Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Depends on how long you have been in the job. If you're still on probation, I would suggest you quit, as it won't be very difficult to fire you.

    On the other hand, if you are beyond probation, I would advise you (to the extent that I can advise you - I'm a chartered secretary rather than a solicitor) to stay because I think it would be very unlikely for you to be fired for a first offence. You'll more likely receive a written warning.

    'Gross misconduct' offences can generally lead to being fired for a first offence, but I'm struggling to be convinced that an employment tribunal would accept that clocking in five minutes early could be defined as 'gross misconduct.' Normally, this is reserved for illegal or borderline criminal offences like sexual harassment, spending hours on the internet at work or stealing. If your employer thinks the same way as I do, they might be reluctant to risk firing you for a first offence. I'd be interested to hear an employment solicitor's view on this.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    Your mistake seems far too trivial to be classed as gross misconduct. Acas give the following as examples of what may constitute gross misconduct: theft or fraud, physical violence, gross negligence or serious insubordination. I think you should read their guidance on DISCIPLINE and make sure you are being treated fairly by your employer. If you believe this is not the case, make it clear to them and consult legal advice if necessary to take them before an employment tribunal if you believe you were fired without just cause. Quite frankly, if you have no previous warnings then it does not sound like an offence worthy of anything more than a verbal or written warning at most, so I would seriously consider taking action against them if you are fired.
    Offline

    4
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    That's not how it works.

    If I say 'one minute late to work means gross misconduct', I'm almost certainly not being reasonable.

    Have you actually studied employment law?
    Lol shutup. Your boring.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Toki_Premium)
    Lol shutup. Your boring.
    This.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    That's not how it works.

    If I say 'one minute late to work means gross misconduct', I'm almost certainly not being reasonable.

    Have you actually studied employment law?
    Your example is unrealistic.

    The company I work for (retail) class it as GM verbally and in the handbook *kanyeshrug* we repeatedly say it in group meetings but there is always the minority that eventually get caught. But that's my company other companies vary.

    The lateness would of in theory been a different issue. If the OP had clocked in a minute/two late but ready for work that is a separate issue with lesser consequences, **** happens and sometimes your late, that's understandable.

    At the end of the day no one on here needs to study employment law. That's like me asking you are you a manager in retail who deals with such disciplinaries? Its irrelevant. Its a forum where people give their opinion/advice not a court setting.

    Its common sense not to clock in with your belongings....regardless. Don't risk your job for stupid things.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    I think sometimes employers allow themselves to become wrapped up in the literal interpretation of their rules without considering their practical application. I've certainly had my share of employers who have created rules that breach legislation.

    A first time clocking in breach is just not convincing as gross misconduct even if your employer says it is. Depending on how long you have worked for them, I would suggest seeing a solicitor to discuss an employment tribunal if they fire you.

    * Here's some examples from a business in Fareham who like to think of themselves as a niche provider of offshore fund services that I had the misfortune to work for:

    - Age rather than length of service used to determine annual leave entitlement (a breach of age discrimination laws);
    - No eating food at desks (to put it in context, it was based on a business park with no food outlets and they didn't provide a staff room. I ate in my car);
    - Severance and notice pay rules that count weekends as work days in order to pro-rata the final month's salary downwards.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Haven't got the chop but want to look for a new job anyway, how long should I wait to leave? do you think I will get a semi decent reference?
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I'm assuming that because you didn't know it was a bad thing to do, then you haven't been told this before? Surely they'd have to give you a verbal warning first, before they took you to a hearing/whatever. If they fire you, it's unfair dismissal because you've never been told that you weren't allowed to do it, and you can have them done for it. Do not quit!
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    That seems like a ridiculous overreaction on their part, especially if this is the first time you've done it...
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by gupta-mhm-mhm-mhm)
    Haven't got the chop but want to look for a new job anyway, how long should I wait to leave? do you think I will get a semi decent reference?
    You can leave whenever you want, also, its a legal requirement for employers to give you a decent reference. If they can't, then they wont give you one.
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by rhythmb)
    You can leave whenever you want, also, its a legal requirement for employers to give you a decent reference. If they can't, then they wont give you one.
    That's incorrect as has been specified in the thread. The reference has to be honest.


    This was posted from The Student Room's iPhone/iPad App
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Congratz on keeping your job! As for looking for other empolyment I would wait a month or so minimum before leving your current job (not including the amount of notice you need to give) but work fairly hard within this month so you leave on good terms. Leaving now would mean the last thing your employers remember about you is this whole disiplinary issue.This is Just as a general rule however, if you see an oppurtunity for a good job before that month is up go for it regardless! Since it won't be there forever, and if your feelings change about your job you can always stay for as long as you like. Good luck =)
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    Where do you work? And don't just quit, wait to be fired just in case they want to keep you.
    Offline

    10
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Mess.)
    That's incorrect as has been specified in the thread. The reference has to be honest.


    This was posted from The Student Room's iPhone/iPad App
    It has to be "fair and accurate", if they give a "bad reference" then the employee may be able to take the former employer to court to claim damages. The employer has to provide evidence, such as warning letters. Though, likewise, if the employee is being shown a warning letter, then the employee must show it's inaccurate.
    Offline

    10
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by gupta-mhm-mhm-mhm)
    Haven't got the chop but want to look for a new job anyway, how long should I wait to leave? do you think I will get a semi decent reference?
    Why do you want a new job, btw?
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Michaelj)
    It has to be "fair and accurate", if they give a "bad reference" then the employee may be able to take the former employer to court to claim damages. The employer has to provide evidence, such as warning letters. Though, likewise, if the employee is being shown a warning letter, then the employee must show it's inaccurate.
    So, just what I said then?
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by gupta-mhm-mhm-mhm)
    So I did something (clocking in with my belongings) and it was apparently gross misconduct, now I have a meeting in a few weeks, the disciplinary hearing. But should I just quit before so that if I am fired I won't have to have this on my record or in my reference?
    I had no idea this was such a bad thing and keep kicking myself, do you think they will definitely fire me because I am ridiculously remorseful about it :/
    So basically they made you go through a meeting then a disciplinary hearing just because you clocked in with your personal belongings :O? Surely they would've given you a verbal warning first? Have they even told you that it's gross misconduct if you clocked in with your personal belongings??
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ohhello92x)
    So basically they made you go through a meeting then a disciplinary hearing just because you clocked in with your personal belongings :O? Surely they would've given you a verbal warning first? Have they even told you that it's gross misconduct if you clocked in with your personal belongings??
    In order to give any formal warning (including a verbal one) or take any disciplinary action at all, employers are supposed to hold an investigation then a disciplinary hearing - that's what the ACAS code says. That is why his employer did things in the order that they did.

    There is also no requirement to go through all the disciplinary stages if the conduct is viewed as so serious that stages should be skipped or - at the most serious end - that the employer should move straight to dismissal because the conduct was gross misconduct. For example theft will nearly always go straight to dismissal without any graduated warnings.

    I should imagine that in his invitation letter to the disciplinary meeting, the employer told him that (worst case scenario) the conduct could be classified as gross misconduct warranting immediate dismissal. That's why the OP took it seriously.

    The OP has also said, during the thread, that it is a strict rule (which s/he was aware of) that when you clock in, it means you are ready for work - not "ready for work once I've popped to the staff room and dropped all my stuff in a locker". That is a pretty common rule for employers with clock-in systems, and doing what the OP did can be viewed as stealing time. Although it seems petty to some people, the view from the employer's angle is (a) if everybody did it, it would cost the employer a great deal of money; and (b) it is better to have a black and white rule that everybody understands, than shades of grey about what personal stuff you can/can't do once you've clocked in as being ready for work.

    Happily it all worked out well in the OP's case though - they gave OP a real fright but it sounds as though OP's good work and attendance up until that point meant the employer decided to be lenient.
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Crumpet1)
    In order to give any formal warning (including a verbal one) or take any disciplinary action at all, employers are supposed to hold an investigation then a disciplinary hearing - that's what the ACAS code says. That is why his employer did things in the order that they did.

    There is also no requirement to go through all the disciplinary stages if the conduct is viewed as so serious that stages should be skipped or - at the most serious end - that the employer should move straight to dismissal because the conduct was gross misconduct. For example theft will nearly always go straight to dismissal without any graduated warnings.

    I should imagine that in his invitation letter to the disciplinary meeting, the employer told him that (worst case scenario) the conduct could be classified as gross misconduct warranting immediate dismissal. That's why the OP took it seriously.

    The OP has also said, during the thread, that it is a strict rule (which s/he was aware of) that when you clock in, it means you are ready for work - not "ready for work once I've popped to the staff room and dropped all my stuff in a locker". That is a pretty common rule for employers with clock-in systems, and doing what the OP did can be viewed as stealing time. Although it seems petty to some people, the view from the employer's angle is (a) if everybody did it, it would cost the employer a great deal of money; and (b) it is better to have a black and white rule that everybody understands, than shades of grey about what personal stuff you can/can't do once you've clocked in as being ready for work.

    Happily it all worked out well in the OP's case though - they gave OP a real fright but it sounds as though OP's good work and attendance up until that point meant the employer decided to be lenient.
    Ah I see. Yeah hopefully everything's turned out okay!
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    What newspaper do you read/prefer?
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.