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Difficult staff member - walked out but now trying to bully for dismissal letter

(31 Posts)
YohedYoshoulderYonisandYotoes Sat 13-Apr-13 11:00:53


I have been working for a business for three years, during that time I wanted more money and after complaining for a while I was offered a managerial role, however this meant that I had to do shifts that, frankly, interfered with my social life (working in a pub) and I got pissed off with that, also I had several chances to work for someone else who paid me more, so I sacked off another couple of shifts. I did get criticised as I tended to do the shifts that were percieved as 'easy' by the other staff, but frankly the pay is so bad that I'm surprised anyone works there at all.

After a while I decided not to do the management job, but that meant my pay went down again. Also they tried to make me work Christmas eve without any special bonus - I got tips, but nothing extra in my hourly rate - so I refused. Why shouldn't I? Then I got the Christmas Day shift, but couldn't be bothered working the whole shift - its christmas day right?! So I got drunk and went home early.

I also got told off for swearing in front of customers, but it was a really busy day and I was annoyed at my low rate of pay considering it was busy.

Anyway, the point is I sort of walked out - well I said I was getting out of this business and said 'I can't be bothered with this bloody place anymore' which I again got told off for. I didn't get any more shifts, but then I supposed I didn't go in an ask for any.

Anyway what I'm asking is, if they don't give me shifts, can I do them for unfair dismissal? Also I am thinking, if they haven't actually sacked me, what if I say I didn't actually mean to walk out? Will they have to keep employing me?

hermioneweasley Sat 13-Apr-13 15:58:41

Agree with flowery, but your friend should not put anything in writing to the ex employee before taking advice. I suspect they will be safest to insist she resigned, but if they did nothing to clarify it, contact her when she didn't turn up etc they still might be on shaky ground. I am amazed they put up with this for 3 years!

flowery Sat 13-Apr-13 13:04:42

Speculating on here about the legal situation the OPs friend may be in us unlikely to be helpful.

OP your friend needs to spend a little time and money explaining the situation fully herself to an employment lawyer or small business HR consultant. An hour or so will not cost much and will enable her to make some fully informed decisions.

TheSecondComing Sat 13-Apr-13 13:01:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AnyaKnowIt Sat 13-Apr-13 12:28:44

I would write to the employee inviting them to a investigatory meeting following the walking out incident.

Then your friend needs to follow their procedures to work them out

Jux Sat 13-Apr-13 12:23:26

I'd call it gross misconduct. Not finshing shifts, not turning up, swearing at customers?

Ask on legal to double check though.

TheFallenNinja Sat 13-Apr-13 11:57:38

You need to tell the boss that they need to stop being a pushover.

Personally, dependant on the contract, I would simply reduce the hours as low as possible and let nature take its course. I would also start to inform the inland revenue about tips and fully exercise an employers right to dismiss a staff member for swearing at a customer.

YohedYoshoulderYonisandYotoes Sat 13-Apr-13 11:55:42

also I don't think devotion and dedication is necessarily demanded - in fact the walkout was accepted as part of what happens, as were some of the temper tantrums, but you can't let that go on too long. If it were in a chain bar I am sure they would have been out the door a while ago actually

YohedYoshoulderYonisandYotoes Sat 13-Apr-13 11:53:11

Well my understanding is that the bar person was annoyed at being on minimum wage, but the tips usually double that on most of the shifts around the weekend, but he didn't want to work them because it 'interfered with their social life'

Viviennemary Sat 13-Apr-13 11:50:33

From your behaviour it sounds as if you are lucky not to have been dismissed. Swearing at customers. Charming!

And if you actually are the employer I suggest you send your future staff on some customer service courses where hopefully they will learn not to swear at customers.

TheSecondComing Sat 13-Apr-13 11:50:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Sat 13-Apr-13 11:49:00

I think the business owner should take legal advice perhaps. to make sure they do everything by the book and they can prove it.

YohedYoshoulderYonisandYotoes Sat 13-Apr-13 11:48:59

Sadly there is not a brewery big boy involved - I think we would both relax if that was the case..

YohedYoshoulderYonisandYotoes Sat 13-Apr-13 11:47:59

Is that true OneHand - we were worried that they could say that not getting shifts was pushing them out..? I think everything has been done to be reasonable, but as its pretty close to being a one-man-band of course its not like a place with HR, meetings and massive complicated policies - this person is acting like it should be and its really depressing my friend sad

sparkle12mar08 Sat 13-Apr-13 11:47:26

Shit I'm so sorry, didn't clock it was already here! Will report my own post (for reasons of being a numpty!)

Corygal Sat 13-Apr-13 11:46:41

Ring Acas, who are brilliant. They will tell you what to do.

The sweary barman/ladee won't get far as they won't get legal aid for a case any more. And the brewery will hold out not to pay. I wouldn't worry.

sparkle12mar08 Sat 13-Apr-13 11:46:40

Why not just post properly in the Employment section where more experienced MNers will be able to help you. Why fart about with a reverse aibu? Bah humbug.

YohedYoshoulderYonisandYotoes Sat 13-Apr-13 11:45:57

You can't get benefit if you are fired for gross misconduct, only if you are laid off or made redundant etc. I know that bit - I would have thought the employee's best option is to get a 'laid off' letter but it looks much more like they are trying to do something else? Do you think that they are just trying to get a letter saying they are no longer needed? Is there any legal reason why they wouldn't just ask for that?

This stuff is beyond me - when I worked in small businesses I just accepted that it was all friendly and casual anyway even if I was there for a while..

YohedYoshoulderYonisandYotoes Sat 13-Apr-13 11:42:12

Its only a tiny business by the way and I am trying to get me head around what is going on - a claim would close the business as its right on the edge as it is (cold weather and bar that trades on its outside space). I am not the employer I am just trying to stick by my friend who is worried that this will close her business for good.

OneHandFlapping Sat 13-Apr-13 11:42:11

Surely most people doing shifts in the hospitality industry are on zero hours contracts? If so, you have no right to be given a shift if your employer decides to give it to someone else.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Sat 13-Apr-13 11:41:54

i thought you could get benefits if you were fired but not if you walked out?

YohedYoshoulderYonisandYotoes Sat 13-Apr-13 11:40:34

Ahem, yes I was trying to get my head around how the employee sees it - its a friend's business and actually the employee's attutude is worse that I have described.. I think that the employee should be amazed that they still have a job TBH, but I think that they are trying to pressure the business to pay out somehow - its astonishing though because its not a big career job.

I think there probably are some risks somewhere, but I just don't know how to advise my friend. I think that its obvious that the employee effectively walked out, and also that essentially they should have been disciplined for their conduct, but weren't because they hightailed it.

Its just that now they are demanding the dismissal letter, when there was no dismissal and I can't work out why they would do that unless they were wanting to say that they were unfairly dismissed. Also its weird because if they were dismissed they can't get benefit so why are they pushing for that letter?

flowery Sat 13-Apr-13 11:39:41

This is quite obviously an employer worried about an unfair dismissal claim posting as the employee in an attempt to get some advice without having to pay for it.

PuppyMonkey Sat 13-Apr-13 11:38:01

Yes I think this is written from POV of the staff member, so we all agree s/he is unreasonable and then OP will come back and say she is the boss and just wanted to check it wasn't just her being hmm about employee.

I think.

I hope.

iwantavuvezela Sat 13-Apr-13 11:36:08

Perhaps listen to Alan Sugar's comments regarding recent case regarding constructive dismissal.

notsoyoniface Sat 13-Apr-13 11:34:01

Is this reversed? I really hope it is.

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