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Waited far too long to receive a disciplinary decision

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Hi, I was off sick a month or so ago and on return to work, was given a letter to request I attend a disciplinary hearing. I decided not to attend on the grounds that I have suffered a huge deal of stress lately (split from long term partner and an ongoing sciatica problem) and they said they would make a decision in my absence, which I agreed was fine.

 

A month has passed since my return to work and over 3 weeks since the "hearing" and I am still to receive a decision wether I will receive a warning for poor attendance or not. Despite asking my managers on several occassions to give me an answer, I am completely in the dark as to what is going on! This is a large (FTSE 100) company and should have all these systems in place to work quickly.

 

My understanding is that they should have made a decision promptly and considering the whole idea was to avoid extra stress, it has actually created more.

 

Does anyone know if I'd be able to make a claim?

 

Many thanks, Simon.

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A claim for what? Stress? I think you need to find out what they are going to do with you. have you looked and printed out company policy over discipline matters, grievances and attendance? you need to know what the company are obliged to do and go after what they have not done within their own policies.

 

Once you know, you could perhaps put in a grievance that they are not following their policies and see where that takes you.

 

have you legal protection insurance? You may need it to employ a solicitor should they want to dismiss you and you need to fight them in the Employment Tribunal?

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Not sure you can at present simon. They haven't done anything to you yet unless you are talking about the stress. PI action for stress in an employment field is very difficult to prove. Normally the PI side of things in Tribunal cases are just another factor of the case eg a discrimination case.

 

Unfortunately you need to find out what they are doing with your case. You should be printing out their policies eg grievance, attendance, and discipline policies to see what they should be doing. Then put in a grievance that they are not doing what they ought to.

  • Haha 1

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Hi, I checked what the worst case scenario would be before deciding not to attend the hearing. It would be a 1st written warning (standard contractual procedure for a 5th occasion of absence in 12 months) I agree that I need to find out what they intend to do, but that's just the problem. It's been a very long wait considering I offered no mitigation.

 

I would happily claim for stress if that was possible. I've certainly had my share of the stuff recently. I don't have any legal insurance and I'm not a member of any trade union, so would have to hope for a no win no fee scenario.

 

I saw on the employment section of the government website that all disciplinary decisions should be made "promptly", so regardless of company policy I assume that this rule is fact.

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I wouldn't bank on getting NWNF on board even if you can find them they would eat any compensation away because normally ET fees are not recoverable.

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not sure what you would be claiming for - sounds like you are still in employment?

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Absolutely agree with the posts above. You need to be looking at the company's absence policy to see whether you have been treated properly with regard to absence, and the disciplinary procedures with regard to the time being taken to reach a decision. Certainly if the company were aware of the reason for absence being stress, then it is pretty poor to be kept waiting for a decision which may well be compounding your condition.

 

It is indeed premature to be talking about a PI claim, particularly where the original cause of absence was not the company's doing. Although you may feel that the level of support might not be what it should, you need to look at whether their actions are fair and proper in the circumstances and look at a grievance in order to highlight any discrepancies, together with the added stress that this is causing.


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Duplicate threads merged


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

 

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Duplicate threads merged

 

Thank god for that I thought I went mad last night posting a reply only to see it had gone into nothingness.....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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And then three turned up at once, did they papasmurf ? :) Did you get my PMs btw? Not a problem, I just wanted to make sure they're being sent by the system.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Hi HB....... Just like the No 11 bus wait all day and then they all come at once.

 

 

PM? When did you send it? I had to clear my folders as they were full and haven't received anything for 3 or 4 days.

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Hell, the same thing happened to me and I may have deleted the sent ones. They weren't urgent, will send again. I didn't get the usual warning about my PM box being 90% full, next thing I knew it was 100% and knackered, so to speak.

 

Sorry to interrupt Simon. Back to business.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Thank god for that I thought I went mad last night posting a reply only to see it had gone into nothingness.....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Sorry about that. I did notice that you had posted on both threads and was about to delete one of them but decided it was sufficiently different to make it worth leaving on here alongside your other post!

 

And if that makes any sense to you, you're better than I am!


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If your employer has taken no action then maybe you should let sleeping dogs sleep!

 

if and when your employer does take action you, you can appeal any warning based on the ground they havent delt with you in a reasonable time.

 

As for pi you can only claim this in discrimination claims as an add on to injury to feelings and you must reasonable belief your employer has subjected you to discrimination. If you seek pi through a no win you must have medical evidence that your stress is caused by the actions of your employer. The fact your employer hasnt delt with you in relation to your absence and a possible discipline would not give much weight to a claim.

Edited by colin813

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Thanks everyone! Quick update....

 

I finally got my decision (a written warning). The reason for the delay was "that's how long it took to come from HR". The warning itself is dated 25 days prior to me receiving it (and they tried to get me to sign it).

 

The warning claims that the hearing was held on a day that the Manager that held it was actually on holiday. Also, I wasn't given 24 hours notice to prepare for my hearing.

 

I asked the HR for the company policy and it's clear this hasn't been followed at any step of the way. I have appealed and my hearing is in a few days time. HR have told me they cannot answer any more questions relating to their policy if I am to use it in my appeal!

 

One question for you all... I anticipate that the manger in the hearing will ask why I feel that failure to adhere to procedure is a grounds for appeal. Can anyone think of a good answer to this? I want my answer to be constructive rather than aggressive. I obviously don't want to just say that it's double standards, or shoddy management and would like to come out of the hearing knowing that I've gone about it in a sensible and mature manner.

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The disciplinary process is a contractual procedure.

 

The procedure wasn’t followed thus making the warning unfair.

 

As the process wasn’t followed, this technically breaches your contract.

The manager holding the appeal meeting should know this and hopefully overturn the warning

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ha. you'd think so.

 

however, the hearing went along the lines of..... because i chose not to attend the original hearing, i forefeited my chance of having anything considered for mitigation and even though it wasn't considered the 1st time, can't be deemed as new evidence for appeal.

 

regarding the procedure not being followed..

 

he apologised for some of the "typing errors" on the warning letter and stressed that anyone can make a "mistake" and that the dates were unimportant and this wasn't in any way a reason to overturn a decision.

 

the fact that it took 25 days to make a decision was because they were waiting for a member of HR to come back from holiday to get their advice in order to treat me fairly!! (we have one on site HR and head office have 6 on call 8 hrs per day).

 

regarding the lack of notice before the 1st hearing, he said he doubted it was true, but would "look into it and let me know". it certainly was true.

 

he didn't answer any of my questions at the hearing, instead saying he would answer them at the outcome, which sounds like it will be informal and off the record.

 

plus, the notetaker at the hearing was answering questions for him, which i gather (afterwards) is against the rules. i asked HR about this and they said it's too late to complain if the meeting is over, as that's the final stage of appeal and it can;t be overturned.

 

haven't officially been told, but i gather they will be sticking with the original decision.

 

so angry right now. can't believe they're able to disregard the rules as if they only apply in one direction!:mad2:

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Your appeal may be over but there is nothing stopping you raising a grievance

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Cheers Colin. I certainly will. I tried to get one in before the decision, but the form took 5 hours to print out (due to a slow connection apparently). 5 mins after I got the form, I was handed the decision. Once a decision is made, you have exhausted the appeal process, no matter how badly it was conducted.

 

I was counting on one of my Managers for evidence, but he changed his story. I asked him why and he turned bright red, wouldn't look me in the eye for even a second and said he must have been mistaken about the facts. (This is the guy that told me he was 110% sure of the facts).

 

I intend to put in a grievance, but to be honest, what's the point? The outcome was presented in private. I wasn't offered the option of a colleague to join me. The manager said that company policy/procedure and a contract are not linked, so they can sway as far from it as they like.

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The manager said that company policy/procedure and a contract are not linked, so they can sway as far from it as they like.

 

Nonsense. A contract is (in part) an agreement on your part to uphold company policy and on their side is an agreement to treat you in accordance with company policy. If it is company policy that you should not take more than a benchmark amount of time off work then can you sway from it as much as you like too? If so then why have you been disciplined?

 

If company policy (acceptance of which forms part of your T&Cs) has been broken in not following the procedures and entitlements that are afforded to you in terms of disciplinary action, then the Company may be held in breach of contract.


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