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Suspended from work for alleged theft - help

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ashbburn | 12:30 Mon 06th Feb 2012 | Law
11 Answers
Hi people, I hope someone may be able to help

I was suspended from work last Tuesday pending further investigation for suspicion of stealing £10. I work in a betting shop. A couple of weeks ago, a customer put a bet on and i said it might be late to him, due to the shortness of the race. As the shop was quite busy, i forgot i'd said this. He left the shop about 10minutes later. Later on, i did a shop tidy and spotted the bet, i put it in my pocket to check when i got back to my till after tidying the rest of the shop. Again, we were quite busy and i forgot all about this until a few hours later. I remembered, took it out, flashed the slip and it indicated 'returned stake'. Stupidly, i put the £10 in my pocket and thought, i'll give it the customer back when he returns (i knew he was coming back later). He did come back, put a few more bets on and as he gave me money for these, i explained about the returned stake and gave him one if his £10's back with his new betting slips. I'd forgot i'd previously put the other £10 in my pocket and added it to my till later on. Now, i was called into a meeting where they have it all on CCTV. As it was a couple of weeks ago, i really couldn't remember what i'd done, i've contradicted myself by saying i didn't put it in my pocket etc. I was in shock and bumbled my way through it. I know it looks as though i've stolen it as it doesn't show me pulling £10 out my pocket ( i did this in the back as i was counting the safe). I've gone about the whole thing wrongly and even i would suspect me of theft but i know the customer would back me up (it's whether or not they want to involve him). I have a disciplinary meeting later in the week and i'm worried sick they're going to sack me. Do they have sufficient evidence to? Surely they must speak to the customer? I am not a thief, never have been. I have an exemplary employment record, i've never been sacked before and i am an asset to their organisation. Also, i was under the impression that someone had to witness a suspension, whereas it was just me and my area manager.

I hope someone may be able to offer just a little bit of advice, thankyou

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If you put it in the till later on then wouldn't the takings be £10 over for that night?
from what you say it sounds like they do have enough evidence to sack you
Question Author
No because when i flashed it and it said returned stake, i pressed pay, which means it would add up (as in payed back to the customer.....or me as they are suggesting/and looks like). The £10 i gave him later was some of his money then ( he put another £30 on i think). But as the CCTV isn't close up and you can't zoom in, you can't really see me doing this. My only way of proving it is through the customer but i don't know whether they'd involve him as it looks bad on the company by suspending someone for alleged theft and don't want it getting out as it may harm business.
At times like this a good friend is invaluable, someone prepared to listen, be impartial and be with you at your disciplinary meeting. You should be entitled to have someone with you I think and it is a really good idea.
At present mesnplat you can only be accompanied by a trade union official or work colleague at a meeting and many work colleagues do not want to put their head over the parapet, your employers may let you be accompanied by another person but they do not have to.

Hopefully your employer has suspended you on full pay, they should have done. At the meeting explain your position and explain it was a mix up not the intention to deprive your employers of money, submit written evidence from the person whom you repaid. Your contract of employment will probably show theft as gross misconduct and they may, if they do not believe you, sack you with the right of appeal, you have to be notified in writing of this. You do not say how long you have worked for this employer but if it is at least one year you will be able to claim unfair dismissal at an Employment tribunal, watch the time limits on this.

My experience is that if you are a valuable member of staff they will not attempt to sack you but you do need to be persuasive at the meeting.
Question Author
Thanks for the replies. I have been suspended on full pay and I will have worked there a year on the 15th february. I am unsure if i should contact the customer myself as it may seem as though i am interfering with a witness so to speak but i know he would back me up. I really love this job and i would never jeopordise it over £10. The CCTV does look really bad but i didn't steal. I've made a genuine error and i just need to convince them of this. The member of security who initially interviewed me was making it out as though i'd planned it all and was waiting for a quiet period to 'steal'.
The genuine error was slipping it your pocket
Lying over doing that, makes you look like a thief as does the CCTV. You have to look at this from your employers POV

As for who you can take with you to any further meetings? Well the law says trade union rep or work colleague. However, you can ask if you can have someone else instead there just to take any notes or for support but your employer must agree to this - they dont have to say yes

All I can suggest is ACAS for impartial advice
Your employers are under no obligation to contact the customer for proof of what occurred, if they do not and you do not want to contact him I suggest at the meeting you insist they contact the customer to prove your innocence, if they refuse it will not look as if they investigated properly. But you are a few days short of the year required to take the matter to an Employment tribunal, dates are critical.

Are you a member of a trade union who may be able to assist?
I can't understand why you put the money in your pocket, surely you must have realised what this would look like when you did it?
I dont think you have a leg to stand on.caught on camera.
if the till adds up, and there is no money missing, they must accept it... or is there now £10 missing from the takings?

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Suspended from work for alleged theft - help

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