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Refusal of resignation letter, company insists on dismissal

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Hi to everyone,

 

This my first post on CAG.

 

Sorry for the longish story below I just want to outline the case for clarity.

 

I need some advice regarding acceptance of a resignation letter, my son was placed on disciplinary action for failing to complete a 2 day training course provided by his employer, he went to the first day of the course and found that it was covering everything he already does, so instead of riding the course out and just playing the game he told the instructor that he felt it was pointless and he very stupidly decided to leave the course on the morning of the second day, obviously the instructor notified my sons employer, instead of contacting his manager he failed to phone anybody and inform them of his intentions and eventually turned up at home around midday. I then received a phone call from his workplace asking if he was there under the guise that they were concerned as to his whereabouts (they already had an idea of his foolish game I think), I said I hadn't seen him and that I would try and contact him, I then told him to get to work pronto and apologise for his idiocy.

 

It all went downhill from there and he was placed on disciplinary procedure, he was interviewed by a so called 'senior manager' ( I use that term loosely!) and my son said he was made to feel as though he was lower than vermin, ranting about letting down the company image (it was a basic product training course he was not appearing on national television!), failure to communicate, unauthorised absence etc...anyway he apologised profusely, put his hands up and told them it would never happen again ( he has no previous disciplinaries against him) this was not good enough and after being shouted out the matter was left till later in the day when a decision would be made.

 

His own department manager told him he felt they were being overzealous and a written or possibly a final written and payment towards the course out of his own pocket, would have been enough of a punishment, however,the situation turned darker and hints were coming through he would be dismissed for gross misconduct ( not a very professional company when everyone else knows whats going on before you do, no confidentiality whatsoever)....he decided with advice from his manager and other colleagues it would be better to resign before being dismissed to retain some dignity and give him a better chance to gain alternative employment, he served his notice with the required 4 week period to the 'senior manager' in front of 2 witnesses in the afternoon and was told about 2-3 hours later they were not accepting it and he was being dismissed with 4 weeks notice. (this appears to suit them because they are short staffed due to holidays and sickness)

 

They also want him pay towards the course and running costs of the hire vehicle he used to get there.

 

My question is, can they refuse to accept his resignation?

And can they force him to pay towards the course and vehicle costs? (although it does seem to appear in his contract about reclaiming costs).

 

Thanks in anticipation

 

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Hi Scragger. Not particularly good news I'm afraid - resigning was probably the worst thing that your son could have done, and whoever advised him to do so wants shooting. An employer is under no obligation to accept notice before a disciplinary investigation is concluded, and even if they had, any reference could quite truthfully state that the employee left whilst under an investigation for XYZ - the results are the same - making it very difficult to rely on a reference from that employer when applying for other positions.

 

I am a little baffled that he has been dismissed but with 4 weeks notice? Are you saying that he has been sacked but they want him to carry on working? That seems extraordinary.

 

Anyway - a few questions. How long has your son worked there? If for less than 12 months he would have no case for unfair dismissal, unless he could prove discrimination. How was the disciplinary matter communicated to him? Was he given advance notice of the hearing, the right to be accompanied? Has he been given the written grounds for dismissal? The right to appeal? Does his contract outline what treatment he is entitled to under the company's disciplinary procedure?

 

Insofar as the disciplinary action in itself is concerned, there is little doubt that it was warranted unfortunately. The employer could make a good case for several causes of action.Also, if he has signed an agreement relating to the recovery of costs in the event of leaving, then that would almost certainly cover them to deduct the money as they see fit, but the clauses would have to be specific (ie the recovery of training costs, and the reimbursement of costs involved in using the vehicle for example).


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Sidewinder,

 

Thanks for your prompt reply, I would have thought resigning looks better than being sacked, although he will be able to claim unemployment benefit immediately upon completion of his notice period. I was always under the impression that references could either be slightly positive or neutral but not negative, that's my experience over the years (not personal experience but anecdotal) either way it will not help him if future employers go for references, which again in my experience seems not to be the norm nowadays, I know my own employer ( a very large retailer/distributor) doesn't pursue them unless it involves handling money or security positions.

 

You are correct he has been given 4 weeks notice which as I stated I think is because of staff shortages/holidays at the moment, he has been offered the right to appeal which as you and I know is normally a complete waste of time, no senior manager is going to undermine his subordinate and leave them with egg on their face, they close ranks as usual. I still feel as do many of his colleagues including his own manager it was too severe a punishment considering he has an exemplary record (no lateness, no sickness, performs well in his job, this was told to me by his direct manager) I was also told the manager who sacked him is very unpopular (detested actually) and has a reputation for overkill in similar situations, might explain why his branch has the highest turnover of staff in the group.

 

He did take a colleague in with him as an independent witness, who when asked did state that he felt the punishment was excessive. Again the general feedback from other staff is that the manager handled it very unprofessionally (shouting at him and allowing the situation to be leaked to members of staff who were not involved)

 

Yes he was given advance notice of the hearing on Tuesday afternoon and dismissed Wednesday afternoon.

 

He was given written grounds for dismissal.

 

He has no grounds for unfair dismissal as he has only 6 months of employment with them.

 

I feel his fate was sealed from the moment he failed to communicate his intentions regarding the training course. Even intervention by his own manager made no difference to the outcome.

 

Although my son was wrong for what he did it seems to me the dimissing manager is a mean spirited, nasty piece of work with no sense of forgiveness. ( I can't print the descriptions given by other employees!!)

 

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Thanks for your prompt reply, I would have thought resigning looks better than being sacked, although he will be able to claim unemployment benefit immediately upon completion of his notice period. I was always under the impression that references could either be slightly positive or neutral but not negative, that's my experience over the years (not personal experience but anecdotal) either way it will not help him if future employers go for references, which again in my experience seems not to be the norm nowadays, I know my own employer ( a very large retailer/distributor) doesn't pursue them unless it involves handling money or security positions.

 

A reference has to be FACTUAL - whether this is positive or negative. When asked by a potential employer the reason for leaving, the previous employer could (and probably would in the interests of honesty) state that your son left whilst under investigation for a disciplinary matter.

 

..


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You are correct he has been given 4 weeks notice which as I stated I think is because of staff shortages/holidays at the moment, he has been offered the right to appeal which as you and I know is normally a complete waste of time, no senior manager is going to undermine his subordinate and leave them with egg on their face, they close ranks as usual. I still feel as do many of his colleagues including his own manager it was too severe a punishment considering he has an exemplary record (no lateness, no sickness, performs well in his job this was told to me by his direct manager) I was also told the manager who sacked him is very unpopular (detested actually) and has a reputation for overkill in similar situations, might explain why his branch has the highest turnover of staff in the group.

 

Working notice after dismissal is bizarre to say the least in these circumstances, but it may offer a glimmer of hope. Is your son prepared to fight for his job? How hard is he prepared to work to prove that they may have been harsh? All I can suggest is that you go ahead with an appeal, not so much into the circumstances or the manner of his dismissal, but on the basis that he is remorseful of his actions and feels that his previously exemplary record may not have been sufficiently taken into account. The boss may well be the most despicable, unworthy manager that has ever walked the earth, but the fact remains that he is the manager, and does have the power (within reason) to manage as the company sees fit. His attitude and reputation for harsh sanctions are not sufficient grounds alone to overturn the decision, but is may (just may) be that if your son can plead for a lesser sanction than dismissal, with a serious and heartfelt apology for his actions, he has four weeks in which to change their mind. He may also need to couple this with an offer to repay the course fee, and the heartfelt promise that he will prove himself to be an exemplary member of staff if given the opportunity to show that he regrets his actions.

 

..


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

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Hi

Welcome to The Consumer Action Group.

 

 

I am just letting you know that as you haven't had any replies to your post yet, it might be better if you post your message again in an appropriate sub-forum. You will get lots of help there.

 

Also take some time to read around the forum and get used to the layout. It is a big forum and takes a lot of getting used to.

 

 

Once you start to find your way, you will soon realise that it is fairly easy to get round and to get the help you need.

 

It can be bit confusing at first.


Please be advised that my time will be limited for the next few weeks.Thanks for your understanding.

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