Urgent advice needed(6 Posts)
I wonder if there are any HR or employment legal specialists who could help with some advice on a disciplinary/dismissal matter. I don't want to put too many details on here in case it outs me, but really need some help and can't find any examples on ACAS or citizens advice
Can you give an outline sufficient to get the gist of your query? If its about the process I may be able to help. Remember any advice on here doesn't substitute sitting with a solicitor but it will point you in the right direction
Sorry, it's hard to without giving details unique to whats happened, but I"ll try.
I've been with my employer for just shy of 18 months, with no previous performance issues. Due to recently diagnosed anxiety and depression there have been some minor slip ups that I have just been dismissed for.
24 hours after being signed off with stress I was
told invited to attend a meeting with HR, the letter indicated that if I didn't attend due to sickness I wouldn't be paid company sick pay, so despite being obviously unfit to be there I attended against my better judgement. It can only be described as a farce of a meeting in which they bullied me to tears and then dismissed me without actually providing any evidence of their accusations.
My contract refers to the company holding disciplinary procedures, but they aren't contractual and can only be accessed by request from HR.
They have at various times been difficult over me being a single mum and attempted to dismiss me in my second week due to this, they did retract it when I stood up for myself, but I don't know if I have enough evidence to support a discrimination claim.
I'm in complete shock that they would behave quite this unprofessionally and right now feel like a criminal after the rough treatment. The dismissal letter says I have a right to appeal, but as they took my laptop and phone I can't make a defence for myself and I don't actually have any information on exactly what I'm defending against. I also don't have contact details for any collegues to ask about accompanying me if they agree to an appeal.
The trouble is no other employer will want to take me on with this having happened, let alone with the medical issue. I can't afford not to work and have no idea whether there is anything I can do legally in this situation?
Your employers have covered their bases in terms of their contractual obligations
Their Disciplinary Process is non contractual. Had you done your 2 years' service they would have had to be a lot tighter re going through a performance improvement plan as part of moving you through the the Disciplinary process.
It doesnt sounds like you have a case for unfair dismissal on the grounds of a protected characteristic.
Do you have anything from them in writing? They should state they will pay notice to you. Even if its a week's money plus they will owe any accrued holiday pay.
I realise you wont give identifying information on here so it would be worth actually ringing the ACAS helpline and giving them the exact circumstances of why they dismissed you in case there is something I'm missing about your grounds for dismissal that ACAS may recognise as worth pursuing for example disability but that's quite tricky if you bring it up after 18 months employmeht and they weren't aware before. However from what you've said it's that they are not happy with how you did your job and that's for them to decide within their company procedures and performance expectations. Its terribly stressful I know.
Have you got any legal cover through your household or motor insurance as they have a legal helpline where you can normally access some legal expertise over the phone.
You could try calling your employers and asking for a further meeting to discuss things like final pay, a basic reference you can use so you can give it to a prospective employer rather than them contacting direct etc.
Hopefully someone else on this board can offer some words of wisdom in case I'm missing anything.
Thanks Daisy, not necessarily what I wanted to hear, but thank you for your help.
It's hard to believe that in this day and age there is so little security against unfair treatment for two years. In previous roles where I have been the hiring manager our HR department insisted on always following ACAS guidelines on all disciplinary matters irrespective of length of service. It was certainly a more ethical and fair approach to managing people despite apparently not being a legal requirement.
I can see both sides. I'm with you regarding the ethical aspects of employment.
Unfortunately many companies nowadays have had to contend with harsh trading conditions for a long time and may be struggling economically so have to prioritise the must-have's in terms of complying with law. Anything they do beyond the must-haves invariable comes with an extra price tag. Its a harsh environment out there nowadays, management is very much more aggressive with people doing more than one person's workload.
Anyway, I'd get your CV out there and see if your employer will support you with a basic reference. Hopefully they won't stand in your way of getting a new job.
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