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andyford2000

advice needed regarding Disciplinary action and suspension

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Hi all,

I am just looking for a bit of advice regarding an event today at work.

 

I was asked via text message to attend our regional office at 9am this morning, there was no explanation as to why I had to be there. I tried calling my manager and replying to his text message, but he wouldnt answer or reply to either.

 

I arrived at our regional office at about 8.45 this morning to be informed that I was there for an investigatory meeting in relationship to breach of health and safety. Basically I admitted that the allegation was right. At the end I was informed that this matter may involve Disciplinary action.

 

I left the meeting and return home.

 

As i work from home, we are sent our work down for the following electronically onto out PDA's. The work can arrived anytime from 4pm up until midnight, but useally by 7pm. I received no work for tomorrow and tried contacting my manager via text message and phone calls, again he didnt reply or answer my calls.

 

I then proceeded to contact another field manager via text message, asking where my work is and if they were running late in allocating jobs. He phoned me back with 10 minutes and informed me that "He was the the bearer of bad news, I was suspended pending an investigation", I hadnt been informed at the end of my meeting that i was to be suspended and no one had called me to inform this was the case until, i questioned why i hadnt any work for tomorrow.

 

What I need to know is,

 

1. Are they allowed to bring me to the office for an investigatory meeting without informing me before hand why i am required to be there.

 

2. Surely, I should of been informed in writing and in the statement taken at the time that I was going to be suspended and the reasons why.

 

any help on the above would be most welcome

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Hello there. I don't know who's around on the forum at the moment. Offhand, I'd say they're not following recommended procedures. I thought you should have been informed and also allowed to have someone with you. I think you should be given a copy of the minutes as well. Did you sign anything?

 

If you are suspended, it should be on full pay while they investigate.

 

Do you have a copy of the company's disciplinary procedures in your possession?

 

While you're waiting, you could have a read of the directgov and ACAS websites, which have a lot of information. ACAS have a helpline you can ring if you want to speak to someone in confidence.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Hi HB,

thanks for the reply, the meeting was only an investigatory one, I thought I only had the right for someone to accompany me at a disciplinary hearing.

 

I was given minutes of the meet, their copy was signed by the 3 of us, but mine wasnt signed.

 

I thought I should of been informed prior to attending the meeting what it was about and the reasons.

 

but i aint a lawyer, just hate the way I am getting treated

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Hi HB,

thanks for the reply, the meeting was only an investigatory one, I thought I only had the right for someone to accompany me at a disciplinary hearing.

 

I was given minutes of the meet, their copy was signed by the 3 of us, but mine wasnt signed.

 

I thought I should of been informed prior to attending the meeting what it was about and the reasons.

 

but i aint a lawyer, just hate the way I am getting treated

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This sounds like a right shambles.

 

An investigatory meeting falls outside of the rules which apply to formal disciplinary hearings, so providing that the trip to the regional office was not an unreasonable inconvenience, they were within their rights to ask you to attend for an unspecified reason, and you do not have an automatic right to be accompanied.

 

On the other hand, the manner of your suspension is completely wrong. You should either have been told, and then formally advised in writing that the employer believed there was sufficient cause to warrant suspension pending a disciplinary hearing, or you should have been advised by the person making that decision as soon as was reasonably possible after the meeting (again, with the information given in writing to confirm this). You should not have had to hear this from a third person unconnected with the case.

 

I am presuming that the written confirmation will arrive by post tomorrow, so let's see what that says.

 

Without giving too many details, what have you done and how severe a breach is it?


Any advice given is done so on the assumption that recipients will also take professional advice where appropriate.

 

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I thought, i should of been informed in the meeting and it being logged in the minutes of the meeting, the meeting ended at 10.25am this morning. I found out this evening around 7pm. they had plenty of time to contact me.

 

basically we work as a 2 man team, an operator and a safety man. I was working on a pitched roof without the full H & S equipment in use. I left my ladders and walked up the roof before throwing a rope around the chimney and attaching myself to said rope. I have to admit it was my first time doing this job as a 2 man tean. I did my training in I think feb / march time this event occured in the second week of may. I also expressed my view to manager that I didnt want to do this kind mf work. But all they seem to be bothered about are figures. The other person with me is on weekend off now, no one has contacted him, so he doesnt know if he is in the same muck as me.

 

Considering this happened a few weeks ago, they have still had me work in a heights team for 2 days in the last week.

 

hope this makes sense

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Hello again Andy. I'm sorry, I got confused between investigatory and disc meetings and thank you to Sidewinder for straightening me out on that.

 

Did you find anything helpful on the directgov or ACAS websites?

 

One other question. Do you think you had adequate training to carry out the work you were doing? Two questions, sorry. How did they find out?

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Hi HB and thanks for the reply,

 

Regarding the training, just checked my details, I did what we call a special heights course on the 21st and 22nd of January this year and didnt actually carry out my first job requiring the skills until May 13th. I stressed at the time that I hasnt happy and didnt want to do this work. But was informed that I had to do this kind of work.

 

They found out after my manager had to visit the customer regarding a damage claim caused by my collegue.

 

Since the incident, I have work various other days working at heights as a 2 man team. What I cannot understand is why have they let me continue working at heights. Up until the investagatory meeting yesterday, surely if there was an issure, wouldnt they have a duty of care to remove me from that type of work, so i would be a risk as such.

 

sounds like I am waffling along, sorry

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Andy, you might also like to have a read of the HSE [Health and Safety Executive] website to see if anything there might back your case. I believe they have a helpline too.

 

Don't worry about waffling, post anything you think might help us help you.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Well the postman has been today and I havent received any formal notice of suspension

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well its now 6.20pm and i have had no contact today from my company regarding the suspension, no letters via mail, no emails, no phone calls and no text messages. can this be right, surely the have to by law provide this in writing before now

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Andy, if you want to check the law, if one exists, may I suggest you look at the ACAS or directgov websites?

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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i have looked, but cannot seem to find anything regarding this, i was wondering if anyone would know for sure

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Hi,

 

They should have informed you, by the end of that investigatory meeting, of your suspension. They should have then sent you a letter stating the reasons for that suspension...


---Aut viam inveniam aut faciam---

 

***All advice given should be taken as guidance... Professional advice should always be taken before any course of action is pursued***

 

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Hi BigRedBus,

 

thanks for the reply, if they were supposed to have informed me by the end of the investigatory meeting, then it should of been minuted also. is that 100% correct

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Absolutely correct!

 

... and you do not have the minutes of that investigatory meeting?

 

Did you request a true copy?


---Aut viam inveniam aut faciam---

 

***All advice given should be taken as guidance... Professional advice should always be taken before any course of action is pursued***

 

- I do not reply directly to any PMs, but you are more than welcome to enclose a link, in a PM, to your post. Thank you -

Make a contribution to this site... Help the CAG keeping on helping you for FREE.

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Hi BigRedBus,

 

yes I have the minutes of the meeting, very short in brief to be honest, the only thing it says on the bottom is basically that this may lead to disciplinary action being taken.

 

I signed there copy of the minutes, but mine where not signed that I brought away

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The ACAS guidelines should be your most relevant source of information as these are taken into condisderation of whether an employer has acted fairly at a Tribunal if the case were to end up being pursued by an employee

 

The current guidelines are HERE

 

The ACAS Code says that:-

 

Employers and employees should raise and deal with issues promptly

and should not unreasonably delay meetings, decisions or confirmation

of those decisions.

 

I would find it hard to believe that

 

a) Once you had admitted a breach of Health & Safety regulations at an investigatory meeting, a decision could not be taken there and then to suspend you and inform you that this was due to it now becoming a formal Disciplinary matter.

b) That having made that decision a letter could not have been drafted either before you left the premises, or sent for next day delivery to your home address.

c) That even if a) and b) were not possible in the circumstances, the person holding the original meeting could not have phoned you in person to tell you of the decision and what you should expect next.

 

As and when you do receive confirmation, the letter should inform you of the reason for suspension and invite you to a formal Disciplinary Hearing. It should also give you the right to be accompanied, and propose a date for the meeting. This date must not be unreasonably far ahead, but must give you time in which to prepare your case and speak to any witnesses where relevant. It should also advise what the outcome of the meeting might be if the case does not go in your favour.

 

I have to say that the allegation does seem serious. Did the training provided, or any other advice stress the consequences of not acting in line with what you were shown?


Any advice given is done so on the assumption that recipients will also take professional advice where appropriate.

 

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postman been and still no letters from the company

 

Sidewinder, i agree totally with what you are saying, the problem we have is figures, our manager is constantly pushing us to complete more work. they have increased out completion figues from 92% in march up to 95% now. we constantly get text messages informing us on the consiquences if we dont reach targets.

 

that was the main reason I lost forcus on he job, and was concerned in completing it for my figures

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well just had an interesting phone call from the lad who works with me on the heights work (safety Man) that he has been allocated work for tomorrow, so it would appear strange, considering we work as a team, I would certainly think that he would be suspended also, but appears not

 

peoples thoughts would be most welcome

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another update,

 

postman has been this morning and still no formal notice of suspension and the official reasons why and when I am supposed to be suspended to.

 

also no emails or phone calls, this is day 5 now

 

help anyone please,

 

acas rules seem a little vague on this

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Hi,

 

Although the content of the ACAS guidance may seem ambiguous, it is clear that employers should not unreasonably delay decisions, or confirmation of such decisions...

 

Here is what I would do...

 

(a) If no information received by the end of the present business day, I would send a letter, or e-mail, stating that you have been suspended on XX/XX/2010 and the motive has not been disclosed. I would remind them of the content of the ACAS Code of Practice, which can be found here:

 

http://www.acas.org.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=1043


---Aut viam inveniam aut faciam---

 

***All advice given should be taken as guidance... Professional advice should always be taken before any course of action is pursued***

 

- I do not reply directly to any PMs, but you are more than welcome to enclose a link, in a PM, to your post. Thank you -

Make a contribution to this site... Help the CAG keeping on helping you for FREE.

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I have just been phoned by my HR department in Warrington wanting to know why I havent attended a meeting this morning at 10am. I explained that I have had no communication with them at all since the investigatory meeting last thursday. I was informed that a letter was sent out to my home address on the 24th (thursday), which i have never received. He then stated that I could go to Warrington today read the letter and if I was happy they would continue with the meeting.

 

urgent advice needed, god i am bloody shaking typing this

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Calm down... It is ok...

 

(a) How far are you from their offices?

 

(b) Are you prepared to attend a meeting?

 

© Since you have received no information regarding the reason, or reasons, for your suspension, I would call them back and ask (a) was that letter sent recorded? (b) postpone the meeting until a letter is received mentioning the reason(s) for your suspension and, if necessary, a copy of the Disciplinary policy. If you are not prepared, do not know about the reason(s) behind your suspension and are nervous about it, you should request a postponment.


---Aut viam inveniam aut faciam---

 

***All advice given should be taken as guidance... Professional advice should always be taken before any course of action is pursued***

 

- I do not reply directly to any PMs, but you are more than welcome to enclose a link, in a PM, to your post. Thank you -

Make a contribution to this site... Help the CAG keeping on helping you for FREE.

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I am about an a hour or so drive away.

 

I would be prepared to travel to the meeting today, but i feel that I havent seen this letter or any statements relating to this, so I havent had time to prepare for this meeting, this being the case. If I was sacked, wouldnt it be deemed as an unfair dismissal

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