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Hugely stressed ...disciplinary meeting

(17 Posts)
dwpanxt Wed 25-May-11 18:36:38

I work for the civil service accessing lots of personal files as part of my work. I know and understand about security issues and have never had a problem sticking to the rules . I wouldnt access my own file or sneak a look at a famous persons file for example.
On Monday I was handed a letter detailing a disciplinary meeting to attend tomorrow. Apparently I have accessed something I shouldnt havesad
I am so stressed about this . Ultimately it can mean dismissal.I can barely breathe at work and feel so shit. I am in the union but no-one is available to come with me so I will be alone.
I dont know what to expect . No-one is talking to me about it and I just want to walk out.

YesterdaysPants Wed 25-May-11 18:41:00

You are afaik legally entitled to union representation and can ask your employers to reschedule the meeting accordingly.

Sucks - I had a formal disciplinary last year and it was a crock of shit. Do you think anyone has a vendetta against you?

hadagutsfull Wed 25-May-11 18:41:37

I feel for you dwpanxt but if you really are unaware of what it is you've accessed, maybe it isn't as bad as you think? You are understandably thinking the worst. And if you have - unintentionally - accessed something you shouldn't have, then maybe this identifies a flaw in the system somewhere that needs to be addressed.

Is there a colleague that you could take with you for moral support if no-one from the union is available? I'm pretty sure that if it's a disciplinary meeting you have the right to have someone present with you.

Sorry I can't be more helpful but good luck.

YesterdaysPants Wed 25-May-11 18:42:15

Oh and it might be something totally random like a crackdown on Facebook / MN?

StyleandBooty Wed 25-May-11 18:46:03

Anyone have your password?

dwpanxt Wed 25-May-11 19:03:01

I don't think I have any real enemies and everything is super password protected. Not having your passcard is itself a disciplinary issue .

I haven't accessed anything deliberately but have been a bit lax with keeping Files open for longer than necessary or going back to check something later. Not for any fraudulent reason, just forgetfulness .

I have been informed that I can take anyone I want with me but really I don't want to expose myself in that way to a work mate. Also i have a horror of being a subject for gossip . Its a really big office.

Am I being daft here?

EKatyN Wed 25-May-11 21:42:05

Hello. Firstly, does the letter inviting you to the meeting give you enough information for you to be aware of what you are supposed to have done?

Secondly, does it say that you are at risk of dismissal? If it doesn't say that you are at risk of dismissal then they may be contemplating warning you rather than dismissing you. Not all misconduct is gross misconduct or justifies dismissal.

Thirdly, the other posters are right - you are entitled to union representation, and if you have asked the union to represent you and there's no one available to come with you tomorrow then you can ask them to reschedule the meeting so that your rep can come.

EKatyN Wed 25-May-11 21:42:46

Oh, I should say that if the letter does say that you may be at risk of dismissal that still doesn't mean that you will be dismissed! smile

LoveBeingAbleToNamechange Thu 26-May-11 11:30:52

Agree about seeing if you can move the meeting. Make sure you have read the letter properly it's easy to get things wrong. Make sure you print out and read the policies involved. Have a proper think about how or why this may have happened. Does it give dates or other infor you can use to reasearch? When is the meeting set for?

RibenaBerry Thu 26-May-11 14:24:29

You have a legal right to have the meeting postponed for up to five days to have your union rep be free to come with you. First step is to speak to your employer, tell them that your rep can't come and you want him/her there, then get on the phone to union and harass them until they fix a day within that time period when someone can come with you.

Also, others are right, is it clear what you are alleged to have done? Inappropriate use of files isn't enough. It would need to say "accessed X unauthorised file" (or, perhaps, if you can done it a lot, that you had accessed files and some examples) or whatever

dwpanxt Fri 27-May-11 18:12:14

Hi sorry I haven't got back sooner -lots going on.

Okay,so what happened was;

Had the meeting -away next week so couldn't defer even if I wanted to.My manager offered to be my support which I was grateful for. Union reps all pretty rubbish tbh.

Allegation specified as suspicious activity on internal systems with untraced business reason for access.Details of access given in letter handed over during meeting.This is a serious matter . Access report looked as though I had tried to find someone using their personal details (but fishing round using combination's of details). It did look like that admittedly.

Luckily I had a system access record for the day specified and gave that to the investigator. They said they would do a trace using my record and hopefully that would be that. Meeting adjourned.

Meeting reconvened with information that no trace found.Gutted -as that means definite disciplinary action.

My manager asked permission to do another trace as he firmly believed me that I had done no wrong. Surprisingly the investigator agreed.Meeting adjourned overnight.

Meeting reconvened with information that my manager had spent several hours trawling through access records and found my access ON A DIFFERENT DAY -all other details correct and reason for access proven.

So the original report was incorrect in one vital detail. That detail cost me much stress , anxiety and lost sleep .Not to mention hours of senior managements time.

Im so thankful that my managers believed me though . Proper procedure ended at the first trace.

claireinthecommunity Fri 27-May-11 18:48:26

I've been following this and I'm pleased to hear this has been resolved for you smile

RibenaBerry Fri 27-May-11 20:26:07

So pleased to hear that this has worked out, and to have a tale of a supportive and helpful manager for once!

FYI, if it ever happens again it is totally wrong that details of the offence were handed over in the meeting, and that would be grounds for an appeal (and, if that wasn't successful, potentially an unfair dismissal claim).

LoveBeingAbleToNamechange Fri 27-May-11 21:08:59

Really pleased for you.
Cant believe they did that.

Oblomov Fri 27-May-11 21:37:48

So sorry that you had to go through this. They have made themselves look right turnips, haven't they ? I had similar last year. Flowery saved me and after her letter, they totally backed down.
But it was totally stressful, and if you haven't been through it, you could not comprehend how awful it is.
but I do ! so You have my total sympathy.

dwpanxt Fri 27-May-11 21:56:58

Its been a rollercoaster week but Im so thankful that my manager held me in such high regard that he was determined to get to the bottom of it.

The investigator has sent an email of complaint to the fraud department.

I need to decide whether to raise a greivance against fraud(scary thought) if only to prevent this happening to someone else .They may not have such supportive management and could lose their job because of someone else`s mistake.

magicmummy1 Fri 27-May-11 22:35:22

So pleased you got stuff sorted out! smile Fantastic to hear that your manager was so supportive - you must have earned his trust previously for him to have put in so many hours on your behalf!

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