Gross Misconduct And Universal Credit

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EllieJP | 06:23 Thu 17th Jun 2021 | Jobs & Education
43 Answers
I was let go from my job for failing to turn up to a disciplinary I knew nothing about, (I’ve been away from home for about 6 weeks due to my Nan being discharged from hospital on palliative care and my grandfather unable to cope on his own)
In that time I received 2 letters from my employer, one about a meeting to discuss my absence from work since Feb 2020.
My first absences in February I informed them of (or so I thought) was by advertising my shifts as I was unable to do them. I later found out that that’s not how it works.. someone has to accept the advertisements. (These we’re all due to lack of child care which was completely out of my control and nothing I could do)
Come March, I was furloughed until September as I was told by my Store Manager.
I had a phone call in august to ask why I hadn’t turned up to a shift. I explained that I was told I was furloughed until September as that’s when schools were going back and I remember it working out in favour of schools going back. So I had no idea about this shift.

I next heard from them (after being given no shifts) a couple of months later, I received a letter regarding my absence) I had no shifts to turn up to, it was my assumption that because Universities were still at home that there just wasn’t any shifts available to me.
I spoke to the people manager who arranged a sit down chat with one of the deputy managers for me.
Which I attended and all was well.
I explained that my partner works 4 on 4 off and constant nights so I couldn’t have a set shift pattern. He advised me to email the store my availability which I did.
I didn’t hear anything back from them so I called the store to be told that the deputy manager I sent the availability to (who also did the Rota’s) was on holiday.. I wasn’t sure if this was for a week or two. But still.. I never heard back. Then lockdown happened again, schools off.
I didn’t hear anything from them at all during this time and I assumed that was because they’re aware that if my child is off that I’m unable to work. That takes us up to and including March this year..

Next I hear from the store manager, asking how I was and so on.. anything they can do to help.. again I explained about the 4 on 4 off.. He said it’s probably best to send us your availability again.

So I did..
And once again, I heard nothing.

Then we found out that my Nan had very advanced cancer all over. She was released from hospital on palliative care but my grandfather was unable to cope being elderly and disabled himself so I temporarily moved in with them.
During this 5 week period, (that I didn’t return home) I was delivered 2 letters from my employer again, one about a chat.. the second about a disciplinary. I attended neither as they chose to only inform me of these via post.. no email or phone call.
They conducted the meetings without me, and the disciplinary resulted in my termination of employment.
This was on 2/6/21..
I returned home after her funeral on 5/6/21 when this had already happened.

So my main question is.. During may last year, I applied for universal credit. I’ve informed them of my change in circumstances albeit later than I should have.. you’re supposed to inform them within 5 days (which I wasn’t aware of but I am awaiting results of my appeal so I’m hoping they don’t change but felt it best to let them know)
My worry is that they’re saying I’ve been absent since February last year! Which doesn’t seem fair or true given everything that’s gone off with furlough etc..
I’m now petrified about what’s going to happen with them saying I’ve been absent since Feb last year! Will they stop my UC? Or worse try and claim it back? I’m just so lost., I’ve never claimed before.. and I just don’t know what to do!
Please help!


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Definitive answer: Go into your UC Journal and leave a note saying that you were dismissed, without your knowledge, for GM on 2nd June and that you have started an appeal with your Employers and will update as soon as you hear anything. The UC department may contact you through your journal for clarification at a later date but you have precious little reason to...
13:40 Thu 17th Jun 2021
We still declare ourselves a bit baffled.
UC would only be concerned if you were receiving furlough money and *not* declaring it. If you have been honest with them with regards to your income since your UC application, you have nothing to fear.
Based on what you have said, your issue is with your employer.

If I have misunderstood, please, keep on on explaining your concerns until I *do*understand and can help. :o)
Question Author
Yes Chinajan,

All the payments have appeared and the claim was deducted accordingly.

My issue is the fact my employer has dismissed me claiming I have unauthorised absence since February.
I’ve mentioned this to them before that it can’t be the case as I was furloughed but they say that’s irrelevant.

I don’t want UC to think they’ve been giving me shifts that I’ve not been turning up to as that would go against my commitments?

But they haven’t been giving me shifts in the first place.
Actually that bit might be wrong. If you have a work allowance you get UC then for every pound over that amount that you 'earn' they deduct 63p.

In any case, the breakdown should show how it's been calculated.
Crossposted sorry.

I'd interpret what your employer said to mean that you haven't actually worked since Feb last year, not that you weren't employed.

Clearly your employment didn't end until the date you were dismissed.
Ahhhhhh.......(the sound of pennies dropping).....

Mrs JtH and her colleagues have run up against all sorts of peculiar 'problems' during this time of CV19 and lockdown(s). They understand that people's lives have been less than straightforwards and that many folks have been doing a bizarre sort of 'hokey-cokey' when it comes to work, isolating, furloughing, lockdowns, etc.

She doubts that anyone would have the time, or inclination, to investigate exactly where you were and when.
Providing your 'financials' are in order she advises you to stop fretting.
Question Author
You declaring yourself baffled makes me feel better! As does you saying my issue is with my employer!
My fear is.. I was dismissed due to not turning up to shifts (that have never existed!) could effect my claim.
Question Author
I absolutely love you and your wife right now, I’m crying.. Happy tears. Thank you thank you thank you.
When Mrs JtH pops down for her afternoon cuppa, I'll ask her if that would be the case, but as ChinaJan says, your employment has only just finished.
When they terminated your employment, what termination date did they give?
Question Author
Termination date was 02/06/21.
Panicking slightly again now. :-(
Thank you all so much though.. Absolutely been at my wits end.
It sounds to me that although you don't appear to be totally clear on the situation, your employer's understanding is much worse. Such is life.

I hope you get it all sorted out satisfactorily with the help of the kind Abers who've already answered. Good luck.

P.S. Have you thought of trying the Citizens Advice Bureau ?
Definitive answer:
Go into your UC Journal and leave a note saying that you were dismissed, without your knowledge, for GM on 2nd June and that you have started an appeal with your Employers and will update as soon as you hear anything.
The UC department may contact you through your journal for clarification at a later date but you have precious little reason to fret.
Question Author
From the bottom of my heart, I cannot thank you enough. Thank you for absolutely everything.
Could a sanction not be imposed for losing employment through misconduct?
That is a general question about dismissal for misconduct during a UC award.
Bah!......TCL......stoppit...... :o(

A sanction 'may' be applied but many of the rules are, as you know, on hold at the moment. UC have had no word that sanctions are to be applied, again, and that is something that Ellies Work-coach will be able to discuss with her.
If EllieJP updates her Journal asap, then she may well have got in first, and avoid the cut-off date......should there be one.
even if there is a sanction, wont it only be from the date she was dismissed? Ellie seems to be worried about the last year more
The dismissal was 2nd June this year.
In general terms and not referring to this case, a Decision Maker (DM) would need to determine there had been misconduct based upon the evidence provided by the employer and the claimant.

An employer can state a dismissal was misconduct but that is not to say a DM would always agree with that claim.
Should you believe you have a case for unfair dismissal (and providing that you have worked for the employer for more than 2 years), you can bring a case before an industrial tribunal – but time is of the essence, you only have 3 months in which to do this.

In your post you state that you were terminated on the 2nd of this month, so the latest date by which you can bring a case will be 1st September.

You will need to set out your case for unfair dismissal in a clear and logical way, supported by documentary evidence – I suggest you start by writing down a chronology of events that led up to your dismissal and collect relevant supporting evidence.
Question Author
Morning all, I updated my journal.. Early on 16/06.. Haven’t heard anything from my work coach yet. Still worried, although not as much. I slept for the first time in 4 days though.

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