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Most unfair employment tribunal ever


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I had my full hearing yesterday at the employment tribunal but the decision was so perverse that it was unbelievable.

We had to wait for members of the tribunal to attend, and in that time (1 ½ hours later) the judge asked us into the tribunal room to discuss the way forward during the ET.

The judge asked the respondent’s solicitor what matters had to be decided and their solicitor told him that the respondent accepted that a judgement of unfair dismissal would be decided on the basis that no appeal was offered, so therefore it was just a case of deciding on contributory conduct.

We left the room and waited for the ET to begin, I was not represented.

When we again entered the room, my employer read out his statement followed by a few questions from the judge.

When it was my turn to cross examines the witness, after 3 questions regarding the use of timesheets and the accuracy needed, the judge stopped the hearing and told me to ask questions relating only to the falsifying of my timesheet that we needed to move matters on more quickly.

I had prepared about 50 to 60 questions, mainly relating to the lack of investigation carried out, the process that the disciplinary meeting took, as well as the lack of proof in the evidence.

What I wanted to prove was that my employer failed to carry out anything near to a proper investigation, that the same person gathered the evidence, interrogated me at the disciplinary hearing and also made the decision to dismiss me. The only evidence that I saw at any time was given to me half way through the disciplinary meeting, after I had been interrogated. I was sure that I could prove that the whole of the statutory procedures had not been followed in any respect and that I had been treated unfairly.

Even by just reading through their 2 witness statements, you could see some major discrepancies between them and the notes of the meeting which were written some time after the disciplinary meeting. They based their whole witness statements on these notes, which were not complete and defiantly not accurate.

The judge was getting quite frustrated and kept interrupting me, telling me that these were not the issue and just concentrate on the fact that I had falsified my timesheet.

What I had done, was to pop home on a Tuesday but not declare it on my timesheet, my boss had a tip off that my van was at home at lunchtime, he concluded that I stayed at home for the rest of the afternoon, where in fact I have evidence signed by my customers after that time (the paperwork customers sign, show the times that the jobs are complete). I did manage to prove that employees do not have to write down on their timesheets, what time they take lunch, but that was as far as I got before the judge stopped me.

On the Friday, my mobile was running out charge and I phoned one of my employers secretaries and told her I would have to pop home to recharge it. I drove home and charged it for 15 minutes or so, then went back to work, Unknown to me, my boss had decided to visit my house and took a photo of my van parked outside, complete with a photo showing his dashboard clock. He insisted to the tribunal that he stayed there for 50 minutes which I know was not true, but they believed him and not me. The secretary now says that I did phone her and told her I had a problem with my phone, but I did not say that I would have to pop home. My boss contends that I went home with the intention of staying at home.

I could prove the events on the Tuesday, but could not prove the events on the Friday.

The ET would not let me question what had gone on, on the Tuesday and were only interested with the Friday.

My step 1 letter, which did not say that I could be dismissed, only stated “matters to be considered, discrepancies in timesheets for week commencing.............., no times or dates, although it did say that I had the right to be accompanied.

Anyway, the decision that was reached by the tribunal was that I was automatically unfairly dismissed by way that the respondent had not offered me the opportunity to appeal. My contributory conduct was considered to be 100%, so no award could be made. If I had been offered an appeal, the decision reached would have been the same.

They did not mention at all in their decision, anything about the 3 tests that they perform to see if a decision was fair or not

All in all, not quite what I expected when I started this whole process, I’ve spent the morning trying to find an employment solicitor who would take the case on by the way of no win no fee, but because they would have to appeal, they won’t touch it with a bargepole.

My faith in British justice seems unchanged

Here is my earlier post just after the pre-hearing

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Hi, I have just taken part in a pre-hearing review in the employment tribunal, to find out if I had a week case against my employer and to possibly pay a deposit for continuing.

 

The meeting lasted for 25 minuites, only the respondants solicitors spoke and gave evidence to the judge, before he stopped the procedures, saying that, as my employer had not followed steps 1 and 3 correctly, then this was possibly automatic unfair dismissal. He has now set a date for my hearing on the 10th of july. He pointed out that I had arguments in relation to step 1 and 3 of the statutory dismisal procedures.

He has asked me to complete a schedule of loss, witness statement and exchange all documents.

 

I'll try to summerise the events as good as I can.

 

I work as an engineer visiting cutomers premisis servicing and repairing faults. I have to fill in a timesheet each week showing sites and times, which the company uses for paying me and for invoicing.

 

I received a letter from the compay stating that I would have to attend a disciplinary hearing in regard to discrepancies in my timesheet, as well as a customer complaint in regard to me leaving a system in fault. It stated that this could be gross misconduct. I was offered the right to be accompanied.

There was no other information in the letter, such as possible outcome, or evidence, although, they maintain that a copy of the discipinary procedures and a copy of my timesheet were included with the step 1 letter, which they we'nt

I attended the office the following day, and spoke to the guy who was going to represent my employer in the meeting, he refused any more information, but gave me copies of my timesheet, saying that it pertaind to tuesday and friday.

 

I attended the meeting, which was held in a glass partitioned room, which I was'nt happy with, as my colleges could see and hear us. I was asked to talk through my timesheets for the 2 days.

Three times I confirmed they were correct, before they showed me a photograph of my van parked outside my house, when my timesheet showed that I was in work, I explained to them that I had to pop home to charge my phone, as confirmed by a secretary I spoke to earlier in the day.

I was asked about the second day, answered all their questions, but they did not beleive that I re-attended site to repair the system i left in fault, which I can prove, Another engineer visited the site after myself and confirmed that the system was free of faults.

 

At the end of the meeting, I was told that they did not want to sack me, but asked me to resign, twice I refused, then gave in and resigned. I was then driven home.

 

I sent in my ET1 form for constructive dismissal, Which was rejected, as I had not sent my employer a grievence letter.

 

I wrote to my employer, stating that they had not followed the 3 steps correctly, and had not investigated correctly, I received a letter back stating that the matters had been investigated, and my employer felt that they were entitled to dismiss me.

 

In 23 years I have never had a blemish on my employment history ( 5 years with this company )

 

Anyway, back to the hearing,

 

1) The judge stated that he had no doubt that this was a dismissal.

 

2) He stated that as the step 1 letter did not set out the possible outcome of the hearing, The procedures were not followed correctly.

 

3) Because my employer did not offer the chance of an appeal at the disciplinary hearing, or in the response to to my greivence letter, that they failed to follow step 3 of the procedures

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I have now come to the conclusion that the judge mistakenly thought that everything had been covered at the pre-hearing, when in fact the pre-hearing was just about paying a deposit.

 

Sould I ask the ET to hear the case again ( if they can ) Or do I have to appeal?

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