Where do I get advice?(6 Posts)
A few weeks ago myself and a colleague had crossed words at work. We have worked together for years and always rubbed along okay but this time we both blew up a bit and things were said that really shouldn't have been on both sides. I put it down to a workplace fall out but he went off on the sick a few days later and was off for a few weeks. He has always been very workshy and I suspected that he may be using our fall out as an excuse to have some time off from work and make me take the blame as a result. My suspicions were confirmed last week when my manager took me aside and said my colleague had put in a complaint against me. My manager was on the verge of tears as she was telling me as she said that things could get quite nasty and although she was aware of both our characters, it was really out of her hands now. There were 3 witnesses to the incident but 2 of them are his personal friends so I don't hold out too much hope of a fair outcome there. I haven't a clue how to defend myself or where I should be seeking advice. I am an NHS healthworker but i'm not in a union. Any ideas of what I should be doing?
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You can join a union now but you'll probably find they will only attend a disciplinary hearing with you and not provide you with legal assistance (say worst case scenario you are dismissed) as the issue predates your membership. With NHS, you'll want to join unison, unite or GMB.
You could instruct a solicitor to advise you.
You could contact citizens advice bureau or a local law centre.
Do you have legal protection through your home insurance?
Unfortunately a union will not normally assist you unless you have been a member and paid subs for at least three months.
This has blown up out of proportion and your line manager although upset has hinted that there maybe disciplinary procedures at hand.
You can do nothing until you are made aware of exactly what accusations have been made, and what process the company intends to follow. You maybe invited to a meeting to put your side of the story (take notes and produce witnesses of your own to defend yourself) depending on the outcome of this meeting an investigation may follow with witnesses interveiwed and statements taken.
Worst case scenario is once they have investigated and have all of the facts you may have to attend a disciplinary hearing
I would start to do some preparation for this hearing just in case.
Look on the web at the acas website and see legally how this process has to be done. It gives some good advice for an employee and an employer to follow .... read both. It has to be conducted fairly and legally.
Also read the company handbook on how disciplinary's are dealt with within the company and find out if you can have a witness present. Then think about who to ask to attend with you.
Educate and defend yourself if you really feel that you were both at fault.
You've worked there a long time. It's highly unlikely that something like this will result in your dismissal. State the truth and if appropriate agree to have mediation with your colleague. Be seen to be behaving calmly and reasonably and if possible with confidence that the 2 of you can continue working together. Do what you can to ensure that you come across as the good employee. By taking a long time off sick, presumably with "stress", he will already have made himself unpopular with management.
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