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      OT APPROVED, 365MC637, FAROOQ, EVRi, 12.07.23 (BRENT) - J v4.pdf
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Informal chat vs Formal Meeting re disciplinary matters

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Could someone please clarify for me when an informal chat about a potential disciplinary issue, ceases to be informal.


I have had an 'informal chat' today with my stores' Assistant Manager - something I knew was going to happen today, as she was off Sunday and I was off yesterday - over an issue that I am supposed to have done Friday night, which I was made aware of Saturday morning (although I believe I did not do anything wrong). Also present was another member of staff (someone I don't particularly want being party to this issue) who was there to take notes. I was refused representation as my AM told me this was an informal meeting and I was not entitled to representation. She also told me that a copy of these notes were to be sent to Head Office.


I am extremely concerned that this is not correct procedure and that I am being treated incorrectly. Any help or advice with this will be greatly appreciated as I have been worried sick all weekend, and this has done nothing to alleviate that, especially as my AM now tells me that I will be having a disciplinary.

Please help.

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Thye have acted correctly so far, next you should receive written noticed when the disciplinary meeting will be held and you at this stage can take a workplace collgue or union rep with you .

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a note taker is allowed but a friend or colleague is not hmmm

seems like this informal chat has rules applied doesnt sound informal to me


plus a note taker thats not a informal chat thats a pre disciplinary investigation your in


acas procedures only get involved at the disciplinary stage


if the investigation merits it going to a disciplinary meeting you should request all evidence gathered plus the notes of the investigation


also request a copy of your contract and the term and conditions and policies of employment


then they should give you adequate time after receipt of these to read through and prepare for disciplinary


if the alegation is gross misconduct level definetly seek further advice


and no matter what level have someone with you


the little petty slap on wrist first offense get some one you trust with a little experience of the disciplinary system


if gross misconduct then get a union rep/cab involved preferably for any petty disciplinary but especially for the bigger allegations


can you post details of whats been alleged and what they believe have against you


what the possible result for a allegation of that type usually results in and is it your first disciplinary /black mark against your name

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Thanks IdaInFife, although I am not sure that this constitutes an informal chat if notes to be sent to Head Office are taken and a third party are present........ Hence, Meekmeek that's what I thought - How can the company have a third party present but I am not allowed (even quote "not entitled") to a witness/representation - doesn't seem right.....? I would have thought an 'informal chat' would be between myself and my Manager or AM, and dealt with internally in store. I will be requesting a copy of these notes regardless.


Yeah the allegation is that I left the safe unlocked (not open) overnight whilst the store was closed. No physical evidence (cctv or time locks etc), just the AM word against mine. Both myself & she had another member of staff present in the room when I closed the safe and she opened it the following morning, although the room is such that neither third party can categorically state that they witnessed the alleged failure on my part or the alleged discovery on hers. I dispute the fact that the safe can be closed but not locked, because by shutting the door and pulling the handle down causing it to lock automatically, and therefore it would be impossible for me to not have locked the safe. The safe being an electronic type with handle and keypad rather than a handle & key.


Since my 'informal chat' the other people involved have also been taken in to the office with the AM for 'chats', with the same person taking notes as previously mentioned.


As for my record - this would be the 2nd 'black mark' as I got a verbal warning for letting someone count the cash in my presence and signing for it but without physically checking it myself earlier in the year. Nothing was missing and the figures balanced, it was more because I didn't follow company guidlines, something that was common practice within the store in order to leave work 'on time' and something for which I wasn't the only one to fall foul. Not great I admit, but was put down to a lack of training by my manager. Although come to think about it this has never been confirmed in writing......


So that is about it in a nutshell.

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Hi GG,


Welcome to CAG. Let's hope we can help.


My take on this is simple: What do your disciplinary procedures say should happen? They form part of the contract between you and your employer, and you are both obliged to honour that contract (and also certain implied terms such as "mutual trust and confidence". It sounds to me like you are working for a big chain, so posting them up here word for word may not be the best idea. It could give away their identity. But what to they say, in lay mans terms?


IdainFife: They may not have acted correctly - in my experience it depends on what the procedures laid down are. I mean, correct procedure could be an off site meeting, for example (though unlikely) - my point is it depends what the paperwork (contract and procedures) say as to wether they have acted correctly. That said, a minute taker doesn't seem that unreasonable. However, OP should receive a copy of said minutes, and have the opportunity to sign them off as accurate, or indeed refute them. Someone TRIED to fob me off with pure lies in a set of minutes - SO MAKE SURE THIS DOESN'T HAPPEN. Have you, or will you be, furnished with a copy of the minuted? You damn well should be, and you should be allowed to comment. They can take the notes, they cannot put words into your mouth.


Also, if you do not have them, obtain a copy of both the disciplinary and grievance procedures. More than once I have had (or been personally in the situation) where a malicious Disciplinary is looming, and managed to sneek in first with a well researched and structured Grievance. It's so satisfying when someone is hunting you and suddenly, they are not so clever and caught in the very same headlights they were planning to shine on you!!!


The allegations against you are almost a secondary issue right now - they seem easily refuted anyway - my main concern is the conduct of your manager. They may have acted "correctly" up to now, or may not have, but in my experience


While said manager is trying to guess how he should handle it, try and fit you up or bad mouth you, have his (or her) fun - we need to be forensic about their behaviour. Once we have established that he has acted well outside of the procedures, we'll see how he likes it with a well structured Grievance to deal with!!


It's all about procedure and getting your "ducks lined up" = as well as acutally being "right" at the end of it all!!


As for my record - this would be the 2nd 'black mark' as I got a verbal warning for letting someone count the cash in my presence and signing for it but without physically checking it myself earlier in the year. Nothing was missing and the figures balanced, it was more because I didn't follow company guidlines, something that was common practice within the store in order to leave work 'on time' and something for which I wasn't the only one to fall foul. Not great I admit, but was put down to a lack of training by my manager. Although come to think about it this has never been confirmed in writing......


Was this anything to do with the same manager?

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some places i work in have a safe that has a built in alarm or buzzer that goes off after 5 minutes that reminds you to close the door or if safisticated its a timelock safe


if you cashed up at night is it usual practice for someone next day to go into the safe first thing?


some places i know of take out the notes and leave a float of change in the tills so the only time safe is accessed is at night to put in notes and once a week for the bank deposit


check into the procedures of how your suppose to handle the safe


did the morning manager have a suitable witness when they opened the safe in the morning to see it was already wide open


any cctv in the safe room


could the safe have a faulty latch


just a few things to think about lol

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in addition, if you have not done so yet, I would sit down and make your own notes of what actually happened at the 'incident' and what was said at the investigation. What about photos of the save, office etc? Anything to be able to prove you are right and they are wrong.

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Have to say that when i was working [i have been retired for 2 years now] i used to conceal a recorder so that anything they say can be reviewed later.

You ordinarily can't use recorded evidence to support what has been said, but it helps if when you get their statement its a pack of lies. You can also decided if it might help to speak to HR and involve them if the lying is so blatent.

Later on you then can decided what to do with said record? Previously I have sent copies to variosu managers when I have been removed in post. It don't get your job back, but it showed that you knew they were lying all along. I also embarrassed one manager in front of his mates in a pub one evening

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