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Pregnant, disciplinary approaching - what is the process?

(6 Posts)
bunchofposy Thu 13-Dec-12 12:34:56

I am currently being informally monitored for performance issues, and have just had the second of three meetings, scheduled to monitor work that has been agreed in writing, that are taking place before my end of year review. While aspects of that are going well, other aspects still aren't, and it is clear to me that at my end of year review (end Jan) something formal is going to happen.

But what exactly happens then? A disciplinary? What is the procedure for that?How long til they can boot me out?

I am feeling deeply stressed at the prospect of going through some kind of formal process. I am now 5 weeks pregnant and the company is relocating at the end of next year, meaning I won't stay there much longer anyway. But I want to avoid getting to the stage where I am potentially sacked. I am currently worried I won't even make it to maternity leave.

While I am aware that this is probably not the job for me, and have applications in for other jobs, I don't really want to turn up at a new job pregnant. But I also don't want to damage my future job prospects by staying in a job that I am crap at.

flowerytaleofNewYork Thu 13-Dec-12 13:30:04

Do you have a performance management policy and/or a capability policy you can look at?

If not, if it does go to a disciplinary, the process would be a letter inviting you and setting out the concerns, a hearing, then a warning, then the opportunity to appeal, then the warning would be active for probably 6 months or a year. The whole process from initial letter to appeal outcome can vary from two weeks to a couple of months in extreme cases.

If your performance didn't improve over a set period for review, perhaps a month or two, depending on the situation/concerns, they could repeat the process again, with a higher level of warning, and then again until they get to dismissal stage.

Basically, from a stage of no disciplinary warning at all to dismissing, you're probably looking at a good few months realistically.

Do they know you're pregnant? If not, when they find out, and bearing in mind upcoming maternity leave and the relocation it's entirely likely they'd not bother to go through all that.

bunchofposy Thu 13-Dec-12 14:22:01

Thank you for that info, it really helps. I will have a look at a the policy. They don't know I'm pregnant yet. Unfortunately, my boss is a very by the letter sort, and I doubt my being pregnant will deter him if he feels it is right to go through a performance management process. But I live in hope!

I know it's a bit extreme, but would it be better for my future employment if I resign before I get a letter for a hearing? (as I think is likely at the end of January). I would ideally like to stay til I go on maternity leave, but at the same time I don't want to damage my future prospects with a reference that mentions a disciplinary process.

Also, the mistakes I am making were mentioned on my last year review, and 'not making mistakes' was one of my objectives for this year. Is there any chance that this could shorten the warning process, given I have now had a year's notice that I am underperforming?

flowerytaleofNewYork Thu 13-Dec-12 15:03:06

Making mistakes despite previous notification of the problem would be reason to take it to a formal warning level, but wouldn't mean the process could be shorter than otherwise.

Although your pregnancy may not deter from performance mgt at all (and in a way shouldn't), going through a lengthy process to get as far as dismissing someone takes ages, lots of management time, isn't pleasant and becomes slower and more risky if pregnancy is involved, so I do think the chances of it going that far are reduced.

If you are the subject of disciplinary proceedings that could certainly be mentioned in a reference, but then walking out without a job to go to and losing maternity pay also raises questions in a new employer, and recorded and evidenced poor performance could be mentioned in a reference also.

Can you find out what your organisation's policy is about references? They may have a policy of basic dates only, for example.

Personally I'd tell them about your pregnancy tbh.

bunchofposy Thu 13-Dec-12 15:15:47

Thank you again. I will tell them about the pregnancy, and ask them about their reference policy. I had always assumed it was a date only reference, but now I have something to worry about I have been feeling paranoid that maybe it isn't.

Thinking about it though, I know of people who have left and got jobs (in the same industry even), despite having supposedly had warnings etc., so maybe it's not the end of the world.

I think you're right about leaving without a job to go to. I really wanted to see out this job, and I'd much rather stay if I can, especially as the end is now in sight. It is good to know it's a lengthy process, hopefully I can just get through it.


bunchofposy Wed 23-Jan-13 18:05:15

Just a quick update on this... I had my final informal review meeting yesterday. My manager said he thought I had worked hard to try and improve though I am still making similar mistakes (if fewer). He had a discussion with his manager and they've today decided not to take it further.

Don't know if being pregnant helped, but feeling very relieved anyway.

Thanks again for the advice Flowerytale smile It has kept me from almost resigning quite a few times!

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