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Taking a wrongful dismissal case to tribunal
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# 1
EllieA
Old 24-02-2010, 9:37 AM
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Default Taking a wrongful dismissal case to tribunal

I was wondering if anyone could help? My husband was fired from a job back in November and has been unemployed ever since. He was fired for fraud and works in banking, so obviously this means that his professional reputation is shot, which is why he is struggling to find new work.

He was placed on paid suspension in October when the bank found a small number of keying error’s under his log in, and even though those error’s benefited him in no way they’ve played the gross misconduct/fraud card. Several investigations where done and the eventually fired him in mid November, despite having a very weak case. Essentially the keying error’s didn’t benefit him, nor could they prove they had been made on purpose.

The computer system they use is very old and it allows these types of keying error to be made very easily. They even went back and scoured his transaction’s over the last year could only found 10 error’s made by him. The nature of the error was basically that he’d said that he’d transferred customer’s to another department, but the department never received the call and there are many ways this can happen, including the phone cutting off, and the customer hanging up while being transferred which are not his fault, or my him entering the details and then them changing their mind and him forgetting to clear the data.

When we received the letter firing him it was all very vague essentially it read “we believe it is more likely rather than less likely that these error’s where made fraudulently” ie they couldn’t prove he’d done them on purpose and they knew he’d gained nothing for making them.

We contacted a solicitor, more because we where so angry he’d worked for the bank for 9 years and had been nothing but a hard working employee, and the solicitor said we had a very strong case as even reading though the transcripts from the hearings there was clearly no evidence and that it was clearly blown out of proportion.

A few weeks ago the solicitor sent a letter to the bank requesting a settlement, but the bank didn’t reply and now the solicitor’s sent another one saying that they have 28 days to reply or it goes to tribunal and an outcome will be decided without their input.

Basically I want to know what to expect from here? Anyone had experience?? We are living off credit cards right now, and while I understand there is a chance we might lose the tribunal I’m wondering what peoples thoughts where??
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# 2
EllieA
Old 24-02-2010, 10:09 AM
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Yes he’s applying he’s just got a job which is 100% commission based and has yet to actually produce any money. He’s still applying for something more permanent but its hard to find a job at the best of times, especially when you’ve been fired from your last.

Even if he had hung up on customers (which I know he wouldn’t have done) 10 incidents in 12 months perhaps warrants a warning, perhaps even a good slap on the wrists but after years of loyal service firing him seems extreme when all they really know is that the call didn’t make it to it’s destination and have no real idea what caused it.

The solicitor we have is no-win no fee. Frankly we couldn’t afford to pay for it without that, we rang around/sent transcripts to a few when we found this one they where all willing to take the case.
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# 3
Anihilator
Old 24-02-2010, 10:16 AM
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I would have to disagree in that if discovered someone was hanging up on customers as regularly as 10 times in 12 months I would treat it as gross misconduct and dismiss.

It's no doubt fairly common but these people also should expect dismissal when caught.

There is very little justifiable reason for doing it hence no warnings/training etc to resolve.

If there records show calls were hung up on its then for him to prove he didnt and I can't see how he would achieve this as his word isnt really enough.
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# 4
dickydonkin
Old 24-02-2010, 10:16 AM
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You say he was dismissed in November - then you state that your solicitor is giving the bank 28 days to respond. Remember, you only have 3 months less one day day from the date of dismissal to submit a claim to an employment tribunal.

If it is not too late already, I would submit a claim as soon as possible.

Last edited by dickydonkin; 24-02-2010 at 10:22 AM.
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# 5
dickydonkin
Old 24-02-2010, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Or the far more likely occurrence in call centres that he was simply hanging up on customers.
No stereotyping here then! A very bold assumption.

Quote:
As for the solicitors actions - they seem unusual to me and possibly a bit legally naive.
And your legal qualifications are.....................................?

It is difficult to ascertain based on the limited information posted, how anyone can give a definitive opinion on the likelihood of success at a tribunal.

Specialised Employment Lawyers will be able to offer advice based on their extensive knowledge of employment law, however, as I indicated in my earlier posting, it would seem time is of the essence to progress legal redress if that is the OP's intention.

Last edited by dickydonkin; 24-02-2010 at 10:39 AM.
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# 6
Anihilator
Old 24-02-2010, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpassmore View Post
No stereotyping here then! A very bold assumption.



And your legal qualifications are.....................................?

It is difficult to ascertain based on the limited information posted, how anyone can give a definitive opinion on the likelihood of success at a tribunal.

Specialised Employment Lawyers will be able to offer advice based on their extensive knowledge of employment law, however, as I indicated in my earlier posting, it would seem time is of the essence to progress legal redress if that is the OP's intention.

Well I base it on your earlier post assumption that there is limited time to open an ET and he is busy blackmailing a settlement rather than getting the papers in then pursuing a settlement.

My suspicion is that as soon as they come back and say no the no fee lot will drop the case rather than take it to ET. I.e they want an easy settlement.

If I was the OP I would be preparing the papers ready to put in as preparation as I dont think they will settle and I can see them being dumped without a solicitor very shortly.

As for the stereotype maybe so but unfair?
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# 7
wuckfit
Old 24-02-2010, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anihilator View Post
I would have to disagree in that if discovered someone was hanging up on customers as regularly as 10 times in 12 months I would treat it as gross misconduct and dismiss.

It's no doubt fairly common but these people also should expect dismissal when caught.

There is very little justifiable reason for doing it hence no warnings/training etc to resolve.

If there records show calls were hung up on its then for him to prove he didnt and I can't see how he would achieve this as his word isnt really enough.
Ah yes, here we go again, with the Anihilator preventing his intepretation as solid fact.
Yet again You have NO EVIDENCE to support
your defamatory and libellous comment that the OP's Husband was hanging up on customers. There, I've made it bigger in the hope that it might actually sink in. Actually you probably get some sick kicks out of making sure that every thread turns into a discussion about YOU instead of what the OP asked advice about.

To the OP, as far as I am aware, Anihilator has no legal training, so if I were you I'd listen to your lawyer, rather than some anonymous vitriol-spouting vendetta-monkey who, it seems, only posts to make unsubstantiated allegations against people who seek advice and when he's been proved to have made wrongful insinuations he doesn't have the courage to hold his hands up and admit he was wrong.

EllieA - dpassmore has a point, your time is running out for going to Tribunal.
Best of luck and keep us posted.
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# 8
Anihilator
Old 24-02-2010, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wuckfit View Post
Ah yes, here we go again, with the Anihilator preventing his intepretation as solid fact.
Yet again You have NO EVIDENCE to support your defamatory and libellous comment that the OP's Husband was hanging up on customers. There, I've made it bigger in the hope that it might actually sink in. Actually you probably get some sick kicks out of making sure that every thread turns into a discussion about YOU instead of what the OP asked advice about.

To the OP, as far as I am aware, Anihilator has no legal training, so if I were you I'd listen to your lawyer, rather than some anonymous vitriol-spouting vendetta-monkey who, it seems, only posts to make unsubstantiated allegations against people who seek advice and when he's been proved to have made wrongful insinuations he doesn't have the courage to hold his hands up and admit he was wrong.

EllieA - dpassmore has a point, your time is running out for going to Tribunal.
Best of luck and keep us posted.

Lots of abuse not much debate on the topic.
The evidence for the case is in the companies system. It would be for the OP to prove that inaccurate at an ET.

And I didnt accuse him of anything. Simply stated that when it comes to call centres it is very common to encounter staff hanging up on people deliberately hence why it was a consideration.
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# 9
melou
Old 24-02-2010, 11:14 AM
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See here for details on making a claim at tribunal: http://www.employmenttribunals.gov.u...kingAClaim.htm

You have to raise a complaint in writing with the employer (done), you have to give them 28 days to respond (done), you have to put your claim in within 3 months from the date of dismissal unless you fall into one of the exception categories (this claim doesn't appear to), so if your husband was dismissed before November 23rd last year it does look like you might be out of time to make a claim. If not you need to get a move on.
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# 10
dickydonkin
Old 24-02-2010, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anihilator View Post
Well I base it on your earlier post assumption that there is limited time to open an ET and he is busy blackmailing a settlement rather than getting the papers in then pursuing a settlement.

My suspicion is that as soon as they come back and say no the no fee lot will drop the case rather than take it to ET. I.e they want an easy settlement.

If I was the OP I would be preparing the papers ready to put in as preparation as I dont think they will settle and I can see them being dumped without a solicitor very shortly.

As for the stereotype maybe so but unfair?
I have not assumed that there is a time limit for claiming at an employment tribunal - the reality is that it is a FACT. My statement was based on FACT. My statement was based on UK employment law. Fact.

Quote:
And I didnt accuse him of anything.
Quote:
he was simply hanging up on customers.
Quite!


Also, the OP is able to take the case to tribunal without the use of a solicitor - of course, that is her prerogative.

Quote:
Lots of abuse not much debate on the topic
Sorry - have to go, I have just wet myself laughing.......................................

Last edited by dickydonkin; 24-02-2010 at 11:25 AM.
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# 11
EllieA
Old 24-02-2010, 11:20 AM
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Ok well i'm telling you he didn't hang up on the customers, so can we please look at the situation from that point of view. Im looking for help based on my point of view not for someone to come and stand up for the bank.

The letter for the 28 days notice actually went out 2 weeks ago so i think we should be just in time. The claim has as far as im aware already been submited to the tribunal the date is for when a decision will me made without the banks input.
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# 12
dickydonkin
Old 24-02-2010, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EllieA View Post
Ok well i'm telling you he didn't hang up on the customers, so can we please look at the situation from that point of view. Im looking for help based on my point of view not for someone to come and stand up for the bank.

The letter for the 28 days notice actually went out 2 weeks ago so i think we should be just in time. The claim has as far as im aware already been submited to the tribunal the date is for when a decision will me made without the banks input.
Ellie - I would check just to make sure. Either check with the solicitor or contact your local tribunal office (their details can be obtained from the tribunal website).

I am a little confused by the fact that your solicitor has sent a letter to the bank demanding a response/settlement. This is not the same as an ET3 form which the employer should have received in response to a claim to a tribunal from the tribunal office. Have you received a copy of the ET3 from your solicitor or the tribunal office? Is your solicitor updating you with the progress of the 'claim'? I would certainly give him/her a call to update the situation -ASAP.

These might help:

http://www.employmenttribunals.gov.u...kingaClaim.pdf

http://www.employmenttribunals.gov.u...Responding.pdf

There are not just financial implications at stake, but the reputation of your OH as this issue could hang over him for a long time in respect of future employment.

Last edited by dickydonkin; 24-02-2010 at 11:49 AM.
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lufcgirl
Old 24-02-2010, 11:36 AM
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I sometimes have to hang up on customers as they don't terminate the call properly, or they themselves hang up whilst waiting to be transferred and I'm on the phone to the other department. My manager knows these sort of things happen and nothing has ever been said to me. Do they have recordings of the calls, or as they use where I work, a system where they can see what you click during calls to prove he was hanging up on? (as most telephones are on screen in call centres).
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# 14
rupee99
Old 24-02-2010, 11:42 AM
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OP please ignore the sniping between Anihilator and others, there is a history that does not concern your husband´s case.

Essentially you are talking about a potential case for UNFAIR dismissal, not wrongful as stated in the thread title. This would be heard in front of an Employment Tribunal. As has been stated there is a time limit of 3 months from the date of dismissal. Wrongful dismissal is a tort at common law that is an altogether more complicated and expensive action that has to be taken in the High Court.

The burden of proof, which is "the balance of probabilities" otherwise known as "preponderence of evidence" falls upon the bank. You will need to discredit the bank´s evidence sufficiently to put doubt in the Tribunal's mind that it was a reasonable decision to dismiss your husband.

Comments here about his "guilt" or otherwise are quite irrelevant. It is unlikely that your husband would have been able to put sufficient information here to come to an informed decision, even less likely that you as a third party would be able to do so. Tribunals do not work on prejudice or general perceptions but evidence and arguments that are laid before them.

If you are out of time to make a claim for an Unfair dismissal claim you may then have two courses of action. You could start a Wrongful dismissal claim, that has to be brought in front of the High Court, or you could start action against the solicitor for not properly advising you. Neither of these would be attractive options, not least of all because of the associated cost.
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# 15
WeakHeart
Old 24-02-2010, 11:47 AM
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Agree with dpassmore, very, very important for you to know for sure that your ET1 claim has been submitted to the tribunal service.

Agree with lufgirl and in my view 10 advisor abandons in 12 months would not be cause for concern. Deliberate abandonment of customer calls for no just cause is usually classed as gross misconduct in call centres. I don't understand the fraud element of the allegation here though so the whole thing sounds odd to me.

Some call centre systems have the technology that enables them to show whether a call was terminated by the advisor or the customer. Others don't and can only decide what they believe probably happened from call reports, call recordings and evidence of customer call backs and customer complaints.
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# 16
EllieA
Old 24-02-2010, 11:53 AM
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Sorry I’ve just spoken to my husband (in a slight panic) he says the letter we received yesterday was forwarded on by the solicitor but was from the tribunal saying that they have received and agreed our claim, and they have given the bank 28 days to respond.

To be fair I would have thought a bank would have had such a system to monitor calls, but they didn’t seem to use it in their investigations, as their evidence seems to just state that the call was not received by the other department, no-where in the transcripts or the evidence does it mention a system which logged him as ending the call and im sure if they’d been capable it would have been logged and used as evidence.

As people have said this is about my husbands reputation, yes money would be nice right now but the most important thing to me is my husbands well being, being fired in this manner has caused him great distress, he refuses to tell family and friends what happened because he’s ashamed which means no-one understands the difficulty we are in. His confidence and self worth has been crushed.
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# 17
WeakHeart
Old 24-02-2010, 11:59 AM
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EllieA. Phew, that means that your ET1 was submitted in time Be aware that this all takes time to resolve, months and sometimes beyond so you should organise your finances meantime.

Understand how your husband is feeling. It's not easy and takes courage and support to bring a case but agree with you if he wants his name cleared it has to be done.
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# 18
WeakHeart
Old 24-02-2010, 12:02 PM
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Oh and although it's hard to pass views about the case based on the limited detail that you have given, I'm assuming that the fact that a no win no fee solicitor has taken on your case means that he views it as having a reasonable chance of success (they won't take on weak cases) which your husband should feel more positive about.
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# 19
neil9313
Old 24-02-2010, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WeakHeart View Post
EllieA. Phew, that means that your ET1 was submitted in time Be aware that this all takes time to resolve, months and sometimes beyond so you should organise your finances meantime.

Understand how your husband is feeling. It's not easy and takes courage and support to bring a case but agree with you if he wants his name cleared it has to be done.

ET's are very busy at the moment. Expect to wait around 6 months for a date
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# 20
paulrn
Old 24-02-2010, 12:12 PM
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I dont normall feed trolls but anihilator, your life must be very very sad to have to try and get human interaction by trying to inject confrontation into so many threads. try getting out more, meeting people, althougth if you are like it in real life I expect you might just meet your match. I am sure however you will just carry on, do not expect to have a long and happy exchange on this as I have a life.
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