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Advice...disciplinary next week

Advice...disciplinary next week

i have been on suspension for over three weeks. i lent my staff pass to a collegue, my line manager, who i knew was not in work. was told he wont be in for a few days nothing else. i got it back the next day, turns out he went in using my pass when he shouldnt have.

when i was questioned about this i just said i didnt know, was suspended, realised my mistake and went in the next day admitting id lied about lending the pass to him but had no reason to doubt him, i didnt know he wasnt suppose to come to work, they never said dont talk to him.

In the letter they are talking about trust issues and gross misconduct and possible immediate dismissal. i have been there 2.5 years and have had no trouble before this. i understand if they want to sack me they more than likely can, i just think it incredibly harsh. i know i have to wait to see the outcome but any opinions other than i shouldnt have lied would be grateful also the person conducting the hearing is a manager i never talk to and never talks to me, im one of the little people


24/02/2010 23:15:25

I must admit I found this totally confusing. Why would your line manager need to borrow you pass? Why didn't he have his own?


25/02/2010 01:24:34

Sorry but the advice starts off from the point that you shouldn't have lied becasue the lie is inexplicable and that's where the employer is starting. Whatever the rules may be around loaning someone your pass whatever the circumstances, and whether you knew about the manager having been suspended or not (because there was no reason that you should), the biggest issue here is that lie - why on earth would you have denied loaning your line manager the pass when you did? Because it gives the appearance of being complicit in some activity which shouldn't have happened, whilst an honest "Yes I loaned my manager the pass because he told me he didn't have his, why?" would have been, at the absolute worst, a minor infringement of a rule about loaning passes (assuming there is such a rule)! But at this stage there isn't any going back on this, so you are going to have to explain the lie. Whether the employer decides to take this forward to a disciplinary, and what the outcome may be, nobody can say. I would have thought it was unlikley to be dismissal - but that is a guess and there are a lot of things that I don't know here. If the employer suspects that you deliberately helped out your manager through this action and the manager used the access to do something bad, then you may potentially be looking at a very serious situation.


25/02/2010 07:58:42

thank you

thank you for your messages, yes i lied and there is no getting around that, regardless of the fact that people lend out their pass all the time but thats a would you jump in front of a bus if everyone else did! i get that, and i honestly have no excuse, i didnt know what to say, didnt want to get anyone in trouble, panicked, never been called into HR before, so just said i could not offer a reasonable explaination.

i am not asking of a way to get out of it, i lent it and i lied about it, it turns out i think he did go in and take something which i now look guilty as an acomplise (sp). as i am thinking the worse and that i will get dismissed, i know i can get another job, other people who are dismissed do work again, it is just the worse possible time for this to happen ahhhh there is no excuse for lying and i can not take it back i am stuffed


25/02/2010 10:23:22

ah i have a disciplinary meeting next week which they are claiming gross misconduct with regards trust issue, it is all about the lie


25/02/2010 10:25:53

Joachim - you are assuming again. There is NOTHING unlawful about loaning a company pass to someone - it may breach company policy but that is all. There is utterly no law on this matter. And just because ONE company you may have known did things in one way does not mean that it applies the same way in every other company.

In terms of the disciplinary, I think that there is scope for a defence. It isn't guaranteed, but I DO think a dismissal might be considered harsh so possibly worth a tribunal effort if it comes to the worst. In the meantime, here's some stuff to focus on. Is there any policy against loaning passes to other staff - if not or if it isn't explicit then it's weak to argue you did anything wrong. It was your line manager who asked - you generally don't want to upset your line manager by refusing and you didn't know that you did anything wrong - or that he wasn't supposed to have access! You are very sorry about lying - you can't get around that - but you didn't intend to lie it was just down to confusion and panic and not knowing what was going on.


25/02/2010 10:39:07

thanks again

i was told initially when called in to HR did i know that it is a disciplinary matter to lend someone your pass to which i said no cause i didnt (obvious wouldnt lend it to someone outside the office thats a given), this i imagine set me off panicking not knowing what was coming next cause although i lent him and guessed he'd used it, i didnt think anymore of it.

having said this i havent seen anything in any policy about staff passes, i have not got access to the intranet so had to have them forward me the disciplinary and grievance procedures, there is nothing in my contract nor induction booklet. should i ask before the meeting? does it look bad on me, then again i am just trying to put together a defense


25/02/2010 10:49:12

It doesn't matter whether you knew or not - if it was in policy or a handbook that was available to you then the law's view is that you should have known and it's down to you to read the stuff! You should ask for anything at all you need for the defence, and it's fair to explain why you panicked

But the argument here isn't that you are innocent - you aren't and don't even think you can get away scot free (well you might, but that would be really lucky). The argument is that it isn't a big enough misconduct to justify dismissal - the legal term is that it isn't proportionate to what you did. What you are saying is - I did this, this is why I didn't know it was wrong, this is why I didn't tell the truth and I realise now I was stupid but please don't sack me. If it went to a tribunal the employer would have to show that the dismissal was one that "a reasonable employer" would have also made - and this aspect is questionable BUT not guaranteed. In other words, it's possible you might win but you also might not, so a settlement would be the best option for you if achieveable - unless you get only a warning (which might be a final warning) instead.


25/02/2010 12:09:29

i have never seen any document regarding pass use, if it is there then fine.

i am sorry and hope they can tell that and i was being stupid as apposed to decitful. i have no doubt i will not get away scot free i may be optimistic but i am also realistic! sorry for all the questions, just would like opinions, would it best to say please dont sack me or wait till what they say and then say please no, ill leave, i just need a decent reference, they obviously dont care about me when i go its just i need to work as do most of us!

thanks for all your input


25/02/2010 12:51:24

By the sounds of it your best option here is mitigation – there is no defence that you did not do it, so really you are throwing yourself on the mercy of the person making the decision.

So, show your remorse, explain that you were not involved in anything that the manager did, other than lending him your pass, which you now realise was the wrong thing to do, etc. Apologise for lying, and explain that you were not trying to cover up what your manager did. Tell them that you realise the seriousness of what has happened, and that you will learn from this, and no such incidents will occur in future.

As we often tell people, trying to construct an elaborate defence based on perceived loopholes doesn’t really count for much. I tend to think that any pass that is used to gain entry to the site does not need a specific policy telling you not to allow other people to use it – it’s fairly self-evident that it is for your own use and not to be given to anybody else.

But if you do go for anything other than the abject apology route, then tacking on the apology after they have reached their decision to dismiss probably isn’t going to work. Would you look favourably on somebody who did everything to deny being at fault for something they did, and then finally admitted it and asked for a lenient punishment after they had been found guilty?

In terms of asking whether you can resign and get a better reference, well, you can ask. The employer is under no obligation to do this, and even if they allowed you to resign they could put in any reference that you did so in the face of disciplinary action. However, dismissing somebody is rarely pleasant for either side, so if they accept that you made a genuine mistake they may be happy to drop the disciplinary case in exchange for your immediate resignation, and offer a neutral reference. But you have nothing to lose in asking, perhaps as part of your mitigation (“I would like a second chance but if you do decide to dismiss would you let me resign rather than sacking me?”).

Good luck.

monkey steve

25/02/2010 13:31:25

But bear in mind - I am not convinced that a tribunal would support a dismissal over this (as I said before it could go either way) but if you resign you cannot go to tribunal as you would have no case at all.


25/02/2010 13:35:09

i made the huge mistake and want to get out of there as unscathed as possible obviously, i will be apologising profusely never going to happen again learnt my lesson, error in judgement and should never have lied made me look part of something i have no part in etc.

i would not resign before a conclusion as i am aware it will go on future references, a netural reference is better than a dismissal!


25/02/2010 13:51:57

I honestly do think that whilst your employer may not be a happy bunny and with some justification (and the lying - not sensible!) but you are beating yourself up over something that is actually quite understandable. You didn't give the pass to Joe Bloggs on the street corner, or the local rags investigative reporter - it WAS your line manager and you had no reason to think that this was other than helping your manager out when he left his pass at home. People do it. Panicking and lying. Stupid. But people do stupid things! Welcome to the human race. Now get over it and see what you can do to fight for your job.

Oh - stupid other thing? You aren't in a union! A union rep ought to walk all over this one, whereas you are struggling. Make sure you don't get cuaght without a union rep again!


25/02/2010 14:34:34

got home to the letter having been put through the door (knew yesterday cause HR emailed it to me) not too happy with the minutes from the meetings they are not entirely correct but thats by the by i now just have to apologise profusely and what a stupid thing i did in lying no explanation other than panic and human stupidity i guess and beg for my job..which in turn my life, also in the post was the yearly water bill nice, elec due soon! timing! it all sucks!


25/02/2010 18:37:28

Monkey steve what do you mean when you say my best optionis mitigation? what does mitigation mean?


25/02/2010 19:50:10

Mitigation is your explanation. A defence is that you didn't do it. You did so there is no defence. Mitigation is the explanation for why you did it. OK?


25/02/2010 20:42:54

Got it, no defence, mitigation- stupidity cheers


26/02/2010 11:35:15

evening...thinking too much

obviously been thinking too much about this coming week/meeting!

i was wondering do you think there much point in citizen advice this week? is there anything else they can help me with or will it be more once a decision is made what, then, will my options be?

also how do i broach the subject, once said sorry for being stupid lying etc and there no intent to deceive...that i would rather leave with a decent reference, or atleast as unscathed as possible? say, like someone said before, i would like to go back to work but if that is not an option can we come to a compromise and i leave with a decent reference, but would that be putting words into their mouths what if they not immdeiately thinking dismissal (of course i am thinking the worse!)

sorry to go on! will not be putting myself in a situation like this ever again and will def not be without a union!


28/02/2010 18:26:55

the saga continues

Morning my meeting is tomorrow and have no one i can take with me, there is no one at work i would ask and i am not a member of a trade union or know anyone who is a rep and would accompany me its not the end of the world right? a friend is saying i need to have someone, but i need to sort out my defence rather than panicking about not having anyone to take with me any advice much appreicated

to add to the story, i am actually in a relationship with the person i lent the pass too, this explains why i lied didnt want to get them into trouble however i did not know what he was going to get and still do not know his investigation he wont tell me, but when i give the reason for lying it is going to look even more suspicious and that i did 'collude' with him, but i didnt! thats the thing i can say but they can dismiss on what they think not neccessarily what they can prove isnt that right


03/03/2010 12:06:56

I’d suggest better to have someone with you rather than not.

I’ve seen the posts on your other thread, but whilst the law only entitles you to a Union rep or work colleague, have you asked your employer whether they will allow you to bring a friend? Admittedly they can say no, but on the other hand they may say yes.


03/03/2010 12:13:41