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Being investigated for overtime claim

(28 Posts)
Loopylind Fri 09-Feb-18 00:16:44

I'm totally devastated. I've been at my job for over 20 years. I'm considered a good worker with high statistics and a good personality.
Just over 7 months ago the office was offered overtime (weekends), due to a major influx of work. I started doing each Saturday and Sunday. I had been struggling financially and this was a God's send.

In the beginning of Nov, a colleague who was also doing overtime was caught claiming more hours than worked. The colleague was stopped from working overtime and was told that their claims would be investigated.

Meanwhile all others continue, inc me.

Skip to this Tuesday. I am called into a meeting by my manager. I am handed a letter, saying that they believe that I have also claim in excess. I'm gobsmacked. I haven't done this. I'm told not to speak with anyone, which I comply with. NB I am the only one in the office that day out of the 4 people doing overtime.

Next day, I get texts from 2 of my colleagues indicating that they have the same letter. Also informing me that the 4th person has. I do not reply (feeling shitty). So the 4 of us including the colleague who was previously stopped are being investigated.

NB the colleague caught claiming 6 hrs when worked 3, had already admitted to it but claimed that they were under stress at the time and made a mistake. Knowing the persons situation I personally believe this.

So, I'm innocent I've got nothing to worry about, right! Only I'm a worry wart! I'm sure I haven't done anything intentionally but I'm worried that there might be 5, 10, 20 minutes that might not tally as I was ... in the toilet, chatting, working on something else that's non recordable.

There's so much more to this story. My husband was supportive but is now hardly talking. We are both worried that the worst will happen. If I lose my job ... I'm the main earner.

I'm sick with worry and I've no one to talk to that will understand the whole story.

BlueberryMarshmallow Fri 09-Feb-18 00:25:52

If your innocent I wouldn’t worry (probably easier said than done!). When someone in our office was suspected of amending their time sheets the boss looked into all of us to avoid being accused of treating that person differently.

Starlight7777 Fri 09-Feb-18 00:29:53

That's what the colleague that got caught said me, that we were being looked into as a cover. I'm so scared though, even though I haven't done anything. I feel sick and down.

Starlight7777 Fri 09-Feb-18 00:31:19

See how paranoid I've become I've tried to changed my name midway through 😭

ScreamingValenta Fri 09-Feb-18 00:34:08

I would feel as you do, OP, as I'm also a worrier. But with my 'rational third party' head on, I don't see that you have anything to worry about. The main thing is surely that you were working from x hour to y hour, not that your every move in that time is traceable.

If you have worked there for 20 years, your company would have to jump through hoops to sack you (even if you had genuinely been doing something wrong). No case would stand up unless they could prove you were not working between the hours claimed.

I expect what's happened is that someone senior has had a knee-jerk reaction to the one case that's come to light, and has asked for all overtime claims above a certain amount to be investigated, irrespective of surrounding circumstances. I'd suggest collating any info you have as to the specific tasks completed during the overtime, but other than that, just tell the truth. Your 20 year good reputation should stand you in good stead here.

I'm sorry your husband isn't being supportive - is there a backstory to this?

wheresmyphone Fri 09-Feb-18 00:35:39

Poor you. The company sten’t Handling this well, making you all worried. But I also think it’s standard practice: you have to check all records and treat everyone equally, good luck!

HisBetterHalf Fri 09-Feb-18 00:38:31

Can you provide evidence, signing in or out/ cctv/ email times, witness statements from colleagues, customers etc who you may have interacted with during that time

Starlight7777 Fri 09-Feb-18 00:40:15

Screamingvalenta

TY xxx
Yes there is back story... I think that's one of the reasons I'm so totally over reacting and worrying myself sick. I feel so inadequate, that everything that goes wrong is my fault.
I need to grow some balls (she says crying)

Starlight7777 Fri 09-Feb-18 00:45:27

Yes I record all my times in/out. There's just so many records
1) signing in book
2) going through the barriers
3) swiping the lift
4) swiping when up stairs in office (6th floor)
5) computer signing in
6) workflow
7) my records
8) overtime submitted

Sorry I'm working myself up again

ScreamingValenta Fri 09-Feb-18 01:07:07

I don't think you're overreacting at all - it's a horrible thing to be accused of dishonesty when you're innocent. I'm also the main breadwinner in my household and the emotional burden of that position should never be underestimated - I sometimes think my DH takes it for granted that my job is secure, that I will always be well enough to do it etc.

Your husband needs to support you through this - if he's not doing so, it's no wonder that you have worked yourself into a state of distress. Obviously there is a huge underlying issue there that needs to be addressed, but in the short term, do you have others you can turn to - family/friends - for moral support?

In a practical sense, the audit trail you've listed should be more than enough to prove that you have worked your hours. I don't think you have any need to worry about the work side of things. What you do need to look at is why your husband isn't 100% backing you at this difficult time - his lack of support is completely unacceptable.

Starlight7777 Fri 09-Feb-18 01:18:18

You're so right. Husband and I need to talk.
I feel a lot better (well until the next time I back myself into a corner)

Thanks x

frozenlake Fri 09-Feb-18 01:42:34

You aren't overreacting but you should be hopping mad not upset. Your company is behaving dreadfully. Remember that you have worked for over twenty years. It isn't up to you to prove your trustworthiness it is up to them to show you have been deceptive. Your DH is being an unsupportive arse as well, it's hardly down to you that a colleague's behaviour has led to a review.

Longdistance Fri 09-Feb-18 02:34:33

Aww, I can’t believe your dh is being like that, how horrible for you. It’s bad enough having to be investigated by the company you’ve been in for 20 years, for him to then become unsupported.

Are you in a trade union? Or do you have legal cover on your Home Insurance?

flowers for you x

Coyoacan Fri 09-Feb-18 03:49:45

You aren't overreacting but you should be hopping mad not upset. Your company is behaving dreadfully. Remember that you have worked for over twenty years

And though the extra money was handy for you, the company was the one that needed you to do overtime

Starlight7777 Fri 09-Feb-18 11:14:31

Thanks for all you're lovely messages. I've been feeling lonely and cut off. So you're kind words and advice have been extremely helpful and positive. I am in a union and that was my first point of call. I'm going to be represented. However as I said I'm a worry wart so will keep looking at the down side.

I'm trying to be positive as I really haven't done anything.

Starlight7777 Fri 09-Feb-18 11:19:21

I'm seeing my union rep Tuesday. Hopefully I won't end up a bubbling lump. x

Starlight7777 Sun 01-Apr-18 15:54:41

Update

Still waiting an outcome. Had interview seemed to go well.

But it's been so long waiting, still feel like a cloud is over me.

notapizzaeater Sun 01-Apr-18 15:56:46

That's horrible they've kept you waiting so long.

Starlight7777 Sun 01-Apr-18 16:07:14

Thanks for your response. I'm feeling low today. It's been dragging so long now. It's a big cloud over everything.

I've lost about a stone in weight worrying. I look and feel drained.

I've got no one to talk to, well no one that I want to except the people also accused but I'm not suppose to speak to them so I'm just turning it round and round in my head!

They found an hour that was not accountable for (well accountable on one of the systems). I found proof I was doing something else but they were "why are you doing that".

I've come from being praised (talk about bonus) for the amount of good work I do to being under suspicion.

StealthPolarBear Sun 01-Apr-18 19:57:19

Hmm. As a pp said it sounds like they're trying to appear fair by treating you all the same which is stupid.
However if they're now starting to nitpick over an hour I do wonder if there is more to it. Might they be struggling financially?

ScreamingValenta Sun 01-Apr-18 19:59:22

I'm sorry you have been kept waiting so long - it's horrible when something like that is hanging over you.

Starlight7777 Sun 01-Apr-18 20:16:57

Struggling financial no, they're a big organisation and financial more than OK.

I can only sit and wait it seems.

Thanks for listening

bbcessex Sun 01-Apr-18 21:25:51

*starlight’ - that’s absolutely crap for you. ☹️
How horrible to have this hanging over you.

As for ‘finding an hour unaccounted ‘ after all this investigation.. well, that’s bloody clutching at straws.

Sounds like you have a great work record and work ethic. I’m sorry this has made you feel down & anxious.

Have you been able to speak to any managers about ‘clearing your name’ ?

@flowery and some of the other HR / employment specialists may be able to give proper guidance x

Amaried Sun 01-Apr-18 21:41:59

Poor you. Honestly think at this stage I'd take off kid gloves with them and go in and take the initiative and tell them that as a loyal employee of 20 years you feel incredibly angry and disappointed as to how you have been treated on absolutely no basis. This grasping as straws to find something to justify their recent behavior is outrageous. I'd ask for them to close this investigation asap
And look for written evidence that you have been completely vindicated.

Rosielily Sun 01-Apr-18 22:28:30

Have you taken any independent advice about this matter? For example, were you told you could be accompanied during the meetings you have had? Are you in a union? Have you considered legal advice?

The attached link from ACAS might help.

http://www.acas.org.uk/media/pdf/f/m/Acas-Code-of-Practice-1-on-disciplinary-and-grievance-procedures.pdf

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