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Hello Friends,

 

I have been working a my current firm for last 1 year 3 months at one of the top financial firms. I have to work very hard and extended hours to meet the business objectives of firm. My boss is being very unkind and dishonest with me. He basically wants to throw me out and bring in an old colleague at a lower salary. I came to know about his plan from one another colleague.

 

Last Monday, there was a without prejudice meeting with firms solicitor where the boss started making false and flimsy allegations that my conduct has not been right in that I did not follow his instruction. He is citing just two occasions in a matter of one week. I have been able to prove one of the allegation as false and for the other my colleague can help me to prove wrong. He has no evidence of having given any such instruction of work though as it was communicated verbally. He is saying that he can get a few witnesses, who are again his friends from management side. What is best for me. Should I ask for evidence of such work having been assigned to me .

 

Today again there was a without prejudice meeting with the manager and the firms solicitor, who is calling a case of break of trust and confidence as I have been performing poorly. Again this is a baseless allegation. I will come to this aspect later.

 

My company handbook has a disciplinary processes which lays down that disciplinary matter is sorted in four stages. I want to know if the firm is contractually obligated to follow the disciplinary process.

 

I am worried that if thrown out on basis of misconduct and poor performance, then PPI will not cover my mortgage and my career will be ruined.

 

Can someone please advise me on this.

 

Thanks

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what is the without prejudice bit about? are they offering you a payoff?


Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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The solicitor said that it means that anything discussed cannot be quoted back. There is no pay-off. The solicitor was telling that he will start a formal disciplinary action, where there will be a formal hearing.

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You just make them follow the companies standard disciplinary process as detailed in the staff handbook. Have all meetings recorded, either by witness or taped/videod.


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The solicitor will then start calling it a case of loss of Trust and Confidence as my performance has been allegedly poor. In general, how can employers prove that performance is poor for software developers. I was never given a task timeline requirement in writing. The job specifications come in mail and that is when I start working. My manager keeps saying that he said so and so in so ans week and that the job/assignment in discussion should finish in this much time.

 

There is no written evidence as such and fact is that I have done very well. So do I need to worry about his verbal allegations? Also in the discussions, I have been putting a positive note by saying that I am happy to fix and issues that my boss thinks exists and that if I have ever been rough in talking, it has not been wilful and I am sorry for that. Is that a right thing for me to say that.

 

Also,one more thing. After the solicitor declared the meeting as being on basis of non-prejudice, he asked me to switch off my mobile. What if they are recording? Can they misuse in any way.

 

Friends, Please answer all my questions as I am in lot of stress and scare. I know I have asked quite a few of them. Also many thanks in advance for your replies.

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No you don't admit in writing issues such as 'rough talking', as that will be used against you.

 

Non-prejudice applies to both sides. They can't use any recording they have not told you about.

 

You really need to slow down and be calm about this. If they have issues about performance, then get them to supply details in writing and don't be bounced into meetings about them. In most disciplinary processes, you should be given at least 48 hours notice and notice in writing about any issues to be discussed in a meeting. If they hold a meeting about the issues, just ask for details in writing with full specifics, so you are able to compare your performance against what you were asked to do.


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The solicitor said that it means that anything discussed cannot be quoted back. There is no pay-off. The solicitor was telling that he will start a formal disciplinary action, where there will be a formal hearing.

 

I'd refuse to have a protected/ without predjudice conversaton then. There's nothing in it for you. It's all in the open, or it's not.


Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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I would suggest you start a grievance procedure as you clearly have grounds to do so. Also always have someone with you at any meetings. In view of the possible consequences, legal advice would be a good idea.

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with less than 2 years service they can just let you do for any reason not related to a protected characteristic.

 

if you think they are def. trying to get you out I would probably go quietly in return for a neutral reference.


Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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Many Thanks to all of you who have taken time to answer my questions and to make me feel better. I have just come back after another tiring and a day spent in fear and worry.

 

With regards to without Prejudice Conversation, the only reason I want them to carry on with it is so that I get more and more time to be in job and that such discussions I believe will not go to my personal file. Is my understanding correct?

 

Also I believe that the solicitor is having these w/o prejudice meetings only to encourage me to speak freely, so that I spill out all I have and he can get an understanding of what defence/evidences I have. During these meeting I anyway am always sure that I do not make open admission of my mistake.

 

The solicitor keeps saying that the other team has complained about my performance on the projects that need interaction with them. Naturally they can get the manager of that team to be able to state this false allegation. Will such statements from other managers have any value?.

 

None of the work/assignment comes with much detail in writing. Everything is mostly oral and I have never been given an end date for any assignment, even verbally. There is no set parameters to measure the performance/standard of software development.

 

Lastly and most importantly, I am worried that the solicitor keeps referring to phone call I make from office phone. I don't remember how many I have made but there were a few in last few weeks as my wife is away and I had to make a few calls to retailer/warranties/courier related. So should I be worried about this. The reason I have to use office phone is that the reception of my mobile is poor at my desk location. The issue of outgoing phone calls was raised during my probation as well last year but it was not mentioned as a disciplinary issue but as one reason for extension of probation. I reduced phone calls from second month itself but again in last few weeks it went up. However I have not been making any since Monday-19-Sept, the first meeting I had. Is there any case law on how many phone calls is reasonably acceptable from office phone.

 

I have three week holiday booked and approved long back by my manager starting from 19-October? If the formal disciplinary process has been initiated before that, then will it be kept on hold till my return?

 

Thanks once again. I know I have asked quite a few questions. So please answer them for me.

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with less than 2 years service they can just let you do for any reason not related to a protected characteristic.

 

if you think they are def. trying to get you out I would probably go quietly in return for a neutral reference.

 

+1

 

As Emmzzi has already pointed out above, you have been there only 1 year & 3 months,(you needed 2 years in your job) which means your employer can just dismiss/let you go for any reason at all.


I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every single minute of it!!

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Hello there.

 

It does sound as if they have a couple of issues with you. How many phone calls a day/week have you been making? It would be an idea to use your lunch break [if you have one] to go somewhere your mobile works and make calls then. My OH makes hardly any personal phone calls from the office, but I think if he had a lot to make he might mention it to his line manager.

 

What are the things that your fellow team members have mentioned?

 

I notice you also mention a mistake that you made, can you give us an idea what happened please?

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Thanks HoneyBee,

 

There would be on a average two calls daily on some days and none to a person/friend/family. They were all for consumer issue.

 

Also, no mistake from my side as such. What I mentioned was a mistake the manager says but my fellow member will help me to show that I was not wrong.

 

Please tell me about the things I should do at this stage and say in the meetings to make them difficult to dismiss me on disciplinary grounds.

 

If the firm has a policy on Disciplinary step, Is it not my contractual right that I be taken through that process?.

 

Friends, this is a very important question for me, Please advise me on this. If I am taken through that process, then I will be safe

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I found this on the ACAS site, guidance on phone calls from the office. I'd have thought it was more a matter of common sense over how many calls and how long they take. I'd say my OH doesn't make more than one or two calls on personal matters in a week, often it's none, and they're short calls.

 

Although employers don't have to allow workers the use of phone, email or internet for personal use, many employers will allow some access as long as it doesn't interfere with their work. If employers do monitor this use the workers should be clearly informed and given the reason why it will be carried out.'

 

http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=5721

 

Does your staff handbook have guidance on this?

 

If the firm has a policy on Disciplinary step, Is it not my contractual right that I be taken through that process?.

 

Are you saying they're not following their own policy then?

 

HB

Edited by honeybee13
Addition.

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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There is no guidance on phone usage in policy book.

 

And Yes, the boss in bypassing the company policy. The solicitor was saying that he would arrange a hearing soon and that will be followed by my exit.

 

The policy handbook says that an employee must be given a warning and given time to improve.

 

So will I have any recourse to law. Also this development has come after a weeks back I complained about him to the director verbally and also on email I told my boss to stop harassing and bullying me. I think he is victimising me for this.

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So will I have any recourse to law. Also this development has come after a weeks back I complained about him to the director verbally and also on email I told him to stop harassing and bullying me. I think he is victimising me for this.

 

Hello again.

 

I'll let the people with experience comment, but I've seen knowledgeable people say her before that if you complain about the company or your boss, you can't expect them to do you any favours. And that email could have been unwise, sadly.

 

I hope I'm wrong, but we seem to keep coming back to your having less than two years' service and that they can release you for any reason.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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I don't believe you have any recourse, no. Due to the short length of your employment.

 

It does also sound like you would be happier working somewhere with people you find to be less annoying.


Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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agree, regardless of who is at fault i think you should look for employment elsewhere and jump before you are pushed.

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Hello Friends, The matter has gone a bit silent. Don't know why. I believe that its because I could prove my boss wrong through documents, in front of his own solicitor. I suspect that the solicitor has advised him to be cool and relaxed so that I make some mistakes and so that he can capitalise on that.

 

Anyway, I see myself completing two years soon. Its just another six months. But Do I really need to bear all the bullying and harassment my boss inflicts on me untill then. There is a history of he insulting me in public and privately for wrong reasons. The major incidences, of which I have proofs are below.

 

Once he reprimanded me for not attending a meeting, which I later found that I was never invited to attend. I obtained that meeting invite from team member and forwarded it to him showing I was not in the invite.

Once he shouted at me very angrily, in front of entire team holding me responsible for something and said that he could bet his job that I was in wrong side. It was such an insult to me, more so it turned out that he was wrong.

Then a few months later he shouted at me black and white for some half an hour, this time in private though. However his action was clearly visible outside, even though meeting rooms are sound proof. Again his entire point later turned out to be baseless.

And again this month, he put baseless charges of misconduct one me which again I proved wrong.

 

Besides these major bullying, on day to day basis he had rendered unjustified criticism of my work and I have proof of them all on emails.

 

I would like to know what can I do? I have tried speaking to the director of team about his behaviour but it only back-fired as I mentioned earlier. So does law allow the employer to thrash employee for good two years.

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"I would like to know what can I do?"

 

See my previous advice.

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Why do you think the boss is picking on you and not other people, newlyn? Is there any element of discrimination?

 

Is there any union representation where you work?

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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No discrimination. Please let me know if I had two years if job then what difference will that make

 

"I would like to know what can I do?"

 

See my previous advice.

 

Rexroth, Thanks for the reply. I am not starting a formal grievance as it will likely back fire after a month or two. It will be difficult for me to prove that my dismissal is only vengeful.

 

Also, I have anyway spoken to the director of the team. I have verbally brought this to the attention of senior management in a formal meeting room discussion. So I believe, I am in a position where it cant be said that I did not raise my grievances when it occurred.

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Also, I have anyway spoken to the director of the team. I have verbally brought this to the attention of senior management in a formal meeting room discussion. So I believe, I am in a position where it cant be said that I did not raise my grievances when it occurred.

 

 

You would need to show you exhausted internal processes, so you would need to raise a formal grievance. Otherwise in legal terms you're just having a bit of a moan.


Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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Thanks Emmzzi for reply.

 

I will wait to complete two years of service as I suspect backfire. But please answer my question that do I have to suffer in silence the bullying by my boss. If it was two years already then what difference will it make? If I am being bullied ( insult in public and private, undue criticism of work etc ) consistently, then even after two years, what law will help me.

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Hi Newlyn,

 

One thing you have to be aware of is that bullies never stop, they keep at you until they crush you.

 

If you accept his bullying, insults and criticism then after sometime you will lose confidence in yourself.

 

He has a problem and he has to be stopped!

 

I know you don't have two years for the Employment Tribunal but you have protection in the Law.

 

A good example is Protection from Harassment Act.

 

For me I would use the Health and Safety at Work Act section 2 and Management of Health and Safety at Work Regs 1999.

 

The truth however, is not which Law you use but the fact that you are fighting back.

 

Bullies hate fighters and they run away from them.

 

I would ask for all evidence of my "poor performance".

 

It is a Principle of Natural Justice for that to be given to you.

 

But I bet they wouldn't

 

Then you point out they are failing in their responsibilities under the Health and Safety Act.

 

Also another thing that paradoxically is in your favour is that he has a lawyer.

 

Any email and/or letter he get from you he will have to give to his lawyer to deal with.

 

At the end of the day he get a bigger legal bill.

 

For me I will ask and request as many documents as I can to increase his legal bill.

 

Then he will NEVER miss around with you.

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