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Ask Andrew D.P. Scott Your Own Question
Andrew D.P. Scott
Andrew D.P. Scott, Barrister
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 88
Experience:  LLB(Hons) 1st Class, Gray's Inn Master Bedingfield Scholar, BVC Very Competent, Public Access Rights
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Hi, I have been employed by an NHS trust for almost 2 years

Resolved Question:

Hi,
I have been employed by an NHS trust for almost 2 years and due to a personal issue in which my bosses holiday villa was cancelled (which I own) and the fact I came across personal conversations she was having about me and reported it, I found myself subject to an internal investigation and had a disciplinary hearing last week.
The result was for all 3 charges they decided on a Final Warning (a little harsh, but not overly concerned).
When they said the result of the 'charges' they also said that as I work in a small team of 4 people and we are IT network administrators that they were concerned that the trust had been broken and it may be difficult for me to work in that team again.
I stated that I had no grudges, they had no problem with my work prior to Feb of this year when I was ill with depression (they have all medical notes etc..) and to me this is now a closed matter.
The 'panel chairman' said he needed to look into wether or not the trust thing was sufficently serious to stop me returning to work and stated I was still suspended whilst an investigation panel is decided on to look at the evidence - and the result could be that if they found the trust with other team members had gone then I could face another disciplinary case which could result in me getting the sack !!!!
I stated that I had no issue, and if they had a problem with me then thats their issue.
If the panel were concerned of this then they could have sacked me .. I know for a fact my manager wanted me out and when asked by this new panel they will say the trust has gone etc....
So what are my rights here ? - I am being paid whilst on leave but think personally that I'll never go back due to being stitched up.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: UK Employment Law
Expert:  Andrew D.P. Scott replied 6 years ago.

Andrew D.P. Scott :

Hello, I am pleased to be asked to assist you.

Andrew D.P. Scott :

did you take a union rep with you to the disciplinary meeting with you?

Andrew D.P. Scott :

request me when you are ready to chat about this

Andrew D.P. Scott :

Regards

Andrew D.P. Scott :

Andrew

Andrew D.P. Scott :

hi

Customer:

Ji

Andrew D.P. Scott :

just caught you

Customer:

I did not have a union rep, but did take in a colleague

Andrew D.P. Scott :

some yes or no answers to cut to the chase

Andrew D.P. Scott :

are you in a union

Customer:

no

Andrew D.P. Scott :

was a breach of trust and confidence part of the original complaint against you?

Customer:

no

Andrew D.P. Scott :

what was the allegation against you? no names or places cos this service is not confidential

Customer:

that I rebooted the wrong computer server causing a 5 min outage, that I upgraded my test account without going through propoer channels of authorisation and that I received a call from a user (as I work on an IT helpdesk) to retreive some information and in doing this I saw conversations that other team members were having

Customer:

3 allgeations in total

Andrew D.P. Scott :

was the charge upheld or rejected

Customer:

all 3 were upheld, the outcome was a final warning - i did not deny ever doing it, but no malice or harm was ever intended

Andrew D.P. Scott :

ok how long is the final written warning on your record for

Customer:

i think 2yrs, it was given yesterday

Andrew D.P. Scott :

ok, the hospital disciplinary policy should give you the right of appeal, yes?

Andrew D.P. Scott :

you need a copy of the policy and procedure

Andrew D.P. Scott :

it should say that an appeal cannot impose a higher penalty

Customer:

yes,but info I have under FOI act state that no appeals have ever been upheld - I have a copy and it does not say a higher penalty can be given

Andrew D.P. Scott :

final written warning for 2 years is the worst penalty before dismissal

Andrew D.P. Scott :

does it say that a higher penalty CANNOT be given

Customer:

they now saw that because I saw the conversations of team members, they are concerned that the trust has gone ...

Customer:

no it does not state a higher penalty can not be given

Customer:

I am happy to leave at the final warning just to get it over with

Andrew D.P. Scott :

how did you come across the conversations

Customer:

the user called to ask if they were logged asits a system similar to MSN, I have permissions so checked the database - Never been asked to do it before so just searched line by line and as a result saw the conversations other people were having about me

Customer:

the call was genuine, they just state once I saw other conversations I should have closed down app

Andrew D.P. Scott :

thats a counsel fo perfection, any normal person would have read in

Andrew D.P. Scott :

this is rediculous

Andrew D.P. Scott :

and not common sense

Customer:

details of what I saw have never been disclosed exceptto the head of HR to complain

Andrew D.P. Scott :

you have succeeded in the disciplinary hearing and that is an end of the matter

Andrew D.P. Scott :

if they want to consider the conversation matter then they need to initiate an investigation

Andrew D.P. Scott :

see if a disciplinary charge can be formulated

Customer:

well I wasnt sacked, so now is the shock that they say there might be a breakdown of trust so might not be able to go back

Andrew D.P. Scott :

call a metting etc

Customer:

I had no part in the conversations,

Andrew D.P. Scott :

thay are not following a fair procedure if they allow this to influence there sanction on something that they say is worth a final written warning

Andrew D.P. Scott :

1) join the union

Andrew D.P. Scott :

2)

Andrew D.P. Scott :

2) ask for written confirmation as to why you remian on suspension

Andrew D.P. Scott :

3) wait to see if they start a new set of proceddings from the begining

Andrew D.P. Scott :

if they do not, and they chnage the 2 year warning to dismissal you will have a pretty good complaint to an employment tribunal for unfair dismissal

Customer:

they have said the new investigation will only be to see if the worries about trust are valid enough to warrant that I cant rejoin the team

Andrew D.P. Scott :

have they sent you a note of the final hearing which includes the chairs comments about breach of trust

Customer:

no

Andrew D.P. Scott :

what a rubbish appraoch

Andrew D.P. Scott :

approach

Customer:

do they have to send me notes of the hearing and the reasons why they come to decision ?

Andrew D.P. Scott :

well, i would appeal the sanction of 2 year written warning, just in case the new allegation tips the balance into dismissal

Andrew D.P. Scott :

you have to stick up for yourself

Andrew D.P. Scott :

have you any other written warnings prior to this

Customer:

nope

Andrew D.P. Scott :

have other staff been treat in the same way for allegations 1,2 and 3?

Customer:

no they have made an example of me due to personal thing with boss & her villa being cancelled + what I saw in the logs show they were chatting about me being off ill and that would come under breach of confidence

Andrew D.P. Scott :

get your appeal in against sanction

Customer:

they say that as I saw the logs by accessing them incorrectly then I cant use them - I did have access to them just that I shouldnt have read them

Andrew D.P. Scott :

i think thats all I can advise you on for now,

Andrew D.P. Scott :

rubbish

Andrew D.P. Scott :

all hearsay is admissible

Customer:

ok thank you for you help and advice

Andrew D.P. Scott :

documents obtained illegally are admissible in court if they are relevant to the issue

Andrew D.P. Scott :

are you clear about what you should consider doing?

Customer:

yes, firstly appeal then await the outcome of this new hearing

Andrew D.P. Scott :

join the union

Andrew D.P. Scott :

I should be grateful if you would press the accept button, and importantly, provide feedback

Andrew D.P. Scott :

you n=knnow how to get me in future

Customer:

the union is clear they will not help on an ongoing issue, only new items 1 month after joining - thus not joining before

Andrew D.P. Scott :

join the union

Andrew D.P. Scott :

you are under a 24 month final written warning

Customer:

ok, thanks

Andrew D.P. Scott :

bye

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