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  1. I have been recruiting staff for 15 years. In my experience a reference is not worth the paper it is written on. Please, I urge you not to get so hung up and stressed about a reference. IT WILL NOT STOP YOU GETTING FUTURE EMPLOYMENT. When you are asked to give two references give one personal reference who you know will say that you are great, loyal and confirm that you are a good person. The second one you give as Tesco Head Office, LEGALLY they CAN NOT GIVE YOU A BAD REFERENCE ONLY REFUSE TO GIVE YOU A REFERENCE. If I was recruiting you I would not worry about a refusal I would reflect upon our interview and if I still believed that you where the right person for the job I would hire you anyway, put you on a 6 month probationary period and see how you go. If you didnt let me down in those 6 months I would make you permanant. Stop focusing on how bad you have been treated, and I do agree you have been treated badly, but this sort of stuff can really screw you up and Tesco's just aint worth it. Accept was has happened, get your life back, get out there back into the workplace, employers are always looking for decent hard working staff. Do not ignore what PI GUY is telling you. He really is not being nasty as people have suggested. He has been the only person to tell you honestly the worst case senario. I am sure like the rest of us the last thing he wanted to hear was how badly you have been treated, but he did try to give you the benefit of his experience, as we all have. The worst thing you can do right now is tell a lie, or miss out stuff, no matter how desperate you are. Because unless you have the memory to be able to continue whatever story you give, you will trip yourself up somewhere, and if that happens to the one person giving you the break you deserve you will ruin things for yourself. So be strong, be honest, hold your head high, apply for every job you can, tell them that you worked for Tesco for 15 years - this showes that you offer stability. They will not apply for a reference untill they have asked you if its ok. If they ask this of you then they are seriously thinking of hiring you. DO NOT GIVE THE GAME AWAY YET. WAIT - see what happens next (this is the hard bit) then only one of two things can happen, you will be starting with your new employer soon, or they will come back and say Tesco has refussed to give you a reference can you tell me why you think this might be. This is the ONLY time you can afford a little white lie - just sound shocked and say that you dont know why. Then as I said a new employer has the safety net of a probationery period, so they will use it, no problem there they would do anyway. Hope all this make sence, Good luck for the future and forget Tesco, shop locally and tell all your friends to do the same, there are more than one ways to skin a snake
  2. Try speaking to a specialist in Equality and Diversity. I had some training on this about a year ago and the situation that you have described would no longer be allowed, but that might have just been my interpritation of it. Certainly if your wife was in a pub and this crowd of colleagues tuned up and one of them said something offensive to your wife she now has the legal right to raise a grievance against this person even though the offence was caused outside of the workplace and outside of working hours. If you can not get anywhere informally with this person, then I suggest that the people who are left out get together an make a group grievance, they will feel stronger if they work together on this one, otherwise your wife could be made to feel very awkward. But again if this person who has the parties then picked on your wife after she made a complaint, she would have another grievance against him. The best thing she can do is keep a diary of every occasion this person makes her feel uncomfortable. Hope this helps.
  3. Firstly MANY THANKS to those who have looked at my post and have offered me advise and help. Al - I will try to answer your questions as best I can. Subject of grievences - The first one that was over a month old when I first saw it. The crux of this grievance is that this person finds my people management skills severe. And, that in a six monthly review I held with her I praised her performance but mentioned that she has a habit of going off and doing her own thing, which is great that she showes iniative, but at times it has had a negative effect on others, including myself, and that if she could 'keep me in the loop' then I can be better prepared to support her. She has taken offence to this, and in her statement neglets to add the reason behind my request to be 'kept in the loop'. My line manager also had issue with this persons lack of comunication, I mentioned this in the review. She says in her grievance that she has since spoken to my manager and he says he has never had an issue with her. (He will be at my investigatory interview. The second grievance is from the best mate of the first one. She has resigned and has said that her six monthly review is one of the reasons she is resigning. Prior to her review I had recieved two verbal complaints about this persons conduct, the fact that she does not pull her weight, and doesnt answer the phone. I simply told her in her review that I wasnt as pleased with her progress as I had hoped to be. I then issued to her a list of daily duties she must complete as a minimum and that her probationery period would be extended for three months in order for her to make the necessary improvements. The main feature of her complaint is the 'answering the phone' procedure that I issued to her, her point is that no-one else in the office was issued it. In my defence that is because everyone else in the office adheres to this procedure, so no need to nag them into answering the phone! I have never had a grievance raised against me before. I can at times be a little blunt, I never intend to be rude, but its funny how asking someone to do their job can be interpreted as being rude. That is why I believe that the worst punishment that I should receive is a verbal warning. However the way things are going I am not banking on that!! What is shocking me? - It is the fact that my HR department saw fit to hold onto these grievances until after they had made me redundant. In the only meeting that they have held with me which was not a consultation, it was to tell me that my post was deleted, they had both of these grievances on file. I just cant get my head around the fact that they could keep a grievance on file for so long. I thought the whole point was to act upon a grievance in a swift manor so that all parties are still fresh in their minds as to what actually happened. The company handbook says that at 'stage one' the grievance should be dealt with in 5 working days. Have HR failed to follow their own procedure? The first I knew about these grievances was 10 minutes before the closing time of a job I wanted to apply for, and they knew I was in the process of applying. Maybe I am being paranoid but I find the whole thing deeply suspicious. Other post - there had been a vacany for a post lower than mine since Septemeber 2007. In October I verbally consulted with my line manager about taking a less stressful position because I was having problems in my personal life, a less responsible job with no people management I felt would have been far better for my welfare at this time. I continued to ask him to let me downgrade all the way through to April 2008, just before I fell ill with Shingles and Depression. Every time I spoke to my line manager he always told me what a great job I was doing, how no one else could ever cope with all that I had done, the department couldnt cope without me.............. all the usual nonsence. Then on 22nd May I am 'at risk' of redundancy, starting a four week consultation period, only to be served my notice of dismissal on grounds of redundancy on the 23rd May. Re other redundancies - yes there have been one or two so far this year. The company employ over 200 people, but having been loosing vital sales and contracts in recent months. The company had the chance to avoid making me redundant, I had already offered to go down a level (yes I did want to negotiate salary but who wouldnt) instead all of the above has happened which is why I feel that I have been treated unfairly and think that I may have a case for either unfair dismissal on grounds of descrimination against my mental health, or constructive dismissal. Incidently I have to go to the grievance meeting tomorrow, but if the company have not followed their own procedure are the grievences still valid? Once again MANY THANKS to anyone who takes the time to read this rather long winded mail, and a VERY BIG THANKYOU to anyone who takes the time to reply, your support is invaluable. Appologies for spelling & grammar!!
  4. Hello, I wonder if anyone can help. I am currently on long term sick with stress, depression and Shingles. I recieved a telephone call last Wednesday from my line manager asking that I attend a urgent department meeting at 9am the following morning. As is seamed urgent I thought it was only fair to attend. When I got there my line manager was waiting at the door and ushered me into a meeting with my department Director. Who then read a statement basically saying that due to a need to restructure the department my position was 'deleted' from the structure and as a result I was at risk of redundancy. I was told that there where some jobs available elsewhere in the company if I wanted to apply for them I could do so in the usual way. By Saturday morning I had recieved my formal notice of 'Redundancy Dismissal' I felt at the time that I was selected for redundnacy due to my sickness record but could not prove it. When I tried to apply for the one position that I did want (and have been asking for since October 2007 - demotion and a pay cut - but I wanted less stress) I was hit with an e-mail to advise me that the company was in reciept of two Grievences against me. This makes me feel that this was done to block my application. On top of this when the Grievences arrived in the post today a) the content is laughable - warrants verbal warning at best and b) One of the complaints was lodged on 22.04.08! and this is the first they have told me about this. My questions to you are this; 1. Can the company lure me in under false pretenses, to then advise me that I am At Risk of Redundancy. Should I have not been told the truth as to why they wanted to see me and should I have been offered the opportunity to be represented? 2. Should my empolyer have told me immediatley that there was a grievence against me? Thankyou in advance for any help / suggestions that you may be able to give me (CAB where not alot of help!)
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