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Unfair dismissal? - ** SETTLED **

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Wandered if anyone thinks this is unfair dismissal.

 

My husband has worked fro same company for 4 and a half years. They are food distribution and they rent space in another food compnay warehouse and they deal with refrigerated lorries.

 

well anyway my hubby went into work one day and lifted a pair of protective gloves from the shared area as there were none others. he carried on with his work and the night manager asked him if he had lifted gloves. he was watchin him do it on cctv. they were a pair of old holy gloves left lying around. he was in a rush out and didnt even register what was said and just said no and drove off in his lorry.

 

when he came back in his manager asked him if he had gloves and my hub replied yes he had borrowed some and handed them back. he wasnt going to steal a pair of old gloves!

 

the bosses of the firm they rent space off complained he was stealing them and he has been dismissed straight away for theft! he deals with £1000's and £100000's of stock every day. how can they suddenly decide he is a thief?

 

what does anyone think? do we have a cliam for unfair dismissal as maybe a warning would have done and his own compnay didnt provide him with the protective clothing he needed in the first place?

Edited by honeybee13
Putting in some paragraphs for ease of reading.

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Hello and welcome to CAG.

 

I'll put a couple of paragraphs into your post and hope the guys will be along later to help.

 

My best, HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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It does seem rather over the top. I suppose technically they are right it could have been looked as theft and he did lie when asked. I suppose the circumstances around this may be relevant eg a spate of thefts even low level ones might be of concern to management and they were on the lookout for incidents.

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dismissed with no formal disciplinary meeting, written charges etc after an investigatory meeting

 

if thats the case then i would assume a good case for unfair dismissal

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Was any type of procedure followed in dismissing him?

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yes it happened on 04th april, they had a meeting with him on 20th april where he outlined he had borrowed them and had no intention of stealing then they came back on 1st may and gave him a letter saying he was dismissed from then with no notice. it just seems like someone defrauding the company or hitting a customer, as one of his colleagues did!, would be sacked for gross misconduct as well and this seems so minor.

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"a pair of protective gloves".

 

Sounds like PPE to me (Personal protective equipment). If so, his employer has a duty of care to provide these free of charge.

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"a pair of protective gloves".

 

Sounds like PPE to me (Personal protective equipment). If so, his employer has a duty of care to provide these free of charge.

 

Excellent deduction johnny...

 

linandsi.... is there anything else going on at the company eg redundancies or loss of business?

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Hi

 

1. Did the gloves belong to the company he worked for or the company that owns the warehouse?

 

2. Before disciplinary did they explain his right to be accompanied by either a colleague or union rep and was he provided with a copy of their Disciplinary Policy?

 

3. What were the exact reasons given to him for Dismissal?

 

4. At the end of Disciplinary was it explained to him his Right to Appeal and the time limit?


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Hi, thank you for all your replies. This is a long one. bear with me. The gloves did belong to the company they rented space from but they were the same as their own gloves so my hub wouldnt have known which company they belonged to.

 

He was informed of his right to take a colleague in but his direct manager gave him the impression it was nothing to worry about so hub didnt see the point

 

He was advised he was being dismissed for gross misconduct and given five days to appeal which he has so we are awaiting a reply now.

 

I also feel is PPE issue. In the minutes of his initial meeting his manager said that he had hidden gloves so they were not lifted. the company they rent from have access to husbands company's store so if his manager had to "hide" them it obvious they were also stealing theirs. in the PPE act 1993 it states protective equipment should be readily available.

 

Also husband and colleagues were asking for weeks for gloves and they were just told they were on order. They should have been readily available and if they were on the premises should not have been "hidden".

 

Lo and behold 2 days after the incident a box of gloves appeared on full view in their store. Obviously ordered up in a rush methinks? also my hub should have steel toe capped boots. he had holes in them and it took 2 months for new ones to arrive. he had to wear trainers.

 

As I have looked more and more into this it seems they have breached health and safety.

 

With regards to the first reply that he lied when asked if he had seen the gloves the night manager for the other company shouted at him down the yard from the warehouse if he had seen em as hub was reversing out in his lorry. hub didnt even hear him right. he wasnt taken into an office and asked face to face.

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On Tuesday my husband received a call from HR saying they would let him "resign" rather than being dismissed if he will sign a waiver asking him not to bring them to an employment tribunal.

 

He asked them to send their offer out in the post. he hasnt even had his appeal meeting yet.

 

We have a list of things written down that they did wrong in the disciplinary process and have taken legal advice not to sign anything and been told we have a case for ET.

 

We are thinking of having a compromise agreement drawn up by a solicitor. Has anyone done this before and was it successful?

 

Any advice would be much appreciated!

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On Tuesday my husband received a call from HR saying they would let him "resign" rather than being dismissed if he will sign a waiver asking him not to bring them to an employment tribunal.

 

He asked them to send their offer out in the post. he hasnt even had his appeal meeting yet.

 

We have a list of things written down that they did wrong in the disciplinary process and have taken legal advice not to sign anything and been told we have a case for ET.

 

We are thinking of having a compromise agreement drawn up by a solicitor. Has anyone done this before and was it successful?

 

Any advice would be much appreciated!

 

Sounds like you have them on the run. Make a note of what was said and by whom and the relevance of it ie before the appeal.

 

Don't agree to anything and don't sign anything until it is all in writing.

 

They obviously will not take him back as they have already dismissed and clearly they don't want to incur legal fees. See what they want to offer before suggesting a CA. There are statutory guidelines for amounts.

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It sounds as though what they are proposing is actually a compromise agreement. You have to take independent legal advice to make it legally binding, so if it's a bad deal, your solicitor should say so.

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We are seeing a solicitor next week. The most important thing to us is a good reference from his employer for future jobs but the more you think of it the more you want them to compensate financially as well.

 

1) He was not provided with the correct protective equipment, or it was not where he could get access to it, so he borrowed a pair to do his job, not gain financially from "stealing" them.

 

2) He was not informed of his right to take in a trade union rep, they only said he could take in a fellow employee to meetings

 

3) He was not informed of the consequences of what might happen after investigation and his manager even said "wouldnt worry mate, you will only get a slap on the wrist for lifting the gloves if you didnt know they belonged to our company."

 

4) He didnt have a disciplinary hearing where he should have been advised of the outcome of the investigation and allowed to state his case. His disciplinary hearing consisted of " here is a letter. you are dismissed. sign it and give us your phone and pass as you leave." The dismissal letter was typed up the day before his disciplinary hearing judging by the date.

 

I dont know if all these points make it unfair dismissal but I am sure the solicitor will know better as we have only had a preliminary discussion at this stage.

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sorry me again. husband was still waiting on date for appeal meeting. now they have sent a letter advising he can have an appeal meeting if he signs an ET waiver. Surely he has a right to an appeal meeting without this condition?

 

Does anybody know if they can refuse an appeal meeting even though its in their staff handbook that there would be one?

 

honestly this is all just getting beyond a joke. why cant life be simple and people just behave logically??

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Hello there.

 

Without being a forum expert, this sounds strange to me. What do they mean by an ET waiver please?

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Its a non ET1 form. It means basically you are signing away your employment rights to take them to a tribunal for unfair dismissal in return for a good reference and they will pretend he resigned instead

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Thank you for that.

 

Do you mean something like a compromise agreement, or are they trying to stitch him up and deny him his legal rights, would you say?

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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I think because in the heat of the moment, as you only get 5 days to appeal he wrote a letter saying he would rather resign than have that on his work record that is what they are concentrating on and they came back pretty quick to agree that was ok but he would have to sign this Non ET1. As we have looked into their disciplinary procedure, or lack of it and all the mistakes made I think its more a case of trying to deny him his rights as they might be worried.

 

He wants a proper appeal meeting with the management not some meeting with labour relations to sign away his rights.

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We are seeing a solicitor next week. The most important thing to us is a good reference from his employer for future jobs but the more you think of it the more you want them to compensate financially as well.

 

1) He was not provided with the correct protective equipment, or it was not where he could get access to it, so he borrowed a pair to do his job, not gain financially from "stealing" them.

 

2) He was not informed of his right to take in a trade union rep, they only said he could take in a fellow employee to meetings

 

3) He was not informed of the consequences of what might happen after investigation and his manager even said "wouldnt worry mate, you will only get a slap on the wrist for lifting the gloves if you didnt know they belonged to our company."

 

4) He didnt have a disciplinary hearing where he should have been advised of the outcome of the investigation and allowed to state his case. His disciplinary hearing consisted of " here is a letter. you are dismissed. sign it and give us your phone and pass as you leave." The dismissal letter was typed up the day before his disciplinary hearing judging by the date.

 

I dont know if all these points make it unfair dismissal but I am sure the solicitor will know better as we have only had a preliminary discussion at this stage.

 

Hi ,

 

So you are saying that , basically , no disciplinary meeting took place where he was given the chance to explain his actions , he was just given a letter terminating his employment with imeadiate effect AND that the termination letter was typed up the day before his disciplinary ?

 

If thats the case then that would then , in my opinion , make his dismissal automatically unfair as the outcome of the (sham)disciplinary was pre- judged . Sounds like they've totally messed up the procedures which is why they've offered to let him resign instead .

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I really appreciate all your replies and they reaffirm what my hub and I think. We are writing to them to ask if we can have an appeal meeting without being held to ransom to sign this. The date on the dismissal letter was the date his sham disciplinary meeting but we think it was typed up beofre this date and printed off that day, after working his full shift may I add, collecting £1000's that day, yeah they really thought he was a thief?!

 

We are also convinced pressure was put on by the other company to the effect of 'you have til the end of the month to get rid of him@. We are today putting in a DSAR request Data Protection Act section 10 to have corres naming simon between the 2 companies released.

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Do the SAR to both companies and not just where he is named but 'all other emails, letters, documents or other material that deals with the incident or facts relating before or after the incident'. Keep it very wide ranging and see what drops out.

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Thanks for all your replies. They re-affirm what he thinks. We are sending correspondence today to ask if we have it right that he cant have an appeal meeting unless he signs this waiver?

 

We also feel pressure was put on from the other company to the effect of 'you have til the end of the month to have him out'. they stopped him entering their premises for about the last 10 days before he was dismissed but his compnay carried on bringing his lorry out on the public road to him to do his job, and may i add they even let him finish his shift on the day he was dismissed, collecting £1000's before handing him the letter in the sham disciplinary meeting where he was not allowed to state his case. I dont think they thought he was guilty.

 

We have sent a DSAR request under section 10 of DPA to have corres released naming my hub between the other company and his employer.

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sorry i posted that reply twice. thanks papasmurf1 but can we request it from the other compnay as well?

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Yes.... the DPA applies to all organisations that hold personal data on any person.

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