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Everything posted by bed32

  1. That won't make much difference from the ICO POV. They will probably regard the use of the data in this way as being part of the legitimate business interests of the company, so they can do it without requiring the explicit permission of the data subject Provided that the data subject has the necessary access (SAR) and the right to change incorrect data then that is as far as the ICO is likely to get involved. If the data was only an opinion, rather than accepted fact, it would be interesting to see whether the courts would enforce an S10 notice.
  2. I don't think the ICO will object. If they follow the position they take on Credit agencies they will consider doing this as being pursuing the legitimate business interests of the shops.
  3. I know it sounds harsh, but I don't think you should be trying to give them such advice as part of an official communication from you. Were you to make a mistake you could accidentally make the company liable. The best thing you could do would be to point them towards some official site that gives details of the support available.
  4. He can do if it is stated in the contract. In the absence of a contract, or any other terms and conditions, I don't know how it would work but it may be regarded that that is standard practice in this industry so he would be okay on that one. Note also that there are very specific regulations surrounding the protection of workers who raise concerns about Health and Safety Issues.
  5. Unbelievable. You don't have a legal to paid holiday to see a doctor. I don't think they can stop you from going but they can insist that you take annual leave or unpaid leave. In this circumstance the manager is being totally unreasonable - your fiance should keep the appointment. If the manager wanted to make an issue of that he would have to start disciplinary action and there is no way to make that stick. If he wants to cover himself he should call the HR department and get their advice.
  6. In most cases it would be easy for an employer to come up with a good business case why salaries should be kept secret. In my industry it is not unusual to have to pay "over the odds" to bring in a specific skill you need, yet you cannot afford to bring everyone's pay in line. I don't see why the employer is not entitled to say that discussing salaries is gross misconduct. I don't see that they ET would necessarily disagree. Okay so dismissal for such an offence would be harsh, but a disciplinary hearing could be in order. Let's at least agree that there is plenty of evidence on this forum of people being dismissed for much less serious actions. However for it to be so it would have to be deliberate, so if you find out accidentally what someone else was earning then you would be safe. Nonetheless what really matters in this situation is not the legal position but the perception of the firm. It is all very well winning a case for unfair dismissal in the ET, but it is much better not to get dismissed in the first place. If the company does regard it as a serious matter, you would risk damaging your career by letting them know that you have found out.
  7. I have worked for a number of companies that have explicitly said that discussing salary or bonus was gross misconduct. I have also been in the position of managing people who earned more than I did for various reasons. That also is not uncommon and there is nothing unlawful about it. It does make a good bargaining point when asking for a pay rise but there is no innate right to earn more than people more junior to yourself. It is only an issue if the reason you earn less is a discriminatory one.
  8. How do you get the "three months work" bit? Surely the claim is purely for any damages they suffer, so roughly speaking the cost - over and above what they would have paid the OP - of finding someone to do the work for the remaining 3 months. If it is easy to find such resource then the damages would be minimal - on the other hand if they had to go to a much more expensive source for the same skills (as it is short notice) then it could be considerable.
  9. The civil service always used to be "final salary" schemes, which actually are extremely good value for the employees. From what you say you can expect to receive a pension of about 3-5% of your final salary (index linked). Although you will have the right to transfer the money to a different scheme it is highly unlikely that you will be better off by doing so.
  10. I don't think that the manager's comments to you count as a formal offer of the role, so there is nothing wrong with her deciding to advertise internally. I think you really should apply for the post - the fact that the manager had previously asked you to do it means that she can't be totally against you getting it. If you apply and don't get the post for reasons that you regard as being unfair then you can always appeal, or raise a grievance. If you don't even apply there is nothing you can do.
  11. I am a little surprised by the solicitor's advice. As you have followed the appeal process you can apply to the ET now for unfair dismissal. The grievance process does not normally apply to dismissal, but to other actions by your manager - e.g. treating you unfairly. While I am not a expert I don't see that you have any claim other than for unfair dismissal and so I am not sure that a formal grievance is necessary. I suppose the solicitor may be thinking of a "injury to feelings" element in the unfair dismissal claim, but even there I am not sure that a grievance is necessary. That said raising a grievance can do no harm. Have you spoken to ACAS yet? They can sometimes give good advice. Citizens advice bureaux can also help sometimes but the quality of the advice from them is variable. The direct approach to seek a compromise agreement would be to write directly to the council. The letter should be headed "Without Prejudice". In it you should say simply that you have taken legal advice and believe that you have a strong case for unfair dismissal. Say that in order to avoid the costs and delays associated with an ET claim you would like to discuss coming to a "compromise agreement". I don't see that such a letter can do any harm and it may well be that the council would be prepared to agree simply to avoid the hassle of an ET claim.
  12. If they acted in good faith and did not mislead you then I really don't see that you have any claim against them at all, or if you did one of only minimal value.
  13. Having signed a compromise agreement makes things harder but does not necessarily close all avenues. I believe the wording of the document itself becomes important. My understanding is that a compromise agreement can resolve all contractual claims and statutory claims provided that they are detailed in the agreement (e.g. the sections of the statutes under which a claim may be brought are listed). Without that there have been cases where people have been permitted to bring a claim even after a compromise agreement has been signed. However the question in this case is not so much whether there are other claims, but whether they have any monetary value. If he settled for a fair amount for the dismissal under all circumstances then even if there were other points that might have been raised then that would not affect the value of the claim. It is only if an whole aspect of the claim was missed (e.g. pre-termination detriment, injury to feelings and so on) that there is additional value in the claim
  14. While you can bring up the point of Minimum Wage at this point I am not sure what it would achieve. If your objective is for your son to keep his job then I don't think mentioning the wage issue would help. If anything it might cause him to be thought a trouble maker and make him less likely to keep his job - it certainly can't help. Whatever happens you can bring up the wage issue later. Even then if keeping the job is important then it should be done sensitively.
  15. You can always represent yourself, the tribunals are used to people not having legal representation and they do their best to help. This case is comparatively straightforward so you should be able to do it yourself, and it seems likely that if you start proceedings the council will compromise anyway - they aren't going to want to go to the trouble and expense of contesting a £1500 tribunal claim.
  16. I would have thought that you should be raising a grievance at the same time as appealing.
  17. This guy is unbelievable. Actually to some extent him trying to report this to the police would be very good for your case. I bet he couldn't even get them to give it a crime reference number, let alone investigate it. What he is doing amounts to harassment, you could try reporting him to the police (but again you would be unlikely to get anywhere). You could also take civil action against him. That would probably be the approach I would take - but then I'm that sort of person:) If you want to take the fight to them then you do have the option at this stage of applying for "interim relief". Your problem is that there is a very tight deadline for that (7 days) and it would be very hard to get legal representation on board and up to speed in time to take that approach. However I must also sound a word of caution here. In order to fight the unfair dismissal claim, the practice has to show that they had reasonable belief that what she was accused of was true. I don't know whether they might not be able to say that at the time of dismissal he reasonably believed it to be a crime. However you can fix that in your appeal by making it clear that what she did is not a breach of the act. Once you do that they will no longer be able to pretend that they reasonably believed that it was.
  18. I don't think you need a CCJ to send the bailiffs in to enforce a Tribunal Award, I think you can send the bailiffs in on the basis of the award itself. The right to use a domain name is of value, and therefore an asset, but I don't think you can get the bailiff to seize one - and in fact it may not even be a transferable asset.
  19. I think you can take if from the silence that no one here can think of any reason why they can't do that. Unfortunately there is so much employment law that it is a brave person who, if not an expert, will pronounce that this sort of action is not against the law. As far as I am aware there is nothing to stop the company writing that, or any similar clauses into the contract. Superficially it does seem a bit excessive to impose a penalty for three years for a small benefit you only received for three months. Under contract law you could try to argue that it was a penalty clause, and so unenforceable but I'm not sure how far that would get. I am not aware of any element of employment law that would make such a term unlawful. On the contrary they are very common for benefits such as "golden hellos", training and relocation. The only thing that is unusual in your case is the length of time in relation to the value of the benefit. As to whether they deduct it from your salary - I think the answer is only if you have signed a document giving them explicit permission to do so.
  20. Absolutely unbelievable. If the RCN are providing legal assistance then they should guide you. What they should tell you is at least (a) you must appeal and (b) you must raise a grievance. There is no way the practice is going to be able to defend his actions in front of a tribunal so it is likely to end up being settled.
  21. I actually have some sympathy for managers in small organisations. These days there is so much employment legislation and red tape that it must be very difficult to keep on top of it all without a full-time, professional, HR department that is out of the scope of small organisations. I can sympathise with managers who try to act fairly and honourably but fall foul of letter of say the legally required disciplinary process. However in this case what the manager is doing is clearly morally wrong as well as legally wrong and I think he must be made to pay.
  22. For the moment your position should be that she did what was necessary to bring to light serious problems of bullying and harassment. Once she had come across the evidence accidentally it would have negligent of her not to follow up.
  23. I don't want to divert the thread into a discussion about what may or may not be construed as gross misconduct, I was just trying to point out that a case can be made that it was. If I were the manager I would argue firstly that unauthorised access to the email system was a breach of the data protection act, and a violation of the individuals rights under the Human Rights Act. Furthermore that working in a GP surgery there should be a culture of confidentiality and I would be concerned that someone who breached the confidentiality of the email system might just as well breach the confidentiality of the patients records, which I am sure have no more protection round them. Finally you could argue that to access another individual's email caused a breakdown in the working relationship between the two. You could then either argue that this is just as much an abuse of the email system as those explicitly listed, or say that it is so obviously misconduct that it does not need to be explicitly listed. A well-manipulated "investigation" and carefully worded conclusion, maybe distorting a few other incidents along the way and you have something an ET might accept as being reasonable. At the very least the ET might accept that the accessing of the email was the real reason, even if they didn't agree that it merited dismissal, and so reduce any compensation on the grounds that she contributed to her own dismissal. As the manager I would find that a better (and cheaper) outcome than a tribunal saying I was dismissing her to cover up harassment and bullying. I don't think the arguments would work, but it would be brave or foolhardy totally to discount them. However for that argument to work the manager would have to make sure that all his actions were compatible with that. Prejudging the issue or failing to investigate properly would undermine what is already a rather weak case. Particularly in this case the counter argument is that it was done in order to bring to light serious misconduct on the part of the Senior Nurse, and that justifies/mitigates the actions taken to gather the evidence.
  24. On a related issue - do you know what the legal status is of the doctor's practice? There is a possibility that the costs of contesting the tribunal, and any awards made, will come directly out of the pocket of the doctors. If so then they will have a vested interest in making sure that this is settled as quickly/cheaply as possible. If any of them are sympathetic to your wife's situation then a direct approach may be the best way to get a quick resolution.
  25. Now I'm confused - I thought the investigation had not been completed and yet the manager is sending an email saying that she has already been dismissed? That is very bad - that must be grounds for constructive dismissal. If / when your wife is actually dismissed you will want to make a subject access request to get copies of all relevant emails. I don't think the manager will be able to convince an ET that the actions amount to gross misconduct, but he could make a case. A lot will depend on other details. If all his actions were consistent with him believing that that is the case he would have a stronger case. If his other actions suggest some other reason (as they seem to) then an ET is highly unlikely to accept it. To that extent failing to investigate or follow a proper process is important. It is relevant how much effort it took your wife to access the email - if the system was habitually left open then it implies that it was recognised that security was not important and therefore harder to justify calling the access gross misconduct. Your wife absolutely must raise a formal grievance about actions both of the Senior Nurse and the Practice Manager, and if/when she is formally told that she has been dismissed she must appeal as well. Neither will do any good of course but they are necessary before approaching the tribunal.
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