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.

£19.99 + £1.50 (P&P)

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  1. #1
    Basic Account Holder kluens Novitiate

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    Default Suspended from work

    Hello,

    Stumbled apon this site via google, I have quite a list I could use some advice on, i'll try to be as clear as possible.

    First off I work for a council, in a school, due to staff cuts my position has been subject to a skills audit resulting to my colleague being made redundanticon.

    As a final hurrah before leaving my colleague obtained various bits of information from our headteachers documents circulated them to the press. He was promptly arrested and has confessed.

    As a two-man IT department I was initially asked not to come in for the first day after the weekend this happened, the site was closed due to the nature of the information and I.T. systems investigated, I was then told to take the rest of the week off as the network was still down and i would not be able to complete my daily duties due to the investigation (I know this investigation was not ongoing atleast on site after the first day due to information from other staff).

    After the first week I was told I could come back to work, my line manager provided with new keys to our office and told our support guys would inform me of logins etc in due course, two hours later I was summoned to the front office and informed I was being suspended.

    The grounds for suspension were that due to my close working relationship with the offending colleague, and the fact that all administrator logins were shared, I posed a security risk. I was also informed the found items on my PC which caused concern. I was escorted to my office which I was asked to clear of my belongings. I was not given a copy of our grevience policy or any relating documents.

    UNISON rep was called and I was informed they were aware of the situation having been contacted by my colleague and the head of HR, he assured me this was a precautionary measure and that someone would be available to attend any meetings.

    3 weeks on I have been asked to attend an off site meeting to be interviewed about the above.


    I have a number of concerns about this:
    • The meeting is outside of my normal working hours, I work 0800-1600, meeting it at 1600 and some distance from my place of work.
    • I know exactly what has happened due to my colleague informing me after his arrest, this information was disclosed to my employer shortly after i was told. I feel any answers I give in my interview may be compromised by this knowledge, before being told I knew nothing.
    • I am currently off work sick with depression, my employment issues are contributing but not the primary reason for this, I have been signed by my GP. I am in no fit state yet to attend the interview.
    • I have not been informed what has been found or what I am suspected of doing therefore have had no time to prepare answers.
    All administrator logins were shared between the two Technicians, as are workstations in the office i am concerned that anything he has done may be attributed me.

    We had been working without an IT manager for over a year and had no guidance on security, best practices etc. In a previous annual appraisal I raised 7 pages worth of concerns to the head to which I was told "we employ you to have the answers to those, but your not responsible" this is documented in my staff file. We were only recently (2-3 weeks) given an Acceptable ICT Use Policy, due to issues mainly relating to how we apply this to other staff we had not signed this document and were waiting to meet with line manager to discuss.

    Two further issues;

    As an amateur photographer I purchased an excess portfolio folder from our technology department, then filled it with images, including some of my children, when being asked to remove my stuff from the office this portfolio was seized due to the images "possibly" being printed at work - there is no facility for this, although I have no receitps for their external printing. I am concerned with having images of my kids being in the possetion of unknown others. One contact has advised me to formally request this item back as their grounds are unreasonable and outside of the scope of the investigation, if not returned; assume they wish to purchase the images and invoice them accordingly, this made me lol.

    Further more during this period of suspension applications are being received for the IT manager position (newly created in the new structure). The deadline for the applications was originally 07.06.10, I was informed by a member of the adminicon team that this had been extended to 11.06.10 due to technical problems with the school website causing application forms not to be available. I forwarded my application special delivery and it was received before the 11.06.10 deadline. I have now received a letter stating that as me application was received after the 07.06.10 deadline it was not considered. How can I approach this? I know of one other applicant who was informed via email by the same adminicon team member of the 11.06.10 date, Im hoping he kept the message, although im not sure yet.

    Thanks in advance, apologies for the post length.


  2. #2
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    Default Re: Suspended from work

    Hello and welcome to CAGicon. I'm sorry to hear about all your problems. It's certainly complicated, isn't it?

    I expect the others will be along to comment later and I will have a look later if I have time.

    For now though, I have a vague recollection that you may not be required to attend a meeting while you're signed off sickicon. Hopefully someone will comment.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Suspended from work

    Quote Originally Posted by kluens View Post
    Hello,

    Stumbled apon this site via google, I have quite a list I could use some advice on, i'll try to be as clear as possible.

    First off I work for a council, in a school, due to staff cuts my position has been subject to a skills audit resulting to my colleague being made redundanticon.

    As a final hurrah before leaving my colleague obtained various bits of information from our headteachers documents circulated them to the press. He was promptly arrested and has confessed.

    As a two-man IT department I was initially asked not to come in for the first day after the weekend this happened, the site was closed due to the nature of the information and I.T. systems investigated, I was then told to take the rest of the week off as the network was still down and i would not be able to complete my daily duties due to the investigation (I know this investigation was not ongoing atleast on site after the first day due to information from other staff).

    After the first week I was told I could come back to work, my line manager provided with new keys to our office and told our support guys would inform me of logins etc in due course, two hours later I was summoned to the front office and informed I was being suspended.

    The grounds for suspension were that due to my close working relationship with the offending colleague, and the fact that all administrator logins were shared, I posed a security risk. I was also informed the found items on my PC which caused concern. I was escorted to my office which I was asked to clear of my belongings. I was not given a copy of our grevience policy or any relating documents.

    In what way a 'security risk'? Surely with new login names and passwords any such 'risk' would be eliminated? Have you not been told (basically if without going into details) what type of material on the PC warranted further investigation. Presumably the suspension and reasons for it have been confirmed in writing?

    UNISON rep was called and I was informed they were aware of the situation having been contacted by my colleague and the head of HR, he assured me this was a precautionary measure and that someone would be available to attend any meetings.

    3 weeks on I have been asked to attend an off site meeting to be interviewed about the above.

    Have they given any more specific details about the nature of the allegation?

    I have a number of concerns about this:
    • The meeting is outside of my normal working hours, I work 0800-1600, meeting it at 1600 and some distance from my place of work.
    • I know exactly what has happened due to my colleague informing me after his arrest, this information was disclosed to my employer shortly after i was told. I feel any answers I give in my interview may be compromised by this knowledge, before being told I knew nothing.
    • I am currently off work sick with depression, my employment issues are contributing but not the primary reason for this, I have been signed by my GP. I am in no fit state yet to attend the interview.
    • I have not been informed what has been found or what I am suspected of doing therefore have had no time to prepare answers.
    An investigatory meeting is slightly different to a disciplinary hearing as it seeks to determine whether a case warrants the disciplinary process, however you should have some information as to what is being investigated. If this is not provided then you cannot answer questions during the meeting which you have had insufficient time to consider. Simply say that you believe something to be incorrect but need more time/details in order to be able to answer. If necessary you can ask for the meeting to be adjourned.

    You cannot be forced to attend if you are off sick, and it would be reasonable to ask for an alternative date, however as procedures have to follow a reasonable timetable, be aware that they can hold the investigation in your absence (and similarly any disciplinary hearings which may follow).

    If the meeting is scheduled outside of your normal working hours and an unreasonable distance away, then you should be able to ask for an alternative location and time.

    All administrator logins were shared between the two Technicians, as are workstations in the office i am concerned that anything he has done may be attributed me.

    An investigation should look at that possibility with all available evidence. If the policy of shared logins makes that impossible, then it will not be correct to attribute wrongdoings to a specific user.
    Times and dates of documents may be relevant as if you can definitely exclude yourself from one activity this will add weight to the 'it wasn't me, it was him' argument.


    We had been working without an IT manager for over a year and had no guidance on security, best practices etc. In a previous annual appraisal I raised 7 pages worth of concerns to the head to which I was told "we employ you to have the answers to those, but your not responsible" this is documented in my staff file. We were only recently (2-3 weeks) given an Acceptable ICT Use Policy, due to issues mainly relating to how we apply this to other staff we had not signed this document and were waiting to meet with line manager to discuss.

    Supporting evidence to aid the investigation

    Two further issues;

    As an amateur photographer I purchased an excess portfolio folder from our technology department, then filled it with images, including some of my children, when being asked to remove my stuff from the office this portfolio was seized due to the images "possibly" being printed at work - there is no facility for this, although I have no receitps for their external printing. I am concerned with having images of my kids being in the possetion of unknown others. One contact has advised me to formally request this item back as their grounds are unreasonable and outside of the scope of the investigation, if not returned; assume they wish to purchase the images and invoice them accordingly, this made me lol.

    They may argue that this material warrabted investigation due to the folder containing images of children - awful I know, but probably necessary in today's climate - the images may well be yours but they are stored on a school facility. This should only be retained for as long as necessary though and you can make a reasonable request for the material to be returned once it is established that it is your property and of no importance to the investigation.

    Further more during this period of suspension applications are being received for the IT manager position (newly created in the new structure). The deadline for the applications was originally 07.06.10, I was informed by a member of the adminicon team that this had been extended to 11.06.10 due to technical problems with the school website causing application forms not to be available. I forwarded my application special delivery and it was received before the 11.06.10 deadline. I have now received a letter stating that as me application was received after the 07.06.10 deadline it was not considered. How can I approach this? I know of one other applicant who was informed via email by the same adminicon team member of the 11.06.10 date, Im hoping he kept the message, although im not sure yet.

    You need to complain about being given misleading information giving the reasons why and stating how you believed that the deadline was extended. Without evidence this may be difficult.


    Thanks in advance, apologies for the post length.
    ..

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