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shortwoman68

Suspended on full pay for 9 months then dismissed!

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I am making a query on behalf of a friend.

 

She is a carer for her autistic sister and made her employers (local government) aware of this 5 years ago when she started work as a Registries and Ceremonies Officer. She was frequently late for work as she had to wait for the transport to collect her to take her to the day centre daily due to this she asked to start work later instead of the normal 9 am.

 

During her period of employment she felt bullied and harassed by her supervisor who complained about her lateness consistently and belittled her by calling her 'Oi you' and not as part of the team. Through the stress of caring for her sister daily and harassment my friend put in a complaint about her supervisor on 3rd June 2016. The councils policy on complaints is stated as:

 

complaint received, investigation and response - within 5 working days

any investigation necessary - with 10 working days

 

She did not receive any response to this complaint and there was no investigation.

 

She was asked whether she could undertake a ceremony on 24th July 2016 at 1pm however due to her caring responsibilities she was unable to do this. She informed her supervisor of this on 23rd July whilst at work and it appears that there was a disagreement and her supervisor stated that ' she behaved in a threatening and intimidating manner' towards her during this discussion. My friend stated that she did not but was very anxious and stressed on this day due to the pressure of her caring responsibilities and has been supported by her GP but felt very unsupported by her employers and her supervisor. Allegations made by the supervisor were stated as correct by people that worked with her but not regarded as colleagues due to their exclusion of her.

 

Anyway following the allegations she was suspended from work on 25th July 2016 and interviews were taken in September, November and December 2016 from my friend, the supervision and other witnesses. During this period my friend sent further complaints of harassment and bullying on 9th and 14th September bearing in mind that her initial complaint made in June was not investigated which she also highlighted.

 

She was ill advised by a union representative to accept the charge of gross misconduct and was dismissed on 26th April 2017 and placed on the redeployment list for 12 weeks, in which she was seen weekly for any suitable positions. 12 weeks was also her notice period. The documents state that any complaints made during the periods of disciplinary will be dealt with within the hearing but they were brushed over and the initial complaint has never been discussed or addressed.

 

She has appealed against her dismissal citing that she was wrongly advised, she had a nervous breakdown and they refused to re-schedule the meeting as she was unable to contribute and agreed to everything, she worked with the local authority since 2002 and had a clean record. It was recommended by the Investigating Officer that she was transferred to another role not dismissed or redeployed.

 

She now needs to write another appeal and after seeing a solicitor she would like to still list the above but also add associative disability discrimination as she has caring duties which have been confirmed by the local authority in writing and also been supported through this ordeal by her GP, harassment as they refused to allow her flexi time to attend to her sister and also the behaviour of her supervision by calling her 'oi you' and the conduct of her employers. (The later has been suggested by a Solicitor who looked over the papers).

 

Can anyone advise as she needs to write an appeal to hand in on monday:sad:

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The ins and outs of dismissal procedures I know little about.

But an appeal on the grounds of getting ill advice is a non starter.

Your opportunity to get advice... Wether good or poor

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Hello there.

 

I'm sorry you were missed, this was probably because you posted in the employment Media subforum rather than the main one. I'll move you to that.

 

How did your friend get on?

 

HB

Edited by honeybee13
Clarity

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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I wouldn't have advised on this anyway HB - there is a solicitor involved and if that is the case then they should be advising her. We simply don't have sufficient knowledge of the grounds of her claim - the solicitor does. From what is here, I can see no good grounds to appeal. She agreed that she had committed gross misconduct, there was an attempt to redeploy which was unsuccessful (unsurprisingly - a redeployment following an admission of gross misconduct is very unusual in the first instance). Her claim that she was ill-advised is nothing to do with the employer. She would need to take that up with the union.

 

Her recourse here is her solicitor - not this or any other forum. If the solicitor isn't representing her, then I am afraid that says quite a lot in itself. If it were such a slam dunk case, I can't see why they wouldn't have her as a client instead of leaving her on her own to draft an appeal on grounds she clearly doesn't understand.

  • Haha 1

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Interesting reply, thank you Sangie.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Interesting reply, thank you Sangie.

 

HB

 

The answer comes too late given the dates involved. But to explain, I am always very uncomfortable about giving advice to a third party anyway, because they don't have all the facts. They are filtering information from someone else who may be wrong in the first place, For example, I know that the grievance policy does not say "within 5 working days" etc. I know this because they never do. They will say something like "normally" or "where possible". No local authority makes deadlines contractual! Similarly, there are jobs in local government for which flexitime is not suitable - we don't know if this was the case. There is no such thing as a "nervous breakdown" - she may have had mental health problems but that does not mean she was unfit to attend a disciplinary. The allegations are very complex and on the face of it, she admitted gross misconduct. Just because she says that she wasn't threatening doesn't mean she wasn't - and she agreed that she was! And then the whole list of counterclaims are difficult areas of law - discrimination fills volumes on its own.

 

She's seen a solicitor who has advised her - if we now gave advice, based on totally incomplete information, some of which we know for a fact is inaccurate, how do we do that without telling her something that may not be correct? If someone has plumped for a solicitor, they need to work with that person. If the solicitor has told her something and she wanted to get some opinion on what they had told her, that would be different. But we can't do the solicitors job for them based on no information, because we could damage that case that the solicitor says she has.

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