Could she be fired

(16 Posts)
pregnantat50 Mon 17-Oct-16 15:00:39

My DD works at a school and recently was signed off by a consultant following abdominal surgery. She returned to work but the wound became infected and she was signed off for a further week. On her return the head teacher told her that she was to attend a meeting on Friday to discuss her absence and that she could bring a friend or family member to the meeting with her. Surely you cant dismiss or discipline someone for having surgery and need time off to recover as deemed by a consultant? My DD rang me just now and said "mum I think I am going to be fired on Friday". Anyone know what this is likely to be? I looked this up ACAS but it states that you can have a colleague with you or someone to speak up for you (not family or friend). She doesn't want to have anyone there as she said she would feel embarrassed to be told off in front of someone and she said if I was with her she knows I couldn't help myself from interrupting...Any HR Bods that can help me reassure her please.

Wetcappuccino Mon 17-Oct-16 15:09:39

If your daughter is employed by the council/ local authority, it may just be a return to work or welfare type meeting with line management. They may have "trigger points" built into their attendance policy which prompts a meeting after a certain period of time, for example. But she should certainly ask for more info on the purpose of the meeting and take her TU rep if she is a member. Very few employment rights if employed less than 2 years, but would certainly seem unreasonable if this is her first period of absence.

pregnantat50 Mon 17-Oct-16 15:15:11

Thank you for your response wetcappuccino - I thought it might be a return to work as I think a disciplinary they would ask her to take a colleague or professional with her rather than a friend or family member.

My DD has worked there for 2 years at Christmas (so just under) I am concerned this may be a last chance to get her out before the 2 years is up.

However, she had an excellent yearly review this year, so it would literally be her sickness history that would cause a problem.

If they are having a meeting like this, they have to follow procedures I am assuming, she cant go in and come out sacked...trying to work out if I should take Friday off work to be there when the meetings over so she isnt alone.

pregnantat50 Mon 17-Oct-16 15:16:36

The school she works for is an Academy, does that mean its not council/local authority that employ her?

TheSnorkMaidenReturns Mon 17-Oct-16 15:22:39

She will be employed by the academy, unless e.g. she's employed by the catering contractor.
She needs to get hold of the staff sickness policy. She can ask for that to be sent to her before the meeting.
They need to check she's genuinely been ill - she should take some documentation with her.
She should take a union rep with her. If not in union (best to be union member in a school type situation tbh), she needs an articulate friend who will not be cowed by 'authority' nor rude, and will be able to make accurate notes.

pregnantat50 Mon 17-Oct-16 15:48:50

thank you SnorkMaiden I will advise her of all that information. My HR Manager has kindly offered to accompany her so I will relay that to her too

ICancelledTheCheque Mon 17-Oct-16 18:09:36

Yes, she could be fired, although that would be a very harsh decision.

Unfortunately unless the condition amounts to a disability then they can dismiss her for her sickness absence and she has no legal recourse as she has under two years service. It doesn't matter that the absence was genuine.

Alibobbob Mon 17-Oct-16 18:16:35

I used to work in HR your daughter had two periods of absence in a short space of time for a number of days - this would trigger a meeting to discuss her unauthorised absence. It is a company procedure for monitoring absence not something to be too concerned about unless she has had a lot of unauthorised time off.

We allowed people to be accompanied in meetings usually by a union rep or colleague. Nobody from outside the company was allowed to attend as we had someone once threaten to bring a solicitor.

I would suggest she attend the meeting if she isn't happy with how the meeting is going she should ask for an adjournment and go and get advice from a colleague or ring ACAS.

pregnantat50 Mon 17-Oct-16 22:39:57

Thanks Alibobbob & ICancelledTheCheque. I hope it is just the absence trigger meeting as this is her first job since leaving college and if sacked she would find it hard to find another position. If she is dismissed would she be entitled to job seekers and help finding employment? I dont know the rules on that. She is scared as she has monthly outgoings (like we all do) and if dismissed she would be in a pickle without any sort of income and I am not in a position to help her financialy myself

Alibobbob Tue 18-Oct-16 15:30:36

Hi Preggers I really don't know anything about benefits. Let's hope she doesn't need to find out.

Please update when you know the outcome of her meeting x

pregnantat50 Wed 19-Oct-16 09:19:37

Hi Alibobbob My DD has been told she is to receive a letter, the meeting is still going ahead but she wont be dismissed. The Head did have a go at her again this week (another issue). My DD went to the milk cupboard and had a cry. One of her colleagues said he had noted what has been happening at work with her and said "I have seen this happening time and time again with you and the head, she treats you wrong, you are being bullied" He made an official complaint and the Head apologised to my DD for being unfairly harsh. (which is when she also said that my DD wont be being fired!)..thanks for all your help with this

Alibobbob Wed 19-Oct-16 11:02:04

Your welcome. I am glad she has someone looking after her. I would suggest that when she goes into her meeting with the head regarding her absence or for any other disciplinary or whenever she feels the need she takes this person in with her as a witness. If this person is off request the meeting be rescheduled for when this person is in. Obviously she needs to ask her colleague but by the sound of it the colleague will be happy to sit in.

I wish her well x

pregnantat50 Wed 19-Oct-16 14:40:37

brilliant idea, I will suggest that, thanks x

Alibobbob Wed 19-Oct-16 15:52:40

Your welcome x

DiegeticMuch Sun 23-Oct-16 18:46:26

How did it go on Friday?

pregnantat50 Tue 25-Oct-16 16:32:31

Sorry took a while to get back to you. DD is OK, she is on attendance report, although still a little unfair as she was signed off by her consultant following abdominal surgery. She seems happier now, thanks for all your support and advice

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