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Animal Lover

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  1. Oh well, minor misconduct and oral warning. Will still ask union rep for advice but if they think thats a good outcome will leave it at that.
  2. Thanks guys! I know for a fact my manager had not completed the training for carrying out disciplinary meetings. When I read my statement quoting policy etc she was asking me where I had found all this information as she had not seen it! Would that mean the decision could not have been made reasonably? As far as having a disproportionate effect on my career I have been applying for posts externally and obviously any references given are going to mention this. Not sure how to handle this, if I get an interview should I mention it and the circumstances or risk them requesting references and then turning me down?
  3. Thanks for the replies so far. I am definitely going to raise a grievance and also get help from my union (I somewhat naively thought I could handle this myself). It was a disciplinary meeting. My manager said an investigatory one wasn't necessary.
  4. Any advice would be welcome. Arrived at work Tuesday after week off to be told by colleague there had been a security incident involving me while I was on leave the week before. (Printed out a document, posted it to Mr A. Unknown to me it had contained some information relating to Mr B which Mr A then returned.) I was then told to phone my line manager. I was very upset and said that I wanted the matter resolved asap. We arranged verballly for me to attend a disciplinary meeting on Thursday. I confirmed via email that I did not want three days notice or union rep present. I attended the meeting at which I read a statement covering the circumstances and gave mitigating factors. There was then a brief discussion and the meeting finished. I did not receive a letter advising me of the date and time of the meeting. I did not get to see the evidence prior to, or during the meeting. I was not told at the start of the meeting what the offence was or the possible outcome, this was only discussed over the telephone. I was told by my manager after the meeting that it is probably going to be classed as serious misconduct and I will receive a written warning. I now intend to fight this all the way as I felt circumstances along with strong mitigating factors meant it could have been dealt with as minor misconduct and an oral warning given. (This is the first time I have ever been in any kind of trouble.) My question is does the way the matter has been dealt with make it invalid and will my employer have to stop the disciplinary action?
  5. The reason you are being asked to provide this information is so the LA can assess whether your income meant you still had any entitlement to HB/CTB for the period they have decided you were LT. If you do not provide the information then the whole overpayment will be recoverable. If your joint income was low enough for you to still be entitled to benefit then the overpayment will be reduced accordingly. This is called 'underlying entitlement' and LA's have to consider it before finalising any overpayment. It is definitely in your interests to provide what they have asked for.
  6. As Erika has already pointed out prosecution is always the first option when the overpayment is over £2000. A caution can only be considered if the o/p is under £2000. Similarly an AdPen cannot be offered if the o/p is over £2000. Very rarely, (usually if there is insufficient evidence) a case will be closed and no further action taken. Even if your sister had not freely admitted to the inheritance there would be evidence to the contrary. The statistic you quote of 90% of fraudsters not being prosecuted is because the vast majority of cases investigated result in overpayments of less than £2000. There is a letter which can be sent by the investigator to warn of intended prosecution, once the case is passed to DWP solicitors, but it is considered good practice to do so and is not compulsory. Your sister should have been given a form following the IUC explaining what happens next and this clearly states prosecution is an option. It is highly unlikely that your sister would face imprisonment for a first offence of this nature. Unfortunately all too often people only consider the implications of their actions once they have been 'caught'. It would appear from your post that your sister knew she wasn't entitled to claim once she received the inheritance and yet made a decision to continue to do so. I appreciate this may seem harsh but she has to accept that she has broken the law and face the consequences.
  7. The only way you will get disclosure is if a solicitor attends with you. If you read the letter and accompanying leaflet/info it will state that the investigator is unable to discuss the nature of the allegation with you prior to the interview. Postpone the IUC by all means but I suggest you make it clear this is to give you the opportunity to obtain legal advice and not because you are being difficult or evasive.
  8. How long were you on benefit for? If you were in receipt of Jobseeker's Allowance, Income Support or income-related Employment & Support Allowance or a combination of these benefits continuously for at least 26 weeks and came off benefits because you took a job that was going to last 5 weeks or more you should have been entitled to a Housing Benefit run-on for an additional 4 weeks. If this is the case then the IUC must relate to the studio. If you take a solicitor with you they will speak to the investigator(s) first and ask for disclosure. You will then have the opportunity to speak in private with the solicitor before deciding whether or not to proceed with the IUC.
  9. Is this debt based on a revenue determination (estimate) because you have outstanding tax returns? If it is then submit your tax returns asap - you may find the amount you owe is reduced or even cancelled if your business made a loss. If it is an actual, true debt then contact HMRC and ask for 'time to pay'. They will ask for income and expenditure and will ask you to make a realistic offer to clear the debt in the shortest time possible. If you talk to them and make an agreement which you then adhere to you should be able to avoid a distraint call.
  10. Your friend MUST attend the hearing and this will be clearly stated on the summons. If they do not a warrant is likely be issued for their arrest. Magistrates courts will refer cases to Crown Court if the seriousness calls for a heavier sentence than they can impose. If your friend pleads not guilty the case will be referred to Crown Court. Be aware that if your friend is then found guilty a Crown court is likely to impose a heavier sentence than magistrates. County courts only deal with civil matters.
  11. Thanks Erica knew someone would put me right! However I thought there had to also be mens rea (the intention) in any crime and if the money has remained untouched and they always intended to repay then could mens rea be proved?
  12. DWP systems are programmed to 'talk' to one another and in theory when your partner claimed JSA for you it should have flagged up that you were on IS. I would have thought this should be classed as official error rather than fraud and doubt Fraud dept would be interested - although it may be passed to Compliance. I dont understand why they have suspended your JSA claim when it is the IS claim that is the problem. I suggest you telephone your paying office, close your claim to IS and then get your partner to contact them and ask for the suspense to be lifted on his JSA claim. One thought springs to mind - was he working prior to his claim and living with you while you were claiming as a lone parent? If so you may be investigated for Living Together.
  13. I might be wrong but I was under the impression that to be committing benefit fraud you had to be seen to have spent/used the money. If you can show that the HB money has remained untouched in your bank account each month (in other words your balance has increased each month by the amount paid) then there is no fraud.
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