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Shock disciplinary meeting with no notice


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I have been a paralegal for 24 years and worked for the same firm for 20 years before the partner retired and the firm closed in July 2020. 

 

In August 2020 I started  working in new firm in private client department and after about 6 months the partners asked if i would be interested in starting up a family department as this is my speciality area.  I have worked building up the department on my own to the point where I had no assistance or support and was close to breaking point. 

 

They eventually agreed to take on a secretary from another department and a new solicitor who became head of department.  She has been there 7 weeks.  Anyway we have a weekly dept meeting which was today as I had just come back from holiday.  Well you could have blown me down when she said need to go over some issues that could mean dismissal 😮 

 

Had no idea what she was on about and she went through issues like not meeting billing target in June (because she took my high billing files over and billed less than me)  a potential negligence claim whilst I was on holiday for a client who had not instructed us and she should have dealt with.  Gobsmacked is an understatement.  Oh and not doing enough marketing.  We employ a marketing manager and never done it and never been asked to do it !!

 

She said she will now go back to MD with my responses (what limited ones I could give her) I have no idea what to do 😨

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Hi. I'm sorry to hear about your problems.

 

I expect the employment forum regulars will be along over the weekend so please bear with us until they're able to get here. @Emmzziis very good at employment problems if she's available.

 

HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Others will offer more knowledgeable views.

 

I thought that unless there were issues of misconduct which needed to be dealt with urgently e.g. missing funds from account or other conduct which might lead to instand dismissal, that the employer had to provide 5 days notice of the disciplinary meeting.

 

 

WWW.ACAS.ORG.UK

How workplace disciplinary and grievance issues should be handled.

 

Because you have worked for the employers for less than 2 years, you might find it difficult to pursue, if they did decide to end your employment.

 

WWW.ACAS.ORG.UK

Fair and unfair dismissal, dismissals with and without notice, and constructive dismissal.

 

We could do with some help from you.

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Hello,

 

have they documented anywhere what you performance goals are?

 

The difficulty in working with lawyers is they often take a "so sue me" stance to people management issues. I won't work for lawyers for this reason.

 

Would any of the partners be open to giving you a fair hearing? 

 

I think it might end up as mediation, or one of you has to leave or be redeployed into another department, if you are not going to get along.

 

Em

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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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When I was i private client we all had same target which was met usually over and above. 

 

When I started the new department they accepted that it was going to be some time before I would even reach target and in the 16 months that I ran it on my own there were no issues raised and I got bonuses along with other departments when firms targets were reached. 

 

I have worked closely with managing  partner since i started and did and still do a lot of pro bono work for her.

 

  I have a feeling this new one has spoken to the managing partner and she has probably suggested trying to talk it through and have a gut feeling she never gave her the authority to threaten dismissal as she is the compliance officer and is hot on anything that doesnt comply with guidelines and procedure.

 

I have made the decision that whatever happens I can not work with her so I am actively looking for another job.

 

As a side, this new one today told me the secretary who was taken from other department to work with us handed her notice in yesterday.  She has worked for firm for 8 years and was secretary  to managing partner. 

 

Spoke to her this evening and she told me this new one has made her work life difficult so she is going 😨 .  My intention was to ask this one for a list of the issues so I can respond but in the meantime ask the MP if she gave her authority to threaten dismissal based  on (in my opinion) nothing .

Many thanks for your time   

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that all sounds very sensible.

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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Thank you.  You know when it is time to move on but my worry is that I am dismissed, I have been there 3 weeks short of 2 years and never in my 20 odd years in this job have I had a formal complaint ( had lots of client moans but that comes with the job  😅)

 

Would it be ok to post up a draft email to MP for you guys to have a look over before I send. 

 

Again many thanks   

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This is what I propose sending to MP 

Dear xxxxx

I trust you are aware of the distressing and frankly shocking meeting with xxxxxx on Friday.  I was given no notice of this meeting and will be requesting a reason for this.

 

I will be asking xxxxx for a copy of her contemporaneous notes but in the meantime could I ask you to confirm/clarify if you gave xxxxx authority to threaten dismissal  

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@ladyh0

 

Why would the managing partner (MP) need to have agreed to the threat to dismiss ?

 

Your own line manager would have the authority to conduct disciplinary meetings and end your employment without the involvement of the MP.

 

Does your company have a staff handbook or discplinary guide stating how they would conduct disciplinary processes ?  Did you line manager comply with the companies guidance ?

We could do with some help from you.

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She does not have authority according to the handbook which I have checked.  No procedure was followed, i was never informed that out usual weekly meeting was a disciplinary, still haven't.   It says that any disciplinary action or dismissal will be given by the MP following an investigation and a disciplinary hearing.  Many thanks

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On 23/07/2022 at 13:29, ladyh0 said:

This is what I propose sending to MP 

Dear xxxxx

I trust you are aware of the distressing and frankly shocking meeting with xxxxxx on Friday.  I was given no notice of this meeting and will be requesting a reason for this.

 

I will be asking xxxxx for a copy of her contemporaneous notes but in the meantime could I ask you to confirm/clarify if you gave xxxxx authority to threaten dismissal  

don't trust or assume anything. 

 

explain what happened.

 

explain what you think was wrong with it.

 

explain what you want to happen now.

 

 

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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Posted (edited)

So.  I haven't posted as had lot going on.  I sent an email to MP and Director monday outlining everything, calmly and professionally.

 

  No response or acknowledgment to date. I have spoken to both  on a number of occasions this week as I am dealing with pro bono work for family members of both that are in court tomorrow and they have been perfectly pleasant   (Maybe laughing assassins 😅). 

 

I have a job offer from a firm I have had 2 interviews with this week.  I have been fully upfront about my reasons for leaving and i have accepted the job.  My concern is that my notice period is 3 months and again I have been upfront about this although not ideal as I cannot work with "her" so it will be a toxic environment 😪

 

 My 2 year employment period ends in around 2/3 weeks, they may move to dismiss before then   ( i know she has been speaking to recruitment agencies but not sure if this is my job or secretary's) so  if they do then I can leave as soon as or just hand notice in and hope they tell me they won't expect  3 months notice.

 

Many thanks  

Edited by ladyh0
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Update.  Notice handed in fab new job secured.  They know my possible notice period and this is not a problem.

 

Have had a few e-mail discussions with MP (she is on holiday) and she told me she was shocked by resignation and had no idea about meeting  or threat of dismissal and we have agreed to meet when she gets back. She said she had to read my email twice !

 

This other lady has not yet completed her 3 month probation period !

Thanks again guys for advice and even just listening, it means a great deal 🙂

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So just a bit of advice needed. 

 

The MP has not yet come back to me with date of notice period.  She has been saying she wants to meet with me about issues I raised and also with this other lady ( i just want to go asap)

 

She has gone on holiday and have seen in our department diary that she and other director have a meeting with other lady when she gets back in 2 weeks!  Not sure what to do.  Surely I am entitled to be given a date! 

 

Thanks all 

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They have a HR lady but she has to run everything through MP. It is only a small practice.

 

  My issues for leaving have been made clear and my resignation has been accepted so can't understand why any discussions they need to have with this other lady has anything to do with me or my notice period.  I have asked for a shorter notice period because of the circumstances so a yes or no is all I am asking for 🤷‍♀️  

 

Thanks HoneyBee

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As you will know, your notice period is whatever is stated in your employment contract and any earlier official leave date is subject to agreement.

 

If notice period more than 1 month  if you decided to just leave after say 1 month, if you are on monthly pay, then there is not much the employers can do about it.    Very much doubt they would take you to Court for breach of contract.  The behaviour of your line manager would be sufficient to justify you leaving after 1 month. 

 

You could put it in writing that you will leave their employment 1 month from the date you handed in your notice.  And then leave to work for the new employers. 

 

nb. might the meeting be to clear the air and possibly try to get you to change your mind.

We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

If you want advice on your thread please PM me a link to your thread

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Assume the date you gave is the date unless you are told otherwise; and then the date is your maximum notice period per your contract. You do not need to agree to anything else.

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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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