Not a nice a nice position for your friend to be in. Must be stressful around an operation too.
I think a lot of it probably hinges on his staff handbook & contract (does he have these to hand?) but as mentioned up thread genuine absence from work due to sickness should override an appointment. Was he able to give much notice re the opp etc?
I would have thought that "job dependent on attending counselling" can only be said through a formal disciplinary process? Has he been told that/had letters/meetings etc? It should all be really clear to him, if it is not, then they may not be acting legally/not within best practice. I also think the things he is being asked to change are more personality related rather than work, which he has been told is ok... bit tenuous ground I think?
Hopefully a legal expert will be along (which I am not) but in the meantime he could try calling the free ACAS helpline? http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=2042
So many different things seem wrong here. Main points. He will be off sick for a valid reason so non attendance is entirely reasonable. Is this counselling confidential? If not he should refuse to go anyway. Texting is not a good way to discuss employment issues with his manager.
I have a friend who is being told by his employer that he has to see a counsellor due to his behaviour at work.
He has been told these behavioural issues are a (sometime) lack of focus and lack of interaction with his colleagues. There are no issues whatsoever with the quality or quantity of his actual work load.
He has been told by his Line Manager that his job is dependant on attending counselling.
The immediate problem is that he is due to have a minor operation the day before his first counselling session. The hospital have advised him not to drive for 48 hours post surgery. When he explained this to his Line Manager, she replied to his text with this: I don't know what you want me to say, are you telling me that you will not be attending your appointment on thursday? It was stated that it would not be rearranged if not attended again. (was rearranged due to medical condition) Good Luck with your operation.
He feels like he is being intimidated into attending counselling he does not feel he needs.
Can his employer force him to attend, he doesn't want to loose his job but is feeling very stressed and doesn't know what to do.