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To say no to accompanying friend/colleague to disciplinary hearing?

(29 Posts)
Meeeep Mon 16-Jun-14 17:32:18

Friend and colleague has asked me to accompany to a disciplinary. He is very much of the opinion he is not in the wrong (lateness, sickness, hangovers) where as I actually think he has been very much in the wrong.

He has requested me to attend and participate (speak on his behalf at the beginning and end) but I don't really feel comfortable doing it knowing I disagree. Aibu? If not how do I explain to him without offending him?

Pumpkinpositive Mon 16-Jun-14 17:33:50

Tell him you would have to be truthful. wink

SetPhasersTaeMalkie Mon 16-Jun-14 17:37:00

That is a tricky situation.

I would keep it simple, along the lines of, Sorry I won't be able to support you at the meeting.

And then encourage him to either join a union or get his rep to accompany him.

SetPhasersTaeMalkie Mon 16-Jun-14 17:38:26

If he asks why you could just say that it's personal reasons.

littledrummergirl Mon 16-Jun-14 17:39:11

In the interest o

Greydog Mon 16-Jun-14 17:39:56

Def get a union rep. If you think that he's guilty then you can't be honest, and that could rebound on you. has he told you/shown you exactly what the charges are? How could you even prepare a defense case for him. Tell him that you're not qualified to help with this

Meeeep Mon 16-Jun-14 17:41:33

I was thinking about saying yes for support but stressing it would be better for him to address the meeting and I would rather not. It may put him at ease to have someone on with him but I wouldn't have to say anything I strongly disagreed with?

SetPhasersTaeMalkie Mon 16-Jun-14 17:43:35

I think it would be better just not to do it if you're uncomfortable. Does he have a union.?

Meeeep Mon 16-Jun-14 17:43:39

I'm not address them from myself I would be speaking on his behalf (so effectively his case coming from me) it would have no negative impact only job. I just feel uncomfortable with that when I disagree with him IYSWIM

pictish Mon 16-Jun-14 17:44:10

I would tell him the truth, and give it to him straight.

Meeeep Mon 16-Jun-14 17:44:30

No union

pictish Mon 16-Jun-14 17:45:05

Out it this way - I wouldn't be found at a disciplinary backing up a skiver.

pictish Mon 16-Jun-14 17:45:21


whynowblowwind Mon 16-Jun-14 17:46:35

Wouldn't you just be there for emotional support and to ensure that they weren't on their own (in other words to ensure nothing untoward was said or done or threatened?)

flowery Mon 16-Jun-14 17:47:47

You could say you'll accompany him but are not prepared to speak.

littledrummergirl Mon 16-Jun-14 17:49:05

Wtf bloody phone!

In the interest of fairness he is entitled to have someone accompany him. It is always better to have someone you trust to do the right thing.

What you are looking for is a fair outcome. You think that he is in the wrong so think about what you would do if you were his manager.

Check that your companies policies and proceedures have been followed. Eg if training is part of the disciplinary process, has this happened.

If they have been then check what sanction is appropriate. If they follow this then the decision will be fair.

You dont have to agree with your friend to support them. You can go and then talk to him about whether you felt the result was fair.

Casmama Mon 16-Jun-14 17:50:05

Are you sure you would be allowed to speak on his behalf? I have only heard of situations where you could go as a witness but not speak.

Meeeep Mon 16-Jun-14 17:50:20

That was what I was thinking. That way I can also discuss with him in the interval prior to a decision being made rather than him being on his own.

It isn't backing him Pictish, it's an accompaniment I would be ok with being there for moral support just not addressing the meeting on his behalf. It would feel very fake since I actually think his recent conduct has been pretty poor.

PetShopGirl Mon 16-Jun-14 17:50:24

Wouldn't they be putting facts backed up by evidence to him? In which case you would hardly be in a position to disagree with them, nor should he expect you to. But you can be there to make sure that they deal with him fairly, which he deserves whatever he has done wrong.

PetShopGirl Mon 16-Jun-14 17:51:31

Cross post with littledrummergirl.

Meeeep Mon 16-Jun-14 17:55:01

I can speak on his behalf at the beginning and then a conclusion at the end but I obviously can't answer direct questions for him.

I am ex HR and I think he wants me to speak as he thinks I can word it better than him but to be honest he's broken company policies and procedures. My advice to him so far is to acknowledge his poor conduct and apologise. Put forward a plan for improvement and hope for the best.

He doesn't think he has acted that badly though and I'm doubtful he will take my advice on board.

Meeeep Mon 16-Jun-14 17:57:32

Also from a professional point of view a first and final written warning would be the route I would take. His boss is a bit more heavy handed and I strongly suspect he has made his mind up already.

iK8 Mon 16-Jun-14 18:02:24

Go and take verbatim notes. Tell him you can't speak on his behalf but you will check the process is fair and you will call an adjournment if things get heated/emotional.

The best thing one manager ever did was make sure an employee going through disciplinary proceedings was able to have someone with her (all done properly, person chosen by employee, managers adjusted rotas to accommodate). She needed to hear that she was being unreasonable and have her hand held by a sensible person. It also meant that we as the employer could be certain she understood what was happening and we had an independent-ish witness.

Sometimes having someone away from the situation say "look, they have a point about AbC. Do you want to keep working here because if you do you'll need to apologise and come up with some assurances that it won't happen again".

Plenty of lay people accompanying at disciplinaries have no idea of the full situation because they only get one side before the go in and might not even see the paperwork beforehand.

iK8 Mon 16-Jun-14 18:03:36


Just do your best to be honest with him and take notes. Really you can't do more.

Meeeep Mon 16-Jun-14 18:14:52

Ok I think I'll agree but maybe sit down with him beforehand and be quite brutally honest with him. If he decides to not have me there because of that then it's really his choice.

I do genuinely think dismissal would be too far but due to him being in his probationary period I wouldn't be surprised if this is the route taken.

His reasoning is not satisfactory and I have told him that his best option is to admit fault and apologise and reassure them it won't happen again but I just don't think he will take that advice on board.

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