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Disciplinary Hearing regards to my attendance

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Hi guys;


i am really desperate for some help.


I will start from the beginning and briefly explained the situation.


I started working for this company 4 years ago. The first year i was a full time employee and worked 35 hours shift a week. A year later, i started university and i have asked for flexibility, i was given it right away by my current Manager and HR. All i had to do was to give them the hours i could work in a week. Agreement was to do 20 hours per week.


For example: I worked 4 days a week 5 hours each. But because some days i had classes midday, i could only work 3 hours a day and make up the time through out the rest of the week.


This has been going perfectly fine the last 3 years. Now, suddenly (considering this is my last year at university and even better, my last semester) I have been told that my working hours are not acceptable and i was given a disciplinary hearing without much warning!


I have provided them with the hours i could work this semester in September 2011, just like i have done the last 3 years. I wrote the times on a post-it note and explained it to the new manager (HR has been replaced since i started work as well).


After a month or two, i was given a WLB(A) Form (Work-Life Balance). I denied filling it as i was flexible anyway and thought why should i fill a form and accept not being flexible! The letter stated that i should fill it and if it is accepted, i would be notified! Why, i asked to myself! Are they trying to get rid of me and this is their strategy!.. After a month of receiving the WLB form, i had another letter in my pigeon hole stating that i had a disciplinary meeting scheduled, without even a warning whatsoever!


In this meeting i was told that my working hours were not acceptable. Also how i was not allowed to be flexible (when all the other part timers are allowed)


I was also told it was in my contract that i wasnt allowed to be flexible! Now, only contract i have is the full time contract i signed when i first started work 4 years ago which mentions/allows flexibility. I have not signed a contract when i become part time, and my contract was a verbal one. If there was a problem, surely, i should have been told about it years ago! My working hours have never affected the running of the department as my HR claims right now. I go to work, do my shift, do my job and leave. And clearly as everyone also states, i am the best at my department.


I have asked my line manager if he had any problems, he said no. My supervisor said no! I just dont understand what is her (HR) problem with me!


In the meeting she also mentioned how i called in sick this many times and been late 8 times! I have been late because my motorbike was broken and i had to take public transport which takes 1 hour or more to get to work! She also mentioned about last minute holidays!


She said i need to give at least 3 working days before booking a holiday! I asked why they were approving if i wasnt allowed, she managed to change subject! If i have to take a day off for an urgent matter, i always ask in person. And if i am allowed, i fill out the holiday sheet!


Ok, here is the last part. Today i went into my pigeon hole and the second WLB form she has given me was stolen from my pigeon hole together with the staff handbook i was given after requesting it! The letter was dated 05.12.2011 when in fact she placed it in my pigeon hole on the 8th of December 2011!


So i had it signed by a colleague. I wrote received on the 08.12.2011 and he signed it. Then (stupidly) i put it back in my pigeon hole!


I told my manager today that both items were stolen from my pigeon hole and he said he would talk to HR


I took the rest of the day on sick leave and left after working 2 hours. Later today i received an email from HR (on my very personal email address). She said that she heard i "mislaid" the form she has given me for the third time and she attached a copy in the email and asked me to fill it and send it back to her today!


I have no intention of filling the form as i dont see it necessary. We already had an agreement since i started working part time and how on earth i am being asked to fill out a form after 3 years of service!


I would be really grateful if you could help me on this matter as this is seriously stressing me very badly! I am a student and i cannot afford losing my job. And from what i can see, this is what they are trying to do! By filling the form, i believe i will be accepting a new agreement between me and my employer which will not be for good cause.


I really appreciate all your time for reading this and any input will be appreciated.


Many Thanks...

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Hello Iceboy.

You will have to use the custom and practice argument here.

What constitutes Custom And Practice in time limits?

There is no given hard line definition on this, only a tribunal can rule if something is custom and practice.

When I checked with our legal advisors, they agreed that any arrangement going on for 12 - 18 months or more was likely to become permanent, and anyone doing something for 4 years or more would most definitely be!!



The exact point at which something becomes permanent is very difficult to judge, but generally speaking, if the arrangement feels like it is permanent, and it has been in place for 12 months or more, then it probably is.


I tribunal would be more likely to agree that it was custom and practice if the period was 12 months or longer,


So you would more than adequately fall into this area and no tribunal would rule against your current working practice,


Inform your (Snotty nosed, over inflated ego HR manager to do one) or you could just write a lovely letter explaining that you have sought legal advice on the proposed changes, and that it would be considered under custom and practice that your current working arrangent is permanent.And that any proposed changes to this would be met with resisitance.


Then sign it


Yours sincerely


Mr Get stuffed and do 1.

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