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Hi all

I'm having trouble at work as I'm part of an investigation where payment details were missing of jobs and outstanding account payments and at first I was shocked but happy to assist.

 

They asked the usual questions about how I go on about my job and I explained the process, I get a print out of the job, address of the customer, weather the customer is an account holder or cash customer and the item etc

I deliver item, get signature, collect the cash if need be and head back to the depot, if it's cash I hand it to the office and that's it.

 

Unfortunately it's poor practice the way it's processed as there's no process that can prove I hand it in other than trusting whoever is in the office to do their job and process it (the money goes through many hands after me).

 

But it seems paperwork that I don't fill in and is up to the office is missing so they cant charge customer or find payments.

 

Few days later I get a letter for a disciplinary for gross misconduct and evidence showing that the paperwork  that the office fill in is missing, witness statements from people who could easily be to blame saying that they've never seen me hand in paperwork or cash, front office see 100s of wagons daily and see me daily, but can remember on certain dates months ago not seeing me hand things in (of course youd say that to cover your back).

 

There's 4 witness statements, two of them I deal with at the front desk as they take the paperwork and money but they claim to have never seen me on certain dates months ago, the other two I don't deal with at all but they deal with the paperwork and money further down the line on a daily basis (daily basis, so is should have been noticed sooner?).

 

I don't think the witness statements are fair because they are as much involved as myself in the process of it all, yet they have taken their word for it and not mine.

 

All the paperwork I deal with is there signed off the customer and myself to prove the customer received the item and paid but the paperwork I don't deal with isn't there which leaves it quite open of blame, I've never denied not taking the money as payment, the proof is there that Ive done my part.

 

They've opted the route of blaming the driver (myself) and saying I've never handed anything in basically, the office have a click with one another and drivers are easily replaced and I believe someone in the office is misusing their trust and position to get away with their own mistakes or whatever.

 

The paperwork I have as evidence against me showing my jobs aren't there is written and can easily be rewritten to cover office mistakes, even the recorded conversation we had seems to be missing my strong points that I put across.

 

It's actually making me sick and drained all of this as I'm going over and over it.

I feel there's no where I can go or do to help as I've explained everything with them and still seems it's a one way route.

 

Thanks in advance for any help and hopefully someone can give me the boost to fight this by pointing me in the right direction.

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Are you in a union?

 

Have you gone through (more to the point, have they gone through) ALL the records for the day(s) they are claiming “not to have seen you”?.

If you can show ANY record for any transaction for one of those days: it will show that you were there and their recollection is at fault.

That still doesn’t prove or disprove where the mistake lies, but it weakens any reliance on “we didn’t see them”.

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Unfortunately I ain't in a union, a group of us have spoke about a union as the place of work is constantly putting the blame to drivers for everything, office are clear of any mistakes and drivers have a massive report for all mistakes.

 

Just for an idea of the place people leave within the first few months due to the way they treat, blame and run the company, there is many employees on the sick still with work related stress.

 

They have the the office records of the days in question and it shows nothing or any transaction related to the jobs I've done.

 

I have my records and receipt of transactions for every single date, which is the customers signature to show it's been completed from my end it's also on the computer system as an active job as it's been treated like any other job... Delivered and then collected once they've finished with it.

 

The way they have the process means there is no way to show whether it was or wasn't handed over.

Ideally the driver should have to sign to say it's been handed over, I've asked for CCTV to be used and they said it wouldn't prove I handed anything over, but someone's word against mine is.

 

Yeah the witnesses who deal with the process are stating to never have seen me hand anything in on these dates, they were assigned to that position on them dates but it doesn't mean they are there all day as there's many others in the office covering when others are busy and so on.

 

Paperwork isn't a true reflection of how the place really runs in the office.

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17 minutes ago, ericsbrother said:

cctv in the place?

Yes there is CCTV everywhere in the yard and offices, I asked them in the investigation to use CCTV as it would show me getting out my wagon to hand it in as that's the only time we leave our cab while on the weigh bridge.

They agreed to get it together but in the findings report they state this....

 

"CCTV has been checked for the dates in question on the system but we are unable to see if driver in question has left his cab when on the weigh bridge to hand cash in"

 

Tho the weigh bridge operator uses CCTV to identify which wagon is on the weigh bridge

 

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then you ask for a copy of all the CCTV in which you appear as a SAR under the GDPR and say that as that particular event is patently available for viewing you expct to receive it sooner tahn the maximum permitted time and will happily wait a coiple of weeks for the rest of the personal data to be searched for and collated.

How long have you worked there?

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3 hours ago, ericsbrother said:

then you ask for a copy of all the CCTV in which you appear as a SAR under the GDPR and say that as that particular event is patently available for viewing you expct to receive it sooner tahn the maximum permitted time and will happily wait a coiple of weeks for the rest of the personal data to be searched for and collated.

How long have you worked there?

Thank you!

I've worked there for 4 years, my disciplinary hearing was yesterday and I have mentioned all my concerns over how the process is handled and how the findings report can't be just blamed on just one person as there is no actual evidence, just assumptions.

 

After the hearing they asked me to give them 5 minutes to think of the result, once called back in they've had asked me to come back tomorrow(today) as they feel they can't give me a result until then.

 

They only had given me 48 hours to come up with a defence, I asked for extra time but they basically told me to like it or lump it as they only have to give you 48 hours?

Edited by Aerox
Miss a bit off

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so you ask to see all of the CCTV of you from the last 4 years as part of your rebuttal but more importanlty want to see that particular tape as they obviously agree it is vital to determine the allegations veracity.

Have you aksed to tajke a friend in with you? if not do so now as you are alloowed representation or someone to help you. If they say that isnt convenient then you quite them the ASAS guideliens and remind them that it was originally an investigation so time is not critical as they claim. They can always suspend you until the hearing if they think that necessary to ensure proper conduct ( but they cnat stop you contacting your rep or work colleague who is sitting in with you)

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1 hour ago, ericsbrother said:

so you ask to see all of the CCTV of you from the last 4 years as part of your rebuttal but more importanlty want to see that particular tape as they obviously agree it is vital to determine the allegations veracity.

Have you aksed to tajke a friend in with you? if not do so now as you are alloowed representation or someone to help you. If they say that isnt convenient then you quite them the ASAS guideliens and remind them that it was originally an investigation so time is not critical as they claim. They can always suspend you until the hearing if they think that necessary to ensure proper conduct ( but they cnat stop you contacting your rep or work colleague who is sitting in with you)

Ok thank you.

 

They've decided to dismiss me for gross misconduct, they decided that because the CCTV isnt clear enough that they can't see if it's me or my wagon by number plate (they used this same camera to prove that a certain driver had tipped hazardous waste) and that the camera only holds data for 21days.

 

Instead they've had to use the word of the office staff not seeing me on certain dates even tho they only asked a few of them "did you see said driver on this date" and took their word for it.

Paperwork is missing that I don't fill in as evidence, as because the paperwork isn't there it means it was never handed in as the staff said so.

 

Now that I've been dismissed without proper evidence, I really want to fight this to clear my name as they've basically destroyed my career over something that isn't proven.

I could understand agreeing a mutual departure as trust is totally spoilt between both me and the company....but I find it disappointing to be labelled something so bad when I ain't guilty.

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How long have you worked there? Any previous allegations or disciplinaries against you? 

 

In the first instance you have the right of appeal, which you must use, but also continue with the GDPR request as suggested above

 

Your problem - and it is a tricky one - is that the employer only needs to have a 'reasonable' belief of guilt, formed after a 'reasonable' investigation and taking into account the resources available. That is quite some hurdle for you to overcome, but the key word here is 'reasonable'. If they have assessed your guilt on the basis of CCTV NOT clearly showing whether your description of what happened on the day is borne out by the footage then a decision to dismiss MIGHT be considered unreasonable and they should also have considered evidence which might prove innocence as well as looking at possible guilt

 

I could understand agreeing a mutual departure as trust is totally spoilt between both me and the company

 

I find this statement quite troublesome. If you are genuinely innocent then that is what should be asserted, not looking to reach an agreement over termination. Similarly the 'destroyed my career over something that isn't proven' part. If you have gone about any hearing on such an ambiguous basis then this would not have helped your case - you are adamant that you have not done what you are accused of and vigorously defend yourself, rather than talk about the allegation not being proven surely?

 

Length of service is relevant as if you were to have an appeal rejected and wanted to take this further, then you must have at least two years service


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9 hours ago, Sidewinder said:

How long have you worked there? Any previous allegations or disciplinaries against you? 

 

In the first instance you have the right of appeal, which you must use, but also continue with the GDPR request as suggested above

 

Your problem - and it is a tricky one - is that the employer only needs to have a 'reasonable' belief of guilt, formed after a 'reasonable' investigation and taking into account the resources available. That is quite some hurdle for you to overcome, but the key word here is 'reasonable'. If they have assessed your guilt on the basis of CCTV NOT clearly showing whether your description of what happened on the day is borne out by the footage then a decision to dismiss MIGHT be considered unreasonable and they should also have considered evidence which might prove innocence as well as looking at possible guilt

 

 

 

 

I find this statement quite troublesome. If you are genuinely innocent then that is what should be asserted, not looking to reach an agreement over termination. Similarly the 'destroyed my career over something that isn't proven' part. If you have gone about any hearing on such an ambiguous basis then this would not have helped your case - you are adamant that you have not done what you are accused of and vigorously defend yourself, rather than talk about the allegation not being proven surely?

 

Length of service is relevant as if you were to have an appeal rejected and wanted to take this further, then you must have at least two years service

During the hearings I've never once mentioned a mutual departure, it was something that crossed my mind because as you say they only need reasonable belief not proof to finish you and with the trust been spoilt both ways I wouldn't have been able to carry on working there regardless of the outcome but with a branding of a possible gross misconduct for a reference, even tho I'm innocent and fighting my case it just wouldn't look great.  

 

I'm fighting my innocence and I believe my defense during the hearings was strong enough to question the reported findings.

By paperwork everything seems right for them but it's not a true reflection of how they really work an example been.

They state one person is assigned to the weigh bridge all day and no one else could possibly get access to it as there's a signature of one person on the time sheet for the weigh bridge, but on the cash book which never leaves the weigh bridge there's 4 to 5 different signatures and styles of handwriting on it showing that many people do get excess to it.

They used the cash book as evidence against me saying because it's not written in there I haven't handed it in and because the one person who has been assigned to the weigh bridge can't remember seeing me. 

Not one of them even got considered to be a suspect, so no one got properly investigated.

 

 

you are adamant that you have not done what you are accused of and vigorously defend yourself, rather than talk about the allegation not being proven surely

 

I've defended myself as much as possible during the hearings, if the allegation against me was proven I wouldn't be in this situation as I'd have been cleared of all this.

 

Thanks for your advice and I'm sending them all the information yous have advised me with as I will be taking this as far as I can.

 

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What a shame you haven’t actually answered the key question of Sidewinder’s post, that is so important that they mention it both at the very start and the very end of their post.

People want to help you, but you have to help them help you ......

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20 minutes ago, BazzaS said:

What a shame you haven’t actually answered the key question of Sidewinder’s post, that is so important that they mention it both at the very start and the very end of their post.

People want to help you, but you have to help them help you ......

You meaning about the length of service?

Sorry I thought I had already mentioned that, I've worked there 4 years and in that 4 years I've never had any disciplinary, warnings or anything.

 

First time this has happened and it was a complete shock, ive never had to deal with something like this before so excuse if me I seem all over the place.

Edited by Aerox
Mistake

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With 4 years service, you have more protection than with under 2 years service (where they can dismiss you for any reason at all, (and even 'on a whim'!), provided it isn't due to a 'protected characteristic').

So, you appeal the dismissal, and ask for copies of all their relevant policies.

 

If they reject the appeal you can consider taking them to an Employment Tribunal.

As has been mentioned the obstacle there is that it isn't a criminal court where they have to have proof "beyond reasonable doubt", they only need "reasonable belief" and to show they have acted both

a) reasonably, and

b) within their own policies.

Edited by BazzaS

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27 minutes ago, BazzaS said:

With 4 years service, you have more protection than with under 2 years service (where they can dismiss you for any reason at all, provided it isnt due to a 'protected characteristic').

So, you appeal the dismissal, and ask for copies of all their relevant policies.

 

If they reject the appeal you can consider taking them to an Employment Tribunal.

As has been mentioned the obstacle there is that it isn't a criminal court where they have to have proof "beyond reasonable doubt", they only need "reasonable belief" and to show they have acted both

a) reasonably, and

b) within their own policies.

 

Thank you for that, it helps my options as I want to fight it as far as I can as I feel it's unfair.

I'm awaiting the letter to come through with all the details of why, how to appeal and so on.

 

So should I only contact ACAS and solicitors if they refuse my appeal?

 

 

 

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I must be missing something : if they accept your appeal, what do you want ACAS or a solicitor to achieve for you?

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4 minutes ago, BazzaS said:

I must be missing something : if they accept your appeal, what do you want ACAS or a solicitor to achieve for you?

 

I've been told that they would help in the way of taking it further, just going off what advice Ive been told, apologies if it's wrong but I wouldn't have known.....

 

Your not missing anything, it's clear I have no experience or knowledge of this type of thing.

 

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OK : rephrasing - If they accept your appeal and you are no longer dismissed,

a) are you going to go back to work,

b) what else do you want to achieve?

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5 minutes ago, BazzaS said:

OK : rephrasing - If they accept your appeal and you are no longer dismissed,

a) are you going to go back to work,

b) what else do you want to achieve?

 

A) I'd have to go back to work and then apply for other employment as I couldn't carry on working there long term

 

The only other thing I'd prefer is to clear my name and not work there.

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To “clear your name”, you’d either have to

a) have your appeal succeed, (and then leave when you have another job lined up!), or

b) have your appeal not succeed, and then win at an employment tribunal.

 

Actually, there is also a c), as well ; succeed at appeal, then resign and claim constructive dismissal.

 

a) is vastly preferable to b), and b) is by no means certain to succeed at an ET for the reasons previously mentioned.

b) is, in turn, vastly preferable to c), (as c) is even less likely to succeed at an ET, if your appeal succeeds).

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24 minutes ago, BazzaS said:

To “clear your name”, you’d either have to

a) have your appeal succeed, (and then leave when you have another job lined up!), or

b) have your appeal not succeed, and then win at an employment tribunal.

 

Actually, there is also a c), as well ; succeed at appeal, then resign and claim constructive dismissal.

 

a) is vastly preferable to b), and b) is by no means certain to succeed at an ET for the reasons previously mentioned.

b) is, in turn, vastly preferable to c), (as c) is even less likely to succeed at an ET, if your appeal succeeds).

 

Excellent that helps clear things up a bit better.

I'm going a head with all the advice and SAR request as if im choosing the option A) then applying everywhere else for a new job.

 

Doubt I'd get a job while the reference stands as it is but I can only hope.

 

Thank you very much with your patience and advice, I really do appreciate it

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If you're worried about a reference from this company, we often advise to go temping or do agency work so that there's a gap between jobs that you can explain.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, honeybee13 said:

If you're worried about a reference from this company, we often advise to go temping or do agency work so that there's a gap between jobs that you can explain.

 

HB

 

Most jobs in the industry do advertise through agencies so I think your right about that been the best option.

Thanks for that! As my main worry is about getting straight back into employment.

 

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