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Appeal hearing for dismissal

 
Appeal hearing for dismissal

Hello, Some advice wanted if at all possible.

I have been dismissed from my job unfairly and wish to take it to a tribunal for a number of reasons. (irrelevant here)

I am currently exploring all avenues, one of which is a hearing against my dismissal and have a few questions:

1. If I cannot read/write am I allowed to take somebody to do this for me? 2. I have been asked to submit in writing the grounds for my appeal - do they have a right to ask for this? - does anyone have any advice as to what to write for this?

Thank-you

macdonaldmrs

21/01/2009 15:27:39

Hi

If you cannot read/write then this may well count as a disability and employer would be daft to refuse a request to bring someone to help you.

You don't at all need to supply written reasons for any appeal - just say that these will be raised at the actual hearing.

Hope it goes well

bubbles_once

21/01/2009 15:38:13

In relation to 1. No, there is no right to take someone to take notes for you. You are entitled to be accompanied by a trades union representative or by a work colleague, and that is all. If you cannot read or write due to a disability, they might consider a request, but they are under no obligation to do so.

In relation to 2. Yes, it is normal to ask for your grounds for appeal. They can't prepare if you don't provide them, and both sides has a right to prepare. But we can't advise you on what to say because you didn't tell us why you think you were unfairly dismissed and without knowing what went on, we can't tell you what grounds you have!

shikahra

21/01/2009 15:39:04

I'd not agree with Bubbles on the second point - you don't have to supply reasons (there's no law that says you do) but if you don't give them something, they have no opportunity to prepare their case, and this could simply delay matters. Unless there is a really good reason for not giving them reasons - and I can't think of one right now - I can't see any benefit in not outlining the grounds for appeal. It won't benefit you - if they can't respond to what you raise, they will simply adjourn the hearing until they can.

shikahra

21/01/2009 15:53:25

Fair practical point, but if employee declines to table the reasons as a result say of literacy issues then the employer has no right at all to refuse a hearing. Moreover, some employers have been known to refuse to consider any points of appeal not previously submitted - equally wrong.

bubbles_once

21/01/2009 16:06:06

Fair practical point, but if employee declines to table the reasons as a result say of literacy issues then the employer has no right at all to refuse a hearing. Moreover, some employers have been known to refuse to consider any points of appeal not previously submitted - equally wrong.

bubbles_once

21/01/2009 16:06:47

thank you

Thank you for your help. I'm going to ask whilst acknowledging that they don't have to do anything about it... see how it goes.

I'll write the letter stating grounds, but keep it simple i.e.

constructive dismissal

Thank-you once again for your speedy resonce



macdonaldmrs

21/01/2009 17:09:38

Agree entirely with Bubbles. But this is perhaps an issue that would be cleared up by the poster giving us more information? If there is a literacy issue (which doesn't qualify as a disability BTW, although I do think it's unfair, unless there is a medical cause) then clearly the poster isn't the individual asking, because the post was pretty literate if not informative! But if that is the case, I think I would be wanting to submit in writing - maybe with a rider that I may wish to add to it, and that I am stating the grounds of appeal with help and am not limited to what is in the letter. Firtly, to get the literacy issue on record, but also for a more important reason. If push came to shove, I would rather depend on someone reading off the points of the appeal for me to elaborate on in the hearing, than risk everything on my memory in a very stressful situation. It wouldn't be unreasonable to ask for each point of the appeal letter to be read out at the hearing to give a person a chance to elaborate.

shikahra

21/01/2009 17:49:11

Sorry, I posted at the same time as the first poster. OK, going to have to say it. You cannot be unfairly dismissed (as in sacked and therefore have an appeal process) and also constructively dismissed. It's a legal impossibility. You really need to tell us what has happened. If you don't want to post here then send it to me at my email address - chatterbox1701@yahoo.co.uk - Bubbles and I have contact off site and we will do what we can to help. Or you can post it here. But employment law is a minefield - nobody can get it right all the time, and that's people with years of experience. If you don't know what you are doing you may blow it. At least we can tell you if you may have a case, what that case is about, and tell you how to get the help you obviously require. Please don't try to do this on your own.

shikahra

21/01/2009 17:55:13

Dismissal appeal - advice

Please help, i need advice

Employee comitted gross misconduct and was asked to leave. Communicated dismissal and why and was noted and the right to appeal the decision.

Employee then handed in doctors sick lines and missed appeal hearing but sent a letter saying they could attend a meeting after a later date.

Can employee hand in sick lines after being dismissed to get out of going to the appeal hearing, pushing the date back to make it more suitable to them?

Thanks

confused employer

kerryem1991

23/01/2009 22:35:42

If the sick note was not handed in early enough for the employer to know that the person was sick, and if it was not accompanied by a request - before the hearing - asking for the appeal to be delayed, then the hearing can go ahead. Doing it after the hearing is not acceptable. If the person asked for a delay until they were fit, before the hearing (and I don't mean an hour before the hearing, I mean days before), then the employer would probably delay it - they don't have to, but it isn't recommended to ignore such a request.

On the other hand, unless the person is seriously unable to attend due to illness, it wouldn't be sensible to try to get the hearing delayed as there is no benefit.

shikahra

23/01/2009 22:46:50

PS. If I had read this post properly (like including the last line of it), I would not have answered. This site is not for employers to get free legal advice. In future, if you want advice about how to sack your employees, go to a solicitor. It will cost you an arm and a leg, but that's what profits are for!

Regards

A trades unionist!

shikahra

23/01/2009 22:50:43

Employment Tribunal help

Hello everyone,

I’m on here. I'm looking for advice. (Unfairly dismissed) I was dismissed suspended in November last year. I got dismissed in January. Please note I raised a grievance with my former employer but they did not look through it. It was after 50 days that I got a response by which they said I did not have a valid grievance.

My former employer made unreasonable and unrealistic delays so I submitted a complaint to ET (Employment Tribunal) before I had appealed against my dismissal. I appealed against the dismissal and grievance.

I raised a complaint with ET which was accepted. My former employer responded to my complaint however they requested ET to hold any further proceedings because they want to hold the appeal hearings. It has been nearly 2 months since I was dismissed.

From previous experience with the way my former employer conducted their meetings, I do not feel comfortable to go through it again. They treated me like I was at court of law. They used recorded devices but they refused to provide me with a copy. They refused to provide me with the minutes taken during interviews. They gave me the notes when they charged me with misconduct. Those minutes were not accurate. They refused to provide me with the evidence by which they were charging me of gross misconduct. Ladies and Gentlemen, it is a very long story. But please advise as much as you can. I'm dealing with this case on my own. I can’t afford solicitor charges.

ET notified me that respondent’s response was accepted, they will advise me of the hearing date. Does that mean ET will accept to hold the proceedings or not?

Is it right for my former employer to request ET to hold the proceedings after the case is at the tribunal?

If it is right, does anyone know how the process will be?

What should I do if they offer me the job back?

Your advise will be appreciated.

mosmos20

07/03/2009 17:52:46

Hi

You've been dismissed so a tribunal hearing shouldn't be at all conditional on hearing any appeal.

You run the risk if you don't go through the appeal of any tribunal compensation being reduced by, say 10% or if unlucky 25% max. but that's all and if you were to write to the tribunal office copy to your employer explaining that you no longer wish to go ahead with the appeal because of [a] the 'unreasonable delay [b] the saga of past experience you describe [c] that by now your former relationship with your employer has completely broken down anyway then I think you just might head-off this prospect OK but it's your call.

bubbles_once

07/03/2009 18:56:50

Not to disagree with Bubbles, but your post does not make any sense in terms of tribunal processes, so whether you know it or not, something is missing here. A tribunal will accept a claim of unfair dismissal whether or not you appeal - it is only in cases of constructive unfair dismissal that you must exhaust the appeal procedures. So if you were dismissed the tribunal cannot order you to go through an appeal - it has no power to do so. However, and this is where there is something missing - if either party make a representation to the tribunal, the other party has to be informed and given an opportunity to respond. So if your employer asked the tribunal for this "stay" you should have been informed of their request and given an opportunity to say whether you agreed or not. This would have then been taken into account before the tribunal reached a decision.

By taking this route the tribunal has opened up a very dangerous ground. All the employer has to do is reduce the penalty on appeal to a final warning, reinstate you, and hang around for a month or two until they can find a reason to dismiss you again. And if they are looking, they will find one - there is always something you can dismiss for if you want to find it. But to challenge the tribunal we need to know what happened about the employers response - how did it get past you?

shikahra

07/03/2009 21:48:12

Fully agree ! - very likely that something isn't quite right here.....

bubbles_once

07/03/2009 21:59:11

Employment tribunal help

Thank you bubbles_once, shikahra and everyone for your responses.

With regards to shikahra’s question. You will agree with me that due to the nature of the case and the fact that we are here on the internet, anyone including my former employer and staff would easily read the posts. But at the same time I would like to be provided with the best advices as much as you members can possibly provide. On that note, I will try to give a little bit of what the situation is/was.

Like I said my case was accepted. I think shikahra and other members know the process. A copy of my form was sent to ACAS and my former employer.

My former employer responded to my claim. Like I said in my 1st post, my former employer request ET for a “stay” because they want to hold appeal hearings. Please note former employer made unrealistic delays during my suspension to dismissal.

A little background to that: The accusation alleged happened in October. I was interviewed in November and was suspended. I was interviewed again after 7 days. Suspension continued. I was interviewed again at the in December. At that stage I had raised a grievance as I did not feel that the reason for my suspension which was leading to a dismissal was the real reason. I was charged of gross misconduct and asked to attend a disciplinary hearing.

During the disciplinary hearing I raised issues about that I believed not to be right during the investigation. The panel did not make a decision on that day. They said they would write to me in a couple of days. They did not. I contacted the HR to ask what their final decision was. After 14 days, I had a final decision of a dismissal. That was after 65 days. By making those delays my former employer knew that if I appealed against their decision and get a response I would fall out of the time limit to submit a claim to ET.

ET advised me that they will notify me of the hearing date.

Submitted my claim and appealed against my former employer’s decisions. I made my appeal in January this year. They never responded. When they submitted their response to ET they said they were proposing for the appeal hearing to take place at the end of this month. They said that, that day will be confirmed with me but they haven’t notified.

My questions were: Is that right for them (former employer) to hold appeal hearing at that stage when the claim is at the ET?

ET will advise me of the date hearing, does that mean ET will concider my former employer's request for a "stay"?

To my understanding they are trying to clean up what they did which I think is not right. Your advice will be appreciated.

mosmos20

08/03/2009 19:34:35

Please don't take this the wrong way. But here we have a perfect example of why we tell people NOT to go to tribunal on their own. I am afraid that from reading this information, you have done this to yourself. I haven't got a clue what you are alleged to have done, or on what evidence, so I really can't comment on that. But here is the impartial response to what you have said:

1) Your employer certainly did not take any undue time over the supsnesion and investigation. Many are much longer. The law only stipulates that the suspension period must be "reasonable" and in that context, any amount of time it takes, this side of several months or sometimes even more, will fall into this category.

2) Raising a grievance about what you claimed to be the real reason for the suspension, in itself would have delayed the process. Because this means that the employer must investigate the grievance too. What you had to say on this matter was equally and easily your defence - not a grievance, but having started the ball rolling your employer had to deal with it in addition to the investigation. hence it adds to the amount of time.

3) The relevant date for employment tribunals is three months from the date of dismissal - not the date of suspension. You were therefore not running out of time - the clock didn't start until you got the dismissal letter. You still had a full three months.

4) If you are dismissed you don't have to appeal! But having done so, it was actually YOU who asked for the appeal. Not the employer. So the tribnal has acceded, in effect, to YOUR request for an appeal - not the employers. They only asked for time to do what you asked them to do.

So in total, what has gone wrong here is a result of your incorrect interpretation of the law, and your request for an appeal which you didn't need to make. And you will now have to live with it, because it is what you asked for. There are a lot of no-win no-fee solicitors out there if you have no other option, and I STRONGLY suggest that you go and find one NOW. You do not know what you are doing, and if you have any case at all, you are risking screwing it up entirely. Going to a tribunal is not for the faint-hearted and the ill-informed. They make it as easy as possible, but nothing can make it easy.

As for "cleaning up", as I said, I have no idea what you are supposed to have done or what evidence they may have relied upon, so I don't know whether in law the dismissal was fair or not. But if it wasn't, it is your appeal that will give them this chance. All they have to do is reduce the penalty imposed and give you your job back and your claim falls. You might then resign and reclaim for constructive dismissal - but your chances of succeeding with such a claim are very slim. These kinds of cases are much much harder to win.

shikahra

08/03/2009 21:06:13

Thank you everyone for your replies. I agree I know less about employment law and all that.

But if i didn't appeal then it would have been a different story. I would have been asked why I did not appeal.

Two days ago I found a story about a memeber of staff from the same company who went through the same situation in 2004 as I am going through now. After he had taken his claim to the tribunal, my former employer responded to his appeal. He was invited for the appeal hearing through which he was demoted and offered a different job.

With regards to the time limit. Unfair dismissal claim should be made from when that issue started. Isn't that right?

What I do not understand is, why my former employer took that long to hold the appeal hearing?

I have just had a letter inviting me for the appeal hearing. Please note it has been over 50 days since I appealed against my dismissal. Is it possible to withdraw my appeal? If possible on what grounds?

Any replies and advice will be much appreciated.

mosmos20

11/03/2009 11:29:16

Please - you just aren't getting this - go and get some legal advice! There are no-win no-fee solicitors, your insurance may cover legal advice, there are free introductory sessions, but whatever... you need proper advice.

It would not have been a "different story" had you not appealed. NOBODY would have asked why you didn't, because THE LAW says you don't have to if you are dismissed. The ONLY reason why an appeal has come into this AT ALL, is because YOU asked for one! If you had simply submitted an ET1 after dismissal, the question of an appeal would never have been raised.

I do not have a clue what you are supposed to have done, or whether you did it. But as I indicated in my last post - if this was an unfair dismissal then yes, the company can clean up in exactly the way that you have described. But again, they couldn't do this if you hadn't asked for an appeal. If they reduce the sanction from dismissal now, within the terms of your contract (and demotion etc may or may not be), then your claim fails because you have not been dismissed. If you do not accept the decision - well basically that's tough because your claim is finished, over, dead. Your only choice will be to resign (having completed an appeal - in this case you must!) and then claim constructive unfair dismissal. Most of these cases fail - they are much harder to prove and to win.

No - the time limit for an unfair dismissal starts from the date of the decision to dismiss, not from the date the issue started. As I said in the last post. Since your ET1 has been submitted, the length of time now is irrelevant - you have complied with the requirement. But that doesn't mean you will get a tribunal - if they reduce the sanction now from dismissal the claim falls.

Whether there was an unreasonable delay is (if it gets that far, and I suspect it won't) the tribunals decision. But from what I can see, I doubt it will be considered such. If they were organising an appeal hearing as you requested, as soon as they got the notification of the tribunal claim this would have stopped, quite correctly, to seek advice from the tribunal as to whether they should continue. Hence a delay. At this point the length of the delay doesn't matter. If they uphold the dismissal it goes back to the tribunal, if they don't then the claim falls.

It is too late to withdraw your appeal. You asked for it, you got it, and now the cards will fall as they must. Sorry, but there is no way to undo what you have done.

shikahra

11/03/2009 11:59:36