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Dear all. I am enquiring on behalf of someone else. Sorry for late notice, I know that this might not be seen in time, nut I thought I'd reach out for some advice anyway. Person (X) is an employee of a high street bookies as an Assistant Manager in a branch. Has been employed for 11 months and is rated highly by her direct line manager. Had a squeaky clean disciplinary record until recently. Final Written Warning issued late Dec In early Dec, the shop had a 'mystery customer' and the shop failed. X was working alone at the time. The shop scored badly in the mystery shopper test along with nearly all other shops in the area (this is a typical retail structure: shop managers, area manager looking after a dozen shops and regional manager above that). X was investigated and using CCTV, she was seen talking on her mobile phone behind the counter. A hearing took place and she was told that she would receive a Final Written Warning (this is a first offence). Seems harsh to me when a first written warning is an option but that's just my opinion. She is still waiting for the letter confirming this and has not been given a chance to appeal this decision as yet. Next incident - early Jan - Gross Misconduct One evening, again working alone, a group of men came into the shop. It turns out later that one of them is a known conman who goes around bookies trying to defraud. I know many who work in this industry and the betting shops are not interested in pursuing fraudsters and are instead focussed on prevention. It is normally the staff who take the bullet. One of the group placed a bet just before a race and then used a trick (involving distraction techniques by the group) to alter the selection after the race had finished. The result is that the customer walked out with £1.5k of ill gotten gains. They also tipped X £20. It is common for a winning punter to tip the cashier in this industry (I mention this because it comes up later). The known fraudster always stayed in the corner of the shop and avoided the counter. Errors made by X include: X paid out on the basis of the altered slip rather than following correct procedure. There happens a lot apparently but is not good practice. X also failed to run it past security who would have likely spotted the fraud. There is some mitigation here as the race track in question is a new one and not on the 'call security list' yet. Investigation X has been investigated and evidence (incl CCTV) collated and a hearing for Gross Misconduct is due tomorrow (is currently suspended on full pay). X will be accompanied by her manager who wants to keep her in the organisation. Accusations in the letter are: 1. Allowing the customer to defraud the company with the intent so that X can personally gain (I wonder if they are suggesting that by receiving a tip, X was 'in on it'. We feel can successfully challenge this point as it is simply not true) 2. Not using correct procedure to put the bet on the system so that the altered slip was used instead of the scan of the original 3. Not phoning security Mitigating factors: 2 is bad practice and other staff often use the paper slip to put the bet on the system as scans are often faded and difficult to read. This is a weak excuse in my opinion but I wonder whether it amounts to gross misconduct. A warning combined with training would be remedial, especially as X is of good character and has a good record. 3. He manager has a list of tracks whereby if a bet wins, security must be called before pay out. New track means that the list is not up-to-date so X did not realise. X can demonstrate that correct procedure has been used previously for those on the list. Also, unlike some, X has not been sent to training course on security or been given any of the available training. X has been overlooked Questions: It looks pretty damning, doesn't it? My gut feeling is that X will be dismissed. 1. Should this not be found to be Gross Misconduct, is this not a different strand of procedure meaning that the recent Final Written Warning is not related and therefore X could end up with 2 x FRWs instead of dismissal 2. What are the implications if they do not have the above view and treat as the same strand despite not having the opportunity to appeal the other FRW? 3. X has not completed 2 years of service so tribunal cannot get involved at a later date if X feels it is unfair. However, what if the employer does not follow procedure properly and breach their contract? I'm thinking about the right to appeal, not using a first written warning for the original offence 4. Any other advice? Many thanks!