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I was the manager of an off license.

We reopened on mon 30th,

I received a very large delivery which we weren’t expecting (and I wasn’t told about until 2hrs before by my line manager)

all managers received a text from regional manager which stated when deliveries are coming in shops are to be closed.

He didn’t ring this info in, I just read the text.

 

When I saw how big del was (completely covered the floor, could barely move around it) I kept my shutters closed and proceeded to pack delivery away.

The store remained closed and we lost 5hrs trading time.

I didn’t seek permission from manager to do this, with the current safety precautions enacted (only allowed 1 customer in at a time as manadated by HQ)

I didn’t feel this could be safely achieved with 3 members of staff in and all the stock everywhere. 
regional manger calls into shop at 4:50, hits roof that it’s closed and storms out of shop after exclaiming I didn’t have the authority to keep shop closed.

 

Fast forward 1 1/2 weeks later

today regional manager comes in at 4pm with prepared questions,

I answer truthfully

stated I didn’t think it was safe

I had the best interests of business at heart

that I had turned up for work every day since this incident and nothing had been said.

He said that they will examine this information and can come back for more evidence if needed.

 

 He goes away again and at 5:59 (my shift finished at 6) he came back in saying they’d examined all the evidence and that their decision was dismissal, I was to gather my things and there’d be a letter in the post with information should I wish to appeal. 
quite a shock.

 

I will see what this letter states as their reasons I committed gross misconduct,

I am a bit at a loss as to what I specifically did to be deemed gross misconduct.

 

I’ve worked for them for 10years,

taken 2 days off sick in that entire time and had a faultless record

 

I’m just flabbergasted they’d immediately sack me for something which happened in unprecedented times when all I was trying to do was keep myself and my staff safe and safely make their store presentable and adequately accessible for all.

 

Any thoughts on the above?

Obviously this is all too fresh as it happened only hours ago 

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Hi Sweet and welcome to CAG

 

Are you willing to disclose the employer in this case ?

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Winemark the wine merchant ltd northern ireland

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Posted (edited)

Hi

 

it sounds like you had an investigation meeting/ fact find, but no actual hearing?

 

did you get a copy of the allegations in writing?

 

were you given the chance to be accompanied?

 

do you have a copy of their conduct policy? 

 

what outcome do you want?

 

 

Edited by Emmzzi
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Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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No hearing, no allegations in writing, they’ve given me nothing just told me within two hours that I’m dismissed. 

no chance to be accompanied. 
 

They just said I’d get a letter in the post. 

 

I wil try and get a copy of policy.

 

outcome, I dont know. I should get my job back. In the past I know that the company think nothing of paying out large settlements as it’s happened with several higher up in management.

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So, can;t confirm for sure without seeing the outcome letter, but it seems like they haven't followed due process.

 

i would appeal; and if your appeal is not upheld, contact ACAS next about early conciliation process.

 

But, one thing at a time. Letter; appeal; ACAS.

 

 

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Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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Thank you very much, trying to stay calm but very very angry. I will post letter once I receive it!

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you still have the text telling you to stay closed during delivery?

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33 minutes ago, ericsbrother said:

you still have the text telling you to stay closed during delivery?

Certainly do! It’s says 

 

When orders are coming in. Shops are to remain closed, to facilitate this where possible orders are to come in through an alternative door. This is to allow us to limit the number of people in store. 
 

all screen shot, I did keep shop closed for 5hours though.

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the apart form trashing the parst of the employment act covering dismissals they have also punished you for OBEYING a lawful instruction. That menas they should properly consider a written appeal and reinstate you or they will be having a discussion they dont want to have with their lawyers at an Employment Tribunal.

Now you need to beta them at their gae by following the rules so read your employment contract, see what it says about appealing decisions and if there is nothing then you write to the boss of the person who sacked you and appeal stating that yo were folowing the writtne instructions of the co and more importantly they have failed tio carry out a proper investigation , failed to followi the correct procedure for the disciplinary and failed to follow the correct procedure for dismissal and you would seek reinstatement without loss of pay as a remedy.

 

If they fail to respiond  or wonnt reconsider their methods then you first of all go to ACAS and then set about filing an unfair dismissal claim via an ET1

 

if you dont appeal you will trip yourself up

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Thanks, they said they will send a letter which will state my options for appeal. I will post it here as soon as I get it! 

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Was the OP following the instruction?

Are the company claiming instead that the shop should have been closed during the actual delivery, but then re-opened once the delivery had finished?

 

If the latter, then the OP’s route of appeal is that (having followed the instruction to close during the delivery) it was still unsafe to reopen once the physical acts of delivery were over, as the stock from the delivery still made the store unsafe as it was not yet in the stockroom.

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so that would suggest that they fired the OP for following the law on Health and Safety and still something that wont impress an employment tribunal. 2 strings to your bow

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So finally got my dismissal letter today, states I’m to appeal within 7days citing fully my reasons for doing so. 
Second line of letter states I was asked if I wanted accompaniment to meeting which I refused. This is the first outright lie as I was not informed a meeting was happening, I was on shift and was at no time offered accompaniment because it was a fact finding meeting. 
 

allegations;

serious negligence which causes or might cause loss, damage or injury to the business and it’s reputation

 

6hours loss of trading

 

taking part in activities which result in adverse publicity for the company, or which causes the company to lose faith in your integrity 

 


Then it outlines what was said at the meeting. 
finally it refutes what I said and states the reasons why sacked me which were:

you admitted you were aware of your role as a manager and that you had been trained of what was expected of you. 
 

you had an extra person in to help you take in delivery and you admitted that it took the delivery men a bit longer than an hour to bring in the delivery, but you made a concious decision to remain closed for 6hrs

 

the instruction was given was that stores were to be closed on receipt of a delivery; if my instruction was unclear, it is expected as you are a manager should have given me a call if there was any confusion 

 

employees both stated that you told customers who rang the store you were not opening until Tuesday therefore I believe that your actions demonstrate that you had no intentions of reopening on Monday 

 

as you were closed it caused lost trading of shop for 6hrs and it may also of caused adverse publicity for the company and caused the company to lose faith in your integrity 

 

I have concluded you actions caused an unacceptable loss to the business and that such actions put the business reputation at risk in your role as manger this is entirely unacceptable 

 

so that’s it. It says they are giving me 9weeks pay in lieu of notice, this is quite surprising as the employee handbook states instant dismissal forfeits pay (ie I think they know they’ve not followed due process and they’re trying to make me go away)

union rep says they’d try and get 12weeks pay from a tribunal case so I’m not really sure it’s worth the bother. It makes me mad how they didn’t follow due process and have essentially just given me 1 weeks pay in lieu for every year worked. I guess it’s enough to be rid but it just doesn’t seem fair.

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Have you tried to speak to Acas about this?

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Just playing Devil's Advocate here, but five hours seems like an awfully long time to clear the delivery from the shop itself and put it into store.  Especially if the OP was assisted by (or assisting) two other staff members.

 

I won't comment on whether the employer has followed appropriate procedures or whether their action is justified.

 

Edit: and presumably the instruction from management was to close during the delivery, and then re-open.  If the shop posed too much of a hazard to the public to re-open it, perhaps the OP ought to have sought advice?  (Especially if it meant remaining closed for another five hours).

Edited by Manxman in exile

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I do understand 5hrs is a long time to keep shop shut. It was the first day of opening after the NI exec declared the business non-essential (and forcibly closed it) no senior management inspected the store, no senior management talked to the store manager to discuss safety concerns, the shop was in no state to open to public (hardly any prices on products, no stock in fridges etc) 

 

The shop was opened for two hours in morning, and closed for delivery (which was twice as big as a Xmas delivery, there was literally no white wine in 7 fridges) 

 

when you are scared you make strange decisions. When you go to work to sell non-essential products to customers who don’t care about your well being it puts you in a horrid situation. For that first day we just needed to settle, get the shop ready for staff and customers to be as safe as possible. Senior management weren’t communicating decisions properly (using WhatsApp (instead of phone calls) to communicate key procedural changes to deliveries already happening) 

 

I understand trading time lost could be considered excessive. But I also think in these unprecedented times it asks a lot of a manager to demand cool headed decisions all the time and I think it a great over-reaction to bypass the disciplinary process of the company and to immediately dismiss an employee 10days after alleged events, when they were happy enough to leave the shop in my hands for all that time after. Bizarre behaviour from inexperienced senior management.

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do not lose focus, all of the things in your above post have little to do with employment or disciplinary procedure.

If you dont have a paper trail for your dicussions or lack of them, then they arent part of the problem or solution.

 

stick to the facts and your employment contract

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