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Impending disciplinary hearing

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Hello, I'm new here and hoping for some help. I have to attend a disciplinary hearing next week at which I have been warned I may be dismissed. I would really like some advice on what I might expect in terms of a "reasonable" outcome at the hearing. As far as I can tell my employer has followed due process (with the possible exception that they took my mobile phone from me at the time of suspending me on full pay and benefits - the phone is a company mobile and therefore a "benefit" but I'm unsure of any mileage in this from a contractual pov).


I would prepare for best and worst case scenario so if they do dismiss you that you have all questions related to mileage etce.etc. clarified before you leave the office after the meeting.




The allegations against me all relate to the discovery of an anonymous blog which a colleague has uncovered and is upholding as "true". It is in fact 99% fictional but senior managers have now read it and decided it brings the company into disrepute, offends colleagues, breaches trust etc. Nowhere in the blog do I mention my name, my employer's name or my colleagues. I do not believe it is possible to identify the company from the anonymous comments made there.

How did they identify you as the blogger? You can simply deny it because without proof they have nothing but an allegation.


I have 15 years of exemplary service with the company, a spotless record of conduct and performance. In addition, neither the company's disciplinary procedures nor their IT policy were known to me.


Were you aware your company had an IT policy since you used their laptop?


They claim to have been auditing company laptops routinely for several years but have never before attempted to discipline me for hits on non-work websites, use of company email for personal emails etc. Am I right in saying that if this behaviour has effectively been accepted by my company over a long period of time (the blog dates back 4 years) then they cannot very easily argue gross misconduct at this stage?

No, you can equally argue the company has been lax in following its own policies.



Is there mileage in my pointing out that other employees use the IT equipment for personal emails, social networking etc? I understand that this may speak to the fairness of any decision against my use of it in that way. What weight must be given to my years of service and spotless conduct/performance up until this time? Would instant dismissal be reasonable under the circumstances I've described?

Do you have your companies IT policy now? Is what you are accused of doing and the evidence they have presented to you prove Gross Misconduct? Experience can go against you rather than in your favour in these matters.



What alternatives should be considered by my employer? Finally, is there any point in my arguing that my privacy has been invaded by my colleague who has gone to considerable trouble to uncover this blog, albeit it is in the public domain?

How did they trace it to you? Was that person a member of HR?


It is being argued that there are "clear links" between my real name/job title and my pen-name as a writer which in turn is linked to an alias which is partially similar to the name under which this contentious blog is written. In fact the partial similiarity points to over 10,000 possible blogs. There is no clear or direct link to the contentious blog. Only by stalking me, in effect, has this colleague located the blog in question.

What evidence has been presented? Is your work laptop where you blogged from? If there is no hard evidence then deny deny deny.


Moreover, she is contesting that it is 100% accurate and true when in fact it is largely fictional and patently so. For example, I claim in the blog to be writing around half a million words of fiction a year (about 5 full length novels). And yet my employer knows that I am completing all my work tasks (albeit at odd hours since I work from home), meeting all targets and often exceeding them. This is recorded in 15 years of glowing written appraisals from my line managers. What weight must fairly be given to this fact, in the overall scheme of things? I'd be extremely grateful for any advice before the hearing next week. Thank you


I think the burden of proof is on your employer. If they haven't got proof that you blog and it is not against their IT policy then deny deny deny.


FSA Waiver on Bank Charges:http://www.fsa.gov.uk/pages/Doing/Regulated/Notify/Waiver/pdf/dir_quart_0709.pdf

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Have they got any proof that they are factual and was the content making remarks againt a said company that the annonymous(you) blogger worked for?


FSA Waiver on Bank Charges:http://www.fsa.gov.uk/pages/Doing/Regulated/Notify/Waiver/pdf/dir_quart_0709.pdf

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