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Apok

Advice regarding suspension from work

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Hello all,

 

Recently i was suspended from work pending an investigation regarding theft.

 

The day i was suspended i was working at the shop i work(ed?) at and was taken away from the shop floor by my store manager and area manager, they both spoke to me regarding issues in the work place saying that another superviser who recently left had resigned after he was accused of theft of company property.

 

In this impromptu meeting my area manager accused me of breaches of procedure (i am guilty of these breaches i admit that much, it amounts to not doing some things by set guidelines) this would normaly carry with it a final written warning, however they then went on to say they have had accusations that i have been stealing money from tills although they have no evidence regarding this.

 

He then offered me the option of resigning on the spot or being investigating for theft telling me that he would proseecute me if anything was found, i told them to investigate me as much as they want as i am categorically not guilty of theft.

 

They then gave me a letter which details that there has been allegations regarding my contact at work (not detailing what the accusations involved) that i would be suspended without pay and that they would contact me for a disciplinary meeting, and not to contact current members of staff regarding the issue.

 

Fast forward to today several weeks down the line, i haven't heard a peep from them regarding this, i have been looking for a new job whilst i have been suspended but so far no luck, i can't afford for this to continue and to be suspended for an extended period without pay.

 

I'm worried that if i contact the head office hr department and ask if there is any update on the situation they might construe this as a breach of the"no contact with current employees clause"

 

What should i do regarding this.

 

 

Furthermore i feel this has only come to light after my manager was convinced that i submitteed a complaint to head office regarding her conduct, i know whilst i was on holiday she told employees of the store that i submitted this complaint regarding her even though i didnt.

 

A couple of days before i was suspsended i was working on shift and she said something to me about the previous employee resigning, and the fact a couple of other employees had resigned recently, all these people had given evidence again her when she was being investigated regarding this complaint.

 

what she had said to me was "You all tried to s*** on me, this is what you get for trying to play with the big boys" i have no witnesses to this so cannot prove what was said.

 

The complaint was regarding the fact that as a manager she hired her partner, promoted them and treats them preferentially compared to other employees, i and other employeed were interviewed regarding this with the interview being recorded by a hr representative at the meeting.

 

I am wondering if my area manager has let her know the content of said meetings which were supposed to be confidential, also i feel that i am only being investigated because i gave evidence at said interview and that my manager thinks i submitted said complaint.

 

Any advice is appreciated, thanks

Edited by Apok
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Hello

 

I would suggest submitting a formal grievance to HR about the conduct of your manager, the comments which were made and the fact that you've been singled our after issues with previously giving evidence against a colleague. You could also complain about the lack of contact during your suspension.

 

You can also ask for the disciplinary to be put on hold pending the outcome of the grievance. At least then, despite there being no witnesses, your complaints are on record and te company have to address them.

 

If the allegations have been brought primarily due to comments based on a former employee, it's also worth pointing out that a fair hearing will be difficult as you can no longer question the individual. Plus, they have a hidden agenda as they dislike you and have now left!

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If the allegations have been brought primarily due to comments based on a former employee, it's also worth pointing out that a fair hearing will be difficult as you can no longer question the individual. Plus, they have a hidden agenda as they dislike you and have now left!

 

 

Sorry i should have been a bit clearer when explaining, the person who has accused me is a current employee as far a s i'm aware, what they told me is that this person named 4 individuals they believe were stealing money one being the employee who resigned before he could be investigated - 2 others have since left.

 

Which leaves me being the last of the 4 who have been accused, i have an idea who the accuser may be but not knowing their identity puts a bit of a downer on me complaining regarding this, also regarding the grievance i spoke to cab the day after i was suspended and they said to wait until after the results of a disciplinary hearing,

 

Seeing as i have had no contact from my employer is it still worth following this advice or should i get the letter typed up and sent off asap? if the letter what kind of content and claims should i outlie in the grievance letter.

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I would suggest raising the grievance now - its not much use to you if you're sacked. The whole point is to address the inequality now to try to save your job, or at least make harder for them to sack you.

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Am I right in reading that you have been suspended WITHOUT pay?

 

Do you have a copy of the companies grievance and disciplinary procedure and policy?


Still on the lookout for buried treasure!

 

Any advice I give here is based on my own experiences throughout my life, career and training and should not be taken as accurate. If in doubt, speak to someone more qualified - a Solicitor, Citizens Advice to name but two possible avenues!

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I don't have a copy of said procedurespolicy nor do i have an employee handbook/contract was never provided with one.

 

However i work a zero hour contract so i believe suspension without pay is allowable for them whilst as most weeks i have been working 40-60 hours i'm neither salaried or guaranteed a set number of hours.

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i know it's been a bit sicne i updated this thread, been having issues with internet not being available...

 

It's now been 4 weeks and one day since i was suspended, i had an update last week after contacting my area, during the phone call he asked me if i was available for a q & a session on the wednesday i agreed, he also said that depending on how the meeting went and whether there was a need for a disciplinary meeting i may be back to work as early as thursday.

 

I turned up and this q&a session turned out to be a recorded meeting between me, my manager and area manager where they asked me questions relating to my suspension had i ever acted towards other employess in a way that might be considered sexual, had i ever made remarks that could be mistaken as being discriminatory to people of other ethnic backgrounds, all kinds of questions.

 

I answered there questions honestly and then asked them for a copy of any and all materials relating to their investigation including any evidence statements etc, they said thats fine and also informed me i should have a copy of any materials by saturday 9/12 by the latest and instructions on when and where my disciplinary meeting is due to be held.,

 

Saturday came and went - no letter , no evidence, nothing. i rang my area manager - no answer so i left a message on his answer phone.

 

Monday and tuesday both came and went nothing in the post on either of these days, i attempted to contact him both days, no answer monday, tuesday he answered the phone then after introducing myself he hung up, i rang back - answerphone - left another message, no answer again today.

to me it just seems like they are stalling for time because they have nothing to pin on me, yet do not want me to return to work.

 

Either way i can't see myself returning to work for this company, i just have no confidence in the way they operate any more..

 

Anhy advice anyone?

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Ok an update, i received a phone call today from the companies head office informing me of the date and time of a disciplinary meeting - and also that copies of evidence were sent out today by first classe recorded delivery.

 

The notice of disciplinary i have states

 

"At this meeting the question of disciplinary action against you, in accordance with the Company Disciplinary Procedure, will be

considered with regard to:

 

Sexual Harassment

Breach of Cash Handling

Theft of Company Property

Falsification of Company Records"

 

None of these i am guilty of, and i'm going to fight with every ounce of strength i have - but would appreciate some help from people regarding this.

 

The copies of evidence i have are transcripts of interviews with employees - hand written transcripts of interviews between employees and my area manager.

 

Some stating they witnessed me making inappropriate comments towards female colleagues others that i have been taking money from tills in order to pay for taxis, some saying i have taken stock.

 

Another one stating that i talked down to him after he had complained about feeling ill during a shift, i know an employee who witnessed this and it did not happen the way the employee has worded it in his statement/complaint.

 

I believe i should receive recordings of the conversations and so forth when the mail arrives via recorded delivery.

 

How exactly can i form my defense?

 

Unless there is some other form of evidence other than the verbal testimonies of some employees such as cctv etc can they dismiss me for gross misconduct?

 

Another thing to note is that the employees that have made statements are all employess that i mentioned in my initial post as being "friendly" with my store manager - all part of her inner circle.

 

I will try to contact the person who was a witness to what happened for the event where the employee claims i mistreated him and se eif he is able to provide a statement for my disciplinary meeting, is that ok?

 

What else can i also do.

 

Edit :- one thing i noticed thte statement from one employee claiming that i had made inappropriate comments towards them and is dated 29th september, i was on holiday from 25th sep to 13th october yet was not suspended for investigation until november 13, with some statements being dated nov 14th others dec 15th.

 

Surely if there was suspicion that i had committed sexual harrassment or gross misconduct and in the employees own written words "made them feel uncomfortable whilst working on shifts with them" i should have been suspended far sooner than mid-november?

 

Another question i would ask is - is it fair of me to ask when attending the disciplinary meeting for said meeting to be held by another individual if i am not comfortable with the individual heading the meeting?

 

I only ask as i have a feeling that my manager who i have already stated i firmly believe has a vendetta against me, if she was in the meeting or heading said meeting could i raise issues with this?

Edited by Apok

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Been a quite a while since i had this issue.

 

Basically i attended the disciplinary meeting and after explaining myself and pointing out the issues i had with other staff members - and the fact that the people giving statements and "evidence" were likely co-erced i was re-instated, albeit with receiving a final written warning.

 

As a result of the hearing and the issues it highlighted and some other things that it brought forwarrd which were investigated i was moved to another site.

After transferring my area manager apologised to me for how he handled the issue and that he should never had suspended me, that he was impressed with my professionalism and that due to the issues highlighted within the hearing and further investigation he would be getting me paid for the time i was suspended without pay.

 

I spoke with him at length regarding the issues and that i was going to submit a grievance letter outlining my issues etc, however after quite some time spent discussing with him and also the fact that i need the job and hours (i know from past experience with another person who submitted a grievance letter) that they would make it hard for me to stay at the company (reduced hours, transfer to unrealistic sites etc) even if this meant later taking them to a tribunal for unfair dismassal i could not at the time afford the possible lack of money.

 

Fast forward to now, i never got paid for the time i was suspended without pay despite my area manager's promises and also the fact that i know other people who have been suspended for periods of time on the same contract as me have been for their time suspended.

 

The area manager involved in suspending me and subsequent investigation has since left the company and i am unsure where i stand with regards to this issue as the company seems to enjoy putting up barriers for every issue you can think.

 

Also recently due to issues with staff numbers i have been covering the shop where i was previously moved from, with 3/4 of the staff who gave statements against me and apparently had issues with me still working there, so i have been working both at the site i was transferred to and the site from which i was moved.

 

Before they moved me i spoke to the new area manager about this and the fact i was uncomfortable working at the previous site due to issues in the past, to which he responded he "I don't care about past issues, i'm focusing on the present and making this area stronger", he didn't want to hear about why i was uncomfortable working at said site, however given that it was supposed to be temporary (1 week of shifts) i let it slide.

 

However over the last month i have been working an increasing number of shifts at my old site with the site manager who caused me these issues in the first place and it's gone from them asking me to work one shift to me almost being moved back there.

 

Because of issues in the past and teh fact i dont feel i can trust half the people i work with,or the manager of that site it's causing me a GREAT deal of stress and anxiety, i feel like i need to watch my back in-case she thinks up another reason to try and get rid of me seeing as she was unsuccessful last time.

 

The current advice i am asking for is whether or not to submit a grievance letter now, outlining the past issues, etc and the stress it is causing me being back at this site or how i can proceed further considering the management isn't all that interested in the issues?

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Anyone able to chime in on this?

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You cannot be suspended without pay so you need to write to personnel or HR and inform them that you havent been paid and were available to do your normal duties but was suspended. There is no such thing as suspended without pay, there is unlawful deduction of pay but you were available to do the work but prevented from doing so and as such the employer has breached the contract of employment.

Would I submit a grievance letter? Yes but keep it focussed on the non payment of wages/salary and any other breach of your employemnt terms and conditions and not about what people may be whispering or how you feel they are viewing you. The new area manager isnt going to change the entire staffing of an outlet unless there is an operational reason to do so and you being uncomfortable about working for someone who breaches the confidence of her staff is not enough to make those changes regardless of how it affects an individual. They would probably face a bigger fight if they did so they wont be fair to you

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