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    • Fine. Have a quick think and decide whether you want to bring a small claim. If you do then it is worth spending a little bit of time looking through this forum and discovering the steps of how to bring a small claim in the County Court. You would have to start with a letter of claim which would give them 14 days to provide you with your refund or else you will start a small claim against them and without any further notice. Day 15 you issue the papers. Don't make the threat unless you are prepared to go ahead and carry it out. As I've already said, bringing a small claim is extremely easy and on the basis of what you say, your chances of success are much better than 95% – and in my view Halfords will put their hands up unless they really want to waste their money and their time. Does Halfords really want to spend their time and money losing a case in which they will have to draft the defence document, respond to various papers from the court, put you to the trouble of paying the hearing fee, instructing lawyers to go and attend at your local court which I believe is in the North west of England, losing their case, having to pay your £40 plus interest plus your court fee plus the hearing fee – and then suffer the indignity of having their name plastered even further all over this forum and over Twitter and Facebook and trust pilot. If this is what they want then they really don't value their reputation very highly.   I have sent the following response to Halfords  
    • The Highway Code says you must not enter unless your exit is clear*. The law doesn’t say the same, the offence is stopping on the box junction* It is possible to enter while your exit is clear, and then another car block you, you stop on the junction, and commit the offence* even though you complied with the Highway Code**   (or, even, breach the Highway Code by entering when your exit isn’t clear, but not commit the offence as long as you don’t actually stop, and your exit becomes clear in time!)     * = absent the defence of you wanting to turn right and the only thing preventing you doing so being oncoming traffic (/ other vehicles turning right)   ** = in which case you appeal, not on grounds of the contravention not occurring, as it did, but on the grounds that given you had made all efforts to comply, and another driver’s bad driving caused you to have to stop so as not to cause an accident, it isn’t in the public interest to pursue it.
    • read the guide CCA goes to the claimant   dx  
    • Hi, yes that is what has happened. The technician originally said that the tyres were for BMW, it came to light in the PayPal disputes I’ve had with them that it’s not only for BMW but certainly not for my car. It seems like everyone I speak to has a different sort of opinion on what the tyres are for. We looked for a branded tyre within a good price range and chose that tyre assuming any tyre on the list would have fit our car.. I shall do that yes I would like the call recording as I am actually quite upset how the lady spoke to us about it when we contacted customer services anyway. Thanks for helping. 
    • By the way, please will you send a subject access request to Halfords and make sure you asked them for call recordings as well as any of the details that you input in respect to your tyre order and any other personal data which they hold on you in any form. Get this letter off to them by email tomorrow and confirm in writing.   I suggest that you send the letter for the attention of Andrea Botha | Executive Contact Manager who will be aware of this situation.   https://uk.linkedin.com/in/andrea-botha-96b565143   I've written to her again and suggested that maybe she doublecheck the situation because of my understanding what you say is correct, then I think that she must badly have misunderstood the circumstances of this. Once again, I understand that you input the details of a Kia and Halfords recommended tyres fit for a BMW. They only informed you of this error after the tyre fitting had been booked. Your initial contact with Halfords after this resulted in a promise to reimburse you and it was only a subsequent contact with another customer services person that they renege on the promise. Is that correct?
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My wife is employed in the public sector at a school. She has a term-time contract (fixed hours per week, employed over 2 years).

 

Recently she collapsed at work as she was being bullied by her line manager. She was advised by her doctor to take the rest of the week off work, which she did (self-certified). These events were reported in writing to the employer, and my wife returned to work.

 

Related to the stress illness, her mother, who lives in a developing country (where my wife comes from), has become quite severely ill, and has lost lots of weight, and may die sometime in the near future (whether that is 1 month, 1 year, or maybe longer I cannot say, but she can no longer walk or move herself).

 

My wife has requested a week off work (the last week of term), however authorisation for this has been denied. According to the employer's policy this would only be agreed in 'exceptional circumstances', however they do not consider her mother's illness to be so.

 

Thus if she takes the time off then it will be marked as 'unauthorised', and disciplinary procedures 'may follow'.

 

What should we do?

 

Obviously I can reply saying that I disagree on their interpretation of exceptional and say that she is taking the time off anyway. (Note that there is no issue about this being unpaid, we just don't want to get into the situation where they can exploit the situation where they have been bullying my wife and turn it around so that she can be dismissed or something )

 

She is going to see her (sympathetic) GP next week - I don't know if she could ask him for a sick note in terms of her ongoing illness, but it obviously would look a little odd in view of the leave request!

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My wife is employed in the public sector at a school. She has a term-time contract (fixed hours per week, employed over 2 years).

 

Recently she collapsed at work as she was being bullied by her line manager. She was advised by her doctor to take the rest of the week off work, which she did (self-certified). These events were reported in writing to the employer, and my wife returned to work.

 

Related to the stress illness, her mother, who lives in a developing country (where my wife comes from), has become quite severely ill, and has lost lots of weight, and may die sometime in the near future (whether that is 1 month, 1 year, or maybe longer I cannot say, but she can no longer walk or move herself).

 

My wife has requested a week off work (the last week of term), however authorisation for this has been denied. According to the employer's policy this would only be agreed in 'exceptional circumstances', however they do not consider her mother's illness to be so.

 

Thus if she takes the time off then it will be marked as 'unauthorised', and disciplinary procedures 'may follow'.

 

What should we do?

 

Obviously I can reply saying that I disagree on their interpretation of exceptional and say that she is taking the time off anyway. (Note that there is no issue about this being unpaid, we just don't want to get into the situation where they can exploit the situation where they have been bullying my wife and turn it around so that she can be dismissed or something )

 

She is going to see her (sympathetic) GP next week - I don't know if she could ask him for a sick note in terms of her ongoing illness, but it obviously would look a little odd in view of the leave request!

 

It would look more than a little odd. It would look like you were claiming sick leave to do something that has been refused. And it would look like that because that is what she would be doing! Sorry, you aren't going to like this answer, but I agree with the school. She had no justification for taking the last week of school off, she knew the terms of her employment precluded leave during term time, and there is no reason she can't go a week later when the school had broken up.

 

The answer is obvious. She goes a week later. She has no idea when or whether her mother will die. As you observe, it could be next year, or five years from now, or five days. I'm not being unsympathetic, but by those standards, anyone whose mother is alive "might die". That is not sufficient cause to breach an employment contract which you entered into knowing full well that you work in a school and are required to be in school.

 

I would suggest that there is a very real possibility that if she does as you suggest, she could be dismissed, and that such a dismissal would be fair.

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Hello, I can't think of any law that would help here, as clearly your wife is not a carer, living so far away. I think she just has to take the risk, or wait a week. Me, I'd wait. I have never believed being there at the moment of death matters; it's how you were together for all the years before that is important. However, that's just my perspective. It will indeed look odd to go sick following a denied leave request and seems an abuse of the fit note system. When off sick, she would usually need to request permission to go "on holiday" out of the country, so if the manager comes to call, and she is absent, then that'd be a disciplinary. Also, it may trigger attendance policy anyway, so just cause other problems on her return. I'm sorry there are no great answers for you.


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I can only imagine that the doctor would say she is continuing to suffer from the same stress illness that caused her to collapse at work recently, however whether there is anything between 'she cannot go to work at the exact time she has requested leave due to illness' and 'she would benefit from taking a week off' I'm not sure.

 

I don't think that 'not going' is something that she is considering, so this is really a question of how to manage the fact that she IS going to take time off that they may deem it unauthorised.

 

Could they summarily dismiss her and thereby avoid paying her for the summer holidays?

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Hmm, I had a look at the disciplinary procedure, it says:

 

* no summary dismissal except for gross misconduct (so they could issue a written warning, a final written warning, or something less formal than that)

* gross misconduct examples are a non-exhaustive list, but it doesn't include absence

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Hmm, I had a look at the disciplinary procedure, it says:

 

* no summary dismissal except for gross misconduct (so they could issue a written warning, a final written warning, or something less formal than that)

* gross misconduct examples are a non-exhaustive list, but it doesn't include absence

 

Lying for financial advantage would often be GMC (pretending to be sick and getting sick pay when not ill). Refusal to obey a reasonable instruction (ie turn up to work) may also be. There's no hard and fast rule, just "is it within the range of reasonable responses employers may take." All it needs is for the manager to phone or pop round and she's overseas, and she's done. As you say she has made her decision. I'd at least make it an honest one and leave the GP out of it. Or, she could resign.


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Lying for financial advantage would often be GMC (pretending to be sick and getting sick pay when not ill). Refusal to obey a reasonable instruction (ie turn up to work) may also be. There's no hard and fast rule, just "is it within the range of reasonable responses employers may take." All it needs is for the manager to phone or pop round and she's overseas, and she's done. As you say she has made her decision. I'd at least make it an honest one and leave the GP out of it. Or, she could resign.

 

I agree entirely. And I'm afraid that her attitude of "i'm going no matter what" is exceptionally bad. She had always known that she is required to work during term time and cannot take holidays. There is no immediate danger indicated in her mother's condition. So this comes down to nothing more than wanting what she wants. Having asked for the time off, she cannot now make any excuse - whether she gets a fit note or not, in the employers shoes I would be insisting on a home visit or occupational health visit to prove that she is in the country, and if she isn't..... Stress can be lied about. Just because a doctor gives her a fit note doesn't mean it is true, and it doesn't mean that she can leave the country. If that were the case, people would be forever on "extra holidays with pay". And I do find it exceptional that, with no urgency, she must do this precisely the week before she could go anyway, and go with no consequences. This is not bullying by the employer - this is a petulant tantrum by the employee.

 

But Emzzi is correct - what she proposes is definitely within the spectrum of gross misconduct. To be frank, if someone pulled this one on me, then I would certainly consider dismissal. And you could lay bets that I would be insisting on a home visit to ensure my "sick employee" was not pulling a fast one.

 

If she is inherent on not being bound by her freely given commitment to her employment, resignation is actually the only honest approach. And quite conceivably the only one that will not result in her dismissal, and a reference that might ensure she finds out very hard to get another job in similar situations.

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I wasn't proposing claiming sick pay, the request was for unpaid leave, it would be in order to justify 'exceptional circumstances' for unpaid leave, rather than as a request for sick leave.

 

Resignation would not be appropriate in this scenario, as she would still be under contract during the week she is taking off, so still in breach of contract.

 

Her manager met with her today and suggested she 'take a break' (I think the implication was 'your husband has money, you don't need to work, so why don't you quit your job', albeit that this wasn't expressed in that many words) and suggested that her performance had declined; however I'm not really clear where things fit in between 'you were a valued worker but your performance has declined, what can we do to help', and 'get out, we don't need you any more'.

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I'm a school governor and the chair of our staff disciplinary panel. If your wife's case came before my panel we would definitely be considering dismissal for gross misconduct.

 

Several posters have asked why your wife has to go the week before the end of term and not wait until the following week. You haven't explained. Why can't she wait a week? Her mother's condition doesn't seem to require your wife to go urgently.

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I would assume, albeit not being a doctor, it would be better for her to see her mother sooner rather than later, in order to try and arrange appropriate treatment for her, if she can get better.

 

She is going, that really isn't up for debate, the issue is how to deal with that fact with her employers.

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Every response you've had has been clear and consistent. If your wife goes she risks dismissal for Gross Misconduct. Are you asking how your wife should lie convincingly? Or what? I'm not clear what advice you now want.

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I would assume, albeit not being a doctor, it would be better for her to see her mother sooner rather than later, in order to try and arrange appropriate treatment for her, if she can get better.

 

She is going, that really isn't up for debate, the issue is how to deal with that fact with her employers.

 

To be clear; there is no way to do this without potential repercussions. I think you just need to accept that and make the best decision in that knowledge. There are no loopholes here.


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Agreed. You are actually asking us how she puts up two fingers to the employers and gets away with it. There isn't one. And sick pay is an integral part of sick leave - you can't claim to be sick but say you don't want sick pay. That would, in itself, be an admission of gross misconduct.

 

Look, if she is intent on this disastrous course of action, there is only ONE very slim possibility of being away with not being sacked. And it's tenuous. She tells the truth. She doesn't say she is sick - a lie. She says that she is going, with or without permission. It's a huge risk. But she's already taking that risk. But if she goes off sick she is taking that risk AND lying to her employer. The latter, all on its own, is sufficient to justify dismissal. It doesn't matter what you lie about. Any lie to an employer is serious misconduct. Nobody will countenance that.

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Look, if she is intent on this disastrous course of action, there is only ONE very slim possibility of being away with not being sacked. And it's tenuous. She tells the truth. She doesn't say she is sick - a lie. She says that she is going, with or without permission. It's a huge risk. But she's already taking that risk.

 

She is sick, that is not a lie at all, the issue is whether she is fit to work. Evidently she is, however she is somewhat less fit than she should be for various reasons - it's not about telling the truth or not, it's 'I'm going because of reason X, Y and Z', there is presumably a difference between a well-worded letter and turning up on Monday and being asked where you last week 'Oh I was getting smashed in Ibiza with my mates'.

 

If you feel that it's all the same and it doesn't make a difference whether her doctor says she is suffering from a work-related stress illness and that her mother is dying or she's going on holiday to Ibiza, then ok I'll just tell her to say 'eff off I'm going on holiday', if that's apparently the best advice on offer here.

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She is sick, that is not a lie at all, the issue is whether she is fit to work. Evidently she is, however she is somewhat less fit than she should be for various reasons - it's not about telling the truth or not, it's 'I'm going because of reason X, Y and Z', there is presumably a difference between a well-worded letter and turning up on Monday and being asked where you last week 'Oh I was getting smashed in Ibiza with my mates'.

 

If you feel that it's all the same and it doesn't make a difference whether her doctor says she is suffering from a work-related stress illness and that her mother is dying or she's going on holiday to Ibiza, then ok I'll just tell her to say 'eff off I'm going on holiday', if that's apparently the best advice on offer here.

 

You may not like the advice, but there's a very good reason why everyone is giving it to you. It's correct! You can attempt to rationalise this as much as you like, and make up excuses as much as you like. She is not sick. She is leaving the country to visit her mother (reason irrelevant) after having had a leave request refused, and she (you) want us to help you find a convenient lie that will allow her to get away with it so that she has a job to come back to. We may as well tell you to say that she has been kidnapped by gnomes. It is about as believable. So yes, actually it is exactly about telling the truth or not. It is about nothing else, since complying with her contractual conditions is something she has no intention of doing. I just wonder why, in that case, you think that the employer should have any intention of complying with theirs? What you fail to realise is that getting smashed in Ibiza with your mates is exactly the same thing - it is all unauthorised leave taken explicitly after being told you cannot have leave. If you think you'll get better advice elsewhere, then go get it.

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You may not like the advice, but there's a very good reason why everyone is giving it to you. It's correct! You can attempt to rationalise this as much as you like, and make up excuses as much as you like. She is not sick. She is leaving the country to visit her mother (reason irrelevant) after having had a leave request refused, and she (you) want us to help you find a convenient lie that will allow her to get away with it so that she has a job to come back to..

 

I'm sorry, what is the lie here exactly? She is sick, that might not be equivalent to being fit for work, however you have no business saying she is not sick, that is quite the statement about someone you have never met.

 

I'm not sure what contractual conditions you are talking about since you, er, have no idea what the actual contract says. But do continue to reply saying how she is going to get sacked if you wish.

 

I will endeavour to report back in due course about what ACTUALLY happens.

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My wife has requested a week off work (the last week of term), however authorisation for this has been denied. According to the employer's policy this would only be agreed in 'exceptional circumstances', however they do not consider her mother's illness to be so.

 

Thus if she takes the time off then it will be marked as 'unauthorised', and disciplinary procedures 'may follow'.

 

What should we do?

[/Quote]

 

The responses that you have received have been in line with the question that you asked in your OP

 

What you should do, is to heed the fact that the request was not agreed and look to travel when it is no longer the concern of the employer. You should not arrange for travel until any absence has been authorised

 

From an employer's standpoint they are well within their rights, should your wife absent herself from work regardless of the request being turned down. Would any reasonable employer take the same stance? Almost certainly. Would I? Absolutely Would your wife's absence be a matter of Gross Misconduct? It could easily be made to be so

 

Whichever way up you look at this (and I do have a huge sympathy for your wife's situation), I cannot see an easy way out. The employer is now fully aware of the situation, so they will know where she is if she is not at work. If she goes down the sickness absence route, then I have no doubt that they will do their best to still make a case for disciplinary action

 

You say that there has been an allegation of bullying? Was this by the same person who refused the absence request? What stage has your wife's Grievance reached?


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The responses that you have received have been in line with the question that you asked in your OP

 

What you should do, is to heed the fact that the request was not agreed and look to travel when it is no longer the concern of the employer. You should not arrange for travel until any absence has been authorised

 

Travel is going to take place, again I am not asking about whether travel is advised or incredibly stupid or whatever else, it's how to deal with her decision, no matter how ill-advised it may be.

 

From an employer's standpoint they are well within their rights, should your wife absent herself from work regardless of the request being turned down. Would any reasonable employer take the same stance? Almost certainly. Would I? Absolutely Would your wife's absence be a matter of Gross Misconduct? It could easily be made to be so

 

If they want to claim it is gross misconduct, than that's something I will look to dispute, obviously it's not ideal.

 

Whichever way up you look at this (and I do have a huge sympathy for your wife's situation), I cannot see an easy way out. The employer is now fully aware of the situation, so they will know where she is if she is not at work. If she goes down the sickness absence route, then I have no doubt that they will do their best to still make a case for disciplinary action

 

You say that there has been an allegation of bullying? Was this by the same person who refused the absence request? What stage has your wife's Grievance reached?

 

No, a different person (the person who has declined the request is the manager of the person who is causing the problem, who in the meeting today said she should take a break, i.e. resign). I don't think the grievance is fully addressed as such, my view in the long term is that she would need to be found a different place of work (which is not that difficult as there are many schools), or the other person would.

 

As I understand it the immediate line manager (who was bullying her) was screaming at her for not doing X, now today the manager of the line manager has come in and said 'you should be doing Y, why are you doing X that is not your job'. So there is a failure of management I think at both a line management level and above that, which has led to this situation, however I think my wife is seeing this as 'I can't take any more of this', whereas my view is more that 'They should not cause you to suffer any more of this'.

 

Obviously this current situation (where she is taking a week off unauthorised) plays into the employer's hands rather a lot in that it gives them some ammunition if she wants to say 'you need to find me a new job with the same terms and conditions where I am not being bullied', and they don't want to deal with that and would prefer to say 'you are fired'.

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I'm sorry, what is the lie here exactly? She is sick, that might not be equivalent to being fit for work, however you have no business saying she is not sick, that is quite the statement about someone you have never met. You are being disingenuous. You have made it clear throughout that you are talking about her going off "sick" when in fact she is leaving the country to take an absence that has been refused. You can play word games here all you like, but your question was very clear, and the intentions clearly stated.

 

I'm not sure what contractual conditions you are talking about since you, er, have no idea what the actual contract says. But do continue to reply saying how she is going to get sacked if you wish. They would be the ones that YOU stated here! The ones about not being able to take leave during term time. You'll recall that you very clearly stated that? I presumed that when you stated these to be the contractual terms, you knew this to be the case. Would that not now be correct? You don't know that this is a term of the contract?

 

I will endeavour to report back in due course about what ACTUALLY happens.

 

What actually happens is not relevant. You didn't ask what would actually happen, because the answer to that would be that we do not have any crystal balls. But you have been warned about what MAY happen, and given the entire circumstances, what is VERY LIKELY to happen. Since that is no deterrent to doing whatever she wants anyway, I cannot truthfully see what the point of asking for advice was. As you have stated yourself, this is playing into the employers hands. Since you accept that, do not be surprised, or aggrieved, when they grab the opportunity presented and use it.

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I do hope you are not passing this anger on to your wife. Fine to shout about the inequity of life here; but she has enough to cope with, without emotional outbursts.

 

I hope shouting us has given you somewhere safe to put your irritation.


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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It sounds like a terribly sad situation. Your wife's employer isn't exactly going above and beyond, but they can legitimately refuse the leave so they aren't doing anything wrong either.

 

Ordinarily I'd suggest a grievance, but it's highly unlikely to conclude before the suggested leave date anyway.

 

Your wife could get signed off sick, if she has an ongoing legitimate illness. Her employer would need at least a degree or evidence to dispute that absence, and IMO it would be difficult for them to dismiss her given that a) she has a pre existing stress related illness and b) her current circumstances could be said to exacerbate that illness. The difficulty would be if in the future an unfavourable OH report was sought, she could be fairly dismissed.

 

On balance I wouldn't take the leave. She has six(?) weeks to go and visit. Many employees don't have that luxury.

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I will endeavour to report back in due course about what ACTUALLY happens.

 

If you want to know what's ACTUALLY going to happen consult Mystic Meg. The advice here is what's likely to happen if your wife's employer finds out what she has done.

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how many times did we get calls people sick, their mistake is we decided to take it in turns to have a day off, and low and behold near the sea front outside area of pubs drinking, hence approached them and informed their services no longer required .


:mad2::-x:jaw::sad:

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Could it be that if she took the trip a week later then the flights would be 3 times the price because it is school holiday rather than any pressing medical need ? You have stated that there is no terminal illness as can be defined.

Dont you think this thought has crossed the employers mind as well even if it isnt the driving force behind the decision.

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