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  • FIRST POST
    • vertigo5000
    • By vertigo5000 8th Jul 17, 7:58 PM
    • 12Posts
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    vertigo5000
    Dismissal - Unauthorized Absence.
    • #1
    • 8th Jul 17, 7:58 PM
    Dismissal - Unauthorized Absence. 8th Jul 17 at 7:58 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hi this is a long and messy incident.

    I've been dismissed for 35 days Unauthorized Absence.

    I've made a timeline. hopefully it makes sense;

    16th - 23rd May - Self Certification.
    24th - 31st May - Doctors note.
    *31st - I emailed management stating I was fit for work and could return on 1st June.
    *1st June - email from management stating I could not return until 9th June.
    1st June - 9th June -I was told to say off and rest. I Forgot to send a reply email about returning on 9th June so my return was cancelled and rearranged by management on the 7th June to a welfare meeting on the 15th June.
    *12th - I emailed management saying I would be there on 15th June.
    15th June - I missed the meeting due to seeing my GP to get my sick note.
    *16th June - I emailed management apologizing for missing the meeting, I put in email I was fit for work immediately.
    *16th June - Management emailed me and arranged new meeting for the 20th June. This wasn't a welfare meeting, it was an investigation for 28 days unauthorized absence
    (my self certification and doctors note from 16th May to the 31st May was being included as unauthorized absences.)
    *20th June - I attended the investigation meeting. During the meeting I made management aware again I was fit for work immediately. Management then asked me for a 'fit for work' note.
    20th June - 6th July - No work was offered and no welfare meeting.
    30th June - I received a disciplinary hearing letter for the 6th July.
    *6th July - I was dismissed for 35 unauthorized absences from 1st June to 5th July.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Disciplinary Officer at the hearing was a friend of the Manager.
    When I tried to present evidence at the disciplinary hearing it was ignored because I had typed it on a computer and "it was printed".

    I don't understand why I've been dismissed for so many unauthorized absences. Were all those days unauthorized?

    I told them loads of times that I was fit for work but I wasn't given any shifts. I have since found out that management had put me on the rota as SSP from 1st June to 5th July, even though I kept telling them I was fit for work.

    Throughout the whole incident the management had been asking me to bring a fit for work note before I would be given any shifts. I asked ACAS about this and they said I don't require a fit for work note and I can return when I feel ready.
    To add to this my GP was on leave during my sickness so I had to wait until he returned before I could get the sick note for 24th May to 31st May.

    I wasn't allowed or offered any shifts during the whole of June and beginning of July.

    The dismissal was only a few days ago and I haven't received the appeal letter yet, so I should get it this coming week.

    Is this worth an appeal? Any advice would be great.

    Many thanks.
Page 2
    • vertigo5000
    • By vertigo5000 9th Jul 17, 3:04 PM
    • 12 Posts
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    vertigo5000
    I fully admit that I did make some serious f-ups.
    But I'm not sure the management are the angels they're painting.

    So, my contracts exact wording is:
    "No payment is made during unauthorized absences."

    For the entire period from beginning to dismissal: I was paid SSP.

    So if my contracts wording is that unauthorized absences will receive no payment, then surely paying me automatically disqualifies it as unauthorized absence?

    Yeah I know, I'm nit picking but this is capitalism, there's no such thing as fair play.

    Thanks for all the replies. Have a lovely Sunday.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 9th Jul 17, 5:37 PM
    • 3,550 Posts
    • 5,858 Thanks
    sangie595
    I fully admit that I did make some serious f-ups.
    But I'm not sure the management are the angels they're painting.

    So, my contracts exact wording is:
    "No payment is made during unauthorized absences."

    For the entire period from beginning to dismissal: I was paid SSP.

    So if my contracts wording is that unauthorized absences will receive no payment, then surely paying me automatically disqualifies it as unauthorized absence?

    Yeah I know, I'm nit picking but this is capitalism, there's no such thing as fair play.

    Thanks for all the replies. Have a lovely Sunday.
    Originally posted by vertigo5000
    You really want to point that out to them, so they can come after you for an overpayment? This is the time to exit quietly stage left!
    • Undervalued
    • By Undervalued 9th Jul 17, 5:44 PM
    • 3,048 Posts
    • 2,792 Thanks
    Undervalued
    I fully admit that I did make some serious f-ups.
    But I'm not sure the management are the angels they're painting.

    So, my contracts exact wording is:
    "No payment is made during unauthorized absences."

    For the entire period from beginning to dismissal: I was paid SSP.

    So if my contracts wording is that unauthorized absences will receive no payment, then surely paying me automatically disqualifies it as unauthorized absence?

    Yeah I know, I'm nit picking but this is capitalism, there's no such thing as fair play.

    Thanks for all the replies. Have a lovely Sunday.
    Originally posted by vertigo5000
    Well actually there is.

    You have only been there 15 months! So they could simply have dismissed you without bothering to hold any kind of disciplinary hearing and there would have been absolutely nothing you could have done about it.

    However, despite this they gave you an opportunity to present your "defence". Frankly, they would almost certainly have been justified in dismissing you had you been there five years.

    Sorry, but move on.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 9th Jul 17, 5:50 PM
    • 3,550 Posts
    • 5,858 Thanks
    sangie595
    Thanks for the replies. I wanted a view to the situation from someone else's eyes. No, I'm not trolling.

    Back dated sick notes are suspicious? So me, my GP and my surgeon (a professor) are liars?

    Yes, I have a 40 hour written, signed contract. The management said I would not be allowed to return without a fit for work note. I called 'fit for work' the government organisation and they said I do not need one.

    Anyway, considering all plagues and famines are my fault..

    From 1st June to 6th July I took pictures of the rotas at work and management had put me through as SSP right up to the dismissal.

    So why did they do that then?
    Originally posted by vertigo5000
    Of course backdated sick notes are suspicious, and yes, doctors actually do lie - or not tell the truth. How can any doctor explain how you were feeling a week ago??? They didn't see you. They had no knowledge of you a week ago. So who are they to say you were too sick to work a week ago? They have to take you at your word, and that doesn't mean you are telling the truth.

    And actually, I don't know where your are getting your rubbish advice from, but if that is what a government agency is actually saying then they should not be giving out advice. Because it is wrong. If an employer insists on having certification that you are fit for work, they DO have every right to insist on one. There is obviously more to this situation than you are telling - employers usually demand such evidence in specific circumstances, such as claims of work related sickness, or serious illness, or industry regulations. But you still haven't explained why, if you were fit for work, your doctor was still issuing you with fit notes! You simply cannot have it both ways. You were picking up a fit note from the doctor and missed a meeting to discuss that you were fit for work? Really?

    Whatever you aren't saying isn't helping you. But whatever, it doesn't matter. They aren't having you back. And I'm sure that they are smart enough to write a truthful reference. You just need hope they don't.
    Last edited by sangie595; 09-07-2017 at 5:52 PM.
    • ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    • By ScorpiondeRooftrouser 9th Jul 17, 6:00 PM
    • 1,794 Posts
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    ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    Do you honestly think anyone is going to care whether you have been dismissed for 5 unauthorised absences or 35 unauthorised absences?
    • Manxman in exile
    • By Manxman in exile 9th Jul 17, 6:19 PM
    • 699 Posts
    • 486 Thanks
    Manxman in exile
    FWIW - I think some posters are missing the point of one part of the Op's "story".


    They originally had a period of self certified absence and this then continued supported by a fit to work (or whatever it's called) certificate.


    The Op's problem is that they never had this certificate at the time, because their GP was "on leave" during this period. This is why the OP "had" to visit their GP on 15 June(after the GP had returned from leave) to obtain their post-dated certificate when they should have been attending a meeting at work that they'd forgotten about.


    Personally I think this is the most incredible part of the whole post. As somebody else has pointed out where does the OP live if their GP surgery has a sole practitioner with no locum cover for annual leave?


    (Of course they could have tried their professor of surgery who, no doubt, can provide an impeccable certificate).


    EDIt: happy to be corrected by the more knowledgeable, but I presume SSP can be recovered if it is subsequently deemed the sickness absence was "unauthorised" ie no contemporaneous sick note (as suggested by sangie).
    Last edited by Manxman in exile; 09-07-2017 at 6:25 PM. Reason: addition & correction
    • Manxman in exile
    • By Manxman in exile 9th Jul 17, 6:43 PM
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    Manxman in exile
    Interesting idea...but the Professor of surgery would be willing to support the GP's opinion...surely?
    Last edited by MSE ForumTeam3; 19-07-2017 at 11:54 AM. Reason: Quoting deleted post
    • Manxman in exile
    • By Manxman in exile 9th Jul 17, 6:55 PM
    • 699 Posts
    • 486 Thanks
    Manxman in exile

    Back dated sick notes are suspicious? So me, my GP and my surgeon (a professor) are liars?
    Originally posted by vertigo5000

    Having worked in the NHS and having had some experience of managing sickness absence, the question would be why you didn't get a certificate after the period of self-certification expired?


    This may not necessarily be suspicious, but would require a very good explanation where I worked. Not to mention the emails you forgot to respond to and the meeting you forgot to attend (or at least forgot to tell them that you wouldn't be there!)
    • w06
    • By w06 9th Jul 17, 6:58 PM
    • 267 Posts
    • 385 Thanks
    w06
    Back dated certificates if you didn't see a clinician at the time of the illness are also not issuable. Ie you can't go to the GP today and say you were ill last week and need a fit note for last week if you didn't have some sort of consultation whilst you were ill.
    • vertigo5000
    • By vertigo5000 9th Jul 17, 7:08 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    vertigo5000
    Sorry, I couldn't have been dismissed without a disciplinary hearing... It's written in the contract... Damn, pesky written contracts...

    Sangie595 - I don't know if you're a troll or you just can't read lad.

    https :// w w w. gov .uk /government/publications/fit-note-guidance-for-employers-and-line-managers

    That's the official government website son. It's ACAS guidance, if it's not followed you end up in tribunals. I wasn't asking you to verify if you think it is the law, because it's not based on your opinion.

    So I take them to Appeals Tribunal and ask them to defend paying me SSP while classing it as unauthorized absence?

    My contract clearly states:
    "No payment is made during unauthorized absences."

    So they pay me and my written contract says they shouldn't pay me.
    They will claim back the over payment as it isn't lawfully mine.
    But by claiming it back, they're admitting to a breach of contract because they're admitting that they paid me during my unauthorized absence.

    They paid me SSP for the entire period, now by definition of the contract: "No payment is made during unauthorized absences."
    So if they're making payments... it must be authorized absence.
    If not, it's a breach of contract.

    Simple.

    No I don't want the job back.
    No I don't need JSA to get by while I find another position.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 9th Jul 17, 7:21 PM
    • 3,550 Posts
    • 5,858 Thanks
    sangie595
    Not a troll. Not a lad. You know all the answers do you? Have at it. Appeal. Point out that you don't get paid for unauthorised absences. And just TRY to get to a tribunal, why don't you? I look forward to the post tomorrow saying you won. You see, we see your sort here all the time. But if you think you have just got your law degree, think very, very carefully before acting on your impulses. You seem to think it can't get worse. It can. It will.
    • antrobus
    • By antrobus 9th Jul 17, 7:37 PM
    • 15,033 Posts
    • 21,357 Thanks
    antrobus
    ...So I take them to Appeals Tribunal and ask them to defend paying me SSP while classing it as unauthorized absence? ...
    Originally posted by vertigo5000
    To bring a claim for unfair dismissal before an Employment Tribunal, the two year rule applies. You will need to make a claim for wrongful dismissal (breach of contract). The main difference being that with wrongful dismissal, fairness is not at issue.

    https://www.truthlegal.com/employment-disputes/wrongful-dismissal-claims/

    It is possible that the employer initially accepted the fit note as valid, and thus paid SSP, but subsequently (when someone looked at the dates on it) that it wasn't kosher, came to the post-hoc conclusion that your absence was therefore unauthorised, and dismissed you.

    It would be down to the county court or employment tribunal to decide whether or not the employer's actions were in accordance with your employment contract.

    You should speak to a lawyer.
    • theoretica
    • By theoretica 9th Jul 17, 7:46 PM
    • 4,804 Posts
    • 6,038 Thanks
    theoretica
    My work's sickness policy says that the first week of absence may only be self certified if any further absence has a fit note handed in according to the policy. If this does not happen the whole absence becomes unauthorised. As you didn't go to the doctor to get a note until 2 weeks after you had said you were fit to return I expect something like this happened and is why your absence is being counted as unauthorised from the start.
    Last edited by theoretica; 09-07-2017 at 7:49 PM.
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    • Undervalued
    • By Undervalued 9th Jul 17, 8:09 PM
    • 3,048 Posts
    • 2,792 Thanks
    Undervalued
    Sorry, I couldn't have been dismissed without a disciplinary hearing... It's written in the contract... Damn, pesky written contracts...

    Sangie595 - I don't know if you're a troll or you just can't read lad.

    https :// w w w. gov .uk /government/publications/fit-note-guidance-for-employers-and-line-managers

    That's the official government website son. It's ACAS guidance, if it's not followed you end up in tribunals. I wasn't asking you to verify if you think it is the law, because it's not based on your opinion.

    So I take them to Appeals Tribunal and ask them to defend paying me SSP while classing it as unauthorized absence?

    My contract clearly states:
    "No payment is made during unauthorized absences."

    So they pay me and my written contract says they shouldn't pay me.
    They will claim back the over payment as it isn't lawfully mine.
    But by claiming it back, they're admitting to a breach of contract because they're admitting that they paid me during my unauthorized absence.

    They paid me SSP for the entire period, now by definition of the contract: "No payment is made during unauthorized absences."
    So if they're making payments... it must be authorized absence.
    If not, it's a breach of contract.

    Simple.

    No I don't want the job back.
    No I don't need JSA to get by while I find another position.
    Originally posted by vertigo5000
    You really don't get it do you?

    OK, if there is a hard and fast contractual obligation to follow a laid down disciplinary procedure (which is possible but unusual) and they fail to follow it then, in theory, you could make a claim for wrongful dismissal (i.e breach of contract).

    However, the maximum that would get you would be a few days pay to compensate for however long it would have taken them to do it properly. That is all. It doesn't make the dismissal unfair and it is very unlikely such a claim would be cost effective even if successful.
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 9th Jul 17, 8:45 PM
    • 18,150 Posts
    • 13,849 Thanks
    agrinnall
    As I agree with pretty much every other poster that you don't have the cas eyou think you have, I'll restrict myself to commenting on one point you make.

    I fully admit that I did make some serious f-ups.
    But I'm not sure the management are the angels they're painting.
    Originally posted by vertigo5000
    Management may or may not be angels, in fact they probaby aren't. But it doesn't matter: they run the company so they say how thinks should work. You have to follow the rules they put in place, and even if they make 100 other f-ups that doesn't alter the fact that they order, you obey. It's a lesson you should take with you to whatever job you get next.
    • robatwork
    • By robatwork 9th Jul 17, 8:50 PM
    • 3,874 Posts
    • 4,197 Thanks
    robatwork
    Sangie595 - I don't know if you're a troll or you just can't read lad.
    Originally posted by vertigo5000
    Sangie doesn't need protecting by me. I will just pose the question about who is the troll - let's look at the facts:

    sangie595
    Fantastically Fervent MoneySaving Super Fan
    Join Date: Jun 2015
    Posts: 3,269
    Thanked 5,314 Times in 2,057 Posts

    vertigo5000
    MoneySaving Newbie
    Join Date: Mar 2009
    Posts: 12
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Bring your working and life experience to bear on the above and let us know your workings and conclusions.
    • Manxman in exile
    • By Manxman in exile 9th Jul 17, 10:43 PM
    • 699 Posts
    • 486 Thanks
    Manxman in exile
    To repeat the question I asked in post #30, why didn't you get a certificate when your period of self-certification expired? You waited at least another two weeks to visit your GP. Did you get a certificate and provide it to your employer or not? (I note that at least one other poster suggests it is not possible for a GP to give a post-dated certificate).


    The fact your employer paid you when they thought that the absence could be considered "authorised" does not mean that they can't subsequently decide it was in fact "unauthorised" because your certificate was late or not provided.


    Good luck with suing your ex-employer for breach of contract and let us know how you got on. (unless of course you have already won and come back with a set of facts bearing no relation to the OP).


    EDIT: Did you not breach your contract first by not providing a timely certificate from your GP?
    Last edited by Manxman in exile; 09-07-2017 at 11:04 PM. Reason: Addition
    • ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    • By ScorpiondeRooftrouser 10th Jul 17, 12:46 AM
    • 1,794 Posts
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    ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    Did you at any point during this process start acting like a complete !!!!, the way you have here? That may well have been the point they decided to sack you.
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