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  1. Hi! The only small point I should add to the above is that I had to ring up the surgery and ask for a fit note AFTER I was sent home – in other words I was presented with a "FAIT ACCOMPLI" by my employer who told me I was no longer allowed to attend as and from the 26th May and I had to ask for a fit note – the Surgery Receptionist herself said that it was "very irregular but I shall ask the doctor for you". THEY took the decision about my fitness to work or otherwise, not me, I am still able to carry out electronics work at home of exactly the same nature, using exactly the same equipment, as I am employed for but my employer refuses to accept this!
  2. Hi! It was a Visa Debit for the first £44.60 and a PayPal payment for the £56.20 that I no inkling of until P.P. sent me an email to say they were about to debit it! Halifax say "they can't do a chargeback on payments taken by a payment processor" There is no email warning from Bauer Media when the subscription payment due, it is simply debited outright with no chance to cancel it! (I have a subscription for a couple of other things and these other organisations do at least have the courtesy to email a reminder with a link to cancel it!) The chap Matt Allwright on "Watchdog" says you shouldn't auto– renew these things as a matter of course, but in the case of Bauer/G.M., you are given no choice!
  3. Hi! Can anyone advisee how to get back a payment of £56.20, plus the opening transaction of £44.60 from Bauer Media Group/Great Magazines for a subscription to "Rail" magazine digital I never received please? Halifax say they can't help because the transaction was taken by a Payment Processor and PayPal themselves refused to reverse it because they said "I didn't follow the suppliers Ts & C's", as described later it is totally impossible to! The subscription was taken out in November 2020 from an "offer price" of £44.60, and nowhere does it say on either Great Magazines Website or Bauer Media that you are automatically signed up to an enforced "auto–renew", and what's worse, their Customer Services say (when you can actually get them) that "you are not allowed to cancel until a full years subscription has been paid!" I admit I have not tried phoning myself, but I have read enough of the 223 appallingly bad Trust Pilot Reviews for this company and 208 equally bad T.P. reviews for "Great Magazines"t to realize it is a sheer waste of money trying! I have been totally unable to get access to the "account" supposedly created to download purchased magazines from and the "password reset" button is a dead link that does nothing! (Many Trust Pilot Reviews say they automatically "block" your account as soon as payment has been taken so you can't log onto it yourself!) Is there any case for taking Bauer Media or PayPal to small claims on the grounds of the "Unfair Consumer Contracts Terms Regulations?" Altogether, I have lost £100 to this selfish German–owned organisation without seeing a single magazine for my pains!
  4. InHi! (Sorry for the long explanation!) The fit notes are simply marked "poor vision" and "not fit for work" – it was after they sent me home I had to ring up the surgery and explain that I had been sent home from work and they were also refusing to allow me to attend the premises in any capacity whatsoever – they insist there is no other work in any capacity I can do, so I had to request the doctor to sign me off for an unknown and lengthy period, to which the surgery replied "we can only sign you off for one month at a time". I have asked for fit notes regularly, and have been sending them continuously since they sent me home, and I am collecting a new one from the surgery today! I have applied for e.s.a. as I was told I was entitled to be regarded as "partially sighted", but I have not applied for U.C. or P.I.P. yet. I was not told at the time I was sent home how long Company Sick Pay was paid for, my friend says "three months", another colleague said "six months" and a third says "twelve months", and it doesn't say clearly in my C of E! I received a normal salary payment on 15th June covering 15th May to 14th June, (which I expected to be paid in full as I was working for ten days of that period plus any holiday pay) followed by four further normal salary payments for 15th July, 15th August, 15th September and 15th October, so if my colleague's statement of "six months" is correct, I should get a final full Salary payment on 15th November and then S.S.P. after that, altho' a phone call from my manager last Friday suggested I may not be getting any more loot from them! Should I apply for U.C. immediately or wait for a decision on my E.S.A., or wait until what would otherwise be the next payday, 15th November, and see what I receive?
  5. Unfortunately not – whilst I am free to join Unite, the employer does not recognise them and Unite themselves are extremely reluctant to get involved in disputes with this particular employer – my friend Steve who I live with is a member of Unite and he's had run–ins himself with management/H.R. himself and found Unite extremely unwilling to get involved!
  6. Hi! One point I forgot to mention in my first post, I was sent home after the first anniversary of the "First Written Warning" over the "soldering iron accident" that occured April 2020, and at the time I was sent home on enforced sick leave, the "two–shift coronavirus" shift system had ended and we were all back to being employed normal daytime working hours with everyone in attendance! I did ask my manager/H.R. during the meeting of 26th May 2021 at which I was sent home, was this being considered a disciplinary matter again and I was assured, both verbally and subsequently in writing, that it was NOT, they called it "safeguarding!" I have sent regular fit notes to my manager by way of my colleague Steve, who as mentioned, works at the same employer doing identical work to me, and will be collecting another note from the surgery tomorrow! (As regards the c.v., I have had both vaccinations and during a recent admission to Walsall Manor Hospital about two months ago for mild pancreatitis, was tested again for c.v., which I assume came back negative as nobody came running about after me!)
  7. Hi! I work in Aldridge repairing industrial electronics PCB's. In November 2019 I found I was starting to have difficulty with the vision in my right eye, that started off as distortion of vertical lines, and over the next three months this gradually got worse, until, February 2020, the vision in my right eye had got hazy to the point where I felt it was no longer safe to drive my car and I gave the car key to my friend Steve whom I live with and who works for the same employer as I do, doing an identical job to me. I went to see my optician in March 2020 who examined my eye, she said she couldn't examine it properly and referred me to the Opthalmology Department of Walsall Manor Hospital. By then the c.v. nonsense had set in and it was September 2020 before I got an appointment to be seen and after a detailed slit–lamp examination, it was decided to attempt to treat my right eye with YAG Laser Capsulotomy on the December 15th 2020. This procedure was unsuccessful and I was advised at a further Appointment on 7th May 2021 that Walsall Manor were unable to treat my eye and were referring me to New Cross Hospital for a more major consultation, which I am still waiting for. On 26th May 2021 I was called to a meeting upstairs at work with my immediate manager and HR via video, and told I was being sent home on enforced sick leave until after my eye was operated on with the more major operation. I have been off work since 27th May 2021 and my manager and H.R. are refusing to allow me to return to work and I have exhausted my company sick pay. At the meeting upstairs at work I stated that I felt I had adequate vision in my left eye to be able to do my usual duties and there was no need for me to be off work, but this was brushed aside! How do I stand when, as in a case like this, where the manager/employer forces me to take a long and continuing sickness absence with no idea of how long it will go on for? I do not know when New Cross Hospital will write to me regarding a consultation for the more major surgery my right eye will need!
  8. Hi! I'm just very relieved not to lose my job from this incident – trying to get another Electronics job that pays my current salary that's not hundreds of miles away is a next to impossible task at my age!
  9. Hi! Just an update on this! A different manager to the one that called my disciplinary warning heard my case on Tuesday and today and after considering the matter with H.R., it was agreed that the incident was an accident, but that I was at fault for putting my soldering iron stand in a dubious position where it could cause damage if it fell out of it's stand! The sanction I received was a written warning which they assured as counted as "first", and would be disregarded in 12 months subject to no further disciplinary offences, and that they want me to stay on suspension, (still paid) until Occupational Health had examined the iron, it's stand and my bench in general, and seen me in person, to make sure it's safe for me to return to duty! In the meantime I will continue to receive my normal salary (due tonight!) under the split shift system originally arranged by the UK branch manager!
  10. PS! As well as making sure the cabinet power lamps are out before I leave, I also make sure any Customer's PCBs, etc., being worked on are safely positioned in the centre of the bench as far as possible and that no soldering irons, etc., are left too close to them, in the engineer who sits on the adjacent bench behind me knocks anything on my bench by accident! As I said in my first post I was astonished and mortified when I was shown the accident at 6 am Wednesday by the shift manager – there is another colleague on the group of four benches next to me but he is on the other shift!
  11. Hi! Yes, there are large power indicator lamps fitted to the top of the control cabinet and I always glance up to make sure both of them are out before I leave the employer's premises every day. Since the employer introduced the Covid precautions, I have been taking my tools home every day, so I can't be accused of "spreading unknown germs or contamination" (most of my colleagues leave than on or near their benches), and I do look to make sure my soldering iron is safely in it's stand. It's only quite recently I started taking my toolbox back into work and obviously, lifting it's lid to place tools, etc., in it would obscure anything behind it – I have wondered if I might have accidentally knocked the hot iron towards the back of the bench causing it to melt it's way into the soft plastic of the 110V socket lid – I honestly couldn't be sure that might have happened altho' I did mention it at yesterday's investigation meeting! HR, who were present via Skype video link at the meeting, asked me for my consent to giving my personal email as postal services may be unreliable, to which I consented, as obviously I cannot access the company's one at the moment), have not yet responded, not even to confirm the suspension in writing yet!
  12. Hi! This manager IS supposed (or at least claims to be!) H & S competent, yet he also accused me of leaving a deliberate shock hazard – I disputed this because the supply is totally isolated from earth, surely he ought to know this? This same manager regularly reads myself and other colleagues the riot act about "performance and warranties" (returned repairs that fail to perform to customers expectations) – he has NO experience in the field of work we do, and the nature of the work is industrials which cannot be bench–tested for functional operation, all we can do is test the components using methods each engineer has had to learn entirely by himself outside my employer's premises! The only training provided is a chapter on basic electrical safety from a public–domain book on Electronic Theory. There is no way I or any other employee there would deliberately a piece of the company's infrastructure or Electronic Test Equipment provided for us to perform our duties efficiently and safely, other than by an unforseen accident!
  13. Hi! The only proof they showed me were pictures of the damage that occurred to the socket, nothing else. They did acknowledge that the power to the benches was found to be turned off at the time they became aware of the incident. My manager called me upstairs, showed me photos of the damage, and simply said "I want to know your account of how this occurred". I have had no disciplinary warnings on my record to my belief, certainly none in the past two years.
  14. PS! No safety training on the use of soldering irons and where to use/place them is given whatsoever – apart from the usual instructions supplied with new ones, and ours are refurbished secondhand ones! I have been grumbled at about "too many screwdrivers on the bench", but you need at least four for all the screws in Electronics equipment, as I said there are no rules, guidance or training given, you're in an uncontrolled working environment as you quite correctly state! The only official training given is electrical shock precautions, and in 40 years experience of this field, the number of minor shocks I have had is less than the fingers of one hand!
  15. Hi! My employer isn't unionised and none of the engineers are in one out of a fear culture I suspect! I have already moved the stand and got out less personal tools (no hand tools are supplied, engineers are expected to provide their own with no guidance as to how many and what form). The only reference I made to the employer's C.V. precautions was to state that we were under strong managerial pressure not to be in the building at shift end times, and I am liable to get engrossed in my work as a result of a desire to do a good job of it, and therefore didn't realise the passage of time – the clock is a long distance away and I can't read it from a distance at the moment, as I'm on the waiting list for eye surgery to try and help this. (Before my employer introduced this two–shift CV pattern, my hours were 8.30 to 5 and there was at least one other employee who always did evening overtime after 5 until 5.45 or 6, so there was always time at 5 to make sure soldering tools were left in a safe place and power supplies turned off at the end of each day)
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