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Hi guys,

 

heres one for you

 

 

recently i was injured in an accident at work, the chair which i was given to sit in was defective and when i sat down on this particular evening the back gave way and i ended up falling out of the chair injuring my back. i asked for my supervisor to visit me at my place of work ( im a lone worker) and i ended up being at work all night with no visit from my svr, i know for a fact that he drove past my works that night and can prove it as he visited someone down the road and signed in their visitors book!!! the injury is now subject to legal action, and the solicitors will be dealing with this side of things

 

subsequently i was off work for over a month with a back injury. i have since returned to work, but when i went back my employers have supplied a chair which is in now way fit to sit in, the back cannot be locked upright,it is not able to be adjusted into a comfortable height so i refused to use it as it caused me servere discomfort. the supervisor came to visit me and said that the chair was fine, he was rude (and has had a number of complaints about his manner) and abusive to me when i asked for a suitable replacement.he also more annoyingly said that he didnt believe that i had been injured in the accident and he thought i was lying as he had been to my works 2 nights after the accident and the chair was fine, my employer by their own admission had the chair repaired the day after the accident.as a result i wrote to my employer explaining what happened and that i was unhappy with the way he spoke to me and asked thatthey deal with him

 

anyway this morning i recieved a letter from my employer stating they have recieved new and disturbing information relating to my accident and they want me to attend an investigation meeting on wednesday, they state that if i dont attend they will place me on disiplinary action. they have refused me the right to represented by the union saying that i am not entitled, however they will have three people from their side present to take notes.

 

im a little worried thattehy are going to be asking questions regarding the accident, the thing is i dont want to say anything which could prejudice my claim, and i have no doubt that my employer will try to use underhand tactics to try and exonerate them selves from any liability

 

 

any advice would be great

 

 

regards

paul

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Hi Bookworm,

 

im currently in talks with the union over this, the solicitors are purely dealing with the personal injury claim. however im not sure how my employers are going to go about this meeting. on the face of it the letter implies that they are going to be talking about my accident. however they are also saying thatthey want to discuss the incident this weekend when i returned to work

 

 

i am waiting for a call from the union regarding this but i thought someone with some experience of this type of situation may be able to offer some guidance

 

 

also my company have said that i am not entitled to have anyone present at the meeting ?surely thats not right

 

regards

paul

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It certainly seems very dodgy, and I would ask myself why they are so keen on not having any witnesses on your side. :-(

 

If the union says you can't insist on a witness to be with you, maybe you could bring a recorder and insist the meeting is recorded? If they refuse that too, then there's definitely something iffy going on, and I would just refuse to answer to anything that goes near that incident, on the grounds that that is already being dealt with by the personal injury lawyers and that you don't think you can comment on anything relating to that matter.

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I'm seconding the advice already on here don't attend if you can't have a union rep or a recording of the meeting.

Any posts submitted here on the Consumer Action Group under the user name GlasweJen may not necessarily be the view of the poster, CAG or indeed any normal person.

 

I've become addicted to green blobs (I have 2 now) so feel free to tip my scales if I ever make sense.;-)

 

 

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Well for a purely investigation hearing you do not have the right to be accompanied by your union rep. However check the sites collective agreement as it might give you that right.

 

Now you DO have the right to be accompanied by a work mate, is your union rep a co worker?? if he is you have the right to bring him.

The only thing is, as a union rep in a disciplinary meeting, the rep has a right to ask questions,answer points of law etc, the only thing he can not do is answer a direct question for you.

 

AS a work mate he has no right to speak, he can only be a witness BUT he will know when to have a break etc to speak to you and can nudge you at the right time ( you must ask for the break its your right ).

 

If he is not, then take a co worker with you, if at anytime you feel as if things are not going well etc ask for a break and call your union rep and get his advice.

 

Hope this helps.

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Hi Everyone,

 

thanks for all the advice, it is greatly appreciated. i am going to attend the meeting and i will consider any questions which they put to me. however i understand now that i am not obliged to answer anything which could be prejudicial to my accident claim.

 

i have been advised by the union that the minute my employers go off topic and start talking about anything else ie work performance etc then i must call a stop to the meeting.

 

i feel a lot more confident with the help and advice that i have had today from everyone.

 

thanks again and i will let you know how it goes on wednesday

 

 

thanks

 

regards

paul

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Hi,

I've been to an employment tribunal.

It does not have to be a union rep you take to your meeting. It can be anyone you nominate and they don't have to be employed by the company.

They should give at least 24 hours notice of any disciplinary meeting by way of letter and it should detail what the meeting is regarding.

DO NOT go alone and make sure you have a paper trail for all meetings.

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Well that was an experience,

 

ive been suspended on full pay for something which is completley laughable.

 

my employers are not that bright, they tried to get me to admit thaat the accident was my fault, not bloody likely. then they tried to say that i should have noticed that the bolts in the chair had came loose, that was a non starter too. once they realised that they werent going to win they came out with a real cracker.

 

what i stand accused of is this.....

 

in our office at work we have a pc (which many many people have access to) on the pc a document titled F***K YOU,F**K YOU..... was found. it was allegedly created on sunday at 7 pm. however i was on duty at this time BUT no way did i create this document, in fact i have not even seen this so called document. my bosses asked for an explanation as to how it got there and i have no idea, they said they were not satisfied with my explanation and were going to suspend me pending disciplinary action which could leave me unemployed? i asked if they had proof of this document and they didnt, i then asked them to consider that if a document is created on another pc ,where the clock is wrong for example ,then the document was transfered to the pc at work,the created date/time in the properties would indicate a different time to which would be on the other pc ( if you get my drift) they said that this was not possible even though i have proved otherwise

 

 

can anyone help me out here as i feel i am being stitched up here for something i have not done

 

regards

paul

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Don`t worry they have to prove that you did create this document and lets face it, with your claim in for your accident it would look very much like victimization if they did sack you for this without being 150% sure of the facts.

 

Sit back and enjoy your free time off with pay, get your union involved and smile

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Thanks everyone,

 

no the computers are not controlled by passwords so any one can use tthem and not have to logon. my employers are convinced im guilty even before the disciplinary, they werent interested in listening to me at all.

 

i tried to explain that one theory i have is that a few months ago i informed the police when the maintenance man who works at our place turned up absolutley pi$$ed out of his head. he was on call and we had an emergency, he attended site and was so out of it that he fell over and couldnt stand up.i told him that he shouldnt be driving and zhe told me to F**K off, so i had no choice but to tell the police as i couldnt bear the thought of this guy driving in tthat state, ultimatley as he was on call he should not have drunk!!. he was picked up down the road 3 times the limit for alcohol and he lost his driving licence for 2 years (serves him right) he kept his job basically because of his knowledge of the site. anyway he has vowed to get me back and that is common knowledge through out the building. he has 24 hour access to the office where the computer is so i thought it possible that he had stitched me up some how

 

 

i have the union on the case and i have already made plans to take the family out on my free time off, its just a bit concerning that my employers are not prepared to listen to any other explanations as to how it got there apart from me writing the said document

 

i will let you all know how it goes, thanks for all your help

 

regards

paul

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My god, Paul, if I saw this on TV, I would think it's too far-fetched! :shock:

 

Ah well, enjoy the time off, you might as well. :rolleyes:

 

Please let us know how it turns out. (and maybe start looking elsewhere, because do you really want to keep on working for a company which treats its staff that way?)

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Hi Bookworm,

 

yeah i know what you mena i didnt believe it my self at first

 

still im gonna enjoy the time off.

 

i have considered moving on but the trouble is this job is convienient, it allows me to do my studies and write my law essays etc as we are really only there for when things go wrong so i have a lot of time spare

 

however i am now considering my options,but the trouble is that i am only 9 months away from completing my LLB so i really didnt want to change if it could be avoided until i enrol on the Bar vocational course with the college of law

 

 

still i will let you know how things go

 

regards

paul

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Well i had confirmation today that my disciplinary hearing is set for next week, however union rep is not available on the date and time which my employer has set so we asked if the time could be moved and my employer said no i reminded them that i am entitled to union representation and they said i was NOT. i asked them to clarify their comments and they said that it wasnt their fault that my rep was unavailable and that it was my problem:eek: i said that the law says im entitled to be represented under the employment relations act 1999 s10 and they (comically) said it doesnt apply to them and as a result they are not going to comply with my request.

 

it gets better , my employerr has made a written allegation which says that the accident didnt happen and they believe that i have made it up:eek:

they say the evidence they have to this effect is

 

A) 18 months ago i was over heard saying i would be better off on benefits

and

 

B) that i was seen with a tool kit at work.

 

both i do not deny, however the comments were taken out of context. the first thing in point A was said during a conversation with my work mate who had just returned from a heart attack. he had said that he recieved little hellp with his bills etc while he was off work because he has no children and owns his own home.

i said that if it had been the one who had been off work i may have fared slightly better as i have children and live in housing association accomodation so i would be eligable for housing benefit and council tax benefit. i further said that if i was not working at all then i would get my rent paid,my council tax paid, my loan paid,and get around 150 pounds per week in my hand which is more than i get working. i pointed out that i work purely as i dont agree with living on hte system if you are capeable of workign from a moral point

 

the fact i had a tool kit was due to the fact that my bike was leaking fuel one morning and i had to take the tank off to repair it.all bikes have a tool kit and i am a little confused what their point is

 

they claim i made it all up (Yeah right!!) with regards to me having an accident at work.

 

im gobsmacked to be honest, the suggestion that i took out a set of tools and wilfully undone the bolts in the chair and then fell out of it on purpose to instigate a claim (which is what they have suggested) is quite upsetting and is not what happened.

 

i will let you all know what happens next

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Do NOT go into that meeting with out your rep. Get the full time rep to call your HR dept and remind them of the law, if they still refuse you your rights then enjoy the fact that you will win any case bought to a tribunal.

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Hi Cal37

 

 

nah im not going to. my employers said thatthey would here it in my absence but i know there is case law from tribunals and EAT's which says that if they do go ahead and do that and then sack me, it would autoamtically be considered unfair in addition to the refusal of the right of representation

 

i have fired off a couple of letter to my employers, one to HR and one to the ops manager confirming that i require union representation atthe hearing

 

we will see what they say

 

 

 

regards

paul

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I would say you do not need a case law from a tribunal after all Under the Employment Act 2002 (Effective from 1 Oct 2004 ) Statutory Dismissal and Disciplinary Procedures became effective, these set out mandatory dismissal and disciplinary procedures - which, if the employer does not follow them, will normally render a dismissal automatically unfair.

 

Part of these is your right to be accompanied, it sure seems like your company likes to dig big holes for themselves lol.

 

Good luck and please let us know how it goes.

 

Phil

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Hi Phil,

 

thanks for your help and advice. Employment has never been my strongest area of law. i have been trying to get hold of my union rep but shes been very busy, i have absolutley no idea what a disciplinary hearing should be like. my employer has offered no evidence to date for the allegations which they have made against me. they have not told me of any witness etc . would this mean thatthey are not allowed to suddenly produce someone att the hearing? i know you would not get away with these actions in a court room but i understand disciplinarys are different

 

 

any advice you can offer would be great

 

regards

paul

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Sorry, Paul, I have no great advice, simply because this is so far beyond normal that I can't believe they are even trying it.

 

I would however push the union a bit further, this is after all what you pay your contributions for, and I am pretty sure that however busy the rep, a disciplinary hearing should take priority over over admin duties, she can't have that many hearings in her schedule!

 

Maybe someone needs to say this to you, in case you're too close to see it: From what you are describing, your job is intent on getting rid of the problem you are causing them, and if that means getting rid of you, that's what they'll do. I think they have worked out that if you go on sick leave long term because of work related injuries, you will cost them more than what an ET would award you if they fire you, and they are working towards that conclusion. IMO anyway.

 

Sending positive thoughts your way. :)

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Hi Bookworm,

thanks for the input

 

i have to say that i agree with you, my employers dont like it cause im a law student and that i know the law in certain areas better than they do. i mean our HR department are so hapless they didnt even know what page of the employee handbook the grievance proceedure was on, until i pointed it out to them:)

 

they didnt even know that it was a clear breach of contract to try and change my work colleagues work hours from 40 per week to 48. its clearly written in our contract 40 hours and no more , overtime is non contractual and stated as that in the handbook. you'd have thought a HR department would know that wouldnt you

 

still, as things are going it appears that we will be going to tribunal quicker than i thought as they are still not allowing me the representation from the union.

 

also their arguement is so weak so if they do sack me they will be introuble

 

 

thanks again for your help,

 

im looking around for another job atthe mo but it needs to be one that can accomodate my studies tthats they biggest problem

 

 

regards

paul

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Hi Paul,

 

I`ll help where i can. First off they MUST follow the DDP ( Dismissal and Disciplinary Procedures ) This consists of the following....

 

1: Letter from the employer to the employee setting out the circumstances which have led them to consider dismissal or disciplinary action. The letter should also invite the employee to a disciplinary meeting and the employee should be provided with sufficient time to prepare for it.

 

2: Disciplinary meeting. Employee should be notified of decision post meeting and advised of their right to appeal( 5 working days from the date of letter dismissing him )

 

3:Appeal. Employer should appoint a more senior manager to represent them at the appeal.

Should the employer fail to follow the DDP and proceed to dismiss the employee, the dismissal would amount to automatic unfair dismissal.

 

In the meeting they will more than likely have a manager and a witness, also someone to take notes.

You have the right to a witness of your choice, this can be a co worker or a trade union rep ( even if there is no onsite agreement with the union).

 

You can take notes, ask questions and see any notes or witness statments and read them in private. You can call for an adjournment at ANY point in the meeting.

 

So if like you say, they produce someone at the hearing you have the right to have a adjournment and discuss it in private. You can end the meeting at any point so long as its so you can seek clarification with your union etc.

 

If you have not been given a letter about the meeting as per part one of the DDP`s then as the meeting opens state that they have failed to do so and make sure its minuted.

 

You have the right to copies of the notes taken and make sure that they are correct.

 

If you need anymore info then feel free to ask.

 

Phil

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Hi Paul,

 

I`ll help where i can. First off they MUST follow the DDP ( Dismissal and Disciplinary Procedures ) This consists of the following....

 

1: Letter from the employer to the employee setting out the circumstances which have led them to consider dismissal or disciplinary action. The letter should also invite the employee to a disciplinary meeting and the employee should be provided with sufficient time to prepare for it.

 

2: Disciplinary meeting. Employee should be notified of decision post meeting and advised of their right to appeal( 5 working days from the date of letter dismissing him )

 

3:Appeal. Employer should appoint a more senior manager to represent them at the appeal.

Should the employer fail to follow the DDP and proceed to dismiss the employee, the dismissal would amount to automatic unfair dismissal.

 

In the meeting they will more than likely have a manager and a witness, also someone to take notes.

You have the right to a witness of your choice, this can be a co worker or a trade union rep ( even if there is no onsite agreement with the union).

 

You can take notes, ask questions and see any notes or witness statments and read them in private. You can call for an adjournment at ANY point in the meeting.

 

So if like you say, they produce someone at the hearing you have the right to have a adjournment and discuss it in private. You can end the meeting at any point so long as its so you can seek clarification with your union etc.

 

If you have not been given a letter about the meeting as per part one of the DDP`s then as the meeting opens state that they have failed to do so and make sure its minuted.

 

You have the right to copies of the notes taken and make sure that they are correct.

 

If you need anymore info then feel free to ask.

 

Phil

This advice is excellent. Follow this to the T.

PT, you mentioned case law from tribunals. Employment is governed by law set by the government. Tribunals are only civil courts so each case doesn't set a precedent. That's why appeals from tribunals can only be on a point of law.

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