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"theft from employer"

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
I live in the uk, today I was suspended by my retail work place for allegedly taking £2, I had taken it from the till to give to a customer who claimed they'd been short changed but before I had a chance to give her the £2 I had a security spot check, I hadn't declared taking the money from the till on the system because there was no evidence to say they customer was short changed. Because I was in the knowledge that I couldn't give money without a receipt I told the security officers that £2 was mine, I should have told the truth but I thought I'd avoid questions if I said this. They decided to review the footage and have the proof of me taking £2 but because this accusation was made about 4 hours after the incident I couldn't remember who the customer was so I could not identify them. There is no proof me talking to a customer as there are only cameras at the till and not the tables where they eat(this is when the customer confronted me). I have a previous caution for theft from employer from 2 years ago at the value of £10, I had learnt a lesson after that and hadn't done it again. Does anyone have any advice that I could use or experience from simular situations? They have also put a black mark against me for making a coffee for myself, although I'm not too worried about this because even the security officers and other staff help themselves to whole meals and drinks at will which is against the company policy, it looks like they're getting more ammunition for action by using this too. Does anyone have any idea where I'd stand from a legal point of view and if this is enough evidence to take me to court and if yes then what the possible outcomes would be?

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'd seriously doubt people taking you to court over 2 pounds, but with a history of theft you may need to be concerned about disciplinary measures at work. If you have a union rep, contact them. If not, you need to apologise for not following the correct procedure with this customer, or if you did, explain that and say that there was insufficient time to log the event before you were checked, and say that you will ensure that this sort of thing doesn't happen again, by contacting a supervisor (for example) before handing out any refunds. (To be honest, if the system allows you to get in to such a position simply by handing out a 2 pound coin, I'd be contacting the supervisor anyway, to cover your own back.)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aww I'm soo sorry for you sweetie. But yes you could always find out who to apologise to. :3 I wish you great luck!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hi there,

    Welcome to the boards. :wave:

    Thanks for posting your query. You are clearly worried about the situation at work. Hopefully we can suggest a few things that will be of help to you.

    I agree with Mist and XHelenBX that it would be a good idea to get your story to your employer as soon as possible. Maybe even in writing so it's evidenced. If there is a disciplinary procedure that your employer decides to take, then it would be good if you participate properly to show you are being reasonable in trying to get to the bottom of the situation.

    It is hard to say whether your employer will take you to court without seeing all the evidence and knowing all the facts of the case. But they may see your actions as a serious breach of your employment contract. They may then take disciplinary action - have a look at your employment contract about this - or they may give you notice to leave your job. But I do stress that these are just possibilities and are not aimed at frighten you in any way. You would have to wait to see what action your employer takes, or alternatively ask them what will happen next.

    If you need someone to talk to you can call the Acas helpline on 08457 47 47 47 (Monday-Friday, 8am-8pm and Saturday, 9am-1pm). You can call them for free and impartial advice.

    In terms of thinking about the future, it might be an idea to think about what went wrong here to avoid the same thing happening again. For example, if you are not sure about anything at work then you may want to confirm your actions with a manager (ideally) before you do anything. This way you know you are not doing anything wrong and will not be penalised later.

    Hope this helps. :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    thanks for the feedback, I got a meeting for a disciplinary tomorrow now, I don't know whether they will see my side of the story or not but I'm guessing not if it's went this far, I know the just eating a chip at my work is a sackable offence which has been used in the past, I have decided to hand in my resignation as I would be guilty of taking coffee anyway, I'm not too fussed about my reference as I can explain what happened and have other references that I can use. If I resign could they hold my pay or decline my immediate resignation?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    No they cannot refuse if it's done before your hearing, they can only hold pay relating to your notice period which you wouldn't complete.

    TBH whichever route you take you would still need to give them as a reference. However they cannot suggest, as part of a future reference, that you have stolen from them unless they involve the police and they will not be able to reference the disciplinary case if it doesn't actually take place.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Depends how long you've worked there. If you've been there six months then you'll need to put them as a reference; six weeks and you can really just never speak of them again.

    Sounds like you're better off out anyway.

    Just remember you may not be able to sign on if you left a job without good reason.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I've decided that I'll call them to inform them I won't be attending and to carry on proceedings without me, that way I can just get dismissed by post right? And I can just say I worked there for 5 months instead of 2 years so I can avoid the reference check, does this seem acceptable?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    That wouldn't be wise to do, for now or for your future, how would you explain that to your new employer? Lying on your CV or at an interview wouldn't be wise for first impressions.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm a little unclear as to why you wouldn't attend the meeting? The worst outcome is that they fire you, and you seem to be wanting to quit anyway, so why not just go to the meeting and talk it through? It doesn't seem that you have a lot to lose out on.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    TBH If you won't give your last employer as a reference then chances are I wouldn't even offer you an interview, or at least you'd have to be a cracking candidate.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm not attending because it's embarrassing and degrading, if they want to sack me then they can inform me by the post. Also with future employers I'll declare what happened and give them the option to contact them
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If you tell a new employer that you were sacked due to gross misconduct and that you didn't defend it, I'll assure you right now that they won't touch you with a barge pole.

    If you've only been there a few weeks you can simply pretend you never worked there, but any more than that and you'll be struggling to explain away a gap in your history.
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