I was dismissed on grounds of gross misconduct on 30th November 2012. There were two reasons for this dismissal outlined in my dismissal letter:-
1, That i instructed, either directly or by "inference or omission", someone who reports to me to to falsify company documentation.
2, That I failed to correctly hand over information relevant to the issue above and in doing so failed to follow the company Quality and Health & Safety Procedures.
The incident was investigated independently (internal, different department) where the two issues were highlighted and disciplinary action recommended. There were a number of mitigating factors highlighted and as such the requirement for disciplinary action was to be based on a balance of probabilities, i.e. was this intentional fraud and an attempt to cover it up.
There are a number of issues surrounding the investigation and disciplinary process that did not follow the company procedures: -
1, The Company Disciplinary Procedure states that any disciplinary action will be proceeded by a full and prompt investigation. The incident occurred on the night shift of 30th of September yet, although it was immediately apparent, was not investigated until 24th October. When the investigation took place it failed to interview all the people that could have clarified the first point.
2, The charge of breaching Quality and H&S procedure could be levelled at nearly any mistake but if this was sufficiently serious there are reporting procedures for reporting both Quality and H&S failures. No such reports were raised as, at the time, nobody saw this as that significant.
At my first disciplinary hearing on 13th Nov it was not made clear to me exactly at what level I was being disciplined i.e. there was not a statement saying "you did X and Y and this constitutes gross misconduct". This is important as this hearing went on for over three hours and was more of a fishing/muck spreading exercise. In the last 15 minutes I was shown a set of notes claiming to be notes of two conversations me and my manager had on the 5th & 15th of October (also failure of procedure not to disclose before hand). These notes contradicted my recollection of events and, on the surface, appeared to cast doubt on my truthfulness. This hearing was suspended, as was I, until the meeting was reconvened on 27th November.
The second hearing was relatively brief and added little to the matter. I was informed in writing that I was to be summarily dismissed on the grounds of gross misconduct effective immediately,
I appealed this decision on the 21st of December and I was informed in writing on the 7th of Jan 2013 that the appeal was not upheld.
In their response the company agreed that there was no evidence that I had intentionally instructed the falsification of documentation. They withdrew the notes of 5th and 15 of October as I had shown them to be either poor reflections or in fact fictions. They withdrew claims that testimony supported their case when it did no such thing. Instead they have liberally sprinkled the word Neglect around and are stating now that the reasons for my dismissal are unchanged.
They are basically saying that through neglect I caused the falsification of company documents by inference or omission.
There are many mitigating factors surrounding the initial mistakes which I have not had an opportunity to defend. On paper this incident looks serious to those not experienced in my field but in reality there were no consequences and could have been no consequences because of these errors. There is a general level of shock and outrage amongst my former colleagues that this has happened.
I could go on all day, but thanks for reading and ANY advice is greatly appreciated.
Edit, sorry I have the full account in a word document which is currently at ten pages and getting longer, I'm trying to condense this down a little for the ET1 and clarify reasons that will appeal to a tribunal.