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Dienekes

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About Dienekes

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  1. No worries Joey. Reported accident today. Will hear from Health and Safety Officer shortly I guess.
  2. Thanks ericsbrother, I'll see what happens tomorrow.
  3. Hello all, I received some excellent advice from the forum at the start of the year in regard to a disciplinary matter at work for which I was extremely grateful. Hoping for same here. I work the for Civil Service. I am office based but spend around five or six days per month working at venues which are hired on a casual basis as and when required. I am required on these occasions to carry a laptop, portable printer and cabling, as well as files and confidential waste. I always travel by public transport (I am not a driver). In any event my employers strongly encourage the use of public transport when possible even for colleagues who do drive. On Friday I was about to walk home from work to the train station carrying paperwork in a rucksack and my IT equipment in a bag in my right hand. When trying to put my right hand through the rucksack strap (left was already on) I felt a sharp pain on the left side of my ribs, which I think has resulted in a pulled intercostal muscle. The pain receded sufficiently to journey home, but I have had an extremely uncomfortable weekend. I have booked an appointment with my GP on Thursday as I am now experiencing significant discomfort.. I have raised the issue of the weight I am expected to carry with my employer on several previous occasions over the last three years and made several suggestions as to how this loads may be lightened and to be fair my employers recently trialled a system for one month where we did not have to take the paperwork to the casual hire venues and use IT only, but unfortunately it proved impractical as the paperwork really has to be there on the day. On Friday I weighed my luggage on returning home. My rucksack weighed 22lbs (10kgs) and the other bag weighed 11lbs (5kgs). I have carried more than this in the past, as much as 46lbs (21 kgs) on one occasion. I should point out that I am walking just over 1/2 mile from home to train station and just under a mile from train station to work carrying these loads, a total round trip of about three miles per day. My employer does provide regular manual handling training and also a large suitcase with wheels. However, to me manual handling only covers moving an object a short distance within the same workspace, not walking considerable distances with a heavy weight and the trolley/suitcase is completely unsuited to being pulled over a typically uneven British pavement for a mile at a time. I have therefore chosen up till now to use a rucksack and sturdy bag instead. I am physically much stronger than average (6' 1" and just under 15 stone, not at all overweight and work out two or three times per week), and other than occasional discomfort in my shoulders this is the first problem I have had. I have looked at various web resources for guidance on what I should reasonably be expected to carry to and from work but am none the wiser at the moment. I intend to report the incident in the accident book tomorrow and have an informal chat with my line manager but would be grateful for advice on where I stand and how I should approach my employer from more knowledgeable people or anyone who has had a similar incident in the past Thanks in advance.
  4. I had my disciplinary hearing today. I received a written warning in regard to my sloppy record keeping. I would like to thank all of you who took the trouble to respond to my query. Your advice and support is much appreciated.
  5. I hope you're right, ericsbrother. I'll find out in a week or two.
  6. Thanks for your comments Emmzzi, they are much apppreciated. I'm mainly concerned because of other things that have been happening at work recently. Last year a new senior management team was put in place. Since they have arrived the new bosses have been throwing their weight around and morale has plummeted. For example, we had a Voluntary Redunancy Scheme at the end of last year and 70% of staff applied for it, including many who have 20 or 30 years service. They have instituted a major cost cutting exercise of which the expenses audit was a part. I am concerned that they wish to make an example of someone and the hammer may fall on me. I'll find out the outcome of the meeting in a couple of weeks. I will post back then.
  7. I haven't been suspended. Still working a normal pattern. Myself and my colleagues were audited in December for the first time in living memory and the investigation arose as a result of this. I accept that I have been a bit sloppy in my claims but the management in my office have been similarly sloppy. No concerns have been raised in the four years I have been in my current role.
  8. Thanks for your interest, ericsbrother. I travel by rail and bus to work. I am not a driver. I had my fact finding meeting today. I was grilled for three hours on every aspect of my expenses claims. There seemed to be two main areas of concern relating to subsistence claims and the recording of my arrival times at work. I am entitled to claim subsistence on days when not at my main place of employment. We provide receipts up to a maximum of £9.30 for each day and are paid appropriately. I take my own food to work so I asked my line manager if it was acceptable to claim for goods bought during supermarket shops and taken to work in the following days. Our official guidance does not mention whether this is acceptable or not it merely states that the food should be consumed during the course of the working day. I was told by successive line managers that this was acceptable and all my claims were authorised. In January of this year new guidelines were issued and receipts must now be for the particular day. I therefore stopped claiming subsistence immediately. This was before I became aware of any investigation. The second issue was the recording of when I arrived at work. Excess travel time is calculated by the following method. Take the total home to home absence, subtract the hours worked and the normal travelling time to my normal place of work and the remainder is claimed as excess hours, paid at basic hourly rate. I generally arrive at the same time each day but sometimes, owing to train delays and so forth I am later than normal. I have been in the habit of putting the same time in regardless (usually 8.45). There was one period of around six months where due to engineering work on the local rail network I was regularly later than this but I still input the same time. My overall claim was the same, my working day would be increased and my excess hours claimed would decrease, but there was no material gain to me. I accepted at the hearing that my claims were not accurately recorded and 'by the book', but I did not benefit as an incorrect rise in my working time would be compensated by a commensurate drop in my travel time. The overall home to home absence was accurately recorded. I have been claiming in this way for the last four years and all claims have been authorised by various managers. In addition there were a few discrepancies where I had made mistakes. For example mixing up two weeks on the computerised claiming system so that they didn't match. However, over the period of ten working days the correct amounts were claimed. The manager conducting the investigation gave no real indication of what she thought of my evidence. As I said in my original post I have never had any issues during my 17 years with my current employer so have little idea of what will happen by way of sanction. I accept that I am guilty of minor misconduct for not recording my working and travelling times accurately but this did not result in any benefit to me so I am hoping that it will not be considered gross misconduct. I am naturally concerned about the whole thing. I would be grateful for the opinions of more knowledgeable people. Thanks in advance.
  9. Thank you for replying. I guess I'll wait and see what comes of the meeting.
  10. Last Friday I was given a letter at work informing me that I am the subject of a disciplinary investigation. I work for a large Civil Service Department and have seventeen years of unblemished service. I should also point out that I am not a union member. I am based at one particular office but I am required to travel to other locations on a regular basis. The investigation relates to expenses and travel time claimed for these days. As far as I know I have claimed correctly and cannot guess what the problem might be. A manager from another region will be conducting the investigation. I am to attend a meeting within the next couple of weeks where I presume I will be given the details of the allegations against me. I contacted ACAS and they informed me that I should be given copies of the evidence which has given rise to the investigation prior to any fact finding meeting. I have no experience of these matters and am unsure how to approach this. Should I attend the meeting in the dark or should I refuse to attend until I see some more details? I'd be grateful for some advice, Thanks in advance.
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