Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

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  1. #1
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    Default Asked to accompany colleague to disciplinary

    I have been asked to accompany a colleague to a disciplinary re poor attendance - what am I expected to do?

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  2. #2
    louis wu
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    Default Re: Asked to accompany colleague to disciplinary

    Can't help with what your supposed to do, but I would say your freind has made a good choice in asking you to attend. Your help and advice is always practical, accurate and sensitive.

    I think your their, just to stop your colleague saying things that will drop themselves in it, but hopefully someone who knows about these things will give you a full rundown.

    louis


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Asked to accompany colleague to disciplinary

    Hi there Poppynurse. When accompanying someone to a disciplinary hearing you may address the meeting but you cannot answer questions on behalf of your colleague (unless agreed by management).

    You should talk to your colleague first and help then to make a list of things they would like to say as, sometimes, in meetings of this kind, it can be difficult to remember everyting that is relevant. Quite often people come out of meetings and say "I wish I had remembered to say this/that".

    It is also important that you make notes throughout the meeting, as your colleague may not be able to take down or remember everything that is said, and if she has to appeal against any decision, the notes may come in useful.

    Hope it goes OK.

    Kind Regards

    Ell-enn

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    Basic Account Holder cal37 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Asked to accompany colleague to disciplinary

    Ell-enn, can I just point out that by rights only a union official can address the meeting etc, a co worker acting as a witness is just that and can not address the meeting.

    Now many companies might be ok with co workers addressing meetings but just as many will not be. Now you both can consult with each other and ask for a short breakicon at anytime, so if your co worker thinks of something important then they must make the other aware so they can ask for the break.


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    Default Re: Asked to accompany colleague to disciplinary

    Quote Originally Posted by cal37 View Post
    Ell-enn, can I just point out that by rights only a union official can address the meeting etc, a co worker acting as a witness is just that and can not address the meeting.

    Now many companies might be ok with co workers addressing meetings but just as many will not be. Now you both can consult with each other and ask for a short breakicon at anytime, so if your co worker thinks of something important then they must make the other aware so they can ask for the break.
    Ell-enn, as a co-worker you may address the meeting, but you can not speak on behalf of the person you're representing, nor can you answer questions for them.
    As someone who has chaired more disciplinaries than I would like to recall I suggest:
    Speak to your colleague and ask them to tell you everything. Firstly, reassure them that you will be discreet and will not blab around the work place.
    Tell them that some facts may come up at the hearing that they may not have mentioned to you due to embarrassment or think are unimportant. Remind them you're on their side if they are honest and open. I have lost count of the times reps stay silent with a shocked expression on their face.
    Take notes at the meeting.
    Don't be afraid to call a short halt to consult these notes and to talk to your colleague. If necessary, ask if you may leave the room to consult in private.
    Don't be alarmed if the chair calls a break - you may have rattled their case (it happens).
    Don't bring up irrelevant subjects like 18 mouths to feed at home and grandmothers who are in prison - the hearing is about workplace conduct.
    Ask the chair if they have evidence that your colleague has been given / notified of the company's policies for disciplinaries, grievances and whistleblowing (whichever is relevant). Signed receipt of a company handbook / letter of employment saying these policies are in place and available to all is sufficient for the employer as it is then up to the employee to read these. If there is no such evidence use this fact.
    If your colleague did make a mistake encourage them to to say sorry before the meeting ends and to explain how they intend to improve in the future. If necessary ask them to produce an individual development plan with clear and realistic time lines for completion.
    This should go a long way as most disciplinary policies do not set out to be punitive but to prevent future wrongdoing, also many companies do not need the stress and expense of a tribunal and will try to resolve the situation in-house.
    Above all, the employer does not need have to have proof that a crime or definite misconduct has taken place, just that they have to have a reason to believe it has. They are not a court of law, and in rare instances will be prepared to go to tribunal, so make sure you have the story straight .
    Good luck, and let us know how it goes.

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    Default Re: Asked to accompany colleague to disciplinary

    Quote Originally Posted by cal37 View Post
    Ell-enn, can I just point out that by rights only a union official can address the meeting etc, a co worker acting as a witness is just that and can not address the meeting.

    Now many companies might be ok with co workers addressing meetings but just as many will not be. Now you both can consult with each other and ask for a short breakicon at anytime, so if your co worker thinks of something important then they must make the other aware so they can ask for the break.
    Hi Cal, thanks for pointing that out - the company I work for are OK with it, but I take your point that most may not be.

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    Default Re: Asked to accompany colleague to disciplinary

    Quote Originally Posted by Ell-enn View Post
    Hi there Poppynurse. When accompanying someone to a disciplinary hearing you may address the meeting but you cannot answer questions on behalf of your colleague (unless agreed by management). Ell-enn
    Quote Originally Posted by alientoo View Post
    Ell-enn, as a co-worker you may address the meeting, but you can not speak on behalf of the person you're representing, nor can you answer questions for them.
    I thought that's what I'd said but happy to be corrected

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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Asked to accompany colleague to disciplinary

    Quote Originally Posted by poppynurse View Post
    I have been asked to accompany a colleague to a disciplinary re poor attendance - what am I expected to do?
    Check your employee handbook.

    One company's disciplinary rules differ to the next so it is a little difficult to advise you on what you can or cannot do in the meeting.

    Also, you will have protection from victimisation should you be concerned that your employer will make life difficult for you in the future should you accept.

    Have a long chat with your colleague and take notes to discover any possible mitigating circumstances as to why their attendance is so poor.

    The aim should be to try and get as least a penalty against your colleague depending on how serious the poor attendance has been.

    Will you post up a bit more once you have a better understanding of the case against your colleague?


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Asked to accompany colleague to disciplinary

    I think the case is cut and dried - she failed to improve after being set targets. All procedural steps were followed in line with policy.

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