Suspension from work - part 2

(437 Posts)
applecrumbleandcream Thu 12-Apr-12 17:51:15

Thanks everyone, just catching up. Not feeling too good today. A bit grim. Not feeling strong at all but emotional and very sad. Been to the doctors again and just broke down completely, he wants to sign me off but I told him that I just want to get all this over with. He has wrote me a statement whilst I was there blubbering for me to send to the Investigator to say that I am not currently well enough to complete this work. I even had the doctor crying and saying he despairs that employers are doing this. I told him I have got no confidence in the unison rep. I spoke to him this morning to ask his advice about filling in this statement when it doesn't list my computer and what should I do, he was very sharp said if I don't do as I am asked then it is going to go to a Hearing and then said he was in a meeting and just cut me off!!!

My dad has said he will get me the best lawyer there is and forget about Unison, just wondering what to do about this. Have to go back to doctors again next Thursday. He is compiling a proper medical statement for me.

I'm sorry if none of this makes sense, but I can't think straight at the moment. sad

Pastabee Thu 12-Apr-12 18:38:14

Sounds like your Dr was supportive which is good. I agree with others who suggest you contact your union office and ask for a FT rep.

Stress at work is cause for grievance.
You have been caused stress at work, and it is teetering on causing you physical harm and even seems to be leading towards constructive dismissal (in that they seem to be 'hounding' you)

Some legal advice, which I am not qualified to give in detail, would be very useful here.

Sorry I am not able to help further, except to send you love and support

auntpetunia Thu 12-Apr-12 18:39:37

Apple from past experience contact UNISON via their website under regional area and email complaining about your rep and ask for regional help. And also for local unison solicitor to deal with anything from now on.

Don't let the bastards get you down.

applecrumbleandcream Thu 12-Apr-12 18:44:05

Thanks everyone, just not feeling well today at all. Feel utterly deflated.

Started to go through the statement this morning, but because the tag numbers aren't correct, I am trying to answer dates/times of log in events for a computer that was never used by me!!!

I haven't contacted the Investigator as took from 7 am this morning till going to the doctors at 3.45 pm to get my head round the document and make a start on the email. I was going to try and get it done today and email it before 5pm, but obviously not done this. Just read Doctor's statement and wondering if I should hand deliver it tomorrow or should I send it recorded delivery? Doctor said how unreasonable it is to expect me to fill it in over night after all the time they have had and there should at least be a week to complete this is what his statement says and that I have been to day and been prescribed Propranolol along with the anti d's.

No don't really want to use external lawyer if can help it. Dad will need to keep hold of his money for when I come looking for some in the future if the worst happens!! Yes, true I have been paying for 16 years it's about time they did something for me. Perhaps it is me just being emotional and panicking... he was probably in a meeting and I'm expecting him to drop everything and just help me grin

He also said don't do the investigating for them by providing information about the computer I was using at the time that is not mentioned once in the document. Very confused as he is saying this and then saying provide them with dates and times... I feel like I'm going round in circles never getting anywhere. I tried to explain to him about the computers which forms the fundamental basis of their argument and is flawed but he just said to concentrate on answering the dates/times and also think of what else I could be doing when occasions not on the computer.

I'm sick and tired of all this now.... not feeling well and feel like telling them all just to piss off!! Thanks everyone as I couldn't have got this far without you.

SunflowersSmile Thu 12-Apr-12 18:50:18

Excellent advice StillSquiffy. [Along with everyone elses].
Hopefully will show them you mean business.

SunflowersSmile Thu 12-Apr-12 18:51:13

Gosh I'm a slow typer!!

SunflowersSmile Thu 12-Apr-12 19:04:33

Still think StillSquiffy's advice particularly good mind [previous page].

MrsSnaplegs Thu 12-Apr-12 19:06:11

Apple I lurked on your other thread as I didn't think I had anything more useful than other posters to add but wanted to say let your GP sign you off, stress like this can make you ill. The other thing that may be worth checking is your own house insurance policy some have cover upto £50k for employment issues - if you did resort to a lawyer this would cover costs.

namechangingagain Thu 12-Apr-12 19:06:57

The ones for the computer you didn't use - that's all I'd say.

Was not logged onto this computer.

That's it - it's for them to sort their end out.

dearprudence Thu 12-Apr-12 19:07:20

Supportive lurker checking in on the new thread. Keep going apple, one foot in front of the other. Sounds like you have a lovely GP, which is a good thing.

I checke our other thread last night but never managed to post.

I just want to offer you a huge hug and virtual shoulder.

marmiteonmykeyboard Thu 12-Apr-12 19:08:07

Apple, you have been signed off sick that means you are unfit to work.Surely work includes ridiculous amounts of hunting through reams of paper to defend yourself from ludicrous allegations. This is extra pressure you do not need. You will not be able to think straight. Be easy on yourself. What would you tell a friend in this position? Inform the rep and work you have been signed off work and need say 48 hours to compose yourself to the point of logical thinking. I don't do computers but even I know you can't answer the questions you are being asked if it's not your computer. Sorry if this is crap. I've been off work for five months and I seem to have lost ability to create cogent sentences. I don't know how to do the flowers/wine/smiley symbols but they are there. I wish I could be of more use. Keep posting. People willing you on.x

agedknees Thu 12-Apr-12 19:11:57

Apple - does your household insurance have a legal helpline/free advice from a lawyer??

Or am i barking up the wrong tree.

Thinking of you. Keep strong.

Apart from the fact that I'd expect a Council's internal audit team to investigate a suspicion of fraud, I'm inclined to agree with those who suggested on the other thread that you must have been caught up in something, perhaps someone has got hold of your login details. It might not be that but it would explain their suspending you without disclosing what it was all about and the urgency to get information from you but not being forthcoming about what it is all about. They would need to keep a lid on things at least until they ruled you out. It sounds like they don't have much of a case against you, but maybe they need whatever information you can give them.

To be honest if a client of mine had serious concerns about an information security breach I'd probably advise them to go ahead and suspend anyone who could possibly involved while they sorted it out. It's not personal, but it must be truly awful to be on the receiving end, particularly after years of loyal service.

I don't think you need to go down the road of lawyers and grievances at this stage but by all means seek advice if you can afford it and if it will make you feel more in control. It's impossible to know for sure - and I wish we could givs you more comfort - but everything is pointing to this being something that will sort itself out.

Queenofcake Thu 12-Apr-12 19:21:42

Oh Apple I am so sorry you are feeling this bad but its not surprising really.

I think you have done really well to hold it together as you have until the meeting yesterday. I think how you are feeling now is quite normal and natural given the amount of stress you have been and are still under.

You need to look after yourself. I would not hand deliver the letter/sick note because the last thing you need is to bump into anyone at all. Colleagues will badger you for info and if you see someone involved in the investigation - tha could be awkward too. Post it recorded signed for delivery and chase it in a few days to make sure its been received and to get the name of who signed for it. This way you have proof it got there.

Sending you hugs and all the support in the world x

Kaekae Thu 12-Apr-12 19:27:43

Sorry have not read all of your post as my laptop keeps freezing but just wanted to say I had to use a union rep a few years ago and at first he was terrible, hard to get in touch with etc. I then asked to change rep, second one was much better still difficult to get hold of but once my case had gone to the solicitors via my union, which they paid for I actually ended up winning my case.

Calamityboo Thu 12-Apr-12 19:31:04

Hi apple, so postings is making you feel like this, you're getting some excellent advice. I can't offer that but always ready with a shoulder, some hugs and a lot of wine or a brew

I would send the letter recorded delivery. Or they will claim they never received it.

As far as dealing with the 11 pages are concerned, I would email them and say something like:

"Following our meeting on Weds, you asked me to look through 11 pages of information and verify its accuracy by the end of Thursday" (saying this puts their unreasonable request in black and white. They won't like that)

"There seem to be a very large number of inaccuracies. To start with:
1. One of the computers listed (tagline xxxx) is not my computer and I am as sure as I can be that I have never used it. Could you tell me which computer this is?
2. Your records state I have been in the office on Tuesdays. As you know, I do not work Tuesdays.

"Those two issues alone demonstrate a serious issue with this data. There are many other inaccuracies as well - and I will work through them as best I can. You will be in receipt of my doctors letter. I am however hoping this can be resolved swiftly. As I told you in our meeting I consider myself to be a hardworking and honest member of staff and feel these allegations are unjust and very upsetting.

Yours etc."

TheFarSide Thu 12-Apr-12 19:41:40

Lots of us pay for Unison membership and support - they are a large and relatively well-off union who spend money on glossy membership magazines and many expensive promotional items, and it is NOT acceptable that your rep is not giving you time and dealing sensitively with your questions. Perhaps you could go to your rep's manager and explain you feel you've been left slightly adrift and as your job and health are at stake you would like proper support.

Sounds like it's all catching up with you too, but you will have days like this, and hopefully things will look better in the morning.

OneLastSoul Thu 12-Apr-12 19:44:40

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

chimchar Thu 12-Apr-12 19:53:10

Jeez apple. Things are sounding really shitty for you.

I think you should try o change our union guy if poss. Great that your Gp is helping you out.

Sending you hugs...sounds like you need them x

WorriedBetty Thu 12-Apr-12 20:00:47

Sorry to hear your experience with UNISON rep. He will be worried about you not following his advice as all reps and lawyers do, but to express this to you in that manner wasn't helpful. You do need to trust him, but this cannot be blind and you are right to want to understand his view. It IS more politic to say 'I had some thoughts' rather than 'I want to do x' - only because they are used to defending people who do rather dramatically stupid things - even to denying up until the hearing then saying 'so what if I did' etc. It was probably his fear that he was expressing.

Secondly treat your dad's request as what it was - a firm and meaningful offer of support that gives you the freedom to examine the UNISON approach without feeling like its that or nothing. Expensive legal help may not be advisable yet, and you should certainly ask UNISON first.

It may be that UNISON regional have had 'off the record' quiet and firm 'concerns' conversations that might be moving the immovable object and he was worried that your actions - if followed - could threaten that.

Just be patient for a while - the instinct is to try to deal with this quickly and you have to hold back on that, sadly and be cautious all the time.

You did great yesterday and deep down your psychology is saying that you did so well, where is the result... that is why you feel deflated - I am pleased to say that your reaction is entirely normal and exactly what a conscientious concerned person would feel.

WasabiTillyMinto Thu 12-Apr-12 20:01:02

apple - please consider calling the ACAS helpline. i have used it and it helped put my mind at rest.

Acas Helpline
Call our Helpline for FREE support and advice
Whether you are an employer, employee or representative, you can call the national Acas helpline for free and impartial advice. Simply get in touch and we'll provide you with clear and confidential guidance about any kind of dispute or query that you have about relationship issues within the workplace. You may want to know about employment rights and rules, best practice or you may need advice about a dispute. Whatever it is, just give us a call, our team are on hand to respond within the hours below.

Helpline numbers
Monday-Friday, 8am-8pm and Saturday, 9am-1pm: 08457 47 47 47.

ArthurPewty Thu 12-Apr-12 20:02:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

McNaughty Thu 12-Apr-12 20:14:06

Hi Apple,

I'm afraid I disagree about not engaging lawyers. A good employment lawyer will make short work of these idiots and bring you through this much faster than going back and forward about detail which may not matter.

What a lawyer will do is pick out the salient points, gather them into a letter and I guarantee that the stress will be lifted immediately. They know what they are doing and in my experience it was worth every penny. Your health is worth it for a start.

My lawyer sent a one paragraph fax to my employers - it was brilliant because of what it didn't say. Enough to put the wind right up them. Your local CAB will give you a list of suitable lawyers and most give you a free half-hour consultation.

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