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Organising a petition in the workplace

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Hi,

 

I work in a large organisation of 500 employees where management is planning to reduce activity in our section and half the work force of our section from 20 members to 10. As a result, someone has decided to organise a petition of all 500 of the workers in the organisation asking management for an end to job losses and instead to negotiate an alternative plan with our section.

I have argued that anybody who signs such a petition could find themselves in trouble with management but other people seem to think that any direct consequences such as dismissal or maltreatment would be illegal. I would be interested for any thoughts on this matter!

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That's an interesting scenario.

 

Legally speaking, a petition is informal and is unlikely to have any real effect. However, it may be persuasive to encourage the employer to engage in negotiation - but they're only legally obliged to do so with affected employees.

 

I can't see that anyone would get into trouble for doing this, necessarily - but they also aren't protected against poor treatment if they do, unless the petition highlights a breach of a legal obligation.

 

Of course, if they really want to be heard then a collective grievance is the way to go - but I'm not sure there are grounds for this just yet, and it would certainly make more waves!

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I am with you on this. I do think many companies would see this as misconduct and might try to discipline for it. These companies could try to argue that it is undermining management and that disputes should be dealt with privately. I think this is especially likely if there is already a formal grievance procedure in place which is supposed to be followed.

 

I think its probably not serious misconduct though so anything more serious than a first verbal or written warning would be difficult to justify.

 

 

There is protection for whistleblowing but I don't think a petition would qualify, and it most likely wouldn't be covered by any whistleblowing policy.


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Thanks for the replies,

 

Yes, I was more concerned about the indirect consequences. It is interesting Becky that you say there is no protection against poor treatment. Surely, the employee would be protected fro many direct consequences such as being treated inferiorly to someone who did not sign the petition?

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Thanks for the replies,

 

Yes, I was more concerned about the indirect consequences. It is interesting Becky that you say there is no protection against poor treatment. Surely, the employee would be protected fro many direct consequences such as being treated inferiorly to someone who did not sign the petition?

 

There would be no protection here, I don't think.

 

In law, employees aren't necessarily automatically "protected" against less favourable treatment or being subjected to a detriment, unless they can show the reason for the treatment was for one of the prescribed reasons - such as discrimination on the grounds of a protected characteristic, whistleblowing, health and safety, and certain types of employment status.

 

So if an employee signed a petition which simply said "I don't agree with the way the business is being run" then there's very little protection from detriment, unless the detriment went so far as to amount to a fundamental breach of trust and confidence. However, if the petition was worded in a way such as "the business has breached it's legal obligation due to XYZ, resulting in these consequences", then if that was worded in such a way as to amount to a protected disclosure, there would then be protection against detriment or dismissal. It depends entirely on the content.

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Hi boggler

 

I think you should raise the matter informally. If you don't get heard, you could raise a joint grievance. This should be outlined in your company handbook. Are you in a Union? if not you can contact ACAS for advice,

 

http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=1461


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What reason have the company given for their action? Apart from job losses are their other implications such as, for example, safety?


 

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The reason given is that some of our activity is not aligned to the future targets of the company and also some activities are not meeting the organisation's KPIs. We are in a Union but it is not very effective!

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Could you ask your rep to get someone from the area office to advise you. Frankly I don't see any point paying your subs if you don't use them.


 

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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Hi boggler

 

If your not happy with the local representation, there is nothing to stop you contacting regional or national representatives. Union's these days are pretty self serving, mostly useless enterprises, but they might take note as there's a large employee base.

 

 

 

 

The reason given is that some of our activity is not aligned to the future targets of the company and also some activities are not meeting the organisation's KPIs. We are in a Union but it is not very effective!

Welcome to Consumer Action Group

 

'Challenges are what makes life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.'

Joshua J. Marine

 

1) CLAIM BACK ALL PENALTY CHARGES CLICK HERE

2) CLAIM BACK ALL MIS-SOLD PPI CLICK HERE

3) COMPOUNDED CONTRACTUAL INTEREST CLICK HERE

4) REQUEST CCA FROM CREDITOR CLICK HERE

5) OFT- UNENFORCEABLE AGREEMENTS CLICK HERE

6) CAREY V HSBC (2009) CLICK HERE

7) DON'T BE BULLIED BY CREDITORS / DCA's CLICK HERE

8) IN DEBT DON'T PANIC CLICK HERE

9) FULL AND FINAL SETTLEMENT CLICK HERE

10) SALE OF GOODS ACT-EDUCATE YOUR RETAILER CLICK HERE

11) DISTANCE SELLING-EDUCATE YOR RETAILERCLICK HERE

12) SOGA SUMMARY CLICK HERE

13) WHICH? TEMPLATES [/url]CLICK HERE

14) DOES YOU BANK TREAT YOU FAIRLY BCOBSCLICK HERE

15) EVERYTHING HOUSING CLICK HERE

16) UTILITY BACKBILLING CLICK HERE

17) OFGEM - COMPLAINTSCLICK HERE

18) OFCOM - COMPLAINTS CLICK HERE

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