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I'm sure this can't be ok...advice?

(24 Posts)
Kelsoooo Thu 26-Nov-15 20:53:41

So following on from my thread the other day.

A quick background...

Over the course of a couple of months I felt a team member was perhaps not acting in the most professional of manners. But no one else was saying anything about it, I'm inexperienced in the role so kind of let it slide. Then there were a couple of things I was so gobsmacked by, in the space of a couple of weeks, I approached my manager.

I explained to my manager at the time a couple of my reasons for not going sooner.

Now that employee is no longer with us. Don't know if she was dismissed or not.

I received an e-mail this evening from our head of HR informing me I have a disciplinary meeting this coming Monday.

This is for the afore mentioned misuse of equipment (the monday meeting was postponed) and now in addition "the time taken to report potentially serious issues to Management regarding the behaviour of other team members"

Surely that's not okay? Given that they interviewed other members of staff regarding my allegations, so they know I wasn't the only one who knew about all of it? But I am the only one who reported it?

They just want to get rid of me don't they?

mapmyface Thu 26-Nov-15 20:56:38

Have you got a union you can involve?

I've had similar at work this week in my appraisal, I was marked down for not speaking up about a colleagues practices earlier (nothing majorly serious) even though they already knew about him as he was on extended probation.

Surely if you weren't this colleagues superior it's not your ultimate responsibility. Was their practice not picked up on in supervisions?

Kelsoooo Thu 26-Nov-15 21:03:27

I'm not her superior. I joined a union literally this I'm assuming not?

...Supervisions? We don't have them. We're meant to have them every 4-6 per company policy (looking at the handbook now) but no we've not had one.

We're lone workers, so our manager pops in for once a week. When obviously we're all on best behaviours. Including our service users. HR know our teams aren't happy with our manager because he's so unapproachable and generally, not effective.

Think along the lines of inappropriate comments, crossing personal boundaries and snapchat stories. Nothing determinable abusive. No violence, no degradation. All low level stuff. But combined, it added up to alot. And the snapchat was gross misconduct.

So if I had approached my manager earlier, I would have looked petty and stupid.

Fozzleyplum Thu 26-Nov-15 21:09:02

How long have you been employed there?

Kelsoooo Thu 26-Nov-15 21:15:34

According to my contract since February. I completed my end of the probation in September (the training and 6months service)

Fozzleyplum Thu 26-Nov-15 21:31:13

OK - bear in mind I haven't read your previous post.

If you haven't been employed continuously by your current employer for 2 years and they dismiss you, you don't have the right to bring a freestanding claim for unfair dismissal. That means that if the employer didn't think you were performing well or if they decided that they had too many workers (ie redundancy), they could dismiss without needing to follow a fair procedure, provided they pay your notice and any other money owing to you. You could not bring a claim for unfair dismissal.

There are however claims that you can bring irrespective of your length of continuous employment. These include discrimination (on various grounds - I'll list them if you think discrimination is a possibility), whistleblowing and trade union involvement.

Presumably if you simply weren't cutting the mustard, they would just let you go. If the outcome of this procedure is dismissal, it suggests that they might be trying to hide an unlawful reason for dismissal behind this disciplinary. Unless of course, they might be doing this to get out of paying you notice or some other benefit such as a bonus which requires you to be employed on a particular trigger date.

Any thoughts?

lougle Thu 26-Nov-15 21:51:50

Tbh, you should have a policy on safeguarding and what you describe is an abuse of the service user's vulnerability. It should have been documented and reported immediately and then your manager could have decided how petty or otherwise it was.

So yes, especially following the Francis (2013) report, it is just as bad to witness poor practice and say nothing as to engage in poor practice because you are your client's only advocate.

You describe it as low level but I think that is inaccurate. Crossing boundaries is a serious matter. Inappropriate comments are degrading in themselves -these people are at your mercy.

If I were you, I'd Google the Francis report and read it to get further understanding of how delays in reporting can perpetuate abuse. Go to your disciplinary and say that you've reflected on the situation and now realise how important it is to report in a timely fashion, and that in future you'd make an immediate written record and report it at the next available opportunity.

Kelsoooo Thu 26-Nov-15 21:52:45

I did whistleblow.

I raised the issues with my manager about my colleague for safeguarding reasons. I witnessed her behaviours, which my manager didn't and then I, albeit after a while, went to my manager about it.
We work in care.

Now they're disciplining me for not raising it soon enough? But no one else raised it at all? Though they admitted to knowing about it.

I am up to my job, and we are understaffed.

Does that make any sense?

Kelsoooo Thu 26-Nov-15 21:58:46

"You describe it as low level but I think that is inaccurate. Crossing boundaries is a serious matter. Inappropriate comments are degrading in themselves -these people are at your mercy"

Until the two major events, which occured within days of each other and I went to my manager at my first available opportunity.

These things were boundary crossing like hugging him, laying on his bed next to him (both dressed!), asking if he'd been "naughty" (one occasion, and i detest the term so wasn't sure if it was me being oversensitive - see previous comment about my inexperience). Somethings I was being told about and hadn't witnessed myself.

I went to my manager after she made a comment that I didn't like, and thought was lewd and inappropriate, and after the snapchat story. That occured on one day and 7 days later (allowing two for a weekend, and then having to work out what to do about it as I had NO EVIDENCE. It was a video, there was no way of me proving I'd seen it).

Kelsoooo Thu 26-Nov-15 22:00:39

And the hugging him - he instigated it. I never saw her instigate it.

lougle Thu 26-Nov-15 22:03:37

So are you saying that the boundary crossing incidents were low level? Hugging the client is totally inappropriate and the laying on his bed is quite frankly appalling. I would have thought a same day report was necessary.

Kelsoooo Thu 26-Nov-15 22:13:09

The laying on his bed thing, I'd heard about but not seen, until the day of the inappropriate comment....I can't report on something I've not seen.

TBH, I'm being blunt in my answers with you lot, in the hopes you can explain things to me in a calm manner which will explain to me just how badly I fucked up.

I'm massively confused as to why I'M the one being disciplined for reporting ot (better late than never) when my colleagues who admitted to having seen it, and didn't report it...aren't having any comeback.

Kelsoooo Thu 26-Nov-15 22:17:30

And you've also got to understand, my manager is awful. He doesn't respond to texts, emails or phone-calls. Sometimes for weeks on end.

I'm still waiting for a reply to an email I sent three weeks ago.

And for a phone call back when I rang him the other day in the middle of an incident. The incident culminated in me being assaulted. And He's still not called me back.

So approaching him is hard. Really hard. And HR is aware of these issues with the manager. Because everyone has approached them with it.

So when I refer to not approaching him because I didn't want to look petty...when I approach him about major incidents and get no comeback, why would I approach him over something I wasn't sure was as bad as I thought?

I am also aware that is not the attitude I should go into the disciplinary with.

The fact is, I should have reported it sooner. I didn't. If I was in that situation again, I'd report immediately.

Kelsoooo Thu 26-Nov-15 22:19:38

And same day reporting isn't always possible. The incident of the comment occured at 8.15pm. My manager wasn't at work then, he works 9-5. I was on a 12 hour waking night shift.

I got home, at 825 am, took my daughter to school. Went straight to the doctors, came home and fell into bed exhausted because I had to be up at 3 and then was returning for my second waking night shift. Rinse and repeat.

bookishandblondish Thu 26-Nov-15 22:55:57

You are correct that if you heard something but did not observe it directly, you could not have reported it other than in a supervision - otherwise it could be seen as malicious herresay.

Secondly you didn't fuck up - if you haven't had supervision and you work alone and are fairly new - and most importantly, the culture doesn't support it, low grade abuse is actually hard to address because it's very difficult to articulate the boundaries which is being crossed. Francis did talk about whistleblowing - but also the majority of the recommendations were for management to ensure the culture was about dignity and care.

I'm not in HR - so feel free to ignore - but I'd write down every thing in a very factual way.

Supervision : last supervision was on date with X.
Email request sent on X: no response received.

E.g Monday: observed X. Contacted manager at 8.25.

Tuesday: Client hit me in the face:contacted manager and attended my GP. I assume no formal report was made - I'd assume that the policy was to record assault.

Keep it strictly to what is factual and what you have done: do not attribute any emotion or explanation at all. I'd check the company policy on reporting incidents.

By the way, you don't necessarily know whether anyone else is being disciplined - they may not tell you he truth.

Good luck.

lougle Thu 26-Nov-15 23:08:00

OK. I see why you're confused. I guess the ultimate line is that your manager's poor practice doesn't have to lead to your bad practice. So from now on, document, report. Email manager and Cc HR.

Perhaps you'd benefit from working in a more structured environment for a while, so that you'd build up a profile of what good care looks like -that would give you confidence in reporting bad care.

Fozzleyplum Thu 26-Nov-15 23:34:58

As far as the disciplinary goes, I would prepare a statement to read out and hand in at the hearing, so there can be no mistake about what you've said.

You and other posters have raised some good points about the practicalities of reporting this type of behaviour; you have made valid points about why you didn't report sooner. You should include all the points you think are relevant.

If you are sure that you are the only one being disciplined, state that others were aware, but failed to report and yet are not being disciplined (ie you are being treated differently). Make the point that it seems that you are being disciplined exactly because you did report the issue.

Kelsoooo Fri 27-Nov-15 16:39:09

Thank you all for your advice thus far. I've taken it all on board, and will use it going forward.

However, the situation has an update:

The guy who arranges shift cover has sent an e-mail to my work colleagues asking for my shifts next week (after the disciplinary!) to be covered. I'm due in at 8pm tonight. They've not requested cover for that.

What the hell is going on? I called my manager and spoke to him at 3.15pm, who said he'd find out what's going on....and hasn't called me back.

So I emailed him and HR detailing what was said on the phone and asking for an answer again.

ClashOfUsernames Fri 27-Nov-15 16:55:25

Ah that doesn't look good! sad

I like the statement suggestion. Factual and to the point. No emotion. Also do you have anything in writing re your reports to he about your supervisor complaints from you or others that back up your saying you can't approach him?

All the best for Monday.

Kelsoooo Fri 27-Nov-15 17:19:11

I have all the emails I sent the big boss, and then they came and interviewed us all... So yes I do.

What a fun weekend I'm going to have

Fozzleyplum Fri 27-Nov-15 20:57:52

Add in to your statement the information you have about the request for cover for your shifts after the disciplinary. This appears to be clear evidence of pre-judgment, which is unfair.

Fozzleyplum Fri 27-Nov-15 21:11:16

The only statutory claims you have (ie the only ones that your employer ought to be wary of if they want to dismiss you) are those which don't require you to have at least 2 years' continuous employment.

I would therefore make sure that you include in your statement (see my suggestion upthread re handing in a statement) a comment that it is clear that you are being disciplined primarily because you drew your employer's attention to your colleague's unlawful behaviour. That would be a clear indication to the employer that if you are dismissed, you will have a whistleblowing claim.

Kelsoooo Sat 05-Dec-15 22:35:54

So, to update this:

I received a written warning. In the disciplinary I didn't really get to speak about this issue. But when I did I said what you lot advised. Which helped so thank you.

They seemed more interested in the issues with our manager (well documented) and how we are now under the CQC spotlight.

My written warning is (and I'm quoting) because "your conduct was unsatisfactory in relation to the time taken to report an incident regarding the service user"

I can contest it, but don't think I have the energy.

I've also since been made aware that all of my colleagues that were interviewed regarding the incidents, a/. got to read my statement, which had my name attached to it, so no confidentiality, and b/. aren't facing disciplinary hearings themselves despite admitting to knowing about the incidents.


SevenOfNineTrue Wed 09-Dec-15 10:46:47

I wonder if they did this to cover their backs in case of an unfair dismissal claim from the employee no longer there?

If the employee claims that everyone knew of her behaviour, including management, and no one did anything over a prolonged period of time she might claim that she believed how she was behaving was acceptable.

Just a thought.

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