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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 45751
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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BenIHave been issued a Gross MIsconduct letter today inviting me

Customer Question

Hello Ben
IHave been issued a Gross MIsconduct letter today inviting me to a hearing ten days from today. My employer appears to be following processes and procedures. I am accused of changing a GP medical certificate, I had a nervous breakdown 4yrs ago and have been on medication, counselling for same period for depression and anxiety. The change of the certificate was for four days as I feared that I would lose my job if med certificate didn't cover the time period. Can the mental health act assist here. I have no previous record and acted completely out of character
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked there for and did you know what were you doing at the time in a sense that your judgment was not completely impaired by your condition?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ben,
I've been suffering from extreme anxiety with depression triggers kicking in due to work place bullying ( I am confident I can evidence this) I've been employed for twelve yrs at this employment. I've had depression on and off for four yrs, a change management programme currently in place over the last two yrs has led to virtually all my work being taken from me, to the extent that I had 52 days with no work other than one project which took half a day. Management have on paper supported me ie occ health etc however the diminishing of my duties has continued since 2010, with the last two yrs particularly impacting. Virtually all my department is either off long term sick or have walked away, most without any package. Almost all of them experienced similar type of duties taken from them. The department that have taken over these roles are secretive with no definable policies other than "we are going through restructuring". I feel like I have been on a "excess to requirement list" over this last two yrs, triggering anxiety stress fear etc. I have and was taking alcohol while homeless staying with parents, marriage breakdown, sleeping in my car, sofa surfing, b&b. Management and HR are aware of this, but not the alcohol . Anxiety and depression has led to constant fear in the work place, and following a two week absence with med certificate from gp I had difficulty getting to go for med certificate for the third week. I attended on the Friday but go only gave certificate for that day... I then subsequently amended to include Monday through to Friday... Fear anxiety of losing job, not for financial gain. Can the Mental Health Act help? I have Union representation however I am not confident my mental state is being truly considered. The dark whole of depression ( how I would describe it) certainly impacted on my thoughts and subsequent action of amending certificate.
It has been like awaiting an execution ( strong words, I realise ) on return to work I became aware accidentally that voluntary severance was available, I applied, and clearly meet the stated criteria. VS would offer one yrs salary and access to my pension ( I am 52 yrs old ). From the moment I applied it felt like a stay of execution had been granted and I would have the opportunity to move on and make a fresh start. I didn't even want access to my pension, only the yrs salary in order to bring some structure to my life ie a house.
The current head of service and his immediate line managers have all had promoted posts during this time, so from my perspective it has been a four pronged attack at times, with peers also bullying me in front of my immediate line manager on at least 2 occasions that led to other staff saying to my manager " that is unacceptable"... No action was taken against the individual who bullied me. The triggers of anxiety and depression appear at times to be deliberatly being pushed.... Extreme comment to say, I know... However I also believe I can evidence this. ....
My apologies for rambling on, but I wanted to paint a picture for you of the culture and climate that I feel led to such a desperate measure that I took by amending med certificate
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
The Mental Health Act would not be relevant to this situation. At best you would be relying on the Equality Act 2010 which covers disabilities such as depression. The issue here is that you deliberately falsified a document and that in itself can be an act of gross misconduct. The reasons behind it, such as fearing repercussions if the time was not covered by a note would not matter because there has been a clear breach of trust through your actions. The only way to try and salvage this would be to try and show that your actions were directly impaired by your disability and that this was not something you would have done had you had a ‘clear mind’ and not under the effects of the disability. This would likely require some form of medical report to confirm this. However, if that cannot be shown and the employer’s decision to dismiss is not based on your disability but purely on your actions with the falsification of the certificate, that could be a fair reason for dismissal. I trust this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page). If for any reason you are unhappy with my response or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? If your query has been dealt with please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts from the top of the page. If you need further help please get back to me on here and I will assist as best as I can. Thank you.