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    • HI all, So I work for a company who offers a review service for large companies, whereby customers can review products and/or services and the reviews appear on the companies own site My job, along with roughly 10 others, is to moderate those reviews. We're all on a zero hours contract, so we do work as and when it's available. The way the system works is for every 120 reviews we moderate, we get paid the equivalent of the basic minimum wage, so £11.44 per 120 reviews. If this were a steady supply of reviews, it could be a decent income, but it's not, so you end up spending a lot of time doing nothing and not being paid for it, such is life For the last 3 months or so they've had an issue whereby a lot of reviews were duplicated up to 15 times and we were told to moderate those as we would normal reviews, so you can imagine how many reviews we've been having to moderate, my moderated review count was probably around 4x the number I normally do, almost throughout the entirety of June this was going on for. So being quite excited about the prospect of a boost in income, to my and other mods surprise and shock, we're not being paid for all those extra hours and work done, for the past 3 months when the issue started.. We're only being paid for the non duplicate reviews, plus 5% on top. So in my case, instead of receiving around £1500ish for the month of June, I'm only receiving around £500 I mean, I get it, marking each of these duplicates was very quick/easy, as it was a repeat decision from the previous 14, but to let us do all that work and not pay us for it?
    • That's good news, well done. From  memory, self-employed people didn't pay into SERPS, it was for employees. And I believe SERPS stopped in 2002, being replaced by S2P. HB
    • You should for the court to consider otherwise they wont grant a directions hearing.
    • Two things: Firstly, can you avoid posting solid blocks of text. They are very difficult for people to read and to follow especially when using small screen such as telephones. Properly spaced please. I have restructured your one for you – but it would be nice if you took care of this yourself. Secondly, when you upload documents in PDF format – please can you use single file multipage format and also a name which is meaningful instead of just random numbers.pdf. As a general guide, you should upload documents in a way that you would like yourself to receive them if you are helping somebody free of charge. I have deleted the two files which you have uploaded earlier. As far as I can make out they are all part of the same document and should have been uploaded in a single file format and named. As it is, they aren't especially relevant at the moment so don't bother about reposting them but please bear in mind what we are saying about uploaded documents. I notice that although I asked you if the item was properly declared and valued you haven't responded in particular you haven't told us the declared value. Is there any reason for this please? Do you understand why you don't need parcel delivery insurance?
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    • If you are buying a used car – you need to read this survival guide.
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    • Hello,

      On 15/1/24 booked appointment with Big Motoring World (BMW) to view a mini on 17/1/24 at 8pm at their Enfield dealership.  

      Car was dirty and test drive was two circuits of roundabout on entry to the showroom.  Was p/x my car and rushed by sales exec and a manager into buying the mini and a 3yr warranty that night, sale all wrapped up by 10pm.  They strongly advised me taking warranty out on car that age (2017) and confirmed it was honoured at over 500 UK registered garages.

      The next day, 18/1/24 noticed amber engine warning light on dashboard , immediately phoned BMW aftercare team to ask for it to be investigated asap at nearest garage to me. After 15 mins on hold was told only their 5 service centres across the UK can deal with car issues with earliest date for inspection in March ! Said I’m not happy with that given what sales team advised or driving car. Told an amber warning light only advisory so to drive with caution and call back when light goes red.

      I’m not happy to do this, drive the car or with the after care experience (a sign of further stresses to come) so want a refund and to return the car asap.

      Please can you advise what I need to do today to get this done. 
       

      Many thanks 
      • 81 replies
    • Housing Association property flooding. https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/topic/438641-housing-association-property-flooding/&do=findComment&comment=5124299
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      • 162 replies
    • We have finally managed to obtain the transcript of this case.

      The judge's reasoning is very useful and will certainly be helpful in any other cases relating to third-party rights where the customer has contracted with the courier company by using a broker.
      This is generally speaking the problem with using PackLink who are domiciled in Spain and very conveniently out of reach of the British justice system.

      Frankly I don't think that is any accident.

      One of the points that the judge made was that the customers contract with the broker specifically refers to the courier – and it is clear that the courier knows that they are acting for a third party. There is no need to name the third party. They just have to be recognisably part of a class of person – such as a sender or a recipient of the parcel.

      Please note that a recent case against UPS failed on exactly the same issue with the judge held that the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 did not apply.

      We will be getting that transcript very soon. We will look at it and we will understand how the judge made such catastrophic mistakes. It was a very poor judgement.
      We will be recommending that people do include this adverse judgement in their bundle so that when they go to county court the judge will see both sides and see the arguments against this adverse judgement.
      Also, we will be to demonstrate to the judge that we are fair-minded and that we don't mind bringing everything to the attention of the judge even if it is against our own interests.
      This is good ethical practice.

      It would be very nice if the parcel delivery companies – including EVRi – practised this kind of thing as well.

       

      OT APPROVED, 365MC637, FAROOQ, EVRi, 12.07.23 (BRENT) - J v4.pdf
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URGENT - Disciplinary for an unproved case


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My friend is having a really bad time at work - it seems the management are using anything to vicimize him and trying to trip him up and sack him over anything.

 

He's facing a formal disciplinary in the next few days for something he didn't do, so please if anyone has any speedy advice this weekend it would be appreciated.

 

I don't want to give specifics to try and keep it anonymous - appologies if this looks sketchy!

 

What happened

 

Basically my friend took money from petty cash to by an item for work. This had all been authorised, and is something he does regularly as part of his job, (and usually for much higher amounts, ie: £100's). A few days later when submitting the receipt he found he'd lost it, so he submitted the price tag as that was all he had.

 

Two months later one of the managers came across all this, and claimed the item was actually in a sale on that day, and that my friend had pocketed the difference. Without the receipt, my friend couldn't prove otherwise, so received a few informal warnings/meetings, and was put under investigation. When he called in the union he was then suspended, until the disciplinary next week. The alleged amount is about £15 (!)

 

My friend has since emailed the head office of the shop and received a reply stating that the sale didn't start until the week after the item was bought and the item would have cost the full amount on the price tag. The management say this email isn't good enough proof and are proceeding with the disciplinary anyway.

 

Also, in the early meetings & documentation the charge was referred to as financial inconsistancies (or similar) but the formal disciplinary is now being referred to specifically as theft (ie: pre-meditated). This is obviously not something you want against your name!

 

 

My Questions

 

1. Who is the burden of proof upon? The management could not prove the financial discrepancy did take place any more than my friend can prove that it didn't. The shop have no records as it was bought with cash, almost 3 months ago.

 

2. Can the management object to my friend recording the disciplinary?

 

3. Can/should my friend refuse to accept the charge of 'theft' now that he has the shop's email as proof (which the management have verbally said they won't accept)? Or should he accept the disciplinary and then appeal within the next few weeks which would give him time to get a proper signed letter from the shop.

 

4. If the disciplinary goes badly should my friend annonuce he's appealing there and then, or once it's closed.

 

5. If the management try introducing other areas of the job where my friend may have slipped up in the past, can my friend dismiss them/cut them short stating they're not the case in hand? How is it best to handle this situation?

 

6. When giving references for future jobs can this employer mention disiplinaries? If so, is this still the case if they get overturned?

"Be reasonable, demand the impossible"

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My friend is having a really bad time at work - it seems the management are using anything to vicimize him and trying to trip him up and sack him over anything.

 

He's facing a formal disciplinary in the next few days for something he didn't do, so please if anyone has any speedy advice this weekend it would be appreciated.

 

I don't want to give specifics to try and keep it anonymous - appologies if this looks sketchy!

 

What happened

 

Basically my friend took money from petty cash to by an item for work. This had all been authorised, and is something he does regularly as part of his job, (and usually for much higher amounts, ie: £100's). A few days later when submitting the receipt he found he'd lost it, so he submitted the price tag as that was all he had.

 

Two months later one of the managers came across all this, and claimed the item was actually in a sale on that day, and that my friend had pocketed the difference. Without the receipt, my friend couldn't prove otherwise, so received a few informal warnings/meetings, and was put under investigation. When he called in the union he was then suspended, until the disciplinary next week. The alleged amount is about £15 (!)

 

My friend has since emailed the head office of the shop and received a reply stating that the sale didn't start until the week after the item was bought and the item would have cost the full amount on the price tag. The management say this email isn't good enough proof and are proceeding with the disciplinary anyway.

 

Also, in the early meetings & documentation the charge was referred to as financial inconsistancies (or similar) but the formal disciplinary is now being referred to specifically as theft (ie: pre-meditated). This is obviously not something you want against your name!

 

 

My Questions

 

1. Who is the burden of proof upon? The management could not prove the financial discrepancy did take place any more than my friend can prove that it didn't. The shop have no records as it was bought with cash, almost 3 months ago.

 

2. Can the management object to my friend recording the disciplinary?

 

3. Can/should my friend refuse to accept the charge of 'theft' now that he has the shop email as proof (which the management have verbally said they won't accept)? Or should he accept the disciplinary and then appeal within the next few weeks which would give him time to get a proper signed letter from the shop.

 

4. When giving references for future jobs can this employer mention disiplinaries? If so, is this still the case if they get overturned?

 

Very unfortunate for your friend. Employers do tend to take a dim view of petty cash irregularities, and for their purposes a price tag would not neccessarily suffice as they would need evidence of VAT paid in order to reconcile the accounts. Therefore, their original investigation for a financial irregularity may well have been justified. In similar circumstances in the past where a receipt has been lost, I have sometimes had to accept the loss and pay for the item myself, but that is just me. Others, on realising the receipt has been lost have been able to get a handwritten 'duplicate' from the shop, or have even bought another item, photocopied the receipt and then returned the item for refund!

 

Nevertheless, in changing the allegation against your friend to 'theft', this places things on a far more serious footing. Unless the case is clear cut, which it is not, how are they qualified to investigate such a suspicion? Theft is a criminal matter, and in the absence of concrete proof cannot be used to dismiss your friend unless investigated by the Police. Was the correct procedure carried out to date? Has the employer given written details of the allegation and what sanctions may result from the hearing? Have they given your friend teh right to be accompanied?

 

You say that the Union are involved - what is their opinion and what are they doing to help? Their legal services representative should be involved. Your friend must keep the e mail from the shop as this would suffice as concrete proof that he has only reclaimed what the item actually cost - the author could ultimately be held to account in Court.

 

Personally, I think that your friend should attend the disciplinary with somebody accompanying him. If the accusation is solely one of theft then they will have to provide evidence to substantiate this. The e mail from the store can be produced even though they see it as insufficient and your friend may ask exactly what proof they would accept in order to believe him. If the employer is adamant that a theft has occurred then he should demand that the Police be involved as he is accused of a criminal act. If they refuse this then (in the absence of investigation by a qualified agency) they cannot prove theft. Should he be dismissed or otherwise disciplined then he can proceed with an appeal. Also, if they charge him with other misdemeanours not stated in the letter advising him of action then he should indeed tell them that they are introducing matters for which he has not been given notice nor time to gather evidence to defend himself.

 

The employer is entitled to refuse a request to record the hearing although your friend is entitled to ask. If permission is not forthcoming, then the colleague or Union rep witnessing the meeting should take clear notes of everything. There have been cases in the past where employees have used say a mobile phone or MP3 recorder to record a hearing without asking permission and Tribunals have accepted these as evidence of discrepancies in the testimony of employers :wink:

 

The Disciplinary matter will only be recorded on the personnel file if proven. A hearing where the employee was cleared of any wrongdoing cannot be held on file or mentioned in a reference.

 

Hope that he gets on OK but I feel that this one may drag on!

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Thanks sidewinder, that all sounds good advice. Looks like I edited some of my questions while you were replying! :D

 

I'm seeing my friend later today so will ask some of the questions you pose. The 'theft' element sounds a good way of tripping the managers back up. :)

 

Theft is a criminal matter, and in the absence of concrete proof cannot be used to dismiss your friend unless investigated by the Police.

 

Are there any Acts or laws on this that my friend can use to back this up? Not that I'm doubting you, but it would cut short any discussions in the meeting if referred to and then produced.

 

From what I've heard the case has not been dealt with using the proper proceedures at all, and they're really just using anything they can think of to be vindictive (IMHO) and in their frenzy don't go by the book. Coz none of us know the book it's hard to realize that at the time. That's why my friend got the union involved in the end. The union say the email is proof enough, but for some reason don't think it's necessary for them to attend the hearing(!?).

 

When you say tribunals have accepted secret recordings, have they also refused them? It seems a bit of a gamble either way.

"Be reasonable, demand the impossible"

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Quote:

Theft is a criminal matter, and in the absence of concrete proof cannot be used to dismiss your friend unless investigated by the Police.

 

Apologies - I should have qualified this. The employer can try to do anything that they want to do, but if they allege theft and act as Judge, Jury and Executioner then they will come unstuck at a Tribunal if they have not employed the services of the Police, private investigator, security guard etc to provide an opinion to corroborate their suspicion. The employer is not required to prove 'beyond reasonable doubt' that the theft occurred as this is not a Court, but would need to prove to a Tribunal that strong evidence exists that the theft took place. In this particular case, whilst they may suspect theft, it is unlikely that they have proof, indeed your friend has taken reasonable steps to prove that their suspicions are unfounded. The fact that they have ignored the evidence provided by your friend is important, for unless they have some other proof that their action in suspending your friend is fair, then he has done far more to prove his position than they have theirs. If they were to dismiss based on just a suspicion, without 'strong evidence' then a Tribunal would almost certainly rule that the dismissal was unfair.

 

The rules regarding disciplinary procedures are clear. Employers must follow strict guidelines:-

 

In step one you must give a written statement to the employee setting out why you have decided to take disciplinary action.

 

In step two you must meet the employee, who has the right to be accompanied by his or her colleague or union representative. You should state your case, let the employee respond and then, after the meeting, give the employee your decision. You should explain that the employee may appeal against your decision.

 

In step three the employee may appeal against your decision and choose to be accompanied at the appeal meeting, which should ideally be heard by a different or more senior manager. You should inform the employee of the decision of the appeal. The employee must appeal to complete the statutory procedure.

 

Regarding secret recordings, the recent case HERE explains how certain elements of a secret recording were deemed admissible at the Tribunal, and also why other parts were not allowed to be heard. The importance of a witness present to take notes cannot be overstressed, particularly where these are signed by the employer as a true record of what was discussed at the hearing. That would reduce the need for a recording of the proceedings. Would I make a recording? Probably if I could and my reputation was at risk.

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Any advice given is done so on the assumption that recipients will also take professional advice where appropriate.

 

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Well, things have taken a few twists today.

 

My friend received a CC of a new email sent to his manager from the shop head office saying sorry but in the previous email they were mistaken, and the item would have been in the sale after all. Bit of a bizarre sudden change of mind as in the previous email they were so sure. Hmmmmmmmmm.... :(

 

Also, in a new document outlining the forthcoming disciplinary/written warning, the case is now referred to as something like 'not following procedures for handling finances' - so the theft angle is of no use now - the previous document where 'theft' was used was just the investigation case file.

 

So, my thought is that if by not originally submitting a valid receipt he has 'not followed procedures for handling finances', then my friend really must put his hand up - an appeal seems pointless?

 

A weird thing is though that as part of the disciplinary he's apparently gonna be asked to repay the alleged discrepancy (£15 odd), but not the full amount of the missing receipt. To me this request is still an implied accusation of theft, rather than just trying to re-balance the cash float against any missing/unusable receipts - paying it is like admitting you took it. Should/can my friend refuse to pay? Thoughts???

 

Also, there are two other points that might give a glimmer of hope:

 

1. After the initial formal warning which declared that the matter was under investigation, my friend was allowed to carry on their job as normal, still regularly handling money. This was for several weeks.

 

2. He was only suspended the day after another formal 'grilling' which he had cut short by saying he'd had enough and was seeking advice from the union. It was as if the managers had panicked as soon as this was said, as there was no mention of suspension before.

 

I've no idea if these sorts of things are normal/allowed, but it seems a bit suss. If they're incorrect procedure could it invalidate the disciplinary?

 

If not should my friend mention these 2 points in the disciplinary? Can he ask the managers for explanations of their actions so they're noted in the file?

"Be reasonable, demand the impossible"

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  • 2 weeks later...

Perhaps your friend should tell his boss that he believes that he is still being accused of theft and that if they don't stop the allegation (to which it still is by making him pay the difference) then he (your friend) should threaten to call in the Police who may then go over ALL of the companies financial records on Petty Cash.

 

If he decides to pay it, he can and should issue a small claims summons on his employer where his employer will either have to fork out for solicitors to defend or pay your friend what he is due plus any court costs incurred. His employer will then think twice about going near your friend in future if he is willing to go to the police or courts.

 

Good Luck in any case!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks Dundeelaw. The small claims is a good idea, but would a court take it seriously at less than £15?

 

A couple of new things have happened since this - could do with more advice. :)

 

Firstly, my friend paid the money, accepted the disciplinary and somehow gave up the right to appeal in order for the mark on his record to only last 6 months. The other option was to have the option to appeal but the mark would stay for 12 months. He wants a new job ASAP so 6 months seemed better.

 

Secondly, last week he got a text from an old co-worker who works on a totally different site saying they'd 'heard about the case [mentioning most of the specifics] from the management, and were really sorry, hope you get yourself sorted soon', etc.... Obviously my mate is fuming as one of his managers has totally breached confidentiality (the manager he suspected apparently went bright red when confronted about it!).

 

Can/should anything be done formally about this? He still has the text in his phone.

 

Is there any way he can get the management to lift the disciplinary from his file now that they've 'broken the rules' on the matter themselves?

 

Also, the 6 months - should that be from the date of the alleged event, the date the investigation happened or the date of the disciplinary?

"Be reasonable, demand the impossible"

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Just bumping - is anyone able to advise on managers breaking confidentiality (detailed in the above post).

 

Speaking to a friend at work, she reckoned the managers 'gossiping' about this case with other staff could be seen as being malicious. Anyone else agree?

"Be reasonable, demand the impossible"

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In general a manager breaching confidentiality would not have any effect on the disciplinary process.

 

If your friend genuinely thinks he is being victimised then he should start collecting evidence and then raise a grievance. If he can show that the disciplinary process is part of a pattern of victimisation then he should be able to get it removed.

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