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  1. #1
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    Advice needed - Been suspended from work

    Hi everyone,

    On Saturday I was suspended from work (on full pay so that's good), for Conflict of Interest, basically I have been doing a few jobs on the side, in my own time. Some how my company has found out, I've suspended on full pay while they investigate it further. - Could lead to anything up to being fired.

    Anyone know the Law on these sort of things? What chance I have?
    Never been in trouble for anything before, and always work full hours.

    Thanks in advance.
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  3. #2
    jojo's Avatar
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    I think it depends on if you are using the company's goodwill or equipment to do your jobs they are looking into, or the possibility that you are undercutting your own company for personal gain. How the feck did they find out?


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  4. #3
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    I don't know how they found out, that's what's got me. Never used any of my companies equipment for anything. I work as a Technition, where people bring in their machines to the retail store I work in.
    I was visiting companies, that needed site visits to them, my company doesn't offer that service, & I never gave my details to customers in the store, so was in my opinion seperate thing.
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  5. #4
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    Have you signed a contract with your employer?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mart
    I don't know how they found out, that's what's got me. Never used any of my companies equipment for anything. I work as a Technition, where people bring in their machines to the retail store I work in.
    I was visiting companies, that needed site visits to them, my company doesn't offer that service, & I never gave my details to customers in the store, so was in my opinion seperate thing.
    Maybe talk your company and see if they would be willing to offer this service with your help obviously any more money they can bring in will help them, may sweeten them to look apon this lightly.
    Or this could be your chance to branch out on your own starting your own company.
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  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by james0808
    Have you signed a contract with your employer?
    Yes, but there's lots of people who do different things within the company. May be more different that what the company does, but still working outside of the company!
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  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markey
    Maybe talk your company and see if they would be willing to offer this service with your help obviously any more money they can bring in will help them, may sweeten them to look apon this lightly.
    Or this could be your chance to branch out on your own starting your own company.
    I know they're not willing to offer this service, it's a large company, and they have Authorised Service Providers to offer this.
    I would of like to start my own business, but it's too early, am not able to support myself while I try to get clients. Mortgage etc to worry about too.
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  9. #8
    RogueElement's Avatar
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    If you're not directly competing with them I reckon it would be difficult to sack you for it. There might be something in your contract though that says if you are doing other work you have to let them know. They might get you for breach of contract for that.

    It'll really depend on what sort of mood their in and what they actually think of you both as a worker and a person. In my work you get away with murder because its so hard to replace anyone that leaves.
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  10. #9
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    I guess it's just a wait & see. Thanks for the info
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  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mart
    I guess it's just a wait & see. Thanks for the info
    I would actually call them up and pester them for an update, at least make it look like you are worried and can't afford to lose the job, as opposed to just waiting for an outcome?!


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  12. #11
    Rev-head's Avatar
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    Not good Mart .have they given you written letter confirming reason of suspension.Has a member of HR spoken to you ?

    Cheers

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  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by RogueElement
    If you're not directly competing with them I reckon it would be difficult to sack you for it. There might be something in your contract though that says if you are doing other work you have to let them know. They might get you for breach of contract for that.

    It'll really depend on what sort of mood their in and what they actually think of you both as a worker and a person. In my work you get away with murder because its so hard to replace anyone that leaves.
    I agree with both of these points. Almost every employment contract has a standard clause about not working for anyone else. If you do intend to work for a third party or for yourself - you must let them know. So if you don't tell them, I agree you are technically in breach of contract.

    If someone senior in the firm has your cards marked or doesn't like you - they will find some way of getting rid of you. I've seen colleagues got rid of on tenuous circumstances - but in all those cases the initial point was made, and they were then 'paid off' with a compromise agreement. i.e. you agree to go quietly and they give you a couple of extra months salary on top of your notice.
    Jason
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  14. #13
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    ACAS is worth a call.

    Read your contract too, see if there is anything in there with explicitly forbids what you did.
    Ian

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    Quote Originally Posted by IanL-S3
    ACAS is worth a call.

    Read your contract too, see if there is anything in there with explicitly forbids what you did.
    Definatly talk to ACAS.
    Are you in a union?

  16. #15
    jcs356's Avatar
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    I thought ACAS were an arbitration service - i.e. a point of last resort when all other negotiations have failed?

    Better consulting union, citizens advice or a solicitor first. If your home insurance includes family legal protection, then this might pay for the solicitor.
    Jason
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  17. #16
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    Went in for a interview on Mon, he is still writing up his report from this, I was told today.
    I've received no letter, nor spoke to HR. Not in a union. Am going seek legal advice.
    ----------
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  18. #17
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    Having spent a little time in the firing line of a previous boss so I can sympathise, being under the spotlight like this is no fun. Thing is, the employment laws in this country are so tight that employers have to be so so careful how they handle disciplinary situations or they'll land themselves in very hot water! 1st point of call should be your employee handbook and contract. The handbook will give the companies policies on employment that your contract dosent cover & are implied as terms of employment. It should also list the companies disciplinary process for you. If you do not have a handbook then ask you HR department for a copy, or at the very least a copy of the disciplinary prcedures. Go though everything & understand the process. Also check for terms that talk about other work and if you should notify them of this. If they do not follow the disciplinary procedure to the letter then they are opening themselves up for a counter action from you for non-compliance, making it hard for them to sack you.

    The bottom line is if they really want to get rid of you then they'll find a way. Its your job to make it hard for them & expose any errors they make. Could all blow over but its best to be prepared in any event. If you need any further help keep posting or PM me.
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  19. #18
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    That's great. Cheers. Will try get hold of all the necessaries.
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  20. #19
    arthurfuxake's Avatar
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    By now(within 24-48 hours) you should have received a formal letter(recorded delivery) explaining the suspension.
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  21. #20
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    Nope, haven't received anything like that, have no paperwork for anything, only have the initial verbal, telling me I've been suspended.
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  22. #21
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    If it was me I would start looking for a new job, as even if they don't give you the sack chances are they are going to try and make it hard for you when you return. The fact they have sent you home sounds like they are not messing about..

    You need to hope for the best, but plan for the worst.
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  23. #22
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    Yeah, I have been looking for jobs, just in case! Always pays to prepare for the worst
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  24. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickynibbles
    If they do not follow the disciplinary procedure to the letter then they are opening themselves up for a counter action from you for non-compliance, making it hard for them to sack you.
    Exactly right, happened to me in my old job. My boss didn't like me and basically looked for a way to get rid of me. The company I worked for had an "out of date" disciplinary procedure that the fools didn't follow. In the end the disciplinary action they took against me was completely null and void. Fortunately I had joined a union just prior to this and my rep just laughed at them when they started threatening to sack me. Apparently the law is quite fluid in this area and new regulations come in all the time, not all companies change their procedures to take this into account.

    If there is anything wrong in their procedures or how they follow them you can have them for unfair dismissal or breach of contract. Even something like not asking you if you want someone to come with you to your disciplinery hearing or not providing you with a written breakdown of what you're accused of is enough for them to shoot themselves in the foot.

    Try reading this for starters
    http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Employme...es/DG_10028111

    My advice would be to write everything down, keep your cards close to your chest and fight the *******s for as long as it takes to find another job. Thats what I did, and my new job is better than my old one. The best part was when I put in my notice they told me to leave straight away, I started my new job 3 days later and at the end of the month I got paid twice!
    Last edited by RogueElement; 29th September 2007 at 01:16.
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  25. #24
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    Don't they need some prove of this other activty Mart?

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  26. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by TDI-line
    Don't they need some prove of this other activty Mart?

    Yup, they need proof of this other activity and they need to prove that there is a conflict. Providing a service that they do not is not a conflict in my book. Could be tricky for your employer. Sounds like they've had a 'knee-jerk' reaction to this, not very well thought out.
    [/sarcasm]

  27. #26
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    Yeah, I hope so, back in again on Thursday, hopefully be the end of it all, and all fall into place again!
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  28. #27
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    Good Luck Mart, hope the outcome goes your way! fingers crossed.
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  29. #28
    Just Plain Old's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mart
    I know they're not willing to offer this service, it's a large company, and they have Authorised Service Providers to offer this.
    I think this could be the cause of the problem.........
    In my personal opinion

  30. #29
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    Just to point out that ANYONE can hold down 2 jobs or more unless one of the employers very clearly objects to this in the terms of your contract.

    You are in the same boat I was in 4 years ago, I took redundancy in the end and setup on my own and haven't looked back at all.

    I was working at evenings and weekends for jobs my employer didn't provide and didn't want to provide. I was a bit too honest and told them what I was doing and it went OK for around 6 months and then they marched me out one day on the same line as you, conflict of interest. They saw 1 email from me to one of the external companies I was providing work for, the email was just confirming an appointment for weekend and my contract didn't stop me form having another job.

    ACAS is a great resource to call upon and will answer all these legal types of questions.

    In my situation I really see it as a good kick up the 4rse to take a chance and start up on my own......but then if it had gone badly for me I might think otherwise.

    I think 75% of skilled staff do work outside their normal job that their employer might not like but most employers don't mind as long as they don't see it affecting their own income. You might just have a boss who wants robots as staff and no humans who are only trying to make a bit extra, my old boos used to tell me he didn't even go to his parents funerals as they were in works time.......he just wanted idiots to follow his every command and after a while he figured out he couldn't brain wash me so he got rid of me.

    Take care
    John
    Last edited by G4JSG; 4th October 2007 at 13:29.
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  31. #30
    TDI-line's Avatar
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    Well said G4JSG.

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  32. #31
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    From what you are saying you was providing a service they do not do and was not prepared to do and your client where not prepared to send in there equipment and so would not have used the company.

    You on the other had do in your own time with your own equipment are prepared to do this and by the fact they don't you do not see how this is a conflict of interest and you can state that any extra work that was needed doing that required the equipment to be sent out was referred back to the company.
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  33. #32
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    Cheers everyone, that's what I've been saying, it's just a wait and see meanwhile, job hunting has begun
    ----------
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  34. #33
    audi80sport's Avatar
    is it home time yet?

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    so whats the latest outcome?
    have you still got your job?

  35. #34
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    Still waiting! - Hopefully find out by next week! Fingers crossed, got character refs to go with it too.
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  36. #35
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    Got fired today, after being suspended for 2 months.
    Gross misconduct, conflict of interest. Hey ho, time to find a new job!
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  37. #36
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    Get legal advice buddy - if you are out of work now (which it sounds like you are) then you should qualify for legal aid.

    Sorry to hear of the result though - just make sure you use it to move on in life to better things!
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  38. #37
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    Unlucky Mart, bad time of year also, hope it all works out for you soon.


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  39. #38
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    Yeah Christmas isn't the best time of year to have it happen, but indeed, better things can come of it, so may see if I can get my own thing of the ground.
    So if anyone needs any Tech support, (specialise in Macintosh), get in touch.
    Cheers for all your help during this.
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  40. #39
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    Good luck Mart.

    How about working at the Apple Store in Bluewater for Xmas?

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  41. #40
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    that's where I just got fired from. haha
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