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17weeks pregnant but suspended from work due to gross misconduct(9 Posts)
Hi all, I need some advice ASAP as I am really stressing out here
In a nutshell, I’ve recently been suspended from work for gross misconduct (call avoidance) however I’m also 17 weeks pregnant... I know it was ridiculously silly of me to become so complacent at work but due to ill health I really did just let it all get on top of me. It’s no excuse but I genuinely had no idea how far it had gone until I was called in for a meeting to be told I’m being suspended!
I’ve got an interview this week to see facts/figures so I’ll know better then, but if anyone can please advise in the meantime I’d thoroughly appreciate it x
I have had issues with systems here and there but because it only takes a moment to reset I haven’t logged them so there’s no record of it. In hindsight yes I am kicking myself however at the time I had no idea anything like this would happen. What happens is we outbound dial to customers, the customer will pick up however because no one is talking from my end the customer will terminate the call. A lot of the time my headset isn’t on my head or I’ve had mic issues however I am stuck in a rut because I can only hope they take my word for it. I’ve never been pulled up on my performance or behaviours in the past if anything I’ve always been towards the top in terms of behaviours and performance, just over the last 6 months or so due to a number of health issues and then becoming pregnant I’ve become a lot less proactive than I used to be. I hope that explains things better
i don't really understand what help you expect. Pregnancy is not ill-health (unless there are genuine issues of course, which doesn't seem to be the case with you) and you clearly haven't been doing your job properly.
It sounds unusual to move straight to suspension without any previous meetings about poor performance, or verbal warnings.
At this stage my best advice is to get hold of a copy of your company's disciplinary policy, so you will a)know what to expect, and b)know if they are following it properly. You can also call ACAS for advice specific to your situation.
It sounds like you're saying your performance has dropped off a bit lately. Hopefully you'll be able to put across your reasons for this, and explain to them how you plan to make sure things improve. I'd make some notes to help you remember key points you want to make. You should have the opportunity to submit your own info in defence ahead of the formal meeting, usually. You should also have the right to be accompanied by someone - that can be helpful as they can take notes of what's said for you.
I hope all goes well for you.
Why didn't you wear your headset?
Did you log issues with your mic?
Did you have genuine health problems that were backed up with doctors' appointments?
You say yourself that you've been complacent and that you're stuck in a rut.
I'm sorry but it does sound to me that you have been suspended for genuine gross misconduct. You can try pleading pregnancy brain but I doubt it will help you keep your job.
So, have you been hanging up when they answer, or waiting for them to pick and and staying silent so that they hang up?
How many times has this happened?
Presumably calls are recorded so they could have data on how many times this has happened.
I used to work in a call centre and saw several people dismissed for short calling or muting their phones. I'm not sure you'll have much luck getting out of it. Perhaps you should start looking for other jobs.
I have suffered from ill health pre-pregnancy as well as during pregnancy, I was off sick for 2 months between September-November 2017 due to depression and then I was off for a month between end of February-Beginning of April during my first trimester due to the severity of my sickness and it was just a week or so after I had gone back in to work that I was taken into this meeting to be informed of my suspension.
According to the letter I received from Work all it says is customers have terminated the call due to no response from myself, They will have the facts/figures on all this but I will not be made aware of this until I go in for the meeting.
If they have genuine stats on apparent work avoidance & there are not similarly reliable stats on you logging system / other problems, then on the face of it I fear you will be dismissed; you simply aren't doing what they are paying you for.
However, I wouldn't go down without a fight - get hold of your employer's disciplinary procedure (as pp says) & check due process has been followed.
It's worth checking their maternity policy too but I counsel against mentioning your pregnancy, certainly at first - you might be accused of diverting attention inappropriately, rather than raising a valid issue (unless they've broken policy obviously).
Same with sickness policy.
You could consider mentioning that any performance issues were before your depression absence, ie whilst you were becoming ill & so performance was a symptom of illness (not of avoidance). If you're now being treated then you should be able to show improved stats since you returned.
On that point, if you think you've performed better in the last week, ask specifically for those days; it's only a short time but you could use it to show you have improved (it would be a longer period if they hadn't called you in so soon!)
PS Usual suggestions apply about Union rep, or taking in someone with you to be your witness.