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mjr001

Wife being accused after handing notice in

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"As vulnerable as they are making out"? Sorry? They would have to be pretty vulnerable indeed to have secure locks  in place to prevent them from leaving the premises on their own. Are you now trying to claim they aren't vulnerable? That isn't going to have legs! If they were not that vulnerable it would be abuse in itself to prevent them leaving their home wherever they wanted to. 

 

And you need to the careful. Stick to the simple story. Stop elaborating on it. Policies are not written to cover every eventuality. And you know that. On the other hand, if a senior member of staff (and she was senior) with many years experience knows that there is a fault on the door - and she says she did know that- common sense and professional expertise would suggest that she double checked the door since she was the only other person there. Why would she need to be told that? That will be their argument. 

 

"Apparently" isn't evidence. 

 

They are alleging neglect. That is not the same thing as "a mistake" or "an error". Neglect implies a deliberate act or an ommission that could have been, and should have been, managed properly. Her defence is that it wasn't neglect. Another member of staff came in. The door must not have closed properly after her. There was no reason to assume it wouldn't, but in hindsight something similar happened and was reported in the book. She had evidence of that and can prove it. It must be an intermittent fault. She didn't do anything wrong. As soon as it was reported  that the resident had left she went and got her. No embellishments and no excuses. A simple, clear story.

 

Then she can point to her work record, her years of practice without any problems and the fact that she has never done anything wrong and intends to fight for her clean record with every option available to her. Then stop. Don't embellish. Don't threaten. Don't make excuses. 

 

You need to understand that the aim here is to get the employer to back down. It doesn't matter what their motivation is, because that's another thing you can't prove. If at all possible you need to  avoid having to go to an employment tribunal because she might lose. The odds are stacked against her winning. So you need the employer to find that it was not neglect. At best, an unfortunate incident that must not happen again. At worst, an error of judgement on her part. Because even the latter isn't massively damaging to her. Nobody is daft enough to think such errors don't happen. If the employer can find a solution that saves face for them, they are less likely to pursue this to the n-th degree. And I'm doing my best to get her not sacked here. Which is the scenario none of us want.

 

 

 

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Thank you so much.  So should it be said that she has evidence and can prove it as you have put above ?

 

Just a quick question. It says she can take a work colleague or union rep etc could I accompany her in the meeting or does it have to be one of the above ?

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She has evidence. It was lawfully obtained. So yes, she can produce it.

 

No you can't go. The law is clear. Union rep or work colleague only. And I'd also give  you some very good advice anyway - if you were either of those things, you would be the worst person to have in the room. You have no objectivity at all. You'd make things worse! You wouldn't be able to keep quiet, you'd argue about things that you aren't able to verify or that you haven't witnessed, and you couldn't possibly stick to the basics without trying to throw in the kitchen sink. And that would be the best you'd do! Get angry and she's definitely dismissed.... 

 

Your job is a shoulder to cry on and total belief in everything she says even if she's wrong. A good representative isn't either of those things. 

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10 minutes ago, sangie5952 said:

She has evidence. It was lawfully obtained. So yes, she can produce it.

 

No you can't go. The law is clear. Union rep or work colleague only. And I'd also give  you some very good advice anyway - if you were either of those things, you would be the worst person to have in the room. You have no objectivity at all. You'd make things worse! You wouldn't be able to keep quiet, you'd argue about things that you aren't able to verify or that you haven't witnessed, and you couldn't possibly stick to the basics without trying to throw in the kitchen sink. And that would be the best you'd do! Get angry and she's definitely dismissed.... 

 

Your job is a shoulder to cry on and total belief in everything she says even if she's wrong. A good representative isn't either of those things. 

With regards to the photo of what was written in the comms book regarding the door. Is it lawfull ? This was a grey area when she got the photo. It's a journal of day to day issues at the property. No name are on it and it only highlights an issue with the door but not sure

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She was on the premises lawfully, it's evidence, it's a formal record and she had lawful access to it. What is the grey area?

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 a lot of people photograpgh the daily reports and more commonly the shift rotas where employers have a habit of swapping people about with less the the amount of notice the employment contracts state will be given.

This is beneficial to employers as well as it prevents people form altering the day books so yes, she should use this to show that it was raised but it also raises the question about how are things followed up and whose is taksed to make sure it is.

the duty of care she has cannot be cancelled just because it has been noted in a book, you still have to shut the door or make sure it is closed regardless of who knows about the lock and whose job it is to replace it.

so we are back to square one with duty of care and safeguarding etc, she should have reported higher up the chain when positive feedback was lacking. that is the law

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6 hours ago, ericsbrother said:

 a lot of people photograpgh the daily reports and more commonly the shift rotas where employers have a habit of swapping people about with less the the amount of notice the employment contracts state will be given.

This is beneficial to employers as well as it prevents people form altering the day books so yes, she should use this to show that it was raised but it also raises the question about how are things followed up and whose is taksed to make sure it is.

the duty of care she has cannot be cancelled just because it has been noted in a book, you still have to shut the door or make sure it is closed regardless of who knows about the lock and whose job it is to replace it.

so we are back to square one with duty of care and safeguarding etc, she should have reported higher up the chain when positive feedback was lacking. that is the law

Yes noted but it's obvious that the member of staff that came into work an hour earlier left the door unmatched and the thing they are making a big thing of They were not supervised. One woman working inside and my wife informed her she was clearing the paths outside.  The member of staff inside then went to the patio to ask my wife something when the client walked out. Surely that's not my wife's fault ?

 

 

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Unfortunately, if she is the most senior person on the premises, then the answer to that could be yes, it's her "fault". But that still doesn't mean that that will be the result. I think the point is that it's impossible to say what will happen, but in the end, the incident itself should not have a happened. It isn't as easy as saying that the door should have locked. Or that it's the employers fault it wasn't fixed, assuming there was something wrong with it. Or that the the member of staff should have checked. Or your wife should have checked. Or that both staff shouldn't have been so busy that they didn't know what was happening with their clients. Or anything else. Something like this is a serious incident and it must be treated as such. But that doesn't mean it will result in her being disciplined. Until she is there isn't really much point rehearsing all these scenarios about blame. They don't add anything to her defence.

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Thanks. Will let you all know what happens on the 9th

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Yes. Try to relax. I know that's easier said than done. But right now it's best. Come back when a decision is made and then we will take it from there. 

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Many thanks all

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Please let us know how it goes next week, mjr001.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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I wrote to the company saying I believed they were wrong and highlighting my wife's points again ie working elsewhere. Somebody in the house etc and my wife had a response this morning saying they had received my letter but could not reply to me due to data protection. Did we want it added to the discaplinarys hearing or not

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Exactly how does this equate to the advice of sit back and don't do anything? No you don't and can't add it to the disciplinary - and you had no right to write on your wife's behalf about anything. You could have made things worse. What exactly have you said to them? You asked - and were told - that you have no right to represent  her. That's in any capacity. They are absolutely right that they shouldn't communicate with you at all. And you should not have written anything, no matter who signed it (and it should never have been you) before the disciplinary meeting.

 

I'm going to say this again - you were not there, your information is second hand and miles off being objective, and you cannot actually say that anything your wife has told you is true! You shouldn't be interfering and you certainly shouldn't be potentially handing them ammunition to make your wife's position worse than it already is.

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I appreciate all advice I'm given it just annoys me that they are doing what they are doing. I don't understand how it can make things worse as she is leaving 3 days after the meeting anyway and it's obvious their intention is to dismiss her.  All that was put in it was about being outside and she was not the last person through the door. How can they blame her 

 

I will not correspond with them anymore and see what happens. They have asked in the letter that arrived if my wife wants the letter I sent in her discaplinarys meeting or not I'm assuming by the advice above it would not be a good idea ?

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14 minutes ago, mjr001 said:

I appreciate all advice I'm given it just annoys me that they are doing what they are doing. I don't understand how it can make things worse as she is leaving 3 days after the meeting anyway and it's obvious their intention is to dismiss her.  All that was put in it was about being outside and she was not the last person through the door. How can they blame her 

 

I will not correspond with them anymore and see what happens. They have asked in the letter that arrived if my wife wants the letter I sent in her discaplinarys meeting or not I'm assuming by the advice above it would not be a good idea ?

Also added to the letter that any blame on her part will be appealled.

 

Apologies once again

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Did your wife see the letter before you sent it?

 

Did she ask you to send it?


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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Yes she saw the letter many times as I adjusted things. She has a copy and also also agreed when I said about sending it. She was the one who posted it

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2 minutes ago, mjr001 said:

Yes she saw the letter many times as I adjusted things. She has a copy and also also agreed when I said about sending it. She was the one who posted it

 

That's something at least. But the person who should agree if it goes in as evidence or not is her, not you.

 

Having your spouse write notes for you is like your mum writing a note to get you out of gym class. It makes you look weak. She can equally make the points in the letter herself, at the meeting.

Edited by Emmzzi

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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And the fact that it annoys you is why you should not be interfering. You are not objective and you are not helping here. For all you know, at the time of the incident she was shopping in Sainsbury's.  You have only her word for what happened, and your belief in her word is irrelevant. You keep confusing your beliefs and opinions with facts - the same "facts" are open to a range of other interpretations, and absolutely everything that you and she says that it isn't necessary to be said may cast doubt on her version of events. That's the whole point of saying little and keep it simple - not elaborate at will and don't stop talking! The thing is, as we've said before, the employer doesn't need evidence to the standard that a court of law does. They only need a reasonable belief of wrong doing in order to dismiss her, and the more you say the more you are giving them that.

 

And it does not matter whether she agreed that you send the letter or not. You have no legal authority to act on her behalf in this matter. And nobody should have been saying anything. 

 

Please don't say or do anything else to her employer. Not now and not ever. If something needs saying it's her that needs to say it. You can help compose, but you are not her.

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I appriciciate all the advice from all. All noted

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I realise this is hard on both of you for different reasons, but you just need to stick with the plan. She goes to the disciplinary and she tells an unadorned version of events sticking to the basic facts. The door was locked as normal. Someone came in at XX o'clock. At YY o'clock, when she was doing [a job] she became aware of the fact that a client had left the premises. She went to retrieve the client. Maybe what she then did - but really basic (for example, checked client ok, wrote up report or whatever). She does not say she knows that the door must have not closed properly - unless she checked then she can't say that. If they ask her for an explanation she can only say that she guesses the door may have stuck again after her colleague came in, and she can produce the report from the book as evidence this isn't the first time it has done this. That's the story, and that's the end of the story - she needs to keep it simple. Don't assert anything she can't prove. Neither can they prove anything, so don't give them a chance to extrapolate.

 

To my mind, the biggest loophole in this is that  it appears nobody was actually keeping an eye on the clients, and if they are so vulnerable that they must be kept indoors and locked in, then shouldn't someone have been watching them? As I said before, outside is not the only place that dangers lurk. This must be a weakness in the argument, and since she is the senior member of staff, that may fall down to her.

 

But she needs to try to stay calm and not "over-explain" anything. She needs to deny any neglect ever. She needs to point to her blemish free record. She needs to say that she will defend her record in whatever way she must - and that's all she need say on that, don't start issuing threats. And the less she complicates the rest of it by saying too  much, the more they will hear what she is saying about defending herself however she must. 

 

Then you wait for an outcome and you see what the new employer says. If she's dismissed and the new employer withdraws the offer, then you are left with no alternative - it will have to be a tribunal. But we need to let it play out and see if that can be avoided. As soon as it gets to a tribunal, things get worse and the risks are that she loses. So we want to avoid that if possible. despite everything, if she can get to the point of starting the new job, she walks away and forgets about it. That's what you need to hope for - that she lands the new job. Having one's day in court is never what people think it will be, and there's no satisfaction to be got via that route, even if you win! Trust me, she wants to avoid it if she can.

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Many thanks Will do. The job offer at present been put on hold awaiting the outcome of the discaplinary meeting. He has had all references back, 4 of them and CRB checks being done which will be fine but because the employer she is with at present said on the reference she is under investigation it has been put on hold

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And that's as they should do. If there is a proven case of neglect or abuse that goes to the DBS. They would then have to decide on fitness to undertake this kind of work. Which is why we wait. There's nothing positive that can be done, but multiple ways to screw up! 

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An update to the disciplinary meeting yesterday.

 

in the letter she received saying she had to attend the disciplinary yesterday it said she had to ring and confirm that she would be attending and she had the right to bring another employee of the company or a trade union rep.  She phoned and spoke to the office manager who was present in the first investigation meeting and took notes and said she would attending and asked if she could accompany her to the meeting to either take notes or be the accompanying person as she seemed to do a decent job with the minutes of the first meeting and was told she would speak to the area manager to try and arrange it. 

When my wife arrived for the meeting the area manager came down and called the receptionist and my wife into a private room.  they started the meeting and my wife said she had asked the office manager to take notes or accompany her to which the area manager replied the receptionist was there taking notes and she would not be having the person she asked for.  My wife was not accompanied by anyone, only the area manager was there and receptionist taking notes.

 

As this was highlighted as a disciplinary meeting on the paperwork my wife said it was exactly the same as the first meeting, asking the same questions basically again asking again why a report was not filled in to which again my wife said the same that she was outside with another member of staff left inside, and she was asked to complete the report as she could not possibly of seen what had happened as she was outside.  Same questions as previous basically.

 

At the end of the meeting the area manager asked my wife to read the notes taken and sign all of the pages.  My wife said that half the things in the meeting said were either incorrect or missing and spread over 4 pages of A4 in no sensible or logical order, even the girl writing the minutes when asked could not understand her own writing.  My wife said she was unhappy to sign anything as it was illegible.  She was told by the area manager she had to sign and my wife said no, the area manager then said she had to get advice form HR and left the room coming back in to say it would be re-written and sent to her by e-mail and to check over and return if she agreed, then she would have to go into the office to sign the paperwork.

 

The rewritten minutes came through last night and my wife said she was chased this morning via phone to agree to the wording and return via e-mail.  My wife said she has not read it properly and would return it when she had.

 

Upon reading the minutes it looks as if they are highlighting things like, girls left un-attended, report not done or area manger not phoned at the time, ignoring things that were said in the investigation meeting like member of staff left in the house when my wife worked outside, other member of staff asked to complete report and my wife already told them that she did not realise an area manager had to be contacted as a report was asked to be filled out.  she has never had to telephone an area manager previous with a report or any other member of staff has not either.

 

She also had a phone call from a private carer that takes one of the girls out asking if her back injury was better and asking why she decided to leave the company, information my wife has not told anyone.  My wife also explained about the on-going investigation and the carer which is employed by one of the girls fathers privately said she has had issues with the door in question and if the company wanted verification of that to contact her directly.

 

My wife has checked paperwork she has signed for previous and not signed anything to say about a phone call to accompany a report form and also unable to see in the company handbook as she never received one when she started 4 years ago.

 

Sorry to drone on but it seems as if they are trying to get her to slip up on what was said previous with a second investigation meeting.  

 

Any advice grateful

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