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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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Hi there, I work in the stairlifts industry working with the

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Hi there, I work in the stairlifts industry working with the vulnerable and i am up for an alleged sex assault by touching charge which i have pleaded not guilty as i havn't done anything wrong. i am due to go to court for trial in September. Since the alleged allegation i have been straight forward and truthful to my directors and and told them what was happening at every step. They were still letting me go out on home visits as they know i am not a danger to the public. There was a small caption in the local paper in March which they only found out about last weekend due to a neighbour mentioning it. They have now suspended me pending investigation because of this press release which happened 2 months ago which has been and gone. It doesnt link me with working for the firm so i cant see how i have brought the company into disrepute. there argument is that i dont have a common name and live in a small town. Do they have the right to fire me or hopefully at worse suspended me on full pay until we know the outcome in September. They have also taken my company car away which i pay tax on which i understand is a breach. Could i please get some advice? What do you think my chances are

Ben Jones : Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. For now please let me know how long you have worked there.
Customer: I have worked there for nearly 2 years at present, I also worked for them for a year back in 2007
Customer: Also, I have carried out my normal duties with occupational therapists and visiting homes and nothing has been mentioned. They want me to defend myself but how do i defend myself with something that has been in the paper 2 months ago. I cant help what the press print. I am good at my job at meet all my targets
Being placed on suspension is not necessarily an indication of guilt and there is certainly no guarantee that this will go any further. Under employment law, an employer has a duty to conduct an investigation before taking formal disciplinary action and suspension is primarily used as a precautionary measure whilst that is taking place. The only requirement is that any period of suspension is on full pay, unless otherwise allowed by the employee’s contract of employment.

Nevertheless, an employer should not just go ahead and suspend, unless it is actually necessary in the circumstances. It is however acceptable to be suspended if there is an allegation of gross misconduct or if the presence of the employee in the workplace could potentially damage any investigation or have some other negative impact.

If the employer’s investigation collects enough evidence to justify disciplinary action only then should they consider going down that route. If that does happen the employee has the right to be informed in advance of the allegations against them and will get the opportunity to formally defend them at the disciplinary hearing.

On the other hand, if the investigation does not find enough evidence to justify a disciplinary, the employer should just drop the issue and allow the employee to return to work as normal.

In relation to the car, you are entitled to your normal terms and conditions and benefits during the suspension so if you have unconditional use of a car then that should have been left for you to use.

I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating. Your question will not close and I can continue providing further advice if necessary. Thank you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Would you class this as an example of gross misconduct? After all, i can't help what the press print and they have let me carry on working up until this point.
The issue is not the article that has been published but whether, after a reasonable investigation, the employer genuinely believes you were guilty of what you were accused of. Another consideration would be whether this has indeed placed the company into disrepute, if there is enough information to link you to the article and the company
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
To them i think the issue is the article as they let me carry on working even though i have been completely honest with them since day one. The article doesn't link me to the company whatsoever but what they are saying is because my name is XXXXX XXXXX common one and i live in a small town (even though the majority of my work is on the road) then there is a link. Surely this is racist! Are they saying that if my name was common then it wouldn't be so bad? who knows!
this is not racist I'm afraid, it is a valid point - if your name is XXXXX XXXXX and you can be linked to the company then that is relevant. It does not mean that it would automatically justify dismissal though
Ben Jones and other UK Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thankyou for your help. I feel i do have a good case as the directors didnt even see the local paper, let alone alot of other people outside of my area.
just wait and see what happens, if this results in a dismissal then at least you know you can appeal first before considering an unfair dismissal claim in the employment tribunal.