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My Husband Has Been Accused Of Theft At Work

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aodhansmum | 11:58 Mon 17th Dec 2012 | Criminal
7 Answers
My husband is a butcher who was made part time last year just before Christmas due to lack of business. The man who owns the butchers also owns the bakery next door and my husband has recently been working in the bakery to cover a maternity leave.

On 30th Nov £25 of tips went missing from the bakery. 2 ladies that work there knew about the money (my husband did not) and apparently put it into a plastic bag, then into a particular cupboard that people don't tend to use often for safekeeping. The next day the money was discovered missing and the manager asked the owner to check the CCTV footage. Apparently it showed one of the ladies putting the money in the bag then leaving it sitting on the counter. On Friday my husband was brought into the office at the end of his shift and questioned about the money. He was shown footage of himself coming in to work in the morning, generally tidying up etc. it shows him looking into a bag (it has yet to be established whether or not it is the back in question) scrunching it up, putting in a cupboard then going on with his work. he then returns to the cupboard later in the afternoon with trays and plates. it shows him putting these things into the cupboard and spending a little bit of time sorting them out. He then closes the cupboard and leaves. When in the office on Friday he was asked to explain what he was doing in the footage which he did. Present at the meeting were the boss and the man that he has employed as HR. The HR man did all the talking, my husband had no prior knowledge of this meeting and was alone. The guy form HR gave him 2 options. he said that he could admit to theft, apologise and it would be forgotten about or say that he knew nothing about it - which he did. he has been told that the footage will be further studied and he will be notified this afternoon of their decision.

Where do we go from here? what are his rights? I have told him that he should ask for the police to be involved as he his 100% innocent. he has worked for the company for almost 10 years without ever such an accusation.

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I'm no expert but unless the CCTV footage shows the theft occurring then I'd suspect it couldn't go further. No reason to believe further study of the tape is going to do more than clarify the truth at best, or be of no help at worst. Either way if there was enough evidence now they'd not be pussy footing around with discussions. I guess it is reasonable for your husband to be under suspicion but I think you are best seeing how it plays out. There is also advice places, such as Citizens' Advice, who could give you options as to your next move, if any.
I think you need CAB advice more than us.

SUrprisingly this sort of thing happens quite a lot. The employer has to follow his own rules. SO you can ask if there is a Disciplinary Procedure or policy. A smal employer is not reuired to have one - but IFhe does, he can only have one (my employer spectacularly admitted to two and didnt know wh one was in force) and it has to be available to you.

Then they have to follow it.
A small employer may ot have enought resources to do the judge jury bit but still has to adhere to the principles of natural justice - but of course there is dicsusion about what they are.

Your husband has to be told what he is accused of
and be given a chance to present a defence

but I think he may have already done that

I am surprised the employer hasnt involved the Police howver they can still fire for theft if they dont

One of my co employees turned himself into the Police but you have to think hard beore doing sommething like that

and wait and see

good luck
-- answer removed --
Sorry if it is a bit late but I have just seen this.
To be sacked the company has to prove that your husband has committed an act of 'gross misconduct' theft is such an act. However what you have told us so far is a very long way from proof of theft. To prove theft the CCTV would have to have shown your husband taking the money which it does not.
Also to be able to sack an employee for gross misconduct a very strict set of rules MUST be followed to the letter of the law. Your husband should have been informed of the accusation and suspended while investigations were made. If the investigations showed that there was cause for dismissal he should have been informed of the date of the disiplinary hearing and given the chance to have someone with him , a union rep , friend or solicitor for example. From what you say the company have not complied with these requirements and even if he HAD stolen something ( not saying ne did) they can not now dismiss him.
Your husband needs to get in touch with the CAB, ACAS or a solicitor if any more is said about this.
He MUST now ask for a copy of the CCTV footage , they HAVE to give him this or they can do nothing. He is entitled to a copy for his defence if nessesary .
the money was not officially accounted for. it was not company money.
It was still money that was in the 'safekeeping' of the company even if it was not the companys cash. Anyway as the questioner has not got back I assume that no more has come of it.
so what happened in the end ?

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