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To have disciplinary heard by manager who authorised project DH is being disciplined for?!

(69 Posts)
Rose1ofmy5aday Mon 31-Oct-16 16:17:35

I think this set up is very unreasonable If anyone could help I'd be hugely hugely grateful. Today my DH got an email informing him that he needs to attend a disciplinary for gross misconduct. It's less than 48 hrs notice, is that right? What should we do?

This is the part that I really think is unreasonable - It's also being held by DHs manager who is the one that authorised DHs project which it is alleged he used confidential info.

Surely it cant be right, my DH says you gave me the go ahead, what's his manager going to do? Protect himself and say no I didnt. It can't be right that he holds disciplinary meeting can it?

Back story is that he was asked to work on a project from end of June to end Dec by his manager which was based on DHs idea of using information to create sales leads.

This was agreed with DHs manager and his managers manager.
Someone inside the organisation kicked up a fuss and said that he shouldn't be using that info.

This lead to him being questioned by internal affairs. He was told he couldn't be accompanied by anyone in that meeting, it was illegal for him to record the meeting and when he tried to make his own notes they asked him to stop at question 3 because it was taking too long. The meeting was minuted but DH has not seen the minutes to check if they are accurate. Only three people in meeting, one being DH two others are company representatives.

It's alleged that he deliberately misled people over what info was being used which is utter trash, as his manager and managers manager were fully aware.

My alarm bells are running riot. It's a large blue chip organisation that currently are making employees - usually long serving, high salary employees - redundant on basic Gov plans. I strongly suspect that this is a way to get someone out without paying redundancy.

Does anyone please have any idea what correct HR practise should be or what we should do?

To me the whole thing sounds really suspect and I think he's being made a scape goat.

ditzychick34 Mon 31-Oct-16 16:21:45

Sorry I don't know what to say buti didn't want to read and run. Check the government website on rights regarding disciplinary meetings

ditzychick34 Mon 31-Oct-16 16:24:01

Sorry early post... To check wether he can have a representative, and if so who (solicitor maybe good scare tactic -don't mess with me approach)

CotswoldStrife Mon 31-Oct-16 16:24:15

Is it over misuse of data which would come under data protection? They have the data for one purpose, but have used/reprocessed it for something else?

OlennasWimple Mon 31-Oct-16 16:27:15

Try getting this thread moved over to Employment Issues - there are some really helpful posters over there

As a starting point he needs to get a copy of the company disciplinary procedure and check if the process is being followed properly.

user1471428185 Mon 31-Oct-16 16:31:35

On the assumption that the internal affairs meeting was an investigatory meeting, your DH had no legal right to be accompanied (although he may have had a contractual right, and should check his contract and the relevant company handbooks in relation to this). If, however, it was a disciplinary meeting (which I doubt from the way that you wrote about it), he has a statutory right to be accompanied and, as such, he has a right to be accompanied to the meeting in 2 days time.
Under the ACAS Code, the disciplinary invitation your DH has received should confirm the outcome of the investigation and should set out sufficient information about the allegations and their possible consequences to enable your DH to prepare his case. Additionally, copies of any documents which his employee intends to rely on should be provided, and it is recommended that a copy of the disciplinary procedure also be supplied. The employer should also have informed your DH of his right to be accompanied in the invitation (although note that such right does not extend to the right to be accompanied by legal counsel - only by another employee or a union representative).
The disciplinary should be held at a reasonable time and place - I would say that 2 days' notice is not reasonable and your DH should respond asking for a longer notice period so that he can properly prepare a response to the allegations and for any of the above information, if it hasn't been provided (if they are intending on relying on information taken from the previous meeting, he should request a copy of any notes/minutes from such meeting).

Mia1415 Mon 31-Oct-16 16:32:35

Hi I'm an HR manager. I've got a couple of questions.
How long has he worked at the company?
Do they have a disciplinary policy and has he seen it?
Is he currently suspended?
Has he seen a copy of the investigation? He should have this in order to prepare for the disciplinary meeting?
I agree that his Manager shouldn't hear the disciplinary as he should have been interviewed as a witness as part of the investigation.

Rose1ofmy5aday Mon 31-Oct-16 16:34:31

Thanks both, Cotswold, it's just client information in an IT company so commercially sensitive if used incorrectly but it was agreed by manager and managers manager for this specific project so I'm not sure at all why he's being singled out.

Ditzy, we tried getting Union involvement but haven't managed to speak to an experienced person there yet (I know we won't be the only case they will be looking at) but as its time sensitive we're panicking.

The company have said he can take a representative and witnesses but want 24hr notice of names etc which seems unreasonable when we're talking of a hearing on Wednesday morning so would need to inform them tomorrow morning after on,y half a working day of sorting stuff out.

We're a bit shocked, he's been continuing to work since his interview with internal affairs, there hadn't been any suspension or warning this might happen and then an email dropped after lunch today!

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Mon 31-Oct-16 16:39:03

All the questions above but I would add that in addition to requesting reasonable notice, the right to be accompanied to the meeting and provided full details in advance, he should raise a grievance if the person holding the disciplinary is implicated in the matter.

Presumably he told the investigators the project had been sanctioned by his boss and boss's boss? Does he have anything in writing to back this up?

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Mon 31-Oct-16 16:40:11

So he's been accused of gross misconduct and has not been suspended?

I bet the HR department have no idea.

CotswoldStrife Mon 31-Oct-16 16:42:38

It is unusual to still have someone who is suspected of gross misconduct on the premises! Is it possible to delay the meeting?

Rose1ofmy5aday Mon 31-Oct-16 16:43:43

Thank you user, from that point of view I think they're correct in procedure. It's the part of his manager holding the disciplinary that I can't understand. They have supplied him with a summary but not the notes of the meeting.

Mia, he's been there over 20 years without problems, he isn't suspended. He hadn't seen the minutes of the previous meeting but has been supplied with a summary. His manager was interviewed as a witness as part of the investigation and DH was instructed not to communicate with him. from what I can gather because he's still at work work have given him a copy of the procedure.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Mon 31-Oct-16 16:48:15

Grievance. Now.

Quietwhenreading Mon 31-Oct-16 16:51:00

If it's a blue chip company the project will have been documented before approval. Your DH should have an approved terms of reference with either email sign off, ink signatures or the minutes of the meeting at which it was approved.

If he's still in work he should be able to gather copies of this evidence.

sparkleyes Mon 31-Oct-16 16:51:55

The advice from previous posters is really helpful.

I would if your DH send a written response to the invite to say he has been given insufficient time to prepare a response to the allegations and req the hearing is reschedule for 5 working days time. 24 hours notice is not reasonable especially if alleging gross misconduct.

Secondly ask for all copies of information gathered as part of the investigation including witness statements.

Unless this is a small company with no other managers that it isn't reasonable that his manager who is also a witness holds the disciplinary.

Take advice from acas via their helpline.

They will listen to the facts which you may not be able to fully share here and advise.

Document who and when gave authorisation for the project including gathering any emails regarding the project from management.

HTH

Rose1ofmy5aday Mon 31-Oct-16 16:53:22

He had an internal affairs interview about four or more weeks ago and was told not to contact his manager from that point on. He hadn't been told that the investigation has been concluded - except of course getting an email telling him he is to face a disciplinary for gross misconduct on Wednesday morning.

DH is a very honest person, straight question straight answer person. He told the investigators that his role for this 6 month period (June to Dec) was authorised by his manager and his manager has been on to him to see if targets were being met. He has emails to confirm this and is currently printing as much stuff off as possible.

He has never been suspended and is currently in the office!

It wouldn't be unreasonable to ask to reschedule the meeting? We're now scared that we will alienate the company if we ask that and it will somehow go against us.

Thanks for everyone's comments it's very kind at what is a very bewildering time.

briteside Mon 31-Oct-16 16:59:24

Sorry to hear this - I understand why you are both feeling concerned! I work for a large multi-national in HR and find that often management & internal affairs aren't always based in the UK and so they neglect to consider local UK employment law requirements.

Do you know who is attending the meeting on Wednesday from a Company perspective? I agree with a previous poster who says that HR may not know.

I also think that a grievance, escalated as high up the proverbial ladder as possible, may be a good option. Particularly if an individual (s) implicated in the misconduct is (are) involved in the disciplinary meetings.

Also - does he have proof that his Manager (and the chain of command above that manager) were informed? If so - download it and keep it somewhere safe!

user1471428185 Mon 31-Oct-16 16:59:43

Based on all of the previous posts, I would definitely be requesting a rescheduling of the disciplinary hearing date.
And it's good that he's collecting the evidence now, if he is suspended he would have to rely on the company locating the evidence for him, which they may be reluctant to do and which may take some time.

2kids2dogsnosense Mon 31-Oct-16 17:04:29

Is DH in a union? If so, he should get in touch sharpish - he needs to have someone to stand in his corner here.

briteside Mon 31-Oct-16 17:09:15

There is some great advise on here.

Your DH is within his full rights to ask for the meeting to be rescheduled until a time that is more reasonable. Do not worry about 'alienating' the company, unfortunately I think you may be past that stage. sparkle gives some good guidelines on how he could phrase this request for a postponement, as well as what information he should ask for to prepare.

Your DH stands the best chance of a good outcome to this situation if he has the extra time to review the information and prepare himself for the discussions. It will also allow him to do some quality research with ACAS and think about how hard he wants to / needs to fight this....for example, filing a counter-grievance.

SapphireStrange Mon 31-Oct-16 17:12:30

No real advice, OP, just support. And there is some excellent advice on here. If it were me I'd start with ACAS, I think.

GeorgeTheThird Mon 31-Oct-16 17:12:30

Check ACAS website, CAB and gov.uk. You'll find good info on there.

Rose1ofmy5aday Mon 31-Oct-16 17:14:30

Thank you for your replies. I've just given him the ACAS helpline number.

Briteside, from the email he received it suggests just his manager. I did think that he should email to clarify but wanted a wee bit of advice first as to whether we're doing the right thing. And sorry if this sounds a bit dim, it's just never been on our radar so far, but what is a grievance? Would he do that before or after the hearing?

User, that is my worry that the documents he needs to back up his case will "disappear" so fingers crossed he can get that sorted.

2dogs he is in a union but no one has got back to him yet.

Rose1ofmy5aday Mon 31-Oct-16 17:17:19

Thank you Sapphire. It's not something I can discuss in RL and we don't have close relations with family to talk to either so it's quite distressing.

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