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Formal Disciplinary Hearing Outcome - Help with Appealing...Please.


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Hi

 

Formal Disciplinary Hearing Outcome - Help with Appealing...Please.

 

A member of my family have recently been off work due to sick reasons, on a number of occasions, this has been confirmed by the relevent doctors note.

 

Unfortunatly they have failed to contact head office, they have rang there immediate manager on the first morning of sickness.

 

There employee handbook, states that the employee must contact there immediate manager on the morning of sickness, but not to contact head office, there was a memo sent a few months ago, to all employees advising them that they should now contact head office as well as there manager, the memo was not an attachment of the employee handbook, merely a memo stuck on the staff notice board.

 

They are also aware that a number of other employees are also not following this new procedure, but continue to inform there immediate manager, with no concequencies, they feel they are been discriminated too because of this, also there is 8 other regions in the uk as well as theres and they do not follow this new procedure.

 

Any way thay have received notice to attend a formal disciplinary Hearing, despite less then 24 hours notice, they still attended, unaccompanied and put forward there case as well as mitigating circumstanices, including there health was that serious that they totally forgot to ring head office, another family member rang for them, the manager who was also pressent confirmed that a call was received from there family and the manager rang head office immediatly, they have also informed me that the hearing was a bit of a shambles !

 

After a delay of approx 2 weeks, they have now received the decision, they have received a verbal warning, which was stated in a letter given to them by there manager, the letter was dated 2 weeks prior to the date given, making the timeframe to appeal out of date, they informed there manager of there concern, the manager promptly printed another off, again with incorrect dates, this happened a further 2 times, so they now have 4 notices all incorrect.

 

The points that there employers have considered are , not following the reporting procedure, they have not considered any of the mitigating circumstancies.

 

It will also be on ther file for 12 months, the employee handbook states 6 months.

 

The procedure was also fast tracked to the formal stage, rather then discussing the matter at an informal stage first.

 

They are considering appealing because they have never had a warning of any kind for the last 10 years, the procedure was not followed correctly and feel discriminated because other employees have not been disciplined and other areas are not even following the new procedure, they have also not considered there mitigating circumstancies.

 

Is there any one able to assist with the appeal proccess and how to set it out and what to state etc, they would be very gratefull for any help etc as they are feeling very stressed and becoming extremely depressed at this matter, the deadline to appeal is in the middle of next week.

 

Many thanks for your help in advance, i look forward to hearing from you soon.

The retailers worst nightmare !

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OK, read through what you have written above, and I would suggest that it needs summarising into clear concise points - it is much more likely to be read thoroughly and considered. The only point that I would have trouble with is the fact that you seem to acknowledge that the family member knew to contact Head Office ("...their health was so serious that they forgot to phone Head Office..."). It makes it hard to argue that they were NOT guilty of following the new procedure when clearly they were?

 

I would suggest something along the lines of.

 

{Date}

 

Reference - Appeal Against Disciplinary Action

 

Dear Sir,

 

Further to my recent disciplinary hearing, and the issue of a formal warning in respect of allegedly not following company procedures, I wish to appeal the action taken against me on the following grounds.

 

1. The requirement to contact Head Office was only published on a staff notice board rather than in the Company Handbook, which still states that I should contact my Line Manager, which as far as I am concerned I have complied with correctly. At the time of my sickness, I was so ill that a family member had to phone on my behalf, and had completely forgotten that the information in the Company Handbook was now incorrect.

 

2. I have been the subject of disciplinary action for failing to contact Head Office, yet others, both here and at other sites also continue to report sickness to their Line Manager. Surely any action taken against me for a procedural failing should also be taken against others.

 

3. The action taken against me is not in keeping with the Company's disciplinary procedures. I believe that this should have been dealt with initially in an informal manner rather than being escalated. I have a previously unblemished disciplinary record, and do not feel that this has been given sufficient consideration. Additionally, I have been advised that this warning will remain on my employee file for 12 months, however the Company's disciplinary procedures state that such a warning should remain on record for only 6 months.

 

I feel that my treatment has been disproportionate, unfair when compared with that of other employees, and is contrary to company procedure. I also feel that my previous good record has not sufficiently been taken into account, and would ask for the matter to be reconsidered. Naturally this event has been the subject of a good deal of distress to me as a conscientous employee, and I now know to report any future sickness absence to Head Office.

 

I trust that this matter will be dealt with appropriately despite the formal written notification (and subsequent revised versions) of the warning being incorrectly dated and giving me insufficient time in which to lodge the appeal.

 

Yours faithfully

 

 

Give that a whirl!

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Sidewinder - Thank you so much for your prompt and indepth reply, that is absolutley what they wanted to help them.

 

Sorry for the long initial post, i just wrote it how it is and whats happened upto now.

 

Ill post an update as soon as know whats happened.

 

Many thanks again

The retailers worst nightmare !

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Just to put another point of view - because I don't disagree with a word that Sidewinder has said, but it worth considering all the angles. The other point of view being - is this worth it? I don't disagree that it seems a bit "jobsworth" of the employer given the circumstances, but it is a first warning. Therefore your best case scenario is that it is overturned. But the worst case scenraio isn't that it isn't overturned - it is that it gives the employer an excuse to get on their high horse and strat looking for reasons to give second and further warnings. No matter how unfair something is, unless a dismissal is involved there is no option to have it ruled "unfair in law", so what happens here is where it stays. It is therefore worth questioing how the employer is likely to act - which is something your family member is better placed to judge. If it is possible that it will be adversely, it may be well advised to consider letting sleeping dogs lie. NOt fair I know, but this is the real world, and looking at all angles is sensible.

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I am a barrister specialising in employment law, and only represent employees. My advice on employment issues is advice - not legal opinion - and is based only on the facts you provide. If you want an accurate assessment of your case and prospects, you should get legal opinion from a lawyer - not a public forum. Anything I tell you is for guidance only, and is based on my experience of the law in the context of what details you provide.

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I second that point - I always say that an appeal never hurts.....so long as there are real grounds to do so, and in this case I believe that there are, although nobody can tell what the outcome may be. Personally I think that the employer would be most unwilling to overturn the decision altogether, so whilst they may well concede the point on the 12 month/6 month point, they are likely to say that the warning stands and that others will be dealt with similarly from now on. It can't be argued that some sort of action may have been warranted, and a first warning is not the end of the world, although I can fully sympathise that having a clean record spoilt by something so apparently trivial can sometimes seem like it!

 

But you never know, and as SarEl says, your relative may be best placed to determine what the attitude of the employer is likely to be.

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

 

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Thank you for your further comments and for all the continued help, it is very much appreciated.

 

My family members employers are known for picking on people for the slightest thing, dishing out warnings etc as soon as they can, they rarely follow correct procedures etc, a lot of the employees just take it and dont stick up for themselves.

 

As this latest incident involves family, i feel i have to get invovlved and help them, they where considering leaving it and accepting the warning, but considering all the facts in the matter i feel and they now want to progress with the appeal, this will not only help them but other employees in the long run too.

 

Many thanks again for your comments.

The retailers worst nightmare !

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