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sacked for gross msconduct


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Hi

I have been sacked from my job for gross misconduct namely using the internet for a total of 10 hours over the course of a week. I admitted guilt and pleaded for leniency as i have a 6 year clean record. At the meeting i also bought up the fact that other staff had done the same ( using internet during working hours) but had not been subject to disciplinary procedures of any kind even though 3 verbal complaints were made by other staff. This happened with the other staff quite a few months ago and they are now on maternity leave. I know i have done wrong but i feel it is unfair that i am the only one who has been sacked for it. Do i have a case at a tribuneral for unfair dissmissal?

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Hi ,

 

Employers should treat all employees fairly and consistantly , if you have been singled out for harsher treatment than fellow colleagues and can prove it then you should put in a claim to the ET service , first step would be to appeal the decision . Good Luck

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Hi ,

 

Employers should treat all employees fairly and consistantly , if you have been singled out for harsher treatment than fellow colleagues and can prove it then you should put in a claim to the ET service , first step would be to appeal the decision . Good Luck

 

Theproblem her is proving it. Your uncorroborated word is not sufficent evidence. And this would mean having documentary evidence that other people did exactly the same thing as you (not alleged to have done it - but did do it) in the same circumstances, and that the employer knew this to be the case and did nothing about it. Frankly, since you have no right of access to anyone elses files and so cannot evidence it to be the case, then I doubt you could show this to be the case. I would have to point out too that it seems highly unlikely that the employer would sustain a a workforce that spend some 20% or more of their time on the internet, so if other people have done the same thing and this can be proven, then I suspect that they may be joining you shortly at the JobCentre.

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I am a barrister specialising in employment law, and only represent employees. My advice on employment issues is advice - not legal opinion - and is based only on the facts you provide. If you want an accurate assessment of your case and prospects, you should get legal opinion from a lawyer - not a public forum. Anything I tell you is for guidance only, and is based on my experience of the law in the context of what details you provide.

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Hi SarEl

I have a few of the employees and ex-employees who are willing to state that complaints they have made verbally to management about other staff using internet and phones for private use have been ignored and no disciplinary action taken. I do feel I have been singled out for harsher punishment as I dont see eye to eye with the MD. He tends to use his management to push through decisions he wants made. I know that this cannot be proved as fact but in the small company I worked for there are his favourites who seem to be able to not be touched and the people he would rather not have around as they dont agree with everything he says. I have lodged an appeal but do not hold out much hope as the only other director is a very close friend of the MD's.Would the statements of the employees be enough evidence at a tribuneral?

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Hi ,

If you have colleagues who are willing to write statements or better still attend a Tribunal as witnesses all the better . Not all employees will sit back and let a fellow colleague lose his/her job over something that the company has allowed others get away with unpunished.

Go with your gut feeling , fight your corner and if your appeal fails get that claim in , it costs nothing apart a hell of alot of stress as the majority of employers will try to make your life a misery for daring to take them to a Tribunal . Again Good Luck

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Good for you , make sure you let them know your think your treatment has been unfair and that you are willing to take the matter to a tribunal .

Your employers should be exploring all avenues such as written/verbal warnings before dismissing employees .

What is important is that you have solid proof that no action has been taken against other employees for excessive internet use , get in touch with colleagues and get statements .

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Hi ,

If you have colleagues who are willing to write statements or better still attend a Tribunal as witnesses all the better . Not all employees will sit back and let a fellow colleague lose his/her job over something that the company has allowed others get away with unpunished.

 

Just to point out that whilst I agree in principle, in practice it is rarely so simple. If you go to tribunal a witness MUST appear, and you are asking your colleagues to appear as witnesses against their employer. There are good reasons why people become deaf, dumb and blind. Former colleagues (people who have left) are less useful because of the fact that they are former employees - they cannot comment on current practice at the time of the dismissal and they may have a axe to grind (the employer will certainly allege that and it has a measuire of persuasive power). Not a reason to not try, but please do be conscious of these matters - nothing replaces hard evidence, and it would only be fair to your collegaues still employed to warn them what they are getting themselves into. If they are brave enough to do it anyway, then fair enough, but don't let your colleagues suffer consequences without being aware of them.

 

You will also need to read up on Polkey (Google it!) and be aware of this factor. Regardless of anything you did spend over ten hours in a week, during working hours, on the internet for non work reasons. This is more than a day! So be very clear that AT BEST, if you could convince a tribunal that the dismissal was unfair (and I seriously doubt it) you will need to expect to get any award significantly reduced - and that can, if the tribunal chooses, be reduced to nothing! THis is important because you need to factor this in if the employer offers a settlement to avoid legal costs here - do not think you can hold out for the golden goose because there is a very strong chance that it won't ever arrive no matter how long you wait.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I am a barrister specialising in employment law, and only represent employees. My advice on employment issues is advice - not legal opinion - and is based only on the facts you provide. If you want an accurate assessment of your case and prospects, you should get legal opinion from a lawyer - not a public forum. Anything I tell you is for guidance only, and is based on my experience of the law in the context of what details you provide.

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