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
    Basic Account Holder figee Novitiate

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    Default ive been suspended from work for serving myself

    Hi
    I work at clothes shop and one day my friend had 2 items to exchange and she could not get out of where she worked untill 7 oclock so i offered to exchange them for her as she needed a top for a funereal the next day,
    i went into work and done the exchange for her but did not get another member of staff to serve me i do it myself which i know was wrong so i got a member of staff to cheak it for me after i had done it to cover my back, this member of staff told the manager what i had done and now after 2 meeting going over the same questions i have been suspended, is this right that i have been suspended and if so does anyone know what will happen to me, and my i also add that i am 16 weeks pregnant and im now under alot of stress cause i dont know whats going to happen to my job.
    please help.


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    Default Re: ive been suspended from work for serving myself

    your company should be given you a written explanation of why you have been suspended, the suspension should be without prejudiceicon... the suspension should also be on full pay...did they confirm you are suspended on full pay?

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    Default Re: ive been suspended from work for serving myself

    whats does your company handbook say about serving yourself? did exchanging the goods result in any losses incurred by the company with exception to the difference in prices for the goods? if answer is no to both, then the company can not suspend you or take any disclipinary action. i would be very interested in hearing what your answers are, but make sure you read through your company handbook throughly first.

    I also agree with above post. they must suspend you on full pay pending a full outcome of the investigation, and also notifiy you in writing as to why you have been suspended. what reason did they give you when they suspended you?

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    Default Re: ive been suspended from work for serving myself

    spot on teaboy, those were my next questions..

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  5. #5
    Basic Account Holder figee Novitiate

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    Default Re: ive been suspended from work for serving myself

    I have been suspended on full basic pay yes which is good,
    the goods i brought back for my friend where 40 full price and the items i exchanged them for where 30 full price and the 10 left i put on a gift card which i would do for any other customer so no the compant did not loose out on any money. My handbook duz say that we are not aloud to serve ourselves and i have addmitted it was a stupid mistake the my manager still took it to h.r (head office).
    I have also recived my letter from them today and it says that i am suspened for alleged breach or refund procedures and alleged fulsification of company documentation.
    then it says which may constitute an act of gross misconduct.
    i have not got a date for my disciplinary yet but it duz say in the letter it should not take anymore then 10 working days.


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    Basic Account Holder figee Novitiate

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    Default Re: ive been suspended from work for serving myself

    Can i also say that behind my back all the staff in my shop are talking about this matter and it looks like my manager has been tell staff what i have done and also another shop in the town which is part of our company are gossiping about me.
    can anyone tell me weather this affects my case and how i can bring this up in my disciplinary.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: ive been suspended from work for serving myself

    Quote Originally Posted by figee View Post
    I have been suspended on full basic pay yes which is good,
    the goods i brought back for my friend where 40 full price and the items i exchanged them for where 30 full price and the 10 left i put on a gift card which i would do for any other customer so no the compant did not loose out on any money. My handbook duz say that we are not aloud to serve ourselves and i have addmitted it was a stupid mistake the my manager still took it to h.r (head office).
    I have also recived my letter from them today and it says that i am suspened for alleged breach or refund procedures and alleged fulsification of company documentation.
    then it says which may constitute an act of gross misconduct.
    i have not got a date for my disciplinary yet but it duz say in the letter it should not take anymore then 10 working days.
    Gross misconduct my arse. for a start you did not falsefy company ducomentation as the gift card would have been in your friends (the customers) name. your friend had requested you to exchange the goods for her as a customer of the company. your friend is no doubt now in possesion of the card and all documents no doubt refer to her. so take your friend to the hearing with you get her to bring id and anything with her address on that will confirm that details enter in the computer for teh gift card matches and ask her she can write a statement confirming everything and that she is the owner of the card and the details are in hers if shes not able to attend the hearing (or rearrange the hearing to a time and date she will be able to attend). that will mean the documentaion has been proven to be true and correct and you can shove in their faces.

    All they can do now is give you a verbal warning or next stage of warning if you have had a warning prior in the last 12months. with regards to the minor brweach in policy regarding not serving yourself. when ineffect you werent serving yourself you simply making an exchange for your friend just like you would for a customer in the shop that may have wondered away from the till to browse while you did the exchange.


    In fact i operate a business where customers are spoken to over the phone, so never any face to face contact when doing business unless in special circumstances i.e meetings. So what their saying is when i enter data into my system for my customers such as their contact details, payment details, order details and when i process their orders and process their information and process their payments then according to your company its falsification of company documents. well it [naughty word] falsification of company documents. its only falsication if you make them up off the top of your head or deliberatly alter them. you would only be guilty of falsifying documents if you had given false details for your friend.

    also just out of interesticon what is your work relationship with your manger and the member of staff like? i mean do you get along with them and/or have you had issues with them that could be seen as bulling, harrasment or any form or behaviour towards you that is/was upsetting to you? as it maybe very useful if there has been!

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    Default Re: ive been suspended from work for serving myself

    Quote Originally Posted by figee View Post
    Can i also say that behind my back all the staff in my shop are talking about this matter and it looks like my manager has been tell staff what i have done and also another shop in the town which is part of our company are gossiping about me.
    can anyone tell me weather this affects my case and how i can bring this up in my disciplinary.
    now this is where you really stick it to them. inform them you are aware of the incident becoming common knowledge amoung the staff and staff in another shop there, so they have breached you confidentialityicon. as such you will seek tribunal action unless they agree to a compromise. (e.g. victimisation and unfair dismissalicon. its victimisation since its been made common knowlegde, because as a result of there breach in your confidentiality you have been singled out and now the talk of the company, and unfair dismissal will apply if they dismiss you as a result especially now that their judgement will be impaired as a direct result of the gossiping)

    At least thats how i see it.


  9. #9
    Basic Account Holder figee Novitiate

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    Default Re: ive been suspended from work for serving myself

    I first need to say to you that the company already know the friend/customer as she used to work instore she has not got the giftcard anyone as she binned everything because she was worried that she would get into trouble. It says on my letter that im only aloud to bring another member of staff with me to the meeting so i would not be able to take her anyway.
    You are so right about everything you have wrote though and its rubbish that im getting a disalinary over this and being told i may loose my job over this which is bring me lots of stress which is not good for myself and the baby.
    The breach of my confidentialityicon is right to and dont you worry i will be bringing this up in my meeting and if i do so happen to get dismissed i will take this as far as i can to get them done for unfair dismissalicon.


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    Default Re: ive been suspended from work for serving myself

    Quote Originally Posted by figee View Post
    I first need to say to you that the company already know the friend/customer as she used to work instore she has not got the giftcard anyone as she binned everything because she was worried that she would get into trouble. Not a chance, as their was no crime committed, so imform your friend of that. any action against her would be unlawful. It says on my letter that im only aloud to bring another member of staff with me to the meeting so i would not be able to take her anyway. oh yes you would as you have the right to take anyone of your choice with you, stopping you from taking a person of your choice is a breach of the employment relations act 1999 s10 see qoute taken from Stephen Cavalier of thompsons solicitors. i therefore suggest you write to your employers confirming your right to have a person of your choice refer them to the section 10 of the employment relations act 1999.

    Under section 10 of the Employment Relations Act 1999, the Act that introduced the right to trade union recognition, a worker has the right to be accompanied by another person at a disciplinary or grievanceicon hearing. The people who may accompany you are:
    • someone you choose
    • a trade union official employed by the union
    • someone who is experienced in accompanying people in hearings and who has references to prove it
    • a fellow worker.
    If your chosen companion is not available at the time fixed for the hearing then you may postpone it. However, there is a five working day time limit for postponed hearings.
    Whatever your circumstances, you have the right to defend yourself, thanks to the new legislation. If your employer refuses to allow you your chosen companion, even though you or your union representative have informed your employer of your rights, then you may complain to an employment tribunal. A complaint has to be made within three months of the date when your boss refused to allow you to exercise your right to be accompanied.
    • Stephen Cavalier is head of employment rights at Thompsons Solicitors
    You are so right about everything you have wrote though and its rubbish that im getting a disalinary over this and being told i may loose my job over this which is bring me lots of stress which is not good for myself and the baby.
    The breach of my confidentialityicon is right to and dont you worry i will be bringing this up in my meeting and if i do so happen to get dismissed i will take this as far as i can to get them done for unfair dismissal. to right, dont forget victimisation and civil case for defamation as there accusations against you in regards to falsified documention is false and therefore has no truth in it.
    everything they have done so far is wrong they dont even know the laws as to your satutory rights, so it just shows that they dont have a clue and are simply digging a hole for themselves here. lol id love to be their to help you stick it to them

    p.s any tribunal or court will take into consideration the effect this has had on you when they award compensation, so if it gets that far make a big deal about it espically when it comes to your baby. Also what was your working relationship like with your manager and the work colleague that grassed on you? i did as in previous post but you never gave an answer so would be interested to hear what it was like as could add more to your case against them in the event it when to tribunal.

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  11. #11
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    Default Re: ive been suspended from work for serving myself

    teaboy, I'm not sure the friend can be taken into that meeting since they are no longer employed in the company. Furthermore, if they are then they would have prove that they are "someone who is experienced in accompanying people in hearings and who has references to prove it."

    With regards to other stores knowing, they maybe aware that a member of staff is suspended with regards to a breach of procedures..... I don't think the OP should really be that bothered.
    However, it is imho potentially gross misconduct on a procedural issue, ie serving yourself or using the till when the person who was the customer was not actually at the till. A definite no.
    There is no theft and there is no fraud but there is a procedural issue where they are in the wrong.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: ive been suspended from work for serving myself

    well from what Stephen Cavalier from thompsons solicitors said looks to me like she can choose whoever she likes as a companion. But there may be some truth in what you said, so will look further into it.

    However as a employer myself i can safely say it is not gross misconduct. the fact they said themselfs that it MAY consitute gross misconduct, just shows they are not certain themselves. Only way in which it can consitute gross missconduct is if it was clearly listed in the company handbook under gross misconduct. in fact by law employers are to give employees a clear indication as to what would be deemed as gross misconduct and in this case their own lack of certainty as to weather it is or not says that there no clear indication, and therefore its probably not clearly listed under gross misconduct in the handbook. and a tribunal would not accept it as gross misconduct for that very reason.

    it probably only says somthing like you must get another member of staff to serve you if you wish to purchase an item from the company. as company policy in the handbook but i doubt its mentioned under gross misconduct for breaching it.


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    Default Re: ive been suspended from work for serving myself

    Your bank it appears your right about only being accompanied with a trade uninon offical, someone with experience as such and has references that state as such, and of course colleagues. i just looked it up and section 10 of the employment relations act states the following.

    Right to be accompanied

    (1) This section applies where a worker—
    (a) is required or invited by his employer to attend a disciplinary or grievanceicon hearing, and
    (b) reasonably requests to be accompanied at the hearing.
    (2) Where this section applies the employer must permit the worker to be accompanied at the hearing by a single companion who—
    (a) is chosen by the worker and is within subsection (3),

    (b) is to be permitted to address the hearing (but not to answer questions on behalf of the worker), and
    (c) is to be permitted to confer with the worker during the hearing.
    (3) A person is within this subsection if he is—
    (a) employed by a trade union of which he is an official within the meaning of sections 1 and 119 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992,
    (b) an official of a trade union (within that meaning) whom the union has reasonably certified in writing as having experience of, or as having received training in, acting as a worker’s companion at disciplinary or grievance hearings, or
    (c) another of the employer’s workers.

    (4) If—
    (a) a worker has a right under this section to be accompanied at a hearing,
    (b) his chosen companion will not be available at the time proposed for the hearing by the employer, and
    (c) the worker proposes an alternative time which satisfies subsection (5),
    the employer must postpone the hearing to the time proposed by the worker.
    (5) An alternative time must—
    (a) be reasonable, and
    (b) fall before the end of the period of five working days beginning with the first working day after the day proposed by the employer.
    (6) An employer shall permit a worker to take time off during working hours for the purpose of accompanying another of the employer’s workers in accordance with a request under subsection (1)(b).
    (7) Sections 168(3) and (4), 169 and 171 to 173 of the [1992 c. 52.] Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 (time off for carrying out trade union duties) shall apply in relation to subsection (6) above as they apply in relation to section 168(1) of that Act.


    Nevermind though FIGEE, it doesnt really change anything other then limit your options as to who can attend the hearing with you. However all employers do have to consider a reasonable request to allow a person of your choice who is not any of the above.



    So you should send a letter along the lines of - requesting having an independent person as a companion in order for the whole disclipinary to remain impartial and transparent. rejection of your request would leave you with serious doubts as to the impartiality of the dislipanry hearing especially due to their own self admission to being uncertain as to weather you have commited and act of gross misconduct when you are in the view that you have not. Along with the fact that it is common knowledge among your work colleagues, not just at your branch but also at another branch as to what you are being disciplined for. which is therefore detrimental to any action being taken against you, as it can and will be implied that such imformation was leaked out on purpose to cause distress and as result the company has singled you out. which is not only distressful but intimidating (when hearing people talking behind your back about it) and victimising as a result of being singled out. Not to mention the companys complete failure of duty to protect your confedentiality in regards to the accusations and disciplinary but also a duty to protect you from suffering such detrimantal behaviour.


    A letter along those lines above will make them sit up and take notice.

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  14. #14
    Basic Account Holder figee Novitiate

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    Default Re: ive been suspended from work for serving myself

    May i first say thanx so much for you help with all of this Teaboy.
    Well your question about how i get on with my managers and work mates ive worked for this company for 9 years now and for the past 3 and a half years there has been lots of ups and downs when it came to managers and dep managers at one ponit we did not have either of them and i was running the shop on my own over them years i have done everything instore and all of a sudden to new people came in and took over so at first our relationship was all over the place because i felt pushed to one side, at the mo my relationship with the manager is ok but i really dont think i trust her because this matter has leeked out from somewhere i.e her, the other staff i find very 2 faced they are nice as pie to her face and then go and slag you off behind your back, to be compleatly honist if i could afford it now i would out cause i cant work with these people anymore.


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    Basic Account Holder KENZIE394 Novitiate

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    Default Re: ive been suspended from work for serving myself

    Figee

    Apologies for sounding negative but nothing will matter if you have less than 12 months service with this company. As for GM or not they will say MAY if it's not listed as they can't list all offences but they could state

    The following is a non‑exhaustive list of examples of disciplinary offences which amount to Gross Misconduct:






  16. #16
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    Default Re: ive been suspended from work for serving myself

    Quote Originally Posted by KENZIE394 View Post
    Figee

    Apologies for sounding negative but nothing will matter if you have less than 12 months service with this company. As for GM or not they will say MAY if it's not listed as they can't list all offences but they could state

    The following is a non‑exhaustive list of examples of disciplinary offences which amount to Gross Misconduct:


    figee has worked for them for 9 years so is entitled to make a claim if dismissed or treated unfairlyicon. its also the fact they are uncertain as to weather it was gross misconduct. and in order for it to be gross misconduct then the company has a dutie to insure they make clear what behaviour or actions would be gross misconduct in the company policy/handbook (although not all maybe listed, yet they would still have make clear why an action/behavior committed is classed as gross misconduct when not listed ). yet with them being uncertain then i very much doubt they have made it clear in the handbook in regards to self serving and/or falsification of docmentation (which is untrue as the documentation was true in regards to her friends details, her friend being the customer).

    Examples of Gross - Misconduct
    Listed below are examples of misconduct which may be considered to be Gross Misconduct and may warrant a Final Warning, Demotion or dismissalicon. It is stressed however that this list is not exhaustive and that on all occasions a full and proper investigation must take place prior to the issuing of a Final Warning, Demotion or Dismissal.
    • Theft, including unauthorised possession of Company property.
    • Breaches of confidentialityicon, prejudicial to the interesticon of the Company,
    • Being unfit for duty because of the misuse/consumption of drugs or alcohol.
    • Refusal to carry out a management instruction which is within the individuals capabilities and which would be seen to be in the interests of the Company.
    • Breach of confidentiality / security procedures.
    • Physical assault, breach of the peace or verbal abuse.
    • False declaration of qualifications or professional registration.
    • Failure to observe Company rules, regulations or procedures. (self serving is where one serves themself for their own benefit. not serving on behalf of a customer, either present of not present i.e. taking card details over the phone, such as we see everyday in phone sales)
    • Wilful damage of property at work.
    • Incompetence or failure to apply sound professional judgement.
    just so you know from what the company said in a letter to figee, the point in question about gross misconduct is regarding falsification of records. breach of refund procedure, both of which are questionable allegations.


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  17. #17
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    Default Re: ive been suspended from work for serving myself

    Quote Originally Posted by figee View Post
    May i first say thanx so much for you help with all of this Teaboy.
    Well your question about how i get on with my managers and work mates ive worked for this company for 9 years now and for the past 3 and a half years there has been lots of ups and downs when it came to managers and dep managers at one ponit we did not have either of them and i was running the shop on my own over them years i have done everything instore and all of a sudden to new people came in and took over so at first our relationship was all over the place because i felt pushed to one side, at the mo my relationship with the manager is ok but i really dont think i trust her because this matter has leeked out from somewhere i.e her, the other staff i find very 2 faced they are nice as pie to her face and then go and slag you off behind your back, to be compleatly honist if i could afford it now i would out cause i cant work with these people anymore.
    I understand what your saying but was their any harassment, bullying or any behaviour that made you feel intimidated or distressed as a result?

    Unfortunately we cant do much about people slagging you off behind you back unless it resulted in one of the above. Also have you ever been singled out by your manager at any time and if so what where the circumstances around this?


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    Default Re: ive been suspended from work for serving myself

    Figee,

    Why did your friend bin the gift card if it was her own money? Was the exchange recorded with her details? I can't understand why she would bin something knowing that it was rightly her money and not the stores.

    Why would she state she was scared of getting into trouble. Did she do something wrong?


  19. #19
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    Default Re: ive been suspended from work for serving myself

    simply becasue she panic'd i would assume

    Please note:
    • I am employed in the IT sector of a high street retail chain but am not posting in any official capacity,so therefore any comments,suggestions or opinions are expressly personal ones and should not be viewed as an endorsement or with agreement of any company.
    • i am not legal trained in any form.
    • I have many experiences in life and do often use these in my posts
    if ive been helpful kick my scales, if ive been unhelpful kick the scales of the person more helpful
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    Default Re: ive been suspended from work for serving myself

    Folks, there is NO finite definition of what constitutes gross misconduct.
    It varies, and rightly, from employer to employer.
    Serving yourself out with the stated procedure is very often considered to be gross misconduct in the retail trade I'm afraid



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