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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, Solicitor
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 38569
Experience:  Expert in UK Employment Law
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Hello I had an informal discussion with one of my colleagues

Resolved Question:

Hello
I had an informal discussion with one of my colleagues in June who felt intimidated by that and complaint verbally to her manager. Her manager discussed with my manager and i thought the problem was resolved. This colleague retired today but she decoded to make a formal complaint today.Also this colleague had put in my diary that I was absent while I was working there.
I wonder what is the best way to address this malicious complaint

Thank you
Christine
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: UK Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Are there witnesses who can say you were there when she claimed you were not?

Customer:

Yes , there were but her complaint is not related to that

Ben Jones :

Is your employer taking formal action against you?

Customer:

No .They investigate the complaint but they included my manager who initially was in favour of her.

Ben Jones :

At this stage there is no guarantee that this matter will go any further. The employer will investigate the allegations and only if they have found enough evidence to justify taking formal action will they do so. If this is the case and they consider disciplinary action against you, you will have the right to formally defend any allegations against you. If any formal decision is taken against you, then you will also have the right to appeal it.


 


There is no point taking out a grievance now as this would be against the person who made the malicious complaint and they no longer work there. So this is really now in the hands of the employer and what their investigation finds, with your rights mainly centred around your right to formally defend any formal action and appeal any outcome.

Customer:

What i am asking basically is if i can put this recent evidence , that she claims i wasn't working while i was and the fact she puts this complaint on her last day , to support that her complaint is malicious

Ben Jones :

this is indirect/circumstantial evidence - it does not prove that her complaint was malicious, but can help an argument in showing that she cannot necessarily be trusted

Customer:

Also this lady did not show she had any problems with me, in fact she invited me to her leaving due !

Customer:

However I think that behind that is my manager who encouraged her to write this complaint because the company is under financial pressure and they are looking to make some employees redundant

Ben Jones :

all of this is indirect evidence, it can help build a defence but it does not prove that her complaint was malicious or unfounded. This will mainly depend on what evidence the employer uncovers in their investigation.

Ben Jones :

By the way how long have you worked there for?

Customer:

Two years

Ben Jones :

ok you will be protected against unfair dismissal so the employer cannot dismiss you unless they had a fair reason for doing so and also followed a fair procedure so it won't be that easy to do and even if they try you have the right to claim unfair dismissal if necessary

Customer:

They don't talk about dismissal, they offered other places, but none of my colleagues agreed to move, so a complaint now is not the best. If this complaint prouves unfounded, can it still puts me in disadvantage comparing my colleagues?

Ben Jones :

in what way, in the event of redundancies?

Customer:

Yes

Ben Jones :

no it should not, only formal disciplinary action, such as warnings, should be taken into account

Customer:

Well , my manager tried to make some comments in my last years appraisal witch i did not accept, i had to get this higher and those comments have been removed

Ben Jones :

appraisals can be considered but what you have done is the right way t go about it - if you do not agree with the contents of an appraisal you do not have to accept it and can challenge it if necessary

Customer:

Can I ask for my manager to be excluded from this investigation based on last year appraisal comments?

Customer:

Claiming that they are biased?

Ben Jones :

there is no direct link between these so the employer may not see a need to exclude them, not unless there is a history of bullying or unfair treatment, rather than one incident like a past appraisal

Customer:

There are other incidents (i.e.they asked me to work in the most distant site, when i asked to be moved closer, they refused, they haven't provided me with the facilities i needed for my work , they have not supervised a project i started) but none of them came to light .

Ben Jones :

f the employer did not know about them they cannot be expected to take them into consideration when deciding whether there will be bias. You can bring them to the employer's attention but unless they investigate this formally and find evidence to back up these allegations, as far as they are aware these incidents cannot be taken into account

Customer:

Is it too late to inform them formally? I already had informal discussions with my managers's managers .

Ben Jones :

how far do they go back?

Customer:

Since January 2013

Ben Jones :

it is not too late to inform them formally but they may question why it has taken so long and may decide not to take all incidents into account

Customer:

Well my honest opinion is that I was waiting for things to be improved

Ben Jones :

that is a valid argument, after all we cannot be expected to report every issue fro the exact beginning so a gap that is not unreasonably long should not go against you, I think you are still ok in this case

Customer:

Thank you for your advice

Ben Jones :

You are most welcome. Please take a second to leave a positive rating for the advice I have provided as that is an important part of our process. Thank you and all the best

Ben Jones, Solicitor
Satisfied Customers: 38569
Experience: Expert in UK Employment Law
Ben Jones and 2 other UK Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

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