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allegations for breach of trust


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Hello all,

 

I have worked for a company for just under 6 yrs and I am not on any disciplinary action at all.

 

I currently broke my absence objectives and have been invited to a disciplinary meeting for excessive absence next week therfore I believed that the next step would be a verbal warning, however;

 

I was off from work for a week with IBS symptoms (work are aware of my condition) and towards the end of the week I was feeling better so I went out for a couple of hours with my friends on the saturday with the intention to return to work on the monday.

 

As I had been off all week I was slightly stressed so I wanted to relax, so I went to a bar in the evening but did not drink.

 

Monday arrived and my symptoms started again so I had another 2 days off, I returned to work on the Wednesday only to find that someone saw me out and had advised my manager and now my employer is accusing me of breach of trust, potentially gross misconduct (but it doesnt say GM on the disciplinary letter but does in the companys procedure)

 

The witness said that I was drinking which is untrue, however because I admitted being out (as I didnt deliberatly do anything wrong) but didnt drink, HR do not need a witness statement from them, even if they did I believe it would just be my word against theres?

 

Work gave me some information on my condition last year about how stress can trigger IBS, and a way to relieve stress is to talk to friends, which is what I did.

 

I have spoken to my doctor who has written up a letter saying due to my symptoms I was unfit for my duties (diahrea and I work in a call centre, not ideal to say the least!!) and that I informed him I felt going out wasnt a problem symptom free, aslong as toilets was available.

 

This situation has put alot of stress on me and isnt helping my condition atall (do I mention this in the meeting?)

 

I am going to be having other tests with a specialist to see if it could be anything other than IBS or to control my condition.

 

I have been advised in confidence by colleagues that I do not have to worry as I havent been suspended and I may just get a written of final written, yet have been advised by ACAS and Citizens advise that this doesnt necessarily mean I wont be dismissed.

 

I am a member of a union and they will be attending the meeting.

 

Can work give me a verbal for the absence and then dismiss me or just dismiss me, or am I worrying too much?

 

It isnt like I have been violent or stole.

 

Work are basically saying if you was out saturday then why wasnt you in work monday, which I could understand if I was in a pub drunk of a monday morning :razz:

 

Please any advice would be brilliant.

 

Sorry for the essay!

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A few points come to mind.

 

1. I very much doubt the "mutual trust and confidence" is applicable here, and or applies, as you were not at work during the material time you were seen out on the town. It is my opinion that the mutual trust does not apply as your employer avers, as these events did not occur during the "course of your employment" and took place after 'working hours'.

 

2. I believe you employer is not acting in "good faith". In the case of Spink -v- Express Foods Limited [1990] IRLR 320 it was held:

"It is a fundamental part of a fair disciplinary procedure that an employee know the case against him. Fairness requires that someone accused should know the case to be met; should hear or be told the important parts of the evidence in support of that case; should have an opportunity to criticise or dispute that evidence and to adduce his own evidence and argue his case."

 

3. The allegation that you were drinking is not based upon fact. Therefore, your employer should take what you tell it at "face value", and not believe hearsay evidence by third parties. I would be inclined to put forward your own witness statement, stating that you were not drinking as is alleged, and request your employer provides proof otherwise, and or drops the matter with immediate effect.

 

4. I believe should your employer wish to pursue the matter, (subjecting you to this disciplinary hearing) may in itself, amount to a breach of the mutual trust and confidence. Further, your employer has hardly kept this matter "confidential" as it would appear to me that everyone knows about this hearing, and the allegations against you.

 

Let's establish the facts:

 

5. Your employer has "constructive knowledge" that you have an "impairment", which adversely effects your "day to day activities". As such, it effects your abilities to perform your duties at work. It is also aware that "stress" is a trigger for your "impairment".

 

By your employer's own volition, by subjecting you to a needless disciplinary hearing, the employer is inducing palpable "stress" which it is aware is a "trigger" and "exacerbates" your "impairment". Put short, subjecting you to a disciplinary hearing may in itself amount to a "discriminatory practise" - especially where your doctor has provided "medical evidence" to support that stress is a trigger for your impairment, and or your employer is aware of this fact.

 

 

 

Good luck

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Summed up quite adequately above.

 

The employer has no right to question what you do outside of work, whether you are signed off sick or not. There might be a case say, if you were witnessed playing football having declared to your employer that you were incapable of movement, but where the activity is significantly different to what you would be doing at work, it bears no relevance. Even whether you were drinking or not matters not a jot, unless you are required to drink as part of your normal work duties - which I doubt! You could even go on a sunshine holiday whilst off sick, and on the basis that this might (especially if agreed by a doctor) aid your recuperation, then the employer could do little about it.

 

Stand firm, look them in the eye and say that you were acting in accordance with the advice of your GP, and engaging in a social activity outside of work time, and that this had no bearing on your fitness or otherwise to attend work.

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

 

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Thankyou people, that was really helpful.

 

I have got my union involved now and are awaiting their advice.

 

Are there any official documents out there on the web that says someof the above points that I can take in with me to the meeting.

 

Many thanks

 

Sim

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  • 2 weeks later...

I had the meeting and they removed the absence part due to the disability act and that any ibs absence has to be unaccounted for disciplinary purposes.

 

They have ajourned as there is stil the breach of trust and I have that this week.

 

How can they still proceed even when I have a letter from my doctor.

 

I also am unhappy with the way they dealt the first meeting, they took the wrong persons folder in with them and didnt take my unions opinion onboard about thd disability act until they spoke to hr. I wud be on a verbal for absence if they had their way.

My union said I do have the right to request a new person to conduct the meeting due to wanting an independant person, but if refused wont this cause more complications in the meeting?

 

I am stil very confused about what to do and any help or advice would be great.

 

Many thanks.

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Ye they have. They are basically saying that why was I out if I couldnt go in work. I work in a call centre and the symptoms I had stopped me from work but didnt stop me from going out. The witness said they saw me drink alcohol which was not the case.

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  • 1 month later...

hey guys, the above was not proceeded with.

But another situation has arisen, i have been off work since tue with a bad back which started mon evenin but mildly in the day and went out to the local monday arvo for a few. Then phoned in tue as was in agony with back pain. The person i reportin this to at work was the witness from before. They firstly said i was seen uptown on the monday, but i said this wasnt the case, and that it was the sun. I have then been told that i was saw out mon n was drunk. The person said i had back pain while i was out, but i advised it was only mild and it didnt start properly til afta. And that when i return to work we need to talk.

Basically i am stil off so dnt knw the full picture but they r either acussing me of either being out with a bad back n then declaring im not fit for work or being hungover n saying i have a bad back.

What could happen as i dont believe i have done anything wrong and that this person has it in for me.

Is it also advisable to put a grievence in against this person?

Many thanks, sim

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Hello there. Sorry you're still having problems but at the risk of sounding 100 years old, would you be able to translate the textspeak for those of us here who aren't really used to it please? I think you'll get more advice if you make it easy to read.

 

My best, HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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hey guys, the above was not proceeded with.

But another situation has arisen, i have been off work since tue with a bad back which started monday evenin but mildly in the day and went out to the local monday afternoon for a few. Then phoned in tueday as was in agony with back pain. The person i was reporting this into at work was the witness from before. They firstly said i was seen uptown on the monday, but i said this wasnt the case, and that it was the sunday. I have then been told that i was saw out monday and that i was drunk. The person said i had back pain while i was out, but i advised it was only mild and it didnt start properly til after. And that when i return to work we need to talk.

Basically i am still off so dont know the full picture but they are either accussing me of being out with a bad back and then declaring im not fit for work or being hungover and saying i have a bad back.

What could happen as i dont believe i have done anything wrong and that this person has it in for me.

Is it also advisable to put a grievence in against this person?

Many thanks, sim

 

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Hello again sim.

 

You just reposted exactly what you told us on 2nd June, and now you've gone again already.

 

May I respectfully refer you to my post #11? This may be why you haven't had any replies.

 

HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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