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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46181
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have accessed my account as a staff member in the bank to

Customer Question

I have accessed my account as a staff member in the bank to unplayable a direct debit. Facing disaplinary could I lose my job?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, how long have you worked there for?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
30 years
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

You said you did this "to unplayable a direct debit" - I presume that was a typo?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
sorry it was a direct debit to my barclaycard and I unpaid it as I had already paid it
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Transferred via my bank acc via mobile banking
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The sum already paid therefore the bank can see this
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

So did you breach specific rules and is there a disciplinary policy which states what could happen if you do what you did?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We are not allowed to do transactions on our accounts
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Are you there?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'd like a refund as I have no answer thanks
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello it is not possible to provide a legal answer in just the space of a few minutes, I do have to research a few things, then type it all up too...

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Oh ok just thought you'd disappeared on me
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry just panicked by it
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

No I am still here, won't be too long

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Misconduct is a common reason for taking disciplinary action and it is also a potentially fair reason for dismissal under the Employment Rights Act 1996. It could be a single act of serious misconduct or a series of less serious acts over a period of time.

In order to justify that dismissal on grounds of misconduct was fair, the law requires that the employer:

· Conducts a reasonable investigation;

· Follows a fair disciplinary procedure;

· Has reasonable grounds for believing the employee was guilty; and

· Show that dismissal was a decision that a reasonable employer would have taken in the circumstances.

In addition, the employer is expected to follow the ACAS Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures. Altogether, it means that a disciplinary procedure should be conducted as follows:

1. Investigation - a reasonable investigation is needed. What is reasonable depends entirely on the circumstances and especially the nature and seriousness of the allegations. The more serious these are, the more detailed the investigation needs to be.

2. Disciplinary hearing - if the investigation provides sufficient evidence of misconduct, the employee may be invited to attend a formal disciplinary hearing. They must be given prior notice of the hearing, including details of the allegations, allowing them time to prepare. They have the legal right to be accompanied at the hearing but only by a trade union representative or a colleague.

3. Decision and penalty - following the disciplinary, if the employer holds a genuine belief that the employee was guilty, then they can go ahead and dismiss. When deciding on whether dismissal is appropriate, the employer should consider the nature and seriousness of the offence and the employee's length of service and disciplinary record. They also need to act with a degree of consistency if other employees have previously been disciplined over similar issues. Unless the offence was one of gross misconduct, ACAS recommends that the employee should be issued with a written warning. You best defence here is that you have 30 years’ service and hopefully no prior disciplinaries against you, which are still live. However, this is still a breach of trust and if this is something taken very seriously by the employer and generally in the industry it could amount to gross misconduct.

In summary, an employer is not expected to prove that the alleged misconduct had definitely occurred. Disciplinary action will be fair if the employer can show that it had conducted a reasonable investigation, followed a fair procedure and held a genuine belief that the employee was guilty. Finally, it must show that the penalty was a reasonable action to take in the circumstances and one that a reasonable employer would have taken.

If there are any doubts or evidence that the above requirements have not been satisfied, an appeal can be submitted to the employer straight after the disciplinary outcome is communicated. If the appeal is rejected a claim for unfair dismissal can be made in the employment tribunal. The time limit to claim is 3 months from the date of dismissal and the claimant needs to have at least 2 years' continuous service with that employer.

I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. 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

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is gross misconduct sacking? Or a warning?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Misconduct is a warning. Gross misconduct is dismissal

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.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, do you need any further assistance or are you happy with the above response? Look forward to hearing from you.