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Second disciplinary hearing/Potential Dismissal

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  • Second disciplinary hearing/Potential Dismissal

    Hi,

    I currently work for a telecommunications company (not naming the employer) and am currently awaiting a Level 2 disciplinary hearing for missing performance related targets.

    My job role is a sales advisor so the core role in my job is to sell new/additional phone contracts to new/existing customers on an inbound basis.

    One of our KPI targets that makes up our commission structure is that we have to "sell" mobile phone insurance to customers with their handsets (commission is paid based on achieving a percentage from insurance sales to handset ratio.

    Over the last few months I have been unable to achieve the targets required, mainly due to what I am led to believe that the products have been mis-sold on a large scale (what I would consider almost equivalent to PPI sales.

    As the product has to be offered on a "non-advised" basis, many advisers have mis-sold the product by recommending it, bundling it in a part of a price plan, or misleading customers about policies that they already have and assuming about what their existing policies cover them for (e.g. Home insurance/bank etc.)

    The first warning I had came when I missed the target for 1 month, where I received an verbal/written warning from my line manager.

    The second month I received a disciplinary hearing where it was agreed that I would try to achieve 90% of department target expectancy, which was also missed.

    As part of the disciplinary hearing I informed one of the managers conducting the meeting that I knew that it was being mis-sold, where the response was "if you hear any mis-selling you need to let us know."

    Another adviser who works in my same department also agreed that the insurance policy was being mis-sold, and ran an internal investigation into why the targets were being overacheived by so many advisers (department average was more than exceeding target set for several months)

    Around 30 calls were quality checked and only 1 calls found that the product was offered correctly and treated the customer fairly giving them a choice if they wanted it or not (which ironically was one of my calls).

    In spite of this we have seen no change in the performance target.

    We also had a representative who worked for the insurance company that we sell the products on behalf of to visit our company and listen to the evidence, who also agreed that products were being mis-sold a a large scale, which all advisers were called in for retraining on how to offer the product correctly.

    It was also brought to our attention that if it carried on how it went the company I work for would lose their licence to sell the product and also could lead to large FCA fines from the company involved.

    The company has taken this on board, and currently have 2 advisers allegedly suspended due to improper conduct because of mis-selling in the wake of the investigation, however department targets have not changed.

    I am concerned that I am at risk of losing my job because of this, even though it is clear the statistics have been over-inflated.

    My questions are:
    1. Does the company have grounds to continue with my disciplinary proceedings due to the investigation results?
    2. Can a company financially incentivise staff for a product that can only offered on a non-advised basis?
    3. Can I be dismissed for this reason, or would this be seen as unfair Dismissal?

    Although missing this target I achieve all other targets required as part of my performance KPI.

    Thanks.
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  • #2
    Re: Second disciplinary hearing/Potential Dismissal

    Firstly how long have you worked at the company?

    Have they sent you the letter requesting that you attend a level 2 disciplinary hearing did they detail in full the allegations and the potential outcome if any action was taken as a consequence of the meeting?

    Has a date been set? It may be that if you were informed a disciplinary hearing was to be arranged and there has been a time delay before confirming anything to you then they may be considering whether it can continue in light of the investigation.

    If a date has been set then between now and then you need to carefully prepare your "defence" to the allegations and that means referring to the investigation and the outcome of the quality check that confirmed you were selling the product in the correct way. in addition you can ask whether as a consequence of what has been going on that to sell the product in the correct way has the company reconsidered the target set in light of the outcomes.

    How many stages do they have in their disciplinary process as this may determine what course of action they can take and in which case dismissal may not be the outcome. Don't forget if any action was to be taken you would have the right of appeal.
    I do my best to provide good practical advice, however I do so without liability.
    If you have any doubts then do please seek professional legal advice.


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