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Insubordination and Gross-Misconduct

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Hi,

 

I have an employee at the moment which I have no idea how to treat. TO keep the story short:

 

1) He was put on a shift he didnt like (pre CHristmas so not holiday related,no bereavements and no pregnancies). I confirmed that he just, in his words 'didnt want to work those hours'.

2) Despite the contract clearly stating that he is an on-call officer between the hours of 22:00 and 06:00 mon-fri on his third off period. COntract was signed and was fine for about a year, no issues before.

3) Recently, I've had nothing but FU's and profanity thrown at me because of this. He isn't unique, all other engineers get similar shifts and I have put this on paper to show him.

4) He decided to sit out, and say I refuse to; ll the other engineers call him Kenny the Krepid (As he's always sick or off), and now this is the ultimate. I'm at my tethers end.

 

What can I do?

 

Cheers

 

A

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I would first of all suggest familiarising yourself (thoroughly!) with the ACAS Code of Practice.

 

If he is refusing to turn up to work and swearing at you, that could be grounds for dismissal (gross misconduct). If he's missing work and taking time off sick, that could mean a capability procedure. If he's faking illness, that again could be misconduct.

 

Have a read up and make sure that when you discipline him, you do it correctly so you don't land yourself with a tribunal claim!

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Hi

 

This is the ACAS Website link: www.acas.org.uk/

 

In the search type in Disciplinary and have a look, but please do check out the site as very good information on their to assist you.


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Hi, I would give home notice of a formal meeting. Make sure you have a note taker in with you and invite him and a representative if he requires. Gather all the evidence and facts which you have mentioned. Ask him to respond to your concerns. Have you had any grievance meetings about previous conduct? Any oral/written warnings recorded? The reason I'm asking is, you can go for dismissal if his conduct has been under review and not improved. Dismissal should be a last resort. if he then goes to a tribunal, the odds will be stacked in your favour if you have been seen to have carried out the correct procedures leading up to and including dismissal


scotgal 

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Must admit, I'd sack him on the spot.


All I ask is to be treated fairly and lawfully.

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Do you have an absence management policy? If not perhaps you should consider introducing one.

 

Do you have return to work interviews?

 

Have you tried talking to him to find out if he has any problems outside work which are affecting him?

 

I'm suggesting these measures to protect yourself should you have to dismiss him and he takes you to tribunal.


 

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Advice & opinions given by Caro are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

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The key is to follow the ACAS procedures to the letter and make sure you get everything in writing. You need to be able to provide a clear paper trail evidencing every you have done in case you get taken to the Employment Tribunal. Make sure you a log of everytime this guy refuses to conform to his contract, everytime he is off sick and everytime he swears at someone; and make sure you keep a written record of all warnings he is given.


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I do follow ACAS to the T. I've personally (though the HR firm should do this) visited him at home, which he did agree to.

 

The times I've been there he REAKED of alcohol. I can't comment on the state of his place, but on a personal note, having an alcoholic in the family I know how they live and this is a mirror image. Furthermore, the umpteen dozen discarded beer cans and wine bottles ominously placed around the kitchen was somehat a give-away.

 

Personally, I do like this guy, he's a first class person, does his job REALLy well, knows his stuff 100x better than any engineer I've come across (might even put me to shame), but its purely this behavior.

 

He recently went through a terrible ordeal with his ex wife which cleansed him of pretty much everything he had, plus on top of that I think she is claiming something else from him as he's constantly out of money (or is that the drinking).

 

When on these home visits (all requested and accepted as per procedure), he always seems to have GI tract issues, which commonly to are associated with alcohol.

 

Ideally, I don't want to lose a gem like this as I know what his potential is. What I need (I think) is advice on how to 'intervene' in his issues but on a neutral ground. I can't find anything in the ACAS manuals or paperwork on the various HR courses I went through, but can I 'force him; to go to counselling / rehab to keep his job? personally I don't think it's fair that I just dump him in the rain.

 

@caro: I think the above shows most of what you asked. Most of this I got form:

 

1) Company outings where he drank silly strong drinks (and lots of them) in rapid succession

2) General chats and comments he's made in the past in passing on his personal life i.e. 'Why not, SSP is a good way to get out of paying "the bitch"'

3) From the home visits i.e. what I saw and smelled.

 

Having come from a really bad past myself, I do believe in giving people a second chance, and I need to know the correct way. Ideally, various support groups say 'let them hit rock bottom'. Because someone helped me in my teens from hitting rock bottom, I'm a better man for it and I'd like to pay it forward.

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He needs to know 2 things:

 

1. He is about to lose his job. From the effects of his level of drinking and what that makes him look like as an employee. He needs to know that the fact that he is a gifted and valuable engineer is now being outweighed by teh negatives. (Luckily, I had a manager that put this in a very nice way and took all the time it needed to get the message home - 6 months in my case).

 

2. He needs to talk to someone. Not to help with his drinking as much as to make some sense of the horrible time he has had from life. If he can make some sense of this, his need for drink will go down.

 

I speak from direct experience and are somewhere between 1 and 2 myself. Sadly.

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I do follow ACAS to the T. I've personally (though the HR firm should do this) visited him at home, which he did agree to.

 

The times I've been there he REAKED of alcohol. I can't comment on the state of his place, but on a personal note, having an alcoholic in the family I know how they live and this is a mirror image. Furthermore, the umpteen dozen discarded beer cans and wine bottles ominously placed around the kitchen was somehat a give-away.

 

Personally, I do like this guy, he's a first class person, does his job REALLy well, knows his stuff 100x better than any engineer I've come across (might even put me to shame), but its purely this behavior.

 

He recently went through a terrible ordeal with his ex wife which cleansed him of pretty much everything he had, plus on top of that I think she is claiming something else from him as he's constantly out of money (or is that the drinking).

 

When on these home visits (all requested and accepted as per procedure), he always seems to have GI tract issues, which commonly to are associated with alcohol.

 

Ideally, I don't want to lose a gem like this as I know what his potential is. What I need (I think) is advice on how to 'intervene' in his issues but on a neutral ground. I can't find anything in the ACAS manuals or paperwork on the various HR courses I went through, but can I 'force him; to go to counselling / rehab to keep his job? personally I don't think it's fair that I just dump him in the rain.

 

@caro: I think the above shows most of what you asked. Most of this I got form:

 

1) Company outings where he drank silly strong drinks (and lots of them) in rapid succession

2) General chats and comments he's made in the past in passing on his personal life i.e. 'Why not, SSP is a good way to get out of paying "the bitch"'

3) From the home visits i.e. what I saw and smelled.

 

Having come from a really bad past myself, I do believe in giving people a second chance, and I need to know the correct way. Ideally, various support groups say 'let them hit rock bottom'. Because someone helped me in my teens from hitting rock bottom, I'm a better man for it and I'd like to pay it forward.

 

Legally speaking, that's just giving you more ammunition to sack him!

 

Morally, however, I completely agree with you.

 

Is he aware that he has an alcohol problem? If he means a lot to you then you could offer him counselling paid for by the company - but it depends on how far you want to go, and to what expense.

 

It sounds like he's in a mess and is about to hit rock bottom... No job won't help him at all but he probably won't see the severity of the situation until he's lost everything...

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I know of a situation where an employee has displayed bizarre and unacceptable behaviour. She has been told to get counselling or any future incidents will lead to disciplinary action.

 

Maybe if you let him know his job is on the line it will give him the jolt he needs to get help.


 

What's Best for You?

 

 

The Consumer Action Group is a free help site.

Should you be offered help that requires payment please report it to site team.

 

Alliance & Leicester Moneyclaim issued 20/1/07 £225.50 full settlement received 29 January 2007

Smile £1,075.50 + interest Email request for payment 24/5/06 received £1,000.50 14/7/06 + £20 30/7/06

Yorkshire Bank Moneyclaim issued 21/6/06 £4,489.39 full settlement received 26 January 2007

:p

 

Advice & opinions given by Caro are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

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