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  • FIRST POST
    • mica2
    • By mica2 12th Mar 18, 12:02 AM
    • 50Posts
    • 27Thanks
    mica2
    Fiance dismissed for gross misconduct
    • #1
    • 12th Mar 18, 12:02 AM
    Fiance dismissed for gross misconduct 12th Mar 18 at 12:02 AM
    I'm requesting advice for my partner. He just got dismissed from his much loved job and is too upset to deal with anything. Sorry if this is long and complicated.
    He worked at a dog day care centre as a driver and last month was suspended after he made a couple of silly errors. They are saying it was gross misconduct but I think they are being harsh. He was under a lot of pressure and stress at the time which led to a lapse of thinking. He left some dogs unattended for 3 minutes but they were in sight of other staff members. His boss is asking why he didn't call the site manager to report it, he said he used his initiative and experience to judge that they would be ok and that he had told his colleagues to go attend to them. The other mistake he made was he forgot to take 2 dogs out of his van to drop off at the centre, but he realised quickly when he was on his next collection and kept checking on them to see if they were ok. Again his boss wanted to know why he didn't call them. I don't see how calling his boss would have changed the fact that the dogs were in the van for longer than usual, which is their issue. My fiance argued that sometimes he can be stuck in traffic for over 3 hours and not be able to check on the dogs' welfare but then they contradicted themselves by saying sometimes things are out of our control? So it seems to be fine sometimes for this to happen if it suits them!
    I am so angry with their behaviour. They didn't give him a verbal warning plus his English isn't great as he is from another country and I'm worried he misunderstood things that was discussed in his disciplinary. He has been a very loyal employee having worked there over 5 years without a day off sick. The last 5 weeks he was made to train a new driver everyday and most of the time never had a lunch break so he was exhausted. That day he was also stressed because he recently had an accident at work where he chased after a dog but broke his knee and was due to have leave for surgery, which they gave him a month off for but he wasn't able to walk properly and was in pain and had been waiting months for the surgery due to his employer not allowing him the time off for surgery straight away. They decided to suspend him the day before he was due to leave for surgery so when he returned they told him he was dismissed. Also, his own dog had recently broken it's leg and was in the process of treatment which was stressing him out and also his father recently passed away. I'm wondering if he has a case because as an employer they did nothing to control stress levels which I believe played a part in his lapse of thinking at work. (Maybe also the injury from his job is something else to pursue??)
    Also, he told them that he witnessed other colleagues making the same mistake as him by leaving dogs unattended but nothing was ever mentioned to them. I'm wondering if him having so much time off for his knee operation might be why they want to get rid of him?
    I'm glad he's not working there now as they have been treating the dogs and staff badly and just seem interested in growing the company and making money. There is a high staff turnover too.
    What do you suggest? I know his clients will be really upset and angry, most of them have said they would leave if he left as they value him so highly. His boss has offered him excellent references and 6 weeks paid leave.
Page 1
    • marliepanda
    • By marliepanda 12th Mar 18, 12:26 AM
    • 5,624 Posts
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    marliepanda
    • #2
    • 12th Mar 18, 12:26 AM
    • #2
    • 12th Mar 18, 12:26 AM
    You really dont have much chance. He has made mistakes. Leaving the dogs in the van because he forgot is not the same as leaving them in the van due to traffic. One is out of their control as they correctly said, the other is not. Its not changing rules to suit at all.

    How could his employer have aided stress about his fathers death and his dogs broken leg?

    He has left dogs unattended, and kept dogs In the van longer than necessary through his own forgetfulness. As his entire job is looking after dogs then twice he has massively failed to do his job.
    • marlot
    • By marlot 12th Mar 18, 7:03 AM
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    marlot
    • #3
    • 12th Mar 18, 7:03 AM
    • #3
    • 12th Mar 18, 7:03 AM
    You can understand why they're not keen on dogs being forgotten in vans http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2048380/Sergeant-Ian-Craven-left-police-dogs-die-hot-car-spared-jail.html
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 12th Mar 18, 7:25 AM
    • 4,890 Posts
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    TELLIT01
    • #4
    • 12th Mar 18, 7:25 AM
    • #4
    • 12th Mar 18, 7:25 AM
    Trying to use a defence of "Other people have done the same thing" is no defence at all. It seems that he doesn't dispute that he left the animals unattended, against policy, so he doesn't seem to have any valid argument against the accusation of gross misconduct. Sorry if that seems harsh but the employer seems to have applied the rules.
    • mica2
    • By mica2 12th Mar 18, 10:03 AM
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    mica2
    • #5
    • 12th Mar 18, 10:03 AM
    • #5
    • 12th Mar 18, 10:03 AM
    You really dont have much chance. He has made mistakes. Leaving the dogs in the van because he forgot is not the same as leaving them in the van due to traffic. One is out of their control as they correctly said, the other is not. Its not changing rules to suit at all.

    How could his employer have aided stress about his fathers death and his dogs broken leg?

    He has left dogs unattended, and kept dogs In the van longer than necessary through his own forgetfulness. As his entire job is looking after dogs then twice he has massively failed to do his job.
    Originally posted by marliepanda
    Ok I guess seeing it from a different perspective it doesn't look good. I was thinking they made him stressed because of putting him with another driver to train everyday for 5 weeks without a lunch break, I realise his own personal problems are no responsibility to the employer but thought they might take it into account.
    I just hope he can find a new job soon otherwise we'll be homeless
    • mica2
    • By mica2 12th Mar 18, 11:13 AM
    • 50 Posts
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    mica2
    • #6
    • 12th Mar 18, 11:13 AM
    • #6
    • 12th Mar 18, 11:13 AM
    Does anyone have any advice for how he can find another job? He has a potential interview but his last employer has promised excellent references so can he get away with not telling the job about why he was dismissed? Just worried if he does they'll not take him on.
    • elsien
    • By elsien 12th Mar 18, 11:17 AM
    • 16,375 Posts
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    elsien
    • #7
    • 12th Mar 18, 11:17 AM
    • #7
    • 12th Mar 18, 11:17 AM
    How long did he work there for? If it's less than two years then, they can get rid of him for pretty much any reason.
    If more than two years, did he have a proper disciplinary hearing and did they follow the procedures correctly?

    With regards to the reference, he needs to check with the last employer exactly what they are putting on it about his reason for leaving, if anything. What he says to prospective employers really depends on that. They can give him an excellent reference about his work while still saying he was dismissed for gross misconduct, so he needs to ask them what the reference will say.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 12th Mar 18, 11:43 AM
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    Smodlet
    • #8
    • 12th Mar 18, 11:43 AM
    • #8
    • 12th Mar 18, 11:43 AM
    Surely, if someone is injured, especially at work, it is in their employer's interest to ensure they receive medical treatment as soon as possible to avoid the possibility of being sued?
    What is this life if, sweet wordsmith, we have no time to take the pith?
    Every stew starts with the first onion.
    I took it upon myself to investigate a trifle; it had custard, jelly, soggy sponge things...
    • bugslet
    • By bugslet 12th Mar 18, 12:06 PM
    • 6,132 Posts
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    bugslet
    • #9
    • 12th Mar 18, 12:06 PM
    • #9
    • 12th Mar 18, 12:06 PM
    Ok I guess seeing it from a different perspective it doesn't look good. I was thinking they made him stressed because of putting him with another driver to train everyday for 5 weeks without a lunch break, I realise his own personal problems are no responsibility to the employer but thought they might take it into account.
    I just hope he can find a new job soon otherwise we'll be homeless
    Originally posted by mica2
    Did they follow WTD ( working time directive) rules so he could have a break?



    Does anyone have any advice for how he can find another job? He has a potential interview but his last employer has promised excellent references so can he get away with not telling the job about why he was dismissed? Just worried if he does they'll not take him on.
    Originally posted by mica2
    If I was interviewing him, I'd want to know why he was dismissed, but I'd balance that with thinking that someone who had worked at one place for 5 years with seemingly no issues, must be on the whole a good worker.

    Good luck to you both.
    • ampersand
    • By ampersand 12th Mar 18, 12:30 PM
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    ampersand
    mica - replied earlier, but this is a connectivity notspot. Posts often disappear or fail to appear.
    #
    Your chunky block of text buries key points.

    Several posters have missed length of service:
    'He has been a very loyal employee having worked there over 5 years without a day off sick', so verbal warning and a full disciplinary Hearing are mandatory.

    '...'last month was suspended after he made a couple of silly errors. They are saying it was gross misconduct'

    You use the terms 'verbal' and 'disciplinary', but do you understand them as applicable in employment Law?

    They didn't give him a verbal warning plus his English isn't great as he is from another country.
    Both require investigation via CAB/solicitor, re: apparent legal breach.

    'He left some dogs unattended for 3 minutes but they were in sight of other staff members.
    -
    is '3 minutes' correct? or was it 3 hours?

    Wouldn't 'asking why he didn't call the site manager to report it,' take at least another 3 minutes, probably more?
    #
    If the employer is offering 'excellent references', ensure someone with good English at your local CAB sees them too. My advice is that you both attend.

    Your fianc! cannot receive '6 weeks' paid leave' if he has been dismissed.
    You both need to see and understand what this money is for.

    Beware a gagging or 'no unfair dismissal claim' clause, for example.

    You must see a CAB Employment Law advisor, who may then link you to a good employment solicitor from their list of firms still offering free 1/2-hour appointments.

    Read this carefully:
    https://www.gov.uk/dismissal/what-to-do-if-youre-dismissed

    Within this, check this:
    https://www.gov.uk/employment-tribunals

    Be aware that this government has *sapped all protective legislation, which is why I urge you to visit a good CAB specialist advisor, especially *if the roof over your heads may become unaffordable. For these *reasons, CAB appointments are also under pressure.

    Nonetheless, don't be dissuaded.

    I wish you both well.

    In view of 'his clients will be really upset and angry, most of them have said they would leave if he left as they value him so highly', don't let this opportunity slip! If they mean it, let them prove it. Start a dog-walking /exercise business, or whatever will work best for you both.

    'otherwise we'll be homeless ' - context needed. Roof tied to job/ or income won't cover rent, if private?

    'high staff turnover' can be deliberate on employer's part to avoid higher costs of long-term employees, as well as evidence of H&S breaches.
    #
    Dismissal of a [dearer] long-term employee on a pretext, is one likely shape to this situation.
    So, CAB>employment solicitor will help you see where fianc! stands legally.

    His upset is clear, yours too. Language misunderstandings must be avoided henceforth, so go together. Also, any calls made by a CAB advisor on your behalf will carry a little more heft.
    Last edited by ampersand; 12-03-2018 at 12:35 PM.
    CAP[UK]for FREE EXPERT DEBT&BUDGET HELP:01274 760720, freephone0800 328 0006
    'People don't want much. They want: "Someone to love, somewhere to live, somewhere to work and something to hope for."
    Norman Kirk, NZLP- Prime Minister, 1972
    ***JE SUIS CHARLIE***
    'It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere' François-Marie AROUET


    • Masomnia
    • By Masomnia 12th Mar 18, 12:55 PM
    • 17,196 Posts
    • 38,128 Thanks
    Masomnia
    After five years with no previous warnings (I guess from your post) to dismiss after a couple of genuine errors where there was no harm done in the end I think is a bit harsh. Is it so serious that the employment relationship is completely and irreparably broken down and to justify instant dismissal with no notice? Personally I say no, but that doesn't mean a tribunal wouldn't agree with me and side with the employer.

    I'd see if a local solicitor had free sessions and have a chat. If your home insurance comes with legal advice then look down that avenue.

    Did they hold a proper disciplinary hearing giving him the right to be accompanied? Also did they give him the right to appeal? They should have done so, and he should appeal if he wants to pursue it.
    “I could see that, if not actually disgruntled, he was far from being gruntled.” - P.G. Wodehouse
    • Masomnia
    • By Masomnia 12th Mar 18, 12:57 PM
    • 17,196 Posts
    • 38,128 Thanks
    Masomnia
    Trying to use a defence of "Other people have done the same thing" is no defence at all. It seems that he doesn't dispute that he left the animals unattended, against policy, so he doesn't seem to have any valid argument against the accusation of gross misconduct. Sorry if that seems harsh but the employer seems to have applied the rules.
    Originally posted by TELLIT01
    It depends on the circumstances. If everyone does it and you're the unfortunate one who gets caught then it's no defence. If the employer allows the behaviour in the same circumstances from others and then dismisses one person the tribunal would ask if this was reasonable and could easily find that it is not.
    “I could see that, if not actually disgruntled, he was far from being gruntled.” - P.G. Wodehouse
    • marlot
    • By marlot 12th Mar 18, 1:50 PM
    • 3,418 Posts
    • 2,539 Thanks
    marlot
    Does anyone have any advice for how he can find another job? He has a potential interview but his last employer has promised excellent references so can he get away with not telling the job about why he was dismissed? Just worried if he does they'll not take him on.
    Originally posted by mica2
    Could he set up his own business? The cost of setting up a dog walking business seems pretty low?
    • ampersand
    • By ampersand 12th Mar 18, 1:54 PM
    • 8,427 Posts
    • 32,711 Thanks
    ampersand
    Read #10 :-)))
    CAP[UK]for FREE EXPERT DEBT&BUDGET HELP:01274 760720, freephone0800 328 0006
    'People don't want much. They want: "Someone to love, somewhere to live, somewhere to work and something to hope for."
    Norman Kirk, NZLP- Prime Minister, 1972
    ***JE SUIS CHARLIE***
    'It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere' François-Marie AROUET


    • mica2
    • By mica2 12th Mar 18, 2:06 PM
    • 50 Posts
    • 27 Thanks
    mica2
    Thanks you ampersand for your thorough and sensitive reply.
    He left the dogs for 3 minutes not hours and yes your point about calling the manager is an interesting one.

    I think we will try to speak to CAB although at present we are both feeling shocked and upset to think clearly. He is being given a final written letter shortly which states he has a week to appeal. I'm not sure what the 6 weeks pay means, he wasn't given a gagging clause as far as I know. I do know that his boss is very clued up with the law as he is always speaking to his solicitor about issues.

    As for setting up something on his own being in London we can't afford to have a place to take the dogs to which is what his clients pay for. He is in talks though already with a couple of them as they want to help him so maybe it could lead somewhere. Plus I have just started a new job which is only part time as we were about to move in together to save money. I guess I'll have to seek more work if it comes to it. But he was given notice to leave his private rented flat next month so we are having a lot of bad luck at once. I can see how easily it is for people to become homeless.

    thanks so much for all your advice everyone.

    mica - replied earlier, but this is a connectivity notspot. Posts often disappear or fail to appear.
    #
    Your chunky block of text buries key points.

    Several posters have missed length of service:
    'He has been a very loyal employee having worked there over 5 years without a day off sick', so verbal warning and a full disciplinary Hearing are mandatory.

    '...'last month was suspended after he made a couple of silly errors. They are saying it was gross misconduct'

    You use the terms 'verbal' and 'disciplinary', but do you understand them as applicable in employment Law?

    They didn't give him a verbal warning plus his English isn't great as he is from another country.
    Both require investigation via CAB/solicitor, re: apparent legal breach.

    'He left some dogs unattended for 3 minutes but they were in sight of other staff members.
    -
    is '3 minutes' correct? or was it 3 hours?

    Wouldn't 'asking why he didn't call the site manager to report it,' take at least another 3 minutes, probably more?
    #
    If the employer is offering 'excellent references', ensure someone with good English at your local CAB sees them too. My advice is that you both attend.

    Your fianc! cannot receive '6 weeks' paid leave' if he has been dismissed.
    You both need to see and understand what this money is for.

    Beware a gagging or 'no unfair dismissal claim' clause, for example.

    You must see a CAB Employment Law advisor, who may then link you to a good employment solicitor from their list of firms still offering free 1/2-hour appointments.

    Read this carefully:
    https://www.gov.uk/dismissal/what-to-do-if-youre-dismissed

    Within this, check this:
    https://www.gov.uk/employment-tribunals

    Be aware that this government has *sapped all protective legislation, which is why I urge you to visit a good CAB specialist advisor, especially *if the roof over your heads may become unaffordable. For these *reasons, CAB appointments are also under pressure.

    Nonetheless, don't be dissuaded.

    I wish you both well.

    In view of 'his clients will be really upset and angry, most of them have said they would leave if he left as they value him so highly', don't let this opportunity slip! If they mean it, let them prove it. Start a dog-walking /exercise business, or whatever will work best for you both.

    'otherwise we'll be homeless ' - context needed. Roof tied to job/ or income won't cover rent, if private?

    'high staff turnover' can be deliberate on employer's part to avoid higher costs of long-term employees, as well as evidence of H&S breaches.
    #
    Dismissal of a [dearer] long-term employee on a pretext, is one likely shape to this situation.
    So, CAB>employment solicitor will help you see where fianc! stands legally.

    His upset is clear, yours too. Language misunderstandings must be avoided henceforth, so go together. Also, any calls made by a CAB advisor on your behalf will carry a little more heft.
    Originally posted by ampersand
    • Always Alba
    • By Always Alba 12th Mar 18, 2:09 PM
    • 14 Posts
    • 20 Thanks
    Always Alba
    I would recommend similar to other posts of speaking to someone about the possibility of appealing. If an expert thinks you have a good chance of success then it's up to you. If however they think the organisation acted correctly and followed required procedures then there would be little point in appealing.
    The above will also depend on if your partner wishes to return to the Company.

    If he doesn't appeal then in terms of going forward, he should draw up a CV as soon as possible. He doesn't have to say at this point why he left his last job, he could just put the dates of starting and leaving and then for the current date, put something like "looking for new employment".
    If he has to complete any job application forms, under reason for leaving, he could put "contract terminated".
    If he then gets an interview and is asked why he left his last job,, he should tell the truth. Having been fired last year, I was only ever asked this question on a couple of occasions and so in preparation I had an answer prepared. You do though have to say something that briefly details what happened, that says you regret the incident and that you have learnt from the experience. Do not say stuff like "it was not fair" as a prospective new employer may decide that you really haven't learnt anything.
    If you are not asked about why you left your last job, then it's up to you if you want to tell them. However, if your old boss is going to give you a good reference, you may choose not to say anything.
    A few other things.
    The CAB can advise not only on Employment rights but also Benefits and dealing with a reduction in income. If you make a claim for JSA or Universal Credit, my guess is you will be ok. And If you are not successful in getting a new job immediately, look at doing some volunteering to keep your mind occupied - that can also be handy for a further reference.. And remember that this is not the end of the story, you are only halfway through. Chances are you will get a new job within a short period of time and you can then move on. Good luck.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 12th Mar 18, 6:58 PM
    • 2,494 Posts
    • 2,410 Thanks
    steampowered
    This doesn't sound like gross misconduct to me.

    The Employment Tribunals generally only allow gross misconduct dismissals in situations where the misconduct has been deliberate. Carelessness/negligence is almost never enough to constitute gross misconduct (as opposed to regular misconduct).

    Gross misconduct is really a very high bar. If the employer dismissed for gross misconduct over this, it does sound like a strong case could be made for unfair dismissal.

    The employer could try to claim that they were entitled to dismiss for regular misconduct. Yet, it doesn't sound like any attempt has been made to follow a fair procedure or comply with the ACAS rules on misconduct dismissals.

    All in all, it is sounding like there is a legal dispute if he wanted to pursue it.

    That said, 6 weeks paid leave with excellent references is not a bad deal. So it could be worth taking. When people are genuinely dismissed for gross misconduct they get nothing.
    • mica2
    • By mica2 13th Mar 18, 1:14 PM
    • 50 Posts
    • 27 Thanks
    mica2
    Thank so much for all the advice. I'm trying to speak to someone for legal advice. But at the moment he has an interview tomorrow for the most amazing opportunity and it sounds like they are really keen to take him on. So if he gets it I doubt we will pursue legal action as it would be best for us to move forward in a positive way. I just hope he can get around not having to tell the new employer why he was dismissed. Fingers crossed he gets it! And yes he isn't keen on appealing their decision because of their generous offer. It's tricky.
    • mica2
    • By mica2 13th Mar 18, 1:19 PM
    • 50 Posts
    • 27 Thanks
    mica2
    Could he set up his own business? The cost of setting up a dog walking business seems pretty low?
    Originally posted by marlot
    Unfortunately to do this he would need property and land to have somewhere to care for the dogs. That's what his clients have at the moment so I doubt just talking them for walks in the country would be enough. Hoping the interview he is having tomorrow will go ok as they have said he can bring his own clients and set up his own dog training in his lunch break for 2 or 3 hours a day! Really hope he gets it!!
    • ampersand
    • By ampersand 13th Mar 18, 6:15 PM
    • 8,427 Posts
    • 32,711 Thanks
    ampersand
    mica2 - We all wish fianc! well for tomorrow's interview with a prospective employer, who is not 'the new employer' as yet.

    I just hope he can get around not having to tell the new employer why he was dismissed.

    NO, mica2, this is precisely what he must not do.
    No evasions, no omissions to direct questions.

    Think again WHY 6 weeks' pay-off money has been offered.
    The reference is unssen as yet.

    [Also, you do not need to repeat answers here - #15 and #19.]

    You have been advised re:CAB>poss. employment law solicitor.
    This path will be documented officially, as well as by you, which will raise fianc! in any good employer's estimation.

    You need this as insurance, for any future/past employer.

    Any good employer will be delighted if fianc! can bring clients with him.

    For both of you, I say get this to a specialist CAB employment advisor - my turn to repeat myself:-)
    You really are babes in the woods with all of this but your innate, hard-working decency shines through. Compliment:-)

    '...as they have said he can bring his own clients and set up his own dog training in his lunch break for 2 or 3 hours a day!
    '

    - 3 more areas to question right there!

    Any prospective contract [or reference] must be CAB scrutinised.

    ' I'm trying to speak to someone for legal advice.' - only the official route already described, please.
    #
    Positive wishes for tomorrow.
    CAP[UK]for FREE EXPERT DEBT&BUDGET HELP:01274 760720, freephone0800 328 0006
    'People don't want much. They want: "Someone to love, somewhere to live, somewhere to work and something to hope for."
    Norman Kirk, NZLP- Prime Minister, 1972
    ***JE SUIS CHARLIE***
    'It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere' François-Marie AROUET


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