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Hi

I am asking for advice please. My husband who has worked at a company for 5 years is facing disciplinary hearing on Monday (I have been allowed to be his companion at this hearing as he is disabled).

He had an exemplary work record up til 2 weeks ago and is due to retire in January.

He felt he needed to bring a grievance against a colleague and attended a meeting with his line manager for an informal chat about this. His line manager came to the meeting with the HR person and together they bombarded/interrogated him about his grievance.

Can i say at this point he had not slept for the previous couple of nights due to serious health issues.

He did tell them he felt unwell and was indeed asked if he would like to adjourn the meeting. He declined that offer as he wasn't going to feel any better anytime soon.

The interrogation continued and he flipped. He didnt swear or direct his anger towards anything personal but shouted No, No, No and banged his fist on the table.

His line manager immediately burst into tears and left the room and in fact left the building for the day.

Fact finding statements have been taken and a disciplinary hearing is arranged as I said for Monday.

What i would like to know is does this constitute gross misconduct and would be a sackable offence?

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Is your husband in a union?

 

Do you have experience in employment law and disciplinary hearings? (That's not an implied criticism, just trying to get a feel for how much expertise your husband has available. It's difficult to be specific not knowing exactly what happened).

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No he isn't in a union and no i don't have any experience of employment law.

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Hello Sally, I'm sorry that you're both facing this.

 

Are you able to tell us a bit more about what disability your OH has please? It might help us to advise.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Yes sure he has severe COPD and a finished bladder requiring him to have a suprapubic catheter in so has a leg bag attached. He has recurring bladder infections. Since April he has had bowel problems also and this week had large polyps removed on Monday. At the time this took place he didnt know whether he had bowel cancer and still doesnt know for a few more weeks if he has prostate cancer.

He has been in so much pain. Gets up at 3am to travel from the south to London everyday which is stressful in itself managing toilet needs on trains. The more stressed he gets the worse his COPD and asthma is. Work have made reasonable adjustments so that he never works past 3pm.

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That's a tough hand to be dealt, Sally, poor man. It sounds as if work are aware of the problems though if they've made reasonable adjustments.

 

Hopefully the guys here will help you formulate what to say on Monday.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Tell your husband not to worry about gross misconduct.

Banging a fist on a table while saying "no, no,no" is not gross misconduct, otherwise I would be sacked everyday along with 90% of teachers in the world.

I'm surprised they're actually entertaining a disciplinary for this.

In my opinion, having seen many techniques from both sides of the fence, they're trying to switch the attention from the grievance to the fist banging with attached drama of bursting into tears and going on a pub crawl for the rest of the day.

They most likely planned this and provoked your husband to get a reaction.

Seen it many times.

I bet they'll offer to drop the matter if your husband withdraws the grievance.

It's a well known trick amongst managers,I refer to it as the three cups trick.

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As his grievance was against a senior leadership team member I'm in no doubt they were trying to push him to breaking point too. I'm also aware he shouldn't have reacted like he did as is he but i guess we all have our breaking points. They don't like having had to make adjustments to his working day and giving him a ground floor office to avoid stairs.

He isn't liked because he doesn't 'creep' and feels they have been looking for an excuse to get rid and he has played directly into their hands.

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What i would like also to know is what happens at these hearings?

I mean it's a bit weighted in their favour as there will be the manager, the HR woman who witnessed his outburst (as note taker), her deputy HR acting as per her instruction no doubt and my husband and myself.

The Manager has done all his fact finding, everyone has given statements so what more is there to say? They've obviously made their mind up of the outcome, which even if its some kind of warning which stays on his file, he's 64 and retiring in January and will be handing in his notice to retire in a few weeks as has to give 3 months.

What should I say if asked at this meeting?

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What i would like also to know is what happens at these hearings?

I mean it's a bit weighted in their favour as there will be the manager, the HR woman who witnessed his outburst (as note taker), her deputy HR acting as per her instruction no doubt and my husband and myself.

The Manager has done all his fact finding, everyone has given statements so what more is there to say? They've obviously made their mind up of the outcome, which even if its some kind of warning which stays on his file, he's 64 and retiring in January and will be handing in his notice to retire in a few weeks as has to give 3 months.

What should I say if asked at this meeting?

 

What are you expecting to be asked?.

 

If you are there as a note taker for your husband / to support him, should they be asking you anything?. You didn't witness the incident and aren't at the meeting in an 'official' e.g. union capacity, so I'm not sure they should be asking you anything?

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I was referring to this:-

 

The companion should be allowed to address the hearing to put and sum up the worker’s case, respond on behalf of the worker to any views expressed at the meeting and confer with the worker during the hearing.

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is he in an employers pension scheme? What about the company sick pay arrangements? If you get full pay for being ill and he is likley to get a pension in January I would be talking to the doctor about being signed off long term sick until then if I were him. As for further disciplinary meetings- well make them travel to your neck of the woods and meet at a local hotel with conference room for example. If they demur, play the disability discrimination reasonable adjustments card.

All they really want is to kick this into the long grass until after your hubby has gone without it appearing as a stain on their records. As long as he isnt losing money, let them get their way in this respect and take the time together.

If there is no sick pay scheme then we will need to know what the nature of the questioning was and see if there is anything in there that rings bells.

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He has only paid into the company pension scheme for a couple of years. He only gets 10 days sick leave entitlement per year. As this renews every 1st September he has only used 2 days for his operation he had this Monday/Tuesday.

It was touch and go whether they were going to let me attend on Monday as they said he was quite able to attend the investigation meeting on his own.

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Im happy to send copy of investigation findings via pm if it helps

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My gut feeling says to delay this disciplinary for as long as possible.

Tell them you're gathering doctors notes/documentation related to this incident.

Then a few days later go to the gp and make a 'non urgent ' appointment where you will discuss the incident and see if any medication could have mood swings as side effect (surely there's something).

Then the doctor will have to write a report, maybe a couple of weeks to do that.

Then your husband could use some sickness smartly positioned in two slots so to have a couple of empty days at work and two weeks off.

Then you could play with your availability and delay a bit more if necessary.

Overall you should get to the notice date with no hearing arranged yet.

I seriously doubt they'll sack someone due to retire.

At worst they'll put him on gardening duties if they really don't like him.

In any case, he doesn't need to give 3 months notice, he can give more.

3 months is the minimum notice required, but he could give notice 4 or 5 months in advance.

My colleague gave notice in may and he's retiring in January with one month notice required.

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Can you be dismissed if you have already given notice?

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Can you be dismissed if you have already given notice?

 

In theory yes, but they need a very good reason, for example theft.

They would be absolutely mad to dismiss your husband in his notice period for banging his fists on the table.

Surely they would not like to spend thousands in defending an employment tribunal claim against someone with a recognised medical condition who was about to retire.

This is all a set up to get the grievance withdrawn.

As said, it's the three cups trick: Confuse the eye and make it lose focus.

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He doesn't want to delay the hearing. (I would but then it's not me). It will stress him out more worrying but good point about mood swings with meds as 2 days before he had testosterone injection (which he has because of past testicular cancer). That does indeed make him short tempered!

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... good point about mood swings with meds as 2 days before he had testosterone injection (which he has because of past testicular cancer). That does indeed make him short tempered!

 

Two days before the banging on the table incident?

 

Did the employer know that?

 

Get medical evidence (eg letter from GP) to show that's a recognised side effect and present it to the disciplinary hearing

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Two days before the banging on the table incident?

 

Did the employer know that?

 

Get medical evidence (eg letter from GP) to show that's a recognised side effect and present it to the disciplinary hearing

 

No, employer doesn't know that and we won't get a letter by gp before 9.30am Monday. I will make sure its brought up. We can still appeal so would have it before that happened.

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Definitely mention the testosterone and get evidence from gp.

Testosterone most known side effect is increased aggression.

That's his get out card.

By the way, is your husband registered disable?

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Definitely mention the testosterone and get evidence from gp.

Testosterone most known side effect is increased aggression.

That's his get out card.

By the way, is your husband registered disable?

 

He doesn't receive disability payment as works full time but does have a blue badge because of his breathing problems with COPD and asthma because he cannot walk very far

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He doesn't receive disability payment as works full time but does have a blue badge because of his breathing problems with COPD and asthma because he cannot walk very far

 

Is he registered disabled with gp and work?

Note that having special arrangements at work doesn't necessarily mean that he is down as disabled.

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Is he registered disabled with gp and work?

Note that having special arrangements at work doesn't necessarily mean that he is down as disabled.

 

for employment law purposes only an ET will decide if he is disabled; if work are aware of his conition this is enough

 

I do dislike ths idea of a giant register somewhere - very 1984. The world is somewhat more progrssive these days.

 

Sally, I would go for

- I do admit I was perhaps overy assertive; the reasons why are a) I felt I was not being taken seriously or listeed to and b) my treatment

- however my original greivance still stands

- I have a few months left to work and am not terribley well; would you like to come to an arrangement that suits us both?

 

What does he want the outcome to be, is he clear? I think you need that in your mind first, and we can advise if it is realistic.


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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