Jump to content
DaiseeMae63

Gross misconduct hearing

style="text-align:center;"> Please note that this topic has not had any new posts for the last 3608 days.

If you are trying to post a different story then you should start your own new thread. Posting on this thread is likely to mean that you won't get the help and advice that you need.

If you are trying to post information which is relevant to the story in this thread then please flag it up to the site team and they will allow you to post.

Thank you

Recommended Posts

Hi. I work for local authority employed as a social worker. I was suspended for gross misconduct in April this year for not following correct financial procedures, not adhering to my professional code of conduct amongst other things. I was also arrested for Fraud although the case was closed as following investigation the police deemed that I had not committed a criminal act. I have admitted to poor practice etc but at the time had significant stressors in my life. My husband had been made redundant. I then discovered that he was having an affair. I was under the hospital for ongoing health problems. My mother was suffering from depression and my son announced that his girlfriend was pregnant (we all live together in the same house!). Work were fully aware my situation. At work I was under additional pressure as I was studying for an MA but was struggling with deadlines. I had asked to withdraw from the course but this was refused. I had also had to assume responsibility for an additional team which doubled my workload. On several occassions I was distressed at work and clearly not coping. Following suspension I was diagnosed with depression, prescribed medication and attended counselling sessions. I should have done this a long time beforehand. I have recieved a date for my disciplinary hearing today and with it witness statements which have been devastating to read. I have been painted as a dishonest thief and liar with no creedance at all given to mitigation. I have no union representation and really feel lost. I have freely admitted to what I have done but it has now moved on to character assassination. I have worked for the LA for 16 years with no disciplinary`s against me until this and have never been involved in one. I am also concerned that the person chairing the hearing was the person that originally reported me to the police so is not at all impartial. I am absolutely terrified and any advice anyone could offer me would be so welcome.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello and welcome to CAG.

 

This may not be as bad as it seems, and we'll do our best here to help you. I'm just the warm up act for the big guns if you like, but I just wanted to let you know that someone is listening. We're not here to judge you, but we may need to ask some questions that will be tough for you to talk about in order to advise you. I expect the gurus will be along later with some comments for you. In the meantime, if you worry that you're dropping down the list, answer your own thread and type in Bump [bring up my thread]. My answering will put you back to the top of the list for now, so don't do it right now :).

 

I think it could help us to know what you did, if you're prepared to tell us. Is it something to do with expenses? Also, what kind of paper trail do you have about the stuff you've been put through that has made you ill please?

 

Big hugs, HB x


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi there.

 

So sorry to hear of all your problems - the last few mionths must have been a nightmare. I'm afraid that it is a little difficult to advise on a suitable course of action unless we know a little more about the allegation against you - not asking for chapter and verse, but what exactly were you suspended for? How was the suspension handled and (apart from the false allegation of criminal behaviour) was the procedural breach allegation warranted? Is the mitigation solely based around your personal problems, or was this a genuine misunderstanding.

 

Take a deep breath and tell as much as you feel able to.


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

 

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING

EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

DONATE HERE

 

If I have been helpful in any way - please feel free to click on the STAR to the left!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Daiseemae......... What is that expression... it never rains but it pours. You will be glad to hear that many of us on here have been through those 'pouring' days and somehow managed to come through them and remained relatively unscathed.

 

Could I perhaps ask you to separate these problems into Problem 1 Problem 2 etc etc. Obviously they are all important to you but some are more important than others and timing may be important. So perhaps we can take Problem 1 as being the work issue and you can detail the order of the rest.

 

For what it is worth and until you detail the history can I just say that the Police negating the allegation of Fraud is a good step forward. That means that there was no evidence of a criminal nature so what we are talking about here is purely civil in nature. Obviously a criminal conviction (You didn't admit to any cautions or such like did you?) and your profession do not mix so what we need to uncover is why the Police did not proceed. Their investigation may be of some benefit to you. Perhaps you should be writing and asking the Police to disclose all the information they have on you in regard to this investigation. Perhaps a Subject Access Request should be applied for. This may show up inconsistencies between what witnesses said to the Police and what they have said in the internal investigation. Get writing, keeping copies obviously ( I take it we don't have to explain the need for documenting everything!!!!)

 

Can you remember when and to who you told all your problems to at work? The fact that they loaded you with more and more seems dreadfully unfair especially when they knew you were under so much stress and strain. Please explain why you could not withdraw from the MA?

 

Have you written in and requested your personnel file? Again a SAR should be done to get what they know about you in your hands too. There might be things on there that are not correct and have tainted management views.

 

I am assuming for a moment that the GM is bad enough to dismiss you and looking forward to that point so ask you this, why is your union not helping? have you legal Protection Insurance for employment disputes, they can be found in Home Contents insurance policies. Perhaps a tactic you should try and fight is the unfairness of the procedure they are making you go through and that must include all the things THEY did that is against you and put you under pressure. Your post above gives certain clues already, false allegation to the police (different statement perhaps??) ; refusing to stop the MA ; more work ; less staff?? ; lack of counselling?? ; social circumstance.

 

So let's have a positive attitude...... you are who you are and that is probably not a bad person just one trying to cope when all around you is falling to bits.

 

Speak soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you so much for help so far. It`s just a relief to know that i`m not on my own to be honest.

What I done could well be construed as GM. I became over involved with a service user and acted like a family member instead of a professional with a service user that I had been working with for 2 years. I failed to get written permission to withdraw money from his account to pay his bills (although he gave witnessed verbal permission which has been acknowledged), failed to get the withdrawls witnessed and countersigned and failed to ensure that his bank card was locked in the safe. Its serious and i wish with all my heart I could turn back the clock. In 16 years of practice I have never done anything like this and would have been horrified if a team member had done the same. I was originally arrested for effectively `stealing` the monies that were withdrawn but the police have provided a statement which says that they are sure the money was used to pay bills. Reciepts were on his file. I also arranged for his flat to be cleared as the SU went into care and again, work went along the route that I had got a friend to do it or had the money myself. The police were able to establish that a company had indeed done it.

Work issues were ongoing leading up to this and the week when I withdraw money etc was the week when I was ill myself and then 2 days later discovered my husband was having an affair.

I realise now that I shouldn`t have been at work but honestly didn`t realise that at the time. being suspended was like hitting a brick wall and I was diagnosed with depression etc shortly after.

I am not a member of a union. I did try to get support and even offered to pay a years back subs but to no avail.

Work have followed the correct processes to a degree although something has come to light that i`m not happy with.

The main witness in this (a work colleague) must have told her best friend (an ex colleague) what had happened (this friend is also a ex colleague of mine and someone I considered my friend). She said to her `she`s finally got caught then` which was reported back to work and a service manager went round and interviewed her where she proceeded to state that I was slapdash, made up things about myself to get sympathy and my husband and sons had cleared properties in the past for money (which is absolutely untrue) and she was glad I had finally been caught. Her witness statement has been given to me and the service manager has commented that this appears to collaberate evidence that I used family to clear properties. This ex colleague had been in touch with me before she was interviewed however and because I stupidly trusted her, told her everything what was going on so of course she was able to make it look good on her part and possibly collude with her friend. I have e mails from her sent via Facebook asking me to tell her exactly what is going on etc. and even more recent ones asking if i`d like to go on holiday in her caravan! Would it be appropriate to raise a grievance? This information was also given to the chair of my disciplinary who also reported me to the police. In addition, my line manager has said that my honesty had recently been called into question as I had lied about asking my team for overtime. What actually happened was that I genuinely thought I had sent out an e mail but had spoken to some team members instead and missed someone out. She said that I had apologised for lying. What I actually apologised for was thinking I had sent out the e mail!

Re withdrawing from the course. I requested this by e mail to our training team saying that I couldn`t cope but following a meeting with a service manager (who happens to be the investigating officer) was told this was not an option as the course had cost too much money etc etc.

I have asked for a copy of this e mail, plus copies of my supervision notes. To date I have not recieved these.

Sorry but one other question

I am currently signed of sick with depression and anxiety. I went in to see Occ Health last week who felt that I was well enough to attend a hearing and last week, I felt I was indeed getting stronger. Since I have had the witness statements etc I am back to square one but having panic attacks etc as well. I absolutely appreciate that disciplinaries are a distressing time for anyone but really am not coping with this at all well. My GP however feels differently. She has been very supportive. Can I be made to attend a disciplinary whilst signed of?

I am absolutely convinced that I am going to lose my job. My family have said for the sake of my mental health state etc just leave now, get myself better and start to somehow rebuild my life. I`m trying to keep my thoughts rational but to be honest i`m struggling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello again. This does sound tough. I think we shall need to work with you about what you've done and some of it wasn't best advised, as you know.

 

As for attending a disc meeting if you're not mentally capable, I think I'm right in saying you can't be forced to do this, am I guys? Although some employers try, as we see here.

 

I hope the others will answer more of your questions, but as papasmurf said and you seem to have confirmed, the police have closed the case because none of the money ended up with you. This can only help you.

 

My best, HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Honeybee. Its really difficult putting things down in writing and I realise it looks awful.. I`m very ashamed but never ever meant anyone harm and fully accept that procedures are there for a reason and by not following them-this is what happens. I had a case load myself and was trying to oversee over 150 cases from other team members. I hope this puts into perspective the chaos I was working in at the time. Not an excuse i know as I was a professional person. Thanks again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi there. I know how it is, have been somewhere similar. If you're overloaded through no fault of your own, all sorts of things can go wrong.

 

HB x


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Daiseemae........ You have been to OH and they say you are OK. That doesn't have to be correct, only in the eyes of the employer, who wants to clear things up asap. You then say your GP disagrees that you are not coping.

 

Can you clarify is your GP supporting you against the OH opinion or is it that the Gp is thinking you are bearing up well when you go to see her?

 

The fact is that if you are suspended and have to face a DH then you have to be mentally fit to be able to do yourself justice, have time to prepare a defence, and have someone with you to assist you in doing that.

 

So can you clear up the GP point please?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi again. Thanks for the additional information - I realise how difficult it is to get things down in writing when you are feeling this low. Papasmurf and HB have bothe echoed my own thoughts regarding OH and the hearing itself. As far as procedure is concerned, you cannot be made to attend a hearing whilst off sick, and it would be perfectly in order to request an adjournment based on the GP opinion (as somebody who knows you better and has had the opportunity to assess you on more than just the one occasion). The employer can, at the end of the day though, hear the case in your absence if they feel this is justified (although it would certainly be considered unreasonable) for the first adjournment.

 

Your 'friend' sounds like a piece of work! You should certainly use copies of the private communication that you have received from her as a part of your hearing. Although it will not necessarily help the fundamentals of the case, the allegation against your family clearing houses is defamatory and you are entitled to demand a retraction and for all concerned to refrain from repeating that. This is particularly relevant as the police involvement could already have future consequences in terms of enhanced CRB checks.

 

In terms of the breaches of procedure, I think all you can do is mitigate. It would certainly seem that you have little room to argue that what you did was contrary to normal guidelines, and you will have to say, as you have done here, that it was always with the interests of the SU in mind, but that your professional detachment slipped on occasions and you became too involved. Your judgement was clouded by events outside of work, and you found it impossible to function normally, and did not realise the extent of your depression. You have now sought treatment for this, and would like to emphasise that this was completely out of character and you are devastated that your previously exemplary record has been tarnished in this manner, There has been no personal gain whatsoever, as witnessed by the Police investigation, and you wish that you could turn back the clock.

 

I cannot really add more than that, and in the current environment I am not confident that it will cut you much slack to be honest. If you do end up being dismissed, then you would have a right of appeal, and this would have to be addressed by a more senior, or at least different person to the one making the original decision.

 

The final point, and possibly most important, is that you must look after your health first and foremost. Trust your family and use their support. Sometimes things do work out better than you might think, and although it may take time, you will get through this and be stronger for it.


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

 

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING

EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

DONATE HERE

 

If I have been helpful in any way - please feel free to click on the STAR to the left!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry papasmurf I didn`t make the situation very clear. My GP is being very supportive and does not think that I am well enough to be at work or attend a hearing. I`m signed of until the 16th October which is when I was due to see her again although I am trying to get an earlier appointment as i`ve gone downhill again.

Sidewinder-thank you for the advice and mitigation is all i`ve got to go on to be honest.

Will the fact that I was arrested but the case dropped show up on an enhanced CRB check? I didn`t realise that and it could indeed have serious implications for future attempts at job hunting. I know every where I have looked advises against it but i`m seriously considering handing in my notice and just trying to sort my health issues out. I realise that this will not look good on any future job application but will always have to explain what happened if i get fired.

I`m trying to be positive but realistic at the same time.

Thank you for the advice x

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Daiseemae

 

 

I think sidewinder has succinctly stated the position. I would like to add as you have raised it above that personally I would NOT just trow in the towel and resign. The reason is because any enhanced CRB check may well raise the issue for the future. Police LOCAL records are searched and disclosed. This would mean that the allegation would be on the record. You then have to explain why it is there and you might find that very difficult if you do not fight the DH.

 

I realise that it is a judgement between your health and your future employment chances and that decision has to be yours and yours alone. However these 'mock' trials are often pre judged and you have an uphill task to over turn them. But they do not have to be forgone conclusions if you work at the bits you can. Remember your only true 'trial' would be in front of a Tribunal and out of the hands of the employer.

 

You NEED someone that can lead you through this and as you don't have a union it is going to have to be a friend but that friend must be up to the job ie not fazed by officialdom and rank. Have you anyone that can do that? Husband? (although I realise he is not in your best books at present)

 

From what you have said you have to attack the evidence and motives of the people that 'dropped' you in it. Again the comparing of police statements with employment statements might help so you must get them.

 

You have to assume dismissal at stage 2 and lay the ground work for the appeal and hopefully reinstatement and a different sanction replacing dismissal.

 

In order to make time your GP's opinion is very relevant and you should not be bullied into going when not well.

 

Finally if you proceed then it is important to RECORD the proceedings with a digital recorder. You cannot trust the employer to make true notes and anything that you say that they should take into account can and will be omitted from their notes (even deleting items that don't suit!!!! it happens). So the appeal will have to account for these type of events yet to happen.

 

Don't lose hope BUT YOU HAVE TO WORK FOR A GOOD RESULT and that may be months away.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello there. I agree with papasmurf, please don't just resign. I think you would regret it later for many reasons.

 

I think the best person to back you, but not represent you at a hearing of course, is your GP. I would be guided by her and think of OH the way either sidewinder or papasmurf said - they just had a snapshot of how you were feeling and there's a risk that you were trying to be brave and treat it like a business meeting. This is a trap professionals fall into sometimes [like myself a while back] and it really doesn't help. Don't be brave please and also don't go to a meeting too soon. OH don't know you as well as your long time medical adviser.

 

HB x


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you once again.

I`m going to write to work to ask for a postponment of the hearing as I am definately not well enough at the moment. This will also give me time to consider my options. It was a bit of a shock about the CRB but i`m going to contact the police as papasmurf suggested in an earlier posting to indeed compare statements. I contacted ACAS today and they said that they COULD go ahead with the hearing if they so wished but it wouldn`t be a good idea.

One of my friends has asked if there is anything I can do re my employers contacting the police so early before any internal investigation had been commenced. I was given over night to provide all reciepts etc which I was able to do but because there was no written agreement from the SU to withdraw money they contacted the police as I left the building. When I was arrested and questioned by the police they confirmed that they hadn`t been given copies of all the reciepts and felt at that point that I had done nothing criminally wrong. This now has a potentially serious impact on future CRB checks. Sorry not trying to pass the buck here but looking from all angles at what has happened. Just thought there would have been an internal investigation of some sorts first?

Thanks again for advice. It really is helping. x

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Daiseemae.... allegations to the police are just that allegations until they feel they have sufficient evidence to charge. That did not happen so there wasn't. It could be argued that where a person (employer in position to believe it is so) has the inkling that an offence has taken place then it should be reported to the police. Even on what you have told us I would suggest that your employer could have so concluded. The fact that your honesty could be proved but that internal procedures were not followed needs to be explained. THAT is what you are about now. I think it may be called damage limitation.

 

Minimise as much as possible your side of it and maximise their side of it. You have to get them into the position as to make a decision that is APPROPRIATE to the level of your misdemeanour. Muddy the waters and complain that you did not get the support you needed at a stressful time. Your goal is to keep your job (and possibly relocate within the SS's perhaps to a less stressful existence.

 

We all make mistakes, even if you do end up losing the job think about having as many excuses for the next job interview. I don't hold out much chance at the present as was said above, you are an easy target for a reduction of staff.

 

I have just had a thought as well..... perhaps they may be in a position to offer you redundancy..... so it MUST be in your interests to prolong this for as long as you can. Are you suspended on full pay? How long does that last for?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also another thought Daiseemae........ how long have you been 'disabled' ? Don't take offence here, all I mean by that is the legal definition of disability. Your depression / anxiety etc could be termed a disability and if they knew that you were so 'disabled' then they were under a duty to make reasonable adjustments. That could be construed as allowing the MA to slip, not overloading your work and teams, fully investigating the allegation before calling in the police. You need to put them on the back foot. If you can get some sort of protection of the DDA then take it. It complicates their lives a little bit more and could work to your advantage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi again.

I am currently suspended on full pay although this will only last for another 6 weeks or so. I was only diagnosed with depression and anxiety after I was suspended although I had made the appointment to see my GP 3 weeks before hand as I knew I was not `right` and needed some help but this is just my say so and cannot be proven. I have been back to the GP as I have started having panic attacks and episodes of acute anxiety and have been prescribed Valium temporarily. A colleague who left around the same time as this happened has been in touch and said that she would be more than happy to provide a statement of truth re the pressure we were under and the times we raised concerns about this. I have also requested my supervision notes as I did not have regular supervision and also a copy of the e mail that I sent to Workforce development re asking to withdraw from the course and not being able to cope. I e mailed HR on Friday and they have agreed to postpone the hearing for a while. I have also written to the local police re the arrest asking what information may be disclosed on an enhanced CRB although I had another blow today as an ex colleague said that there could be the possibility that I would be referred for inclusion on the new vetting and barring register (ISA) because of what I have done which is just awful.

Can anyone advise me as to wether I can ask for the disciplinary to go ahead without my attendance if I provide a written statement and documentation? I do not feel well enough at all to attend but want to be able to move on however possible that is going to be.

Thanks again for the ongoing advice. It is so helpful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you write in and ask for it to go ahead in your absence, there is little likelihood of you getting any result worthy of your mitigation. It will be like a paper exercise all around. Their witnesses will not be challenged merely thanked for attending and giving evidence. They will all adjourn for tea and you will receive a letter telling you of the outcome that will have been decided the minute to write in to say you are not attending.

 

The short answer is you have to attend to defend yourself and get your case together. Make it easy for them you lose. Make it difficult you may still lose round 1, you may lose round 2 (appeal) but you may retreive something if you fight it all the way to ET.

 

It's your life you need to fight for it. Sorry to be harsh but that is how these things work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 Caggers

    No registered users viewing this page.


  • Have we helped you ...?


×
×
  • Create New...