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'Informal' meetings at working - can HR be invited by me?

(7 Posts)

Asking on behalf on a family member (fm).

If there are issues regarding staff within an office, 3 who work with under one line manager and 1 who works under a different line manager, and an 'informal' meeting is held where the two line managers and four office staff are present in order to resolve the differences (basically one line manager dictating to all what will and wont happen), would any one of the four staff members have the right to request that a member of HR sit in on the meeting?

The meeting in question happened today, with no minutes taken, as it was 'informal'. I am asking in case future 'informal' meetings are held. I have advised the fm to email their line manager with a summary of the meeting, and asking for confirmation/clarification of the summary. The fm is also starting to record the other line managers unprofessional (i.e. bullying) behaviour towards the fm, which I can see eventually going to grievance, if fm doesnt leave first. But in the meantime I feel that having a staff member who is not related professionally to any of the 6 people involved would benefit all in the meeting, and would like to know if staff members can request HR are invited (and possibly refuse to attend if HR are not attending)?

Sorry if that is garbled, I will try and explain better if it isnt clear.

EBearhug Fri 17-Jan-14 19:39:59

Is there anyone in HR they can have a friendly chat with to advise on this? That would make HR aware, and they might even suggest attending themselves.

Definitely continue recording behaviour.

I would also take my own notes in meetings - well, I do take my own notes in meetings, so it doesn't look particularly odd, but they do end up being rather more detailed for some meetings.

BrownSauceSandwich Fri 17-Jan-14 21:06:40

I absolutely agree that it would be beneficial to have somebody from HR sit in. And it would be totally appropriate for your family member to have a chat with somebody in HR to see what the options are. Any problem with other members of staff that can't be resolved through one's line management is a matter for HR.

EBearhug Sat 18-Jan-14 14:00:08

Any problem with other members of staff that can't be resolved through one's line management is a matter for HR.

Even when your manager tells you you must not speak to HR or senior management. (I do sometimes wonder which planet some people are on, and it's going to be interesting to see how they plan to enforce that one. Apparently my face said just what I thought of this annoucement.)

MrsSnodgrass Sun 19-Jan-14 09:12:54

Is any of them in a Union?

Even at an informal meeting I would want some written evidence of who was there, what it was about, what was said and agreed - all for future reference

flowery Sun 19-Jan-14 14:51:56

No harm in asking, but there's nothing to stop either HR saying it's not appropriate for them to attend informal meetings with managers, or managers saying they don't want HR at informal meetings with staff.

It would not be advisable to refuse to attend a meeting with a line manager without HR present, but I agree with others, your family member should feel free to approach HR, and should certainly make notes in meetings - no need to wait for official minutes to be taken.

Thanks all. Have seen fm today and shown them this thread. Am hoping it improves for them.

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