Ben Jones : Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Before proceeding please note that as I am a practising solicitor, I am often in and out of meetings, travelling between clients or even at court when I pick your question up. This may even occur at weekends. Therefore, I apologise in advance but there may be a delay in getting back to you and providing my advice. Please be patient and I will respond as soon as I can. You do not have to wait here and you will receive an email when I have responded. For now please let me know how long you have worked there.
JACUSTOMER-haz64442- : I have been there for 3yrs 4mths
JACUSTOMER-haz64442- : I am also on a very tight deadline to have this letter written as it needs to be in by 6pm today
JACUSTOMER-haz64442- : For further information I also have a clean disciplinary record
JACUSTOMER-haz64442- : The untimely manner allegation is only applicable to the last 2 payments in the 2 years I have had the card - these were made in full within a few days of the due date
JACUSTOMER-haz64442- : I have told the investigating officer that I have have used the card for personal purchases but have never claimed for personal spend from the company.
JACUSTOMER-haz64442- : I had not been made aware of the corporate card policy document until yesterday but was aware that in reality I shouldn't have been doing what I had been doing.
Ben Jones : Thank you for your patience. Whilst I can certainly look at a letter that you have prepared it would be extremely difficult for me to actually help you in writing one from scratch because I have no details of what has actually happened and you are the only person who is able to provide these details. The key is that you answer the allegations by referencing them to any policies and show how you have not acted against company rules. If you can prepare something based on this and what you know and why you believe you have not done anything wrong or breached policy then I can have a look at it for you and make any necessary corrections. Thanks
JACUSTOMER-haz64442- : Please see below what I have written so far
JACUSTOMER-haz64442- : Firstly, many thanks for your time yesterday and presenting to me the allegations of personal use of and failure to pay in a timely manner the Corporate Card between May 2012 and May 2013. As discussed in the meeting, I confirmed that I do have a Corporate Card for business use, that the card was used for personal purchases and that the past two payments have been received by AirPlus a few days late after the due payment date. I also confirmed that my Corporate Card account is up to date with the next payment due on or before 7th June that I will ensure will be paid in a timely manner as required by the company Corporate Card policy. Over the past two years since accepting the role of Product Manager, I have shown commitment to the role by paying for additional accommodation and travel costs in the first year working at Leavesden Park as I was not permitted to work from home before, eventually relocating to Borehamwood with significantly higher living costs to be closer for work. It is during these two years that I have endured privately, financial hardship and stress with the increased costs of accommodation, travel and relocation to support my acceptance of the role, at no point have I allowed this though to affect me in the workplace and have continued to work to the best of my ability, maintaining my ‘Achieved Standards’ marking for my APRs. There was also a 3 month period in which my partner was out of work shortly before and after relocation as she needed to forgo her previous position of employment so that we could move house. The use of the Corporate Card for personal purchases began with this and was used as support during this time of financial hardship. At no point was the usage done with any intent to defraud the company, this is evident in my continued payment of the account that with the exception of the last two payments being a few days late have been made in a timely manner and that my Corporate Card account is up to date. At no point up until our meeting, had I been offered the support of the Employee Assistance Program. I thank you for this as I gave them a call yesterday and found them to be extremely supportive and helped reduce my anxiety over this matter, if only slightly. I also discussed with them the financial hardship that I had been experiencing and that at the end of June 2013, my financial position will be so, that I will have no need to use the Corporate Card in the manner that I have done previously. I have re-read the Corporate Card application form, in addition to reading the Conduct Standards and Corporate Card Policy documents you presented to me yesterday and understand in full my obligations as a cardholder and the reasons that the company have these policies in place. I realise that in hindsight I should not have done what I have done, not realising until yesterday the gravitas of the consequences of misuse and that I should have looked to speak to someone about these issues I was facing in my private life before using the card however; I did not know who I could speak to and did not feel comfortable speaking to my immediate management about these financial problems. Lastly, I apologise for any inconvenience caused to you in requiring looking into this matter and I hope that this can be resolved in a manner that will allow me to continue to add value to my team and my career within the company. Many thanks
Ben Jones : great, will get back to you on this shortly
JACUSTOMER-haz64442- : Many thanks Ben, I have it correctly formatted in paragraphs, this chat hasn't added the line breaks
Ben Jones : Yes I noticed that, there have been some issues with chat in that respect so when I get back to you I will end chat and go to a more traditional Q&A mode. So I suggest you exit the chat now and when you get an email that I have responded you can come back to this page and it should be resolved
Ben Jones : Hi, for now we can actually continue in chat mode. I have read the letter in detail and I believe it is an honest representation about your position and the reasons as to why this happened in the first place. It is honest and you are not trying to avoid responsibility, showing remorse in the process. Whilst there is no guarantee that any defence you provide will avoid any disciplinary penalty, particularly because you appear top have breached company rules and procedures, it should hopefully reduce the potential outcome of this
JACUSTOMER-haz64442- : I suppose now it is just a case of sending and waiting for the outcome.
Ben Jones : That is correct, although have you not been asked to attend a disciplinary hearing?
JACUSTOMER-haz64442- : Not yet, I attended a Formal Fact Finding Meeting yesterday, the outcome is yet to be determined
Ben Jones : I see, so if this is just a letter they are going to consider during the investigation process, then there is no guarantee that this will proceed any further. However, if it does and you are invited to a disciplinary hearing you will get a further opportunity to answer the allegations and afterwards you can also appeal any outcome of the disciplinary process
JACUSTOMER-haz64442- : Okay, many thanks for your help today
Ben Jones : My pleasure. Please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service I have provided you with as that is an important part of our process. Thank you