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Everything posted by prushton

  1. As far as disciplinary procedures go, they should at least follow the ACAS code of practice on disciplinary matters. It occurs to me being a shop steward, that their proceedures fall well below ACAS guidelines. They should have informed your wife in writing that an allegation had been made and that she would be required to attend an investigatory interview. In this letter it should have detailed the allegations made against your wife so she would know what she was being accused of. The date for the investigatory hearing should have been set inline with their disciplinary and grievance proceedures ( usually within 7 days of the date of the letter). If your wife was unable to have arranged representation for the date in question, she should have written back to the company, stating that this was the case and as such she would be unable to attend the meeting on the date in question. She should have also suggested an alternative date that she could have attended with representation. It is in your wifes best interest that she gets union representation for any and all future proceedings, as the potential consequences are obvious. Just one thing, I take it that your wifes employers carried out a risk assessment of her specific job when she informed them that she was pregnant as they are required to by law? HERE IS THE LINK TO THE HSE WEB SITE AND THE GUIDE FOR NEW AND EXPECTANT MOTHERS WHO WORK. It details what her employer should do by law:- http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg373.pdf All disciplinary proceedings should be notified in writting and not verbally or by phone. They must detail the allegations made and invite your wife to attend a disciplinary hearing at a mutually agreeable date. She must be given time to seek representation and be furnished with all the evidence that her employer intends to use in the disciplinary hearing, including witness statements in advance of such a hearing, and in good time for her to formulate her defence. They cannot introduce evidence / witness statements at the hearing that they have not given your wife in advance as this clearly places your wife at a disadvantage. They cannot restrict access to individuals who may support your wifes defence as it appears they are trying to do. Above all, make sure your wife has a union representative at all future proceedings and insist that all such proceedings are correctly minuted and that she is given a copy of these minutes once all parties have agreed to their content and all parties have sighned them. This could help if your wife needed to take her employers to an employent tribunal at a later date. For information in order to take her employers to an employment tribunal sholud she need to, she must have been employed for 12 months or more and must have registered her employment tribunal claim within 3 months of the actions complained about.
  2. clearly this manager set out to embarrass you by telling the whole call centre, this could be construed as bullying and harrassment, if he continues to do this then put in a formal grievance, stating that you consider this to be bullying and harrassment and that his actions are demeaning. State clearly that you want him to stop this and that you consider his actions to be inappropriate to say the least.
  3. Clearly you have been singled out, perhaps to deter others in the future, The facts remain though, to use this policy against you they must show you knew such a policy existed, by producing documentation with your signature on to show you had read and understood the policy. If they cannot produce this, then it strengthens your defence that you didnt know about it . If you are not sure if you signed such a policy, ask to see your personnel file, they cannot refuse to do this. If you did sign such a policy a copy should be in your file. If there isnt one you just deny knowing such a policy exists and point out to them that its one thing to have policies, but if you do not draw the employees attention to them, how can you be in breach of the said policies ? Also you should ask why you are being singled out, when others have used the internet at work. Tell them that you consider this to be victimisation and that should they persist in trying to discipline you and you only , then you will get the union involved.
  4. its one thing for the company to have an internet usage policy, but if that policy is not widely known about or if it was never brought to your attention ( usually companies get their employees to sign to say that they have read and understood a policy) so they can produce this in situations such as the one you find yourself in now. How can you be guilty of breaching that policy?. For them to be able to use this internet policy against you they would have to show that you knew about it.
  5. Check your contract for terms and conditions, specifically disciplinary and grievance proceedures. Submit a formal grievance about the treatment you are getting from this person stating that you consider it to be bullying and harassment and that under the rules of vicarious liability the hospital is legally responsible for this persons actions, in short vicarious liability is :- Vicarious liability means that employers such as hospitals are responsible for the acts of their employees if the acts are carried out while in the employ of the employer ( ie the Hospital).An employer is responsible for the acts of an employee as long as the employee's acts are within the person's job description. The rationales for vicarious liability are that the employees actions are part of the hospital's business thus, in effect, are the hospitals's actions; any action by the employee is done at the employer's instructions; and the employer is in a better financial position to pay legal damages. An employer or organisation cannot avoid vicarious liability simply because they were not aware of the actions of their employee. This person is committing these acts while employed by the Hospital and as such the hospital could be held legally responsible for those acts in any civil claim for damages. They will take this seriously, failing to follow the statutory grievance proceedures as per the ACAS code of conduct could , if you end up going to an employment tribunal mean that they will have any claims for damages substantially increased. Clearly you are being bullied and harassed by this person. What gives her the right to change your shifts at will and cancel them, when you have been assessed as fit to work. As for the change in length of shifts you do have the right to request flexible working. They cannot unilaterally just change your length of shifts. These are, if stated in your contract of employment core terms of that contract and cannot be changed without your agreement. check your contract of employment and see if it states your hours of work, if it does they cannot change the length of shift beyond these hours without your express consent or without negotiation with the union) If after you have had a face to face meeting with management about this and they have given you a response ( which must be in writing) and you are not happy,then you must appeal the decision in writing, If you do not , then again if you end up in an employment tribunal you could end up with a reduced compensation payment for not appealing that decision.
  6. If they are wrong and they have not paid you what you are owed, then this is technically an unlawful deduction from your wages.
  7. I am well aware, being a shop steward that we have protection from harassment under the act, I was only suggesting other ways to stop the harassment as my previous post shows.
  8. Take a look at this, its advice from a professional HR company to companies about Bullying and harassment of employees by employees. It warns that a new case Majrowski v Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust which went to the house of lords and is now going to a full trial. The house of lords has ruled that the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 (PHA), which was introduced primarily to combat stalkers, could be applied to harassment in the workplace. The key elements were : Harassment and bullying: a new route for employees: Majrowski v Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust Employers' Law13 September 2006 00:00This article first appeared in Employers' Law magazine. Subscribe online and save 20%. This case hinged on whether the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 (PHA), which was introduced primarily to combat stalkers, could be applied to harassment in the workplace. The House of Lords has unanimously held that it could and that, more importantly, an employer can be vicariously liable under the PHA for harassment committed by an employee in the course of their employment. Unfair treatment Majrowski was unhappy with the way his manager treated him. He claimed that she bullied and intimidated him, was rude and abusive to him in front of other employees, was excessively critical and isolated him by refusing to talk to him. He felt that the treatment was because he was gay. The trust investigated and upheld his complaint of harassment. This all happened in 1998, some years before the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 came into force. He did not bring any proceedings against the trust at the time. In 1999, Majrowski was dismissed from the trust (for unconnected reasons). Nearly four years later, in 2003, he brought a County Court claim against the trust (not against his manager) for distress and anxiety caused by the harassment. His case was that his manager was at all times acting in the course of her employment and, therefore, the trust was vicariously liable for the manager’s breach of the PHA. The PHA prohibits a course of conduct (on at least two occasions) that amounts to harassment or which a person knows, or ought to know, amounts to harassment. Harassment is not defined, but includes “alarming [a] person or causing [a] person distress”. An employer can be vicariously liable for the acts of its staff where these occur “in the course of employment”. The courts have interpreted that phrase widely. Vicarious liability The question for the House of Lords in this case was whether an employer could be vicariously liable under the PHA. It confirmed that such a claim could be brought under the PHA. Majrowski’s claim is now going to a full trial to establish whether he was in fact harassed by his manager, as alleged, in the course of her employment. Key points Harassment on any grounds is covered by the PHA – and does not need to be on a ground protected by the discrimination laws. There is no statutory defence available to employers under the PHA as there is for most discrimination claims. Claimants only have to show 'anxiety' or 'distress', which is a lower hurdle than making out a personal injury claim. Claimants have six years to bring a claim. What you should do Deal with any allegations of harassment quickly and fairly. Ensure all staff understand the need to seek HR support when dealing with difficult members of staff, or when personality clashes start to develop. Ensure anti-harassment/bullying policies prohibit harassment/bullying on any grounds (and not just on grounds protected under the discrimination legislation). Ensure there is a good level of awareness among managers as to the broad definition of what can constitute harassment in the workplace, and that all staff are aware that any form of harassment (on whatever grounds) is unacceptable. Be clear about the penalties for anyone who engages in harassment. so you see you could bring a claim against your employers using this act, the beauty of it is the burden of proof is lower, you only have to prove you suffered 'anxiety' or 'distress' as a result of your employers / managers actions , the other key part is the vicarious liability ie your manager was acting in his capacity as an employee while employed by your employer and therefore the employer can be held responsible for this managers actions.
  9. If your sons girlfriends company have overpaid her then if this is in fact the case then she must repay the overpayment, but she deos not have to pay the full amount all at once, she may opt to repay the amount over an extended period of time and if she was still employed by the company then they could not take the overpayment from her wages without her consent .
  10. You also have the right ( under certain circumstances) to request flexible working under flexible working and the duty to consider. below are the key points of this. The link is below . Flexible working: the right to request and the duty to consider - BERR Employees’ rights • To apply to work flexibly. • To have their application considered properly in accordance with the set procedure and refused only where there is a clear business ground for doing so. • To have a companion when meeting the employer to discuss the application. • Where an application is refused, to have a written explanation. • To appeal against an employer’s decision to refuse an application. • To take a complaint to a tribunal in certain circumstances. • To be protected from detriment or dismissal for making an application under the right. Employees’ responsibilities • To provide a carefully thought-out application. • To ensure their application is valid by checking that all the eligibility criteria are met and that they have provided all the necessary information. • To ensure the application is made well in advance of when they want it to take effect. • To arrive at meetings on time and to be prepared to discuss their application in an open and constructive manner. • If necessary, be prepared to be flexible themselves in order to reach an agreement with the employer. Employers’ rights • To reject an application when the desired working pattern cannot be accommodated within the needs of the business. • To seek the employee’s agreement to extend timescales where it is appropriate. • To consider an application withdrawn in certain circumstances. Employers’ responsibilities • To consider requests properly in accordance with the set procedure. • To ensure they adhere to the time limits contained within the procedure. • To provide the employee with appropriate support and information during the course of the application. • To decline a request only where there is a recognised business ground and to explain to the employee in writing why it applies. • To ensure that any variation of the procedure is agreed in advance with the employee and recorded in writing. • To ensure that they do not subject an employee to detriment or dismissal for making an application under the right.
  11. How the hell do these people get away wth this kind of thing ? They have no right to demand the return of your other half to work while still off sick with a doctors note. Not only that, as a result ot his employers not making " reasonable adjustments" to his hours of work, he sustained further injuries. Get your other half to contact his union rep and take these people on, get your other halfs rep to get in touch with the union solicitors ( As a union member he would be entitled to a free half hour interview with the unions solicitors) and let them deal with this.
  12. You should not have to wait for this information , if they were going to conduct a diciplinary hearing then they would have already compiled the evidence they required to substantiate their claims already . They should provide you with this information imediately, there is no reason, despite an ongoing grievance to withhold this information, perhaps it would help them to send this information to you quicker if you pointed out to them that they are in breach of the statutory minimium disciplinary code of practice according to ACAS and that should your case go to an industrial tribunal any failure to adhere to this statutory minimium requirement would in the case of wrongful dismissal be ruled automatically unfair and that any financial reward is likely to be increases by upto 50 %. Take a look at ACAS web site for further information regarding not following statutory minimium proceedures and tribunals.
  13. if its not too personal what did you do that they said was gross misconduct? for something to be classed as gross misconduct it must have been intentional, IE things like theft , mis- appropriation of company funds, false expenses claims are all examples of gross misconduct.
  14. Great, looks like your reps on the ball, obtain a copy of your companys bullying and harassment policy if it has one and make sure that you follow the process exactly, you should submit a seperate grievance regarding victimization by this manager. Your rep will help you submit a grievance letter, it should clearly state that this is a grievance regarding victimization of yourself by this manager. The beauty of this is that it has to be dealt with , you may request a meeting with your line manager to resolve this issue, if your line manager fails to deal with it to your satisfaction then you take it to the next level of management, believe me when the manager who is bullying you has to account for his actions to his boss , it will stop and will send a clear message to him that his behaviour is unacceptable.
  15. clearly, they were aware of the situation prior to the commencement of your employment. They are fishing for dirt, and if this is all they have found then they do not have much of a case. I f you took this to a tribunal, they would see that they are picking on you, make sure that you take union representation with you to all disciplinary proceedings and make sure that minutes are taken and ask for a copy of those minutes ( you are entitled to a copy and they cannot refuse, but make sure you read them and agree to their content, both parties should then sign to say they agree the minutes) This will be useful in the future. Also ask for a copy of your personnel file, you have a right to have one, this may help in providing evidence to support your case. good luck !
  16. If you have not had any confirmation of postponement of the proceedings, then I would attend at the date and time ( with union representation) and imediately inform them there and then that you will not continue with the proceedings and that a new date should be set for the near future. The reason for this is that they failed to follow the basic statutory disciplinary proceedures as set out by ACAS and until such times as you receive the information you require in advance of any future proceedings you will not participate in any disciplinary proceedings. You said that your colleague had key holder responsibilities, yet they are not being disciplined, clearly this is victimization as a result of you submittting a grievance against your manager, when you do attend ( with union representation ) you should get the union rep to point out that this is the case and that should there be a need to take things to an industrial tribunal then the tribunal would possible come to the same conclusion. The tribunal would note that you did not have key holder responsibilty, your colleague had and yet they were not the subject of disciplinary proceedings. Clearly you have been treated in a less favourable way than your colleague. If you have good representation at the meeting then you should wipe the floor with them , they have not got a leg to stand on. P.s make sure that the meeting is correctly minuted and ask for a copy of these minutes ( it will all help should there be a need to go to an employment tribunal)
  17. just a quick thought, did your company have a policy regarding the use of email at work? and if so were you aware of it ? were you told of the likely consequenses of abusing this policy? were you informed that emails and the use of emails would be monitered? If not you may be able to appeal your dismissal, also why didnt they sack the other person involved?
  18. Its your responseability to read your contract of employment, and to notify your employer of any errors in its contents before signing it.
  19. why are you being disciplined? is it for your sick record ?
  20. Hi , I am a shop steward, I have just been reading your thread regarding the situation that you find yourself in. Firstly, you have the right prior to the commencement of a disciplinary hearing to be furnished with the details of the case against you, including access to documentation in support of the managements case.This is done so that you are able to formulate your defence in advance of the disciplinary hearing. If you have not been given this information, or they try to introduce evidence during the hearing that you have not seen in advance , you should call a halt to the hearing. when you go into the hearing, if you have not been given this information then you should notify them that you will not continue with the proceedings until such times as you have been given this information and adjourn the meeting until a future date. They cannot do anything about this and have to agree to a postponement until they have given you this information. Regarding the securing of documents, was this usually part of your job description? clearly the building was unfit for occupation, there were as you admit various health and safety breaches. You took demonstrable steps ( BY PHONE ) to contact your boss to inform him of the situation, yet your calls were not returned, you left messages on the answer phone ( although I suspect that these will have been erased by now) There were no keys to secure the building with, and attempts to establish their whereabouts proved unfruitful. All in all, this hardly paints a picture of recklessness on your part. The offices were clearly not fit for occupation and you took reasonable steps to inform your boss of the situation. When you look at in these terms, you clearly do not have a case to answer.
  21. Hi, I am a shop steward and I have just read your thread regarding misconduct / gross misconduct. Its clear that your company are victimising you , they seem to be on a fishing trip and are trying to get as much as they can to use against you in future disciplinary proceedings. Firstly, check your contract of employment , especially the company,s disciplinary proceedures. These will set out the process to be followed in the event of disciplinary action. They will set out the time frame for initial investigations and will say how long before the company should get back to you regarding the outcome of the initial investigations. I dont know what yours will say, but 20 days to get back to you and inform you of the outcome of the investigations is a hell of a long time, usually its within 7 days. Check you disciplinary proceedures and if they have not followed them, then submit a grievance straight away. This will help you should you end up in an industrial tribunal, any dismissal where the company has not followed the basic statutory disciplinary proceedures as laid out by ACAS will be ruled unfair and will result in the company paying you compensation at a level determined by the tribunal. Your companys disciplinary procedures should set out the various levels of disciplinary sanctions ie verbal,1st written, final written etc and the circumstances that would warrant such sanctions including a few examples of what instances are regarded as misconduct / gross misconduct. They will usually say something along the lines of " This list is not exhaustive " Typical instances usually regarded as gross misconduct are theft, mis-appropriation of company funds , making false expenses claimns etc all could lead to instant dismissal without notice. The most important thing for you to know is : for something to be classed as gross misconduct it must be as a result of an intentional act ie you chose to make a false expenses claim , you took money from the works petty cash box etc. The circumstances that you describe regarding your course are hardly an attempt to deceive or to misrepresent the facts. Surely the company were aware that you were not atending the course as a result of the bereavement, and you of course told the course tutor that you could not attend the course as a result of this bereavement. One question springs to mind, did your employers at the time you were taken on know you hadnt completed the course? and did you complete the course prior to the commencement of your employment with them. I f they did know or you notified them of the circumstances , then you have no case to answer. I would contact your nearest union offices and speak to a full time officer ( make an appointment to see one)and get him to take up your case. He can attend disciplinary meetings with you when dealing with the company and will be able to help enormously. In the meantime, take a look at the ACAS web site WWW.ACAS.ORG.UK AND LOOK FOR LINKS TO ACAS DISCIPLINARY AND GRIEVANCE PROCEEDURES. They will tell you what the statutory minimium disciplinary & grievance proceedures your company should be following. I hope you will find this helpful. P.S keep notes of everything that has happened, will the people who have been asked to spy on you by your employers give a statement? all these things will help( if they do dismiss you) in an industrial tribunal. Lastly dont worry but get a full time union officer to help you a.s.a.p
  22. The fact that your employer has asked you to return for the verdict at a future date is nothing to worry about, they could have reconvened at the end of the day and delivered thier verdict there and then. But they cannot leave things too long before they have to inform you of the outcome. This can be at a further meeting ( dont forget to take your shop steward with you to this decision meeting.) or it can be in writing As a shop steward myself, I would see this as a sign that they are unsure as to how they are going to proceed. The biggest problem they have is that they do not have a specific policy in place to deal with unauthorised computer/file access and so how can you be guilty of gross misconduct for accessing this file accidently. After all it was you who alerted them to the access, hardly the actions of someone with something to hide. I would be suprised if this was going anywhere, if they did give you a disciplinary sanction as a result of this then I would imediately submit an appeal and if they did dismiss you then I would seek advise through the unions solicitors ( You are entitled to a free half hour interview with the unions solicitors as a union member ) and depending what the solicitors said would bring a case against your employer for wrongful dismissal. This must be done within three months from dismissal and there are criteria you must meet before you could bring a claim to an employment tribunal. If you are not dismissed and do not agree with any censure that your employer gave you, then exhaust the companies disciplinary process as far as appeals etc go, you do have the right to appeal any decision made.
  23. I am well aware that its an ex employer but the same principles apply when he is trying to recover over payment.
  24. I agree that if you knew the amount was too much , when compared against the usual sum paid for x number of hours at £ per hour then you would not be able to prove that you didnt know, but if you were not receiving a weekly pay slip with an itemised breakdown of the wage , detailing tax / national insurance etc then you could not have reasonably have known that what you were receiving constituted over payment, as wage slips are usually a good source of reference.
  25. Your employer cannot recover this money from your wages without your written consent. If he does it would constitute an illegal deduction from wages and you could bring a claim to an employment tribunal (within a 3 month period). Before you brought a claim against him for illegal deductions from wages you must exhaust your company grievance proceedures as laid down in your terms and conditions of employment that should have been given to you when you started working there. Generally you should submit a grievance letter to him , stating that you are not happy about the situation etc ( see ACAS code of practice for grievance proceedures at Acas - Home) Your employer could not take all of this money at once , even if you knew there was an overpayment. You are entitled to agree a repayment plan, that you agree with and at a rate that you could reasonably afford.
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