Employee on remand


 I am looking for some advice please.

 We currently have an employee who is being held on remand in prison. He initally went AWOL after a period of certified sickness absence. We then found out his wherebaouts when the police visited our site and wanted to interview  another colleague.

The police directed us to a local newspaper article which stated the employee had been charged with some very serious offences including two counts of attempted murder. The trial begins in November but the police have told us that it is unlikely to conclude until the new year.

We have wrote to the employee twice in prison first asking him to provide a written submission in relation to the allegations, he did not respond. We then wrote to him a second time inviting him to a hearing, again giving him the option of providing a written statement or someone attending on his behalf.

 We have received a statement from him today. He neither denies or admits to the charges and gives us no inidctaion on the possible lenght of any sentence. His statement is very vegue and makes little sense.

We would ideally like to dismiss but I am unsure if this should be for SOSR, Capability or Frustraion of Contract. We also have issues with his conduct in that he failed to notify us of his absence or the fact that he had been charged, which our employee handbook stataes an employee should do.

I would be grateful for any advice.



  • Hi Victoria, welcome to the communities.  Sorry to learn you've got a tough one here.  I can't offer any advice myself and have found a few threads which may help whilst you wait for other responses.  As for the employee giving no indication on the length of sentence - that wouldn't necessarily be something he can answer, I would imagine the courts will decide that upon the outcome of his trial.  Hopefully something may provide some pointers:







  • Hi Victoria,

    I am not sure what allegations you are expecting him to answer?  Are you really expecting him to give you a written statement of whether he attempted to murder 2 people?  To a certain extent it is none of your business unless of course he tried to murder a colleague. I certainly don't think this is something that the company should be trying to investigate (as it appears you are doing at the moment by asking him for written submisssions etc) 

    You also mention that you have issues with his conduct in that he didn't inform you straight away  that he had been charged.  Quite frankly I would expect that he had bigger things on his mind and might not have been able to inform you.

    I think you need to stick to the effect of his absence to the business.  Can the business support him being absent until the end of the court case in November - if not, why not.  If he is found guilty then he is likely to get a lengthy sentence and therefore very unlikely that you will be able to keep his job open.  If he is found innocent then I am sure he will be grateful that he has his job to return to and you can then have a strong word with him about absence reporting etc.

    If you cannot wait until November then I think you need to be really clear on what your reasons are.  Is it bringing the company into disrepute (if so how?) is it AWOL (did he really have a choice not to contact you) is it conduct?  Is it that it will such a serious impact to the business to have him out for 2 months?

    Of course you will take into consideration things such as length of service, previous character and also his seeming unwillingness to engage with you now (which I think is understandable) as factors when you are weighing all this up. 

  • Steve Bridger

    | 6530 Posts

    Community Manager

    30 Sep, 2014 17:07

    In reply to Clare Marie:

    Thanks, Clare. Saved me a job ;)
  • In my experience of a similar case you should (in the immediate) forget all about the nature of the offence, the date of the court case and the length of possible sentence.

    The employee is not in work and may not be in work until at least November, therefore as a business you should go down the capability route. Invite to disciplinary and ask him to make written submission(s) and/or ask a rep to attend for him (as you have done).

    If/when he does not attend you make a decision in his absence. This is down to him not being able to fulfull his role with no explanation as to when he may return. Perhaps you should consider if you did not know he was on remand, what action would you take then?

    Unless....you have kept a position open for someone else for any other reason, I think this logic should help dismiss.

  • Keith

    | 8977 Posts

    Chartered Fellow

    1 Oct, 2014 19:07

    Think Jeny gives good advice here
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