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snowfall in Warrington


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I honestly think that if an employee of mine had questioned such a request, he would have got the instructions stapled to a P45!

If i was an employee of your's & you did that,my lawyer would have a field day taking you for every penny you've got.


Under mine and most contracts of employment; refusing a reasonable request from a line manager or director of the company is classed as gross misconduct. Providing that request does not fall outside the normal remit for your job description. So, if you are normally expected to go to meetings in a car and you refuse to attend those meetings and your employer can show that there was no danger involved in you travelling there (if the roads are shown to be open etc.) You cannot refuse to go just because of a bit of snow!


If (in the case of the example posted) the roads were clear enough to get from A to B; regardless of whether your boss wants to come in or not, it doesn't give you the right to refuse.


Gross misconduct is an offence with instant dismissal as one option available to most companies.


How would your lawyer defend against that one?

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Rest assured Baz, they would.....and make the life of an employer hell in the process. :wink:


Instant dismissal whereby an employee is "shown the door" is no longer allowed.


If you sack someone without undertaking a proper investigation, holding a disciplinary hearing, giving the employee (accompanied by a witness) the opportunity to put their case, considering the circumstances, and - if the decision is to dismiss - giving the employee an opportunity to appeal, you will lay yourself wide open to being sued in an Employment Tribunal or the civil courts.


From October 2004 the minimum that has been required of you in most dismissal cases is adherence to the 'standard' (three-step) procedure or possibly the 'modified' (two-step) procedure. But this is only a minimum, and even if you stick to it you can't assume you will be free from criticism by a Tribunal. The Tribunal may consider whether there were any other procedural steps, in addition to those set out in the statutory dismissal and disciplinary procedures, that you should have followed before dismissing your employee. This is particularly the case if the employee's contract of employment provides for any additional procedures to be followed, although a recent decision by the Employment Appeals Tribunal has made it plain that the statutory procedure must prevail if the employee is adversely affected by the employers' proprietary procedure. Employers should also bear in mind the ACAS code of practice, which the Tribunal is required to take into account.


If the offence is gross enough, and overt enough, to merit instant dismissal, you should be able to get your disciplinary hearing and appeal out of the way within two to three weeks (although speed should not override the need for it to be fair). If it goes to a Tribunal it could drag on for months.


Back in the 80s I got taken to an Industrial Tribunal ( I was the MD and decided to defend the company myself). Quite an experience as I was up against....and beat a barrister with a unanimous decision, which was upheld on appeal. My guess in 2009 I would have lost as the balance has swung so far the other way.


Makes you think about why Total have done what they have done. :wink:

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Under mine and most contracts of employment; refusing a reasonable request from a line manager or director of the company is classed as gross misconduct.


I didn't refuse to do anything, I merely asked for written clarification of his two contradictory verbal statements - namely that i). in his opinion the roads were too dangerous to risk driving across the Pennines, and ii). that less than 2 hours later he wanted me to drive across the Pennines and then further on, up into the hills.


If I had not queried him and had then been injured or killed on the journey you can bet your mortgage that the company line would have been, "Pete was informed by his line manager that the company considered the road conditions to be too dangerous for such a trip, but he went ahead and undertook it at his own risk."


Followed immediately by rapid corporate washing of hands of any responsibility for my plight.


I've seen it happen to others too often to allow it to happen to me.

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