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How to deal with dishonest employee with a sense of entitlement...

(6 Posts)
Poorjudgeofcharacter Sat 29-Mar-14 15:58:15

I don't know where to start really.I could post this in the elderly parent topic but thought I may get more experienced advice here.

I am genuinely at my wits end trying to deal with a carer who has been employed for three years to look after my elderly father (who has severe dementia) in his own home.

Basically this woman was engaged temporarily and we then agreed it would be a permanent position, she started the job adequately, but her performance has deteriorated.What is now really bothering me is that she has lied seriously,on at least four occasions over the last year

She is meant to work a 9.30am -3pm shift and in that time is paid (well) to look after my father at home.However she is often late, rings in ' sick' at the last minute, and falls out with other carers. She gets bees in her bonnet about minor things and then emails me hourly about them.

The worst dishonesties have been occasions when she has had personal appointments etc; rather than booking time off she has pretended she is at work. She has then driven my father to her own home and left him sitting there with her husband and various other of her lodgers.This once happened for the entirety of her whole shift so she could travel to London with a friend to try out unsuccessfully for "The voice". I only found out about this months later. Other problems included encouraging another temporary night carer to quit two weeks early to rent a room in her house, then lying to me about this.

The whole story is even more complicated than this, as her sister works for us too and they have fallen out.It is just too ridiculously detailed and time consuming to set all the problems out here. However the main things that trouble me are the dishonesties.

I know I need to start disciplinary proceedings with a view to giving her warnings and perhaps ultimately dismissal - but I find it really difficult as when I have tried to talk to her about things before she has simply lied and just denies everything. From time to time she mutters about discrimination ( she is Spanish). She is also really litigious, involved in various legal disputes with family members, neighbours etc.I know if I try and dismiss her she will bring a tribunal claim which will be so much stress and take me away from family and work.

I just want my Father's remaining years to be quiet and peaceful without all this hassle.Maybe I need an external HR person ( perhaps Spanish speaking) to handle her for me.

I don't know what I want really, other than I either want her to leave, or be diligent and reliable. I understand all the law surrounding dismissal and discrimination. I guess I want some-one who has had similar carer problems to offer me a magic solution as to how to make the problems vanish.

flowery Sat 29-Mar-14 18:06:28

There's no magic solution. A lot of what you say would be a disciplinary offence, and some of them might have been gross misconduct, so you could easily have got rid of her by now had you used a disciplinary procedure every time.

As long as you use the correct procedure there would be no claim she could bring for giving her a formal warning about all these things, and ultimately dismissing her. Tribunal claims cost money to bring now and no lawyer or other adviser would encourage her to bring a claim anyway, as long as procedure was followed to the letter.

Corygal Sat 29-Mar-14 18:10:20

You know you've got to sack her. Get advice from Age UK before you do, who will help, and talk to Acas, who are brilliant, about how to get shot of her without a comeback.

AuditAngel Sat 29-Mar-14 18:19:56

The firm I work for has an HR arm that works for third parties, although I am not aware that any of the HR team speak Spanish. (I do, but not well enough to deal with legal issues).

Where are you geographically?

fascicle Sun 30-Mar-14 16:05:31

OP, it sounds like you are being swayed by extraneous factors/assumptions about possible consequences (carer's potential accusations of discrimation; her litigious nature; the possibility of a tribunal claim; the suggestion of a Spanish speaking individual being required to handle the process).

I would say the occurrences in para 4 are charges which on their own might be worthy of a disciplinary warning(s), whilst the events you describe in para 5 potentially constitute gross misconduct and a complete/irrevocable breach of the employer/employee contract.

You haven't said what measures, if any, you have taken in response to the incidents you describe.

I would bite the bullet and immediately pursue the disciplinary process, ensuring you do everything by the book so that if the outcome is dismissal, she can't claim an unfair process even if the grounds are reasonable. You know that the criteria for disciplinary action decision making is akin to 'balance of probability' rather than 'beyond reasonable doubt'. Don't be daunted by the prospect that she might lie to defend herself, so long as you have properly investigated and have reasonable grounds/evidence to suggest she is/or is likely to be culpable of the charges.

I know the prospect of resolving this might not be stress free, but not doing so is likely to compromise your father's care in the long-term, and represent ongoing stress for you all.

Poorjudgeofcharacter Sun 30-Mar-14 22:03:31

Thank you everyone for taking the time to give me advice,and on Mother's Day too!

Flowery -That's it. There is no magic solution.I know she'll fund a claim even if strongly advised not to, representing herself if needs be. However, perhaps I just have to 'woman up' and face the inevitable. I'm worried that the gross misconduct events happened too long ago to act upon ( 8 months). Although I only found out three months ago. The more recent dishonesties have been more minor, about early departures from work, absences etc.

Corygal- you are so right, I do know what I have to do.I did speak to Acas but hadn't thought of Age concern.

Audit angel- we've private messaged about geography so perhaps you can help!

Fascicle-the measures I took so far were pathetic,investigating and trying to get some-one to confirm what I thought she'd done,which happened eventually, but took ages. Then I had an initial investigative meeting with her which I found really difficult as she point blank denied everything. There have then been numerous email exchanges in which she expressed indignation at not being believed and I explained what I know. I haven't seen her to discuss everything in a formal disciplinary meeting .I am stressed, work, have children and live 1.5 hours away anyway.When I have seen her, it's been before, after or during my Dad's numerous hospital and radiotherapy appointments ( he has many problems, as well as dementia). Whilst dealing with his health, I just couldn't face dealing with her dishonesties too.

I am being swayed by extraneous factors, as I do know what she is capable of.She is really litigious and feels the world is against her, but that is because of how she is.Ironically, I think she is desperate for the job,so if she loses it,she will fight and lie to try and compensate and vindicate herself.

Anyway I must bite the bullet and commence a disciplinary process.I will do this, hopefully with help!

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