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Sick Leave For Mental Health Issues - Manager Decides to issue Disciplinary Meeting Regarding Another Matter.


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Good afternoon. I am currently off work due to mental health problems and stress, i am coming to the end of my 3rd week. I am having to return to work next week as i am only getting half pay now and i cant afford to lose more money, i'm not ready to go back but i have to. I have an appointment with a psychiatrist on Monday also.

My manager and h.r have issued me with a letter regarding a disciplinary hearing on wed 15th oct. It looks like revenge for taking time off due to mental health issues. This could have been dealt with when i was at work but my manager has chosen to give me more stress and issue me with a disciplinary meeting.

Part of my condition is i explode and react badly to stressful situations, occasionally i can end up being verbally abusive. Im hoping with help and medication it will be a calmer individual. Most of the time i am fine and its better if i get no stress at work but im finding that impossible. 

 

Incident 1 was in the factory and around 2 months ago. Another employee was whistling very loudly first thing in the morning, i asked him to stop as he was being very annoying, he ended up doing it more often and more loudly, even the manager noticed his silly behaviour. I called him an annoying C to his face, i later spoke to my manager about his annoying whistling and nothing was mentioned about by use of the C word. This was maybe 2 months ago and now i am being disciplined for what i said to him. Im originally from Scotland and the C word is used differently there, its an everyday word and most people don't get offended by it in the workplace. At a recent job in Bristol, the english guys there enjoyed being called the C word as part of the banter. So i don't find it offensive but i understand some do. This incident is related to my mental health.

 

The other incidents happened out of the factory and outside of working hours. I am a machine operator and work in a factory so i fail to see how the following incident is worthy of discipline. 

 

Incident 2 Our factory is a small unit in a small gated industrial estate. We have to drive around these dangerous idiots from the other factory who are sometimes there loading a truck unsafely, also its outwith their loading bays and close to the entrance/ exit. Myself and other workers have nearly run over one of the men loading the truck. I nearly run the same man over twice because he walked in front of my car without looking, the same man nearly hit my car with the forklift. Needless to say i got out my car a few times and i was verbally abusive and raging. Because my manager has no backbone and cant get them to stop this unsafe behaviour,  i have ended up parking outside the gates to avoid future problems. I think my manager should have sorted this problem out but instead i am being disciplined for my outbursts towards the other workers from the other factory. As this is out of hours can they really discipline me for this?

 

I questioned the hr woman by email as to how this complaint is valid if it was not within the factory nor within working hours. Below is her reply. The relevant sections are in red bold.

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It is held within the code of conduct that all employees must adhere to as per clause 7 of your contract of employment. Please see the statements (4 and 5) in the code of conduct that was also enclosed in the letter to you. This also covers the incident relating to using profanities towards a colleague as I explained on the telephone. I have highlighted statements that prohibit the behaviour for both incidences for convenience.

 

4.     Ethical Conduct

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx culture provides the foundation for ethical conduct and behaviour by employees, agents and consultants. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx will:

·       Maintain good corporate governance and adhere to all applicable laws and regulations;

·       Promote and enforce a work environment free from harassment or discrimination where individuals are treated with respect and dignity;

·       Provide a safe and healthy workplace, emphasising good housekeeping and compliance with applicable laws; and

·       Respect our employees’ commitments and responsibilities to their families and communities.
 

Guidelines:All, employees, agents and consultants of xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx will:

·       Uphold and comply with xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx policies & procedures and culture;

·       Strive for their personal success and that of their team and the entire Company;

·       Ensure that all information provided in all reports and documents for internal use and external audiences, including individual expense reports, will be complete, accurate, honest and timely;

·       Deal honestly and fairly with our customers, suppliers, competitors, and regulatory bodies; and

·       Protect the Company’s assets and use them efficiently and only for Company purposes.
 

Strictly Prohibited Behaviour: All xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx representatives, and any visitors to the Company’s premises, are strictly prohibited from the following acts:

·       Threat or actual use of violence or intimidation in the workplace;

·       Wilful destruction of Company property or an individual’s personal property; and

·       Use, possession or being under the influence of illicit substances while on duty or on Company premises.

Each xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx employee, agent and consultant is accountable for observing rules of conduct that are normally accepted in a company. They shall give precedence to ethical principles and obligations in their decisions and actions. They shall respect all ethical obligations deriving from applicable laws, acts and regulations and shall not condone unethical conduct. Employees must be able to offer the full and complete performance of their work done on behalf of xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, whether on the Company’s premises or offsite, as well as during any period when they must be available for the Company (which specifically includes periods when they must remain available on call). This implies that employees must not be impaired by alcohol, drugs or medications when they are doing their work.

5.     Respectful behaviour

Employees, agents, consultants will deal with business partners, clients, suppliers and other parties with integrity, respect, courtesy, moderation and without undue aggressiveness or negativity.

They will deal with their colleagues fairly, with integrity, respect, politeness and without negative prejudices, and will avoid any abuse of power. Representatives will refrain from making disparaging or discriminatory comments, innuendos, or gossip and from taking unfair advantage of others through manipulation, misrepresentation or other unfair practices.

Any remarks made by the representatives must not be defamatory or hateful toward the Company or one of its representatives; such acts could be considered wrongful or criminal acts.

 

With regards to your mental health, I have attended mental health awareness training so if you require any accessibility support, please do let me know.

 Thank you and should you have any questions, please let me know.

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I see nothing wrong with what the person from HR has stated.

Your actions outside of work hours can be breach of your employment contract.

If you are member of a Union ask for help.  If not, you may wish to ask a colleague you trust to attend the disciplinary hearing, so they can take notes.

If your feel that your health would prevent you from attending this disciplinary hearing, then ask your GP for letter or fit note, stating that you should not attend such meetings for a period.  

 

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Speak to ACAS, they are brilliant, and are currently advising me regarding my gross misconduct and disciplinary hearing.

If you have a little read up about how disciplinary procedures are supposed to be carried out and what your employers 'legitimate aim' is meant to be, it will put your mind at ease a little. Your employer isn't judge jury and executioner, they have to follow a set procedure.

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Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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@unclebulgaria67 many thanks for your reply. I am not a member of a union im afraid. I dont have anyone i trust to attend with me ,its a very small place and i dont think anyone would back me up in any way. There is 1 person i know who i could request to attend, it may be just as a witness if nothing else. I would not trust home to take my side over the company's. 

Getting another fit note is a good idea but i cant afford to lose more money. ;)

 

@Bazooka Boo Many thanks for your reply. I will give Acas a call on Monday i did not they could help with employment matters. I do feel that i am about to lose my job this situation just makes me feel very uneasy. Ill read up on their website too ;) 

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  • BankFodder changed the title to Sick Leave For Mental Health Issues - Manager Decides to issue Disciplinary Meeting Regarding Another Matter.

I am from Scotland and I know the C word is not acceptable at work; I really wouldn't try pushing that angle, it'll have no joy.

Ether you are well enough to go to work and control your emotions and your language; or you are not. I would be wary of pretending you are better before you are ready; that seem a sure way to end up with no job for a long time, as opposed to potentially a few weeks on SSP.

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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@Emmzzi thanks for your reply and advice. I have an eye watering amount of debt and taking more time off is something i cant do im afraid. I wish i could absorb the loss but i cant. ;)

Billy Connolly put it well -

who is that C with the pope

who is that C over there

you can big a right C or a big C ;)

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If you need the job then best advice is

- be clear you know your actions were unacceptable - your Billy Connelly reference above suggests you do not actually believe that, so you may have a problem there.  Don't try and banter your way out of it; it is unacceptable, end of. Get your head around that before even attempting to save your job.

- explain the health issue that caused the actions

- apologise

- explain what you are doing so it won't happen again.

 

The chance you might do it again is the thing most likely to get you dismissed.

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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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It's okay to call your friends the C word.

But these people are not your friends.

Some may be provoking you, and getting a kick out of your reactions. Don't give them that satisfaction. Keep the moral high ground, even if you need to bite your tongue until it bleeds.

Everyone also has the right to come to work without being verbally abused and feeling threatened by someone who is not a friend.

HR aren't taking revenge, they are simply doing their job which is protecting their staff; this includes you too.

If you show them you can do your job, learned your lesson and aren't a threat to anyone, you'll be fine. They are also here to listen to you when the going gets tough

And so are we.

All the best.

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@Emmzzi thanks for your reply. Yes i  really need to save my job if i can. I think what you said is very sensible. Take responsibility for what i done and apologise, also promise it wont happen again. My mental health is the reason i have these unfortunate outbursts so fingers crossed they will accept my apology and not fire me. ;)

@Kyosantothanks for your reply and advice. What you have said makes a lot of sense. Hopefully i get the chance to prove it wont happen again and they accept my health problems behind my actions. Im getting help with my health so hopefully i will feel better in the near future. ;)

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14 minutes ago, jk2054 said:

Sorry I’m confused. The hearing is already done so what advise do you need?

I assumed a typo and it's 15 Nov.

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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Hi guys. 

i did speak to ACAS but i did not find the advice very good, he basically told me obvious things i already know, maybe i got an inexperienced advisor. :)

I got to speak with the head of HR today. This meeting has been postponed for now. The HR department is in another branch and apparently the manager has only told them part of the story and they were not fully aware of the extent of my mental health absence and seriousness. I told her i was stunned when i received the email and letter regarding a disciplinary meeting. I made a big point of complaining about my managers behaviour towards me, she kind of agreed but also said they will need to talk to him to get more information. So they will continue to pay me and talk to me later in the week. :)

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Remember HR are only there to advise management. They are not your friend. And, they do not make decisions - your manager will.

I would expect everything you have said to find its way to your manager very quickly.

And, if you can return to work at will... how serious is your mental health issue? I have seen so many people have a miraculous recovery just as the sick pay runs out. It doesn't enhance my view.

Edited by Emmzzi
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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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Of course, no one here is judging you.

Your MH issues are unique to you, it isn't a one size fits all, only you know how well or not you are to return to work.

It's a very jaded view that people simply return to work because the pittance they receive on SSP is about to cease.

All that means is that they return to work because they have no choice whether they are fit or not.

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Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Bazooka Boo said:

Of course, no one here is judging you.

Your MH issues are unique to you, it isn't a one size fits all, only you know how well or not you are to return to work.

It's a very jaded view that people simply return to work because the pittance they receive on SSP is about to cease.

All that means is that they return to work because they have no choice whether they are fit or not.

Fair. I'm jaded. Undoubtedly though HR see a lot of people game the system, so tolerance is low and suspicion is high. 

 

 

Edited by Emmzzi
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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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@Emmzzi Thanks for your reply and advice. Yeah as far as i know one of the HR women will speak to him tomorrow, at the moment i dont know if they think i was mistreated by him or not. 

Im being very honest when i say i would rather be back at work as i prefer being productive and its better for my mental health too. Im not looking to milk the system so to speak. Im not ready to return to work but i would like to. I get 2 weeks full pay and 2 weeks half pay, it would be disastrous to take more time off and lose money i cant afford to lose. ;)

 

@Bazooka Boo thanks for your reply. Your right i have to return to work even though im not really better mentally. ;)

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