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Misuse of Spouse travel Pass

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Hanson

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Really scared, because I don’t want to lose my job. Please need advise

my partner pass was seized because shes been using her travel pass for travel everyday to work. Me and my partner hadn’t been in good terms and hardly even communicate in the house for years now sometime I don’t even stat in the house due to our differences and this has really affected our communication for a while over 2yrs now. Sometimes I only go home to sleep in a separate room and out again. It’s that bad

she’s in possession of her travel pass but in the early days I was aware she normally buys tickets to travel, but shockingly to me after the pass was seize by inspectors she hasn’t been buying tickets but been travelling with the pass everyday.

I was totally unaware of this and I was shocked.
This has been going on for couple of years now but because we don’t talk or haven’t had a pleasant communication between us I had just believed she a been doing the right thing and wasn’t using the pass to travel only unless for leisure purposes.

I am scared of any disciplinary actions taken against me, or matters going to court, so I have said to the fraud team she will have to pay all the cost back surely as I wasn’t aware of this at all.

but I’m responsible to make sure the pass was used correctly which is my fault.
But I’m scared this would be enough and the matter won’t get out of hand

Any advice please
Really in shock
 
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Haywain

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Presumably, the company you work for are aware of this rather than another company? On this basis it would be unlikely that you will be going to court as internal disciplinary action is an available option and the repercussions of this are likely to be more severe. It is quite possible that you will suffer a loss of travel facilities resulting from this misuse but this will not happen without going through a disciplinary hearing, when you can be represented by your union. In view of this I would strongly advise that you discuss this with your union rep, in the first instance, as they will have a better idea of the company stance on such matters. Hopefully, they will be able to give you some reassurance on the matter, although it may not be good news.
 

philthetube

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speak to the union immediately, and take advice, I suspect your best move will be to see your manager.
 

Hanson

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Presumably, the company you work for are aware of this rather than another company? On this basis it would be unlikely that you will be going to court as internal disciplinary action is an available option and the repercussions of this are likely to be more severe. It is quite possible that you will suffer a loss of travel facilities resulting from this misuse but this will not happen without going through a disciplinary hearing, when you can be represented by your union. In view of this I would strongly advise that you discuss this with your union rep, in the first instance, as they will have a better idea of the company stance on such matters. Hopefully, they will be able to give you some reassurance on the matter, although it may not be good news.
Thanks...
Just worried if a first time offence, which genuinely Rocky partnership didn’t even make me remember train pass she possessed could be misused by her can still lead to dismissal
I totally didn’t think about this at all, just don’t want any dismal action taken
Do you know of anyone with such issue loosing their job first time offence, as she’s offered to pay all cost back

speak to the union immediately, and take advice, I suspect your best move will be to see your manager.
Thanks will do that.
But if disciplinary action will be taken, what does that mean or entail
?
 

philthetube

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If you have a good working relationship with your manager that will help s lot.
 

Haywain

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If you have a good working relationship with your manager that will help s lot.
And it may not. I have been a manager of a large number of staff and in that position I would still insist that the staff member speak with their union rep rather than me. It is for their own good. Suggesting talk to a manager as you have is akin to suggesting someone who may have committed an offence talks to the police for advice.
 

Mag_seven

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I would suggest that in the case outlined above the key paragraphs (under the heading "Introduction and General Summary") about abuse of facilities (in this document as published by RSTL) are:

5. It is the responsibility of the employee to ensure that any and all cards and passes used by family members are not abused or misused. Specifically, they must ensure family members are fully aware of the Conditions of Issue and Use of the cards and passes they hold.

7. In all cases where the prime cardholder (active or retired employee or widow(er)) is the offender the penalty will be applied to all travel facilities holders within the family

8. Where the offender is a spouse, partner or dependent child the penalty will be applied to the offender only.

It looks like para 8 applies here so it "could" be that case that the OP will not be penalised.

As suggested by others though the OP should seek the assistance of a union rep ASAP as there may be other factors at play that still could result in the OP facing disciplinary action. I'm sure the relevant union reps will have had plenty experience in dealing with travel facility irregularities by the spouses of employees.
 

Hanson

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I would suggest that in the case outlined above the key paragraphs (under the heading "Introduction and General Summary") about abuse of facilities (in this document as published by RSTL) are:







It looks like para 8 applies here so it "could" be that case that the OP will not be penalised.

As suggested by others though the OP should seek the assistance of a union rep ASAP as there may be other factors at play that still could result in the OP facing disciplinary action. I'm sure the relevant union reps will have had plenty experience in dealing with travel facility irregularities by the spouses of employees.
Thanks... for the information
It was very helpful

And it may not. I have been a manager of a large number of staff and in that position I would still insist that the staff member speak with their union rep rather than me. It is for their own good. Suggesting talk to a manager as you have is akin to suggesting someone who may have committed an offence talks to the police for advice.
Is it the manager who decides what happens to the employee or the prosecution team?
I’m sure the prosecution will request all unpaid travel be paid back, the withdrawal of travel facilities from spouse, I think...
For the employee, what then happens? That’s the main part I’m most worried about
 

Haywain

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Thanks... for the information
It was very helpful


Is it the manager who decides what happens to the employee or the prosecution team?
I’m sure the prosecution will request all unpaid travel be paid back, the withdrawal of travel facilities from spouse, I think...
For the employee, what then happens? That’s the main part I’m most worried about
Talk to your union - I cannot emphasise this enough.
 

Vespa

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Thanks... for the information
It was very helpful


Is it the manager who decides what happens to the employee or the prosecution team?
I’m sure the prosecution will request all unpaid travel be paid back, the withdrawal of travel facilities from spouse, I think...
For the employee, what then happens? That’s the main part I’m most worried about
As above speak to your union asap, they have a legal team who could help.

As to your Manager's authority to take action, depending on the size of your company, in my experience immediate line supervisors/manager may issue sanctions for minor disciplinaries, for something more serious, it goes up further to senior managers. Most companies will have a disciplinary codes of practice usually agreed with the union put in a folder to be studied.

As ever the union duty is to protect your interests, the managers duty is to protect the business., with that in mind act accordingly.
Good luck.
 

Haywain

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Is it the manager who decides what happens to the employee or the prosecution team?
I’m sure the prosecution will request all unpaid travel be paid back, the withdrawal of travel facilities from spouse, I think...
For the employee, what then happens? That’s the main part I’m most worried about
I think a couple of things need clarifying: The prosecution team will not be prosecuting you as it is not you that has done anything wrong in this instance and, legally, it is unlikely they could attempt to recover unpaid fares from you. That is for your partner to worry about unless you have shared financial arrangements where you may be impacted. Certainly the only person who may go to court is your partner. As for you, if disciplinary action could result, this process could be instigated by any manager within the company you work for, which is why I advise against speaking to your manager about this. The disciplinary process is, in most railway companies, very formalised in terms of the steps that must be followed and starts with an interview with a note taker present and is then passed to an 'independent' manager to consider whether there are grounds for disciplinary action to be taken (the independent manager isn't necessarily as independent as you might like, it's just someone who was not involved in the interview). If it is decided that action can be taken you get notified and a hearing results.

As for your union rep, it is disappointing but not completely surprising that they are not certain as levels of experience and knowledge vary. Your union will have, as @Vespa has said, a legal helpline which may be worth a call. But, for the moment I think the best approach is to try not to get to stressed about this.
 

Llanigraham

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Thanks, I have but the rep I spoke to only said he’d ask around and wasn’t sure what actions get taken
Then ignore you local rep and go higher, preferably talking to someone in their legal team at HQ.
 

Gloster

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Then ignore you local rep and go higher, preferably talking to someone in their legal team at HQ.
Before you take it higher, check whether your local rep is doing something. His rather vague answer may just mean that he doesn’t know because he hasn’t had such a case before, but he is trying to find out who does know and will get accurate information from them as soon as he can.
 

Hanson

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I think a couple of things need clarifying: The prosecution team will not be prosecuting you as it is not you that has done anything wrong in this instance and, legally, it is unlikely they could attempt to recover unpaid fares from you. That is for your partner to worry about unless you have shared financial arrangements where you may be impacted. Certainly the only person who may go to court is your partner. As for you, if disciplinary action could result, this process could be instigated by any manager within the company you work for, which is why I advise against speaking to your manager about this. The disciplinary process is, in most railway companies, very formalised in terms of the steps that must be followed and starts with an interview with a note taker present and is then passed to an 'independent' manager to consider whether there are grounds for disciplinary action to be taken (the independent manager isn't necessarily as independent as you might like, it's just someone who was not involved in the interview). If it is decided that action can be taken you get notified and a hearing results.

As for your union rep, it is disappointing but not completely surprising that they are not certain as levels of experience and knowledge vary. Your union will have, as @Vespa has said, a legal helpline which may be worth a call. But, for the moment I think the best approach is to try not to get to stressed about this.
Thanks!
Partner is already apologetic and willing to pay back what’s due in regards to this.

Union rep got back and said it most unlikely one looses job due to this as it would be extreme but he reckons pass will get sized and most likepartner will have to pay back the cost

at the moment it’s just a waiting game to hear back from them
 

WesternLancer

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Thanks!
Partner is already apologetic and willing to pay back what’s due in regards to this.

Union rep got back and said it most unlikely one looses job due to this as it would be extreme but he reckons pass will get sized and most likepartner will have to pay back the cost

at the moment it’s just a waiting game to hear back from them
FWIW I think important for the Union to try and make the case for you in relation to the really difficult personal circs outlined in your OP, which would seem to be a situation where you might have little to no knowledge about how the pass was being used and to some extent could maybe seen as mitigating circs. I guess when called in about it you can have an accompanying person / union rep - so that would be where they would have to be fully briefed on that - which may of course not be an easy thing to want to discuss.
Good luck with things.
 

6Gman

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Thanks!
Partner is already apologetic and willing to pay back what’s due in regards to this.

Union rep got back and said it most unlikely one looses job due to this as it would be extreme but he reckons pass will get sized and most likepartner will have to pay back the cost

at the moment it’s just a waiting game to hear back from them
The only case I know of personally was of a couple who followed their local football team which had more away fixtures than they had boxes. So they reused boxes and were found out.

He kept his job, but had travel facilities withdrawn for a period (either one year or two).

Given that you were unaware of this misuse I would expect your union to argue strongly that you should not be severely treated. Though I would expect your employer to withdraw your partner's facility.

Indeed, given the strained relationship you describe between yourself and your partner your employer may well review whether they should still be eligible for travel facilities at all.

EDIT:
ATOC states that travel facilities must be surrendered if there is no longer a "close and meaningful relationship" between employee and partner.
 

Hanson

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Thanks.

The withdrawal of the pass would do me more good as I won’t have to worry if it’s been used by partner anymore as it wasn’t even on top of my mind to remember the pass since it got sent which is what has caused this issue now.

its is a bit difficult with the usage of spouse pass for me to monitor the usage especially with the nature of the relationship.

I would hope its understood by the company and no loss of job is considered as the rep said this would be extreme.

was totally unaware of this, this is just so much stress for me now coupled with the whole issue have been trying to manage within the relationship all this while
 

LondonExile

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I know the Railway has its own procedures that often differ from other industrial sectors etc, but I'd expect any disciplinary action resulting in dismissal to not stand up to scrutiny by Employment Tribunals or Employment Appeal Tribunals.

Simply put - with a modern view of domestic relationships - you are not expected to be able to control the actions of your partner (and indeed it's now a criminal offence to engage in coercive or controlling behaviour within a domestic relationship). As such, so long as you told her the restrictions - I'd be very surprised if any court or tribunal found it was reasonable to expect you to be able to prevent breaches by her, or find that dismissal is a reasonable sanction in these circumstances.

Her pass is almost certainly fair game to revoke, and there is a potential argument that yours may be at some risk, but dismissal opens up opportunities to appeal to tribunals, and I cannot see them agreeing with any action based on "you should have stopped her" as an argument.
 

Haywain

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I know the Railway has its own procedures that often differ from other industrial sectors etc, but I'd expect any disciplinary action resulting in dismissal to not stand up to scrutiny by Employment Tribunals or Employment Appeal Tribunals.

Simply put - with a modern view of domestic relationships - you are not expected to be able to control the actions of your partner (and indeed it's now a criminal offence to engage in coercive or controlling behaviour within a domestic relationship). As such, so long as you told her the restrictions - I'd be very surprised if any court or tribunal found it was reasonable to expect you to be able to prevent breaches by her, or find that dismissal is a reasonable sanction in these circumstances.

Her pass is almost certainly fair game to revoke, and there is a potential argument that yours may be at some risk, but dismissal opens up opportunities to appeal to tribunals, and I cannot see them agreeing with any action based on "you should have stopped her" as an argument.
In the main, you are wrong. The travel facility is an employment benefit and, as such, the employee is responsible for it and is held responsible. It may be correct to suggest that dismissal is unlikely but there are circumstances where this could be the case such as obtaining travel facilities for a person who is not a spouse or partner (and in the OP's case this would, perhaps, appear to be borderline).

I guess when called in about it you can have an accompanying person / union rep - so that would be where they would have to be fully briefed on that - which may of course not be an easy thing to want to discuss.
A union rep can speak on behalf of the accused in a disciplinary hearing and will, as a solicitor would in a civil court, need all of the relevant information.
 

WesternLancer

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I know the Railway has its own procedures that often differ from other industrial sectors etc, but I'd expect any disciplinary action resulting in dismissal to not stand up to scrutiny by Employment Tribunals or Employment Appeal Tribunals.

Simply put - with a modern view of domestic relationships - you are not expected to be able to control the actions of your partner (and indeed it's now a criminal offence to engage in coercive or controlling behaviour within a domestic relationship). As such, so long as you told her the restrictions - I'd be very surprised if any court or tribunal found it was reasonable to expect you to be able to prevent breaches by her, or find that dismissal is a reasonable sanction in these circumstances.

Her pass is almost certainly fair game to revoke, and there is a potential argument that yours may be at some risk, but dismissal opens up opportunities to appeal to tribunals, and I cannot see them agreeing with any action based on "you should have stopped her" as an argument.
Instinct tells me this is a point well made. I suppose the issue is an employer who cites this to the OP:

"ATOC states that travel facilities must be surrendered if there is no longer a "close and meaningful relationship" between employee and partner." and asks, along lines of - 'if this is what you tell us about your relationship why have you not advised us that your relationship is no longer close and meaningful, as you should have done?'. Ideally you may need a better answer than just "I didn't know that" if you can.

That's where good representation from the Union comes in of course, including the rep making sure they have the support /help from union officials (eg staff of the union) to make the case where needed.

I sympathize with the OP, and wish them well, as it does not sound an easy position to be in as described.
 

najaB

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ATOC states that travel facilities must be surrendered if there is no longer a "close and meaningful relationship" between employee and partner.
"Close and meaningful" is a subjective term though, especially the "meaningful" part - for example, a married but separated couple still have a meaningful relationship under the law.
 

philthetube

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And it may not. I have been a manager of a large number of staff and in that position I would still insist that the staff member speak with their union rep rather than me. It is for their own good. Suggesting talk to a manager as you have is akin to suggesting someone who may have committed an offence talks to the police for advice.
Totally agree that the union is the first port of call, but accepting that this will get back to management, and that your manager would not be the one to instigate disciplinary proceedings, unless you have either a real swine or a really bad working relationship, I still think you should speak to him/her.

If it did end up going to a disciplinary board a letter concerning your performance level etc. would be helpful.
 

221129

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The close and meaningful relationship rule only applies to non married partners. A spouse's facilities only end when they are legally separated or divorced.
 

Bald Rick

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Late to this.

I can’t understand the advice not to speak to your manager. You have done nothing wrong. Your manager would (or at least should) be much more amenable to helping you if you approach him /her, than if the first they hear of it is a letter from the staff travel section. Also they may well be able to provide good advice.

Even if you had done something wrong (which you haven’t), far better to speak to your manager about it to explain the position. Of course, involve your union if you feel you need to also for advice etc.

This happened to me once, albeit in different circumstances (obviously!j I spoke to my line manager immediately, and the problem was immediately resolved. Had I not done so, i think I could well have been in a more difficult position when the RPIs report landed on his desk.
 

najaB

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I can’t understand the advice not to speak to your manager. You have done nothing wrong.
I don't think the advice is not to speak with the manager at all, ever, but rather to speak with the union rep first - just in case.

The reason being that the union rep's loyalty should be 100% in the employee's favour, the manager's is going to be split.
 

Haywain

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The reason being that the union rep's loyalty should be 100% in the employee's favour, the manager's is going to be split.
This. Manager's first and primary loyalty is to the company.
 
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