at the review dates)


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Help with letter to appeal dismissal - unfair dismissal

    Hi Helen

    Not been on for ages but had to pop on with a quick reply for you....Stu is right, that is what my sister got them on...they didn't actually have a proper up to date lone working policy and the HSE almost had a fit when they were told how they were actually working the lone working part of the job. (I still dread to think how close to a horrible tragedy she was at times in there!)

    My sister went through the farce of an appeal and then used a solicitor with legal aid. She was prepared to go to tribunal with the evidence but they settled early with 1500 and a good reference to be going on with, as that was her main concern for the future.

    At the appeal be sure to ask them why the opted for gross misconduct for such an pbvious human error, that could not be taken as intentional in any way and with a clean record also...be sure this question and their full answer is recorded on the appeal notes (do not signicon it until they have this there).

    Be sure to tell them you ARE taking this further and please take your time to read what they want you to sign, do not feel you have to hurry etc, be happy everything you discussed is there clearly. And request the policies and procedures Stu007 listed at the appeal also.

    Seriously, best of luck for tomorrow, try not to fret too much, look at it as more of a formality and just one step in process you are now in, you'll be fine

    Dipply75

    I am in no way a legal advisor and only speak from my own experiences and the helpful advice of those in the same boat!
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Help with letter to appeal dismissal - unfair dismissal

    Thank you so much for the reply, unfortunately I didn't have time to read it before the Appeal Hearing. I have informed them that I will be taking it further, my Union Rep was there with me and he was so much help, so much that the person holding the Appeal Hearing thanked him too as he had been a great help to her too. What she meant by that I'm not sure. She didn't give me an answer at the hearing, she told me it would be a little more than a week, so not to worry if I hadn't heard anything in the meantime. I have requested a copy of the notes and my union rep also has his own notes. I am prepared for anything. I told her I wished to be reinstated, but I don't really want to go back to that place, and I'm sure they don't really want me back, because of my health problems (I have MS and Restless Leg Syndrome), but I haven't had a day off sickicon in ten years, and my record is problem free. I was an extremely reliable employee. But I have to take the job if they offer it as a Tribunal wouldn't even entertain the case if I have refused a job offer from them and then took it to Tribunal for Unfair Dismissal.. But hey ho!, they probably won't offer the job. It's a stressful time, I will be glad when it's over, one way or the other. Going to hand my CV in now to another store, fingers crossed they won't mind too much when they ask why I left my last job...



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