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Husband going to disciplinary meeting alone(19 Posts)
I really need some advice. My husband has been suspended from his job and has now been informed they want to proceed with a displinary hearing. He has asked numerous amounts of colleagues to go with him to the meeting but all have refused and he is not part of a union. I'm worried about him going alone. What can he do?
He wants to resign as he feels he trust has broken between him and the employers- what would happen if he resigned in the hearing?
This is why you should always join a union.
If his colleagues won't go with him, then unless they allow a friend as a courtesy (they don't have to) he doesn't have any other options.
How long has he worked there? Is he in a regulated industry? The employer may accept his resignation with immediate effect, but they may choose to continue with the disciplinary anyway.
It depends how serious the allegations are. Has been told that an outcome could be his immediate dismissal?
If not, then resigning would mean that he'd potentially have to work his usual notice and a reference would say resigned as reason for leaving. Depending on the allegations they may decide on an outcome regardless of his resignation, and include that on any future ref that asked for details of any hearings.
If the allegations are gross misconduct and he resigned, they'd probably conclude the meeting and a reference would say 'upheld gross misconduct and the outcome would have been dismissal or final warning but employee resigned.'
If they don't conclude the meeting because he has resigned, ref would prob say. Allegation of [gross] misconduct and no outcome as employee resigned. No decision was made and this is not confirmation of any guilt. Or something like that.
They Have told him the outcome could be dismissal.
It is a case of gross misconduct - he has evidence and reasons to argue with but feels the way it's been so far and following past members of staff 'leaving" examples were made of them and policies changed, this will happen with him
I would contact ACAS and also see if your house insurance covers a legal line who he can talk to. Depending on the type of business can be try and join a union now which is relevant to his profession.
How long has he worked there?
A union are not obliged to assist with an existing issue. It's very rarely that they will.
He's worked there for over 4 years
Union will only give advice over the phone, not assist further.
It depends what he wants - if he is being unfairly treated and he wants to take them to a tribunal if they dismiss him, he'll be better off being dismissed so he can claim.
I can't see what benefit resigning now will have tbh. Sometimes people resign during an investigation or before a hearing to avoid one being held in the hope references etc will say resignation instead of dismissed (but for things like safeguardinc/negligence the org would probably still continue with the hearing anyway).
As the hearing is imminent then they'll hold it anyway and his resignation won't help avoid it now.
What are the allegations and does he have proof he didn't do it or mitigation to adequately explain why he did it? More details will be useful to advise
Would not resignation with immediate effect not supersede the hearing as they can't hold the hearing if he doesn't work for them anymore?
He has mitigating circumstances of stress and personal issues. He has made mistakes within work that they are saying he has done deliberately but he hasn't - simply stressed and hasn't thought properly about simple tasks
Not necessarily - they can hold it in his absence. For safeguarding issues, you'd have to hold the hearing in order you could refer to the dbs if the allegations were upheld for example. Otherwise you could do anything, resign and leave before there was a record.
Even if he did resign and they didn't have a hearing, they could tell future employers that he resigned prior to a hearing and the organisations may see that as an admission of guilt.
Things that will go in his favour:
Accepting responsibility and proving what he has done to ensure it won't happen again (how has he ensured he has reduced his stress so it wouldn't happen again if he remained employed).
First time mistake - no evidence to suggest he'd make it again.
Long standing record of good performance
Evidence it was an accident - no motive or personal gain by the mistake, for example.
To dismiss someone for a first tine mistake doesn't sound like gross misconduct, unless the mistake would constitute gross negligence or something so serious it destroys the trust in him as an employee. If it isn't either of those, it's prob worth going to the hearing and appealing if dismissed. He could start an ACAS conciliation process to see whether he could negotiate an agreed reference or something to help him find a new job.
The company are saying that these mistakes mean it has destroyed the trust in him as a colleague as he has had financial gain from this and so it's been deliberate.
It wasn't- just lack of judgement on his part due to the stresses over past few months. Many of which have sorted themselves out.
”Would not resignation with immediate effect not supersede the hearing as they can't hold the hearing if he doesn't work for them anymore?”
Unless he has a very short notice period or the hearing is a long way off, if he resigns he will still work for them. He could opt not to show up for the hearing but that wouldn’t stop it happening- if they want to proceed they can.
I would suggest he explains that he has tried multiple colleagues but can find no one prepared to accompany him, he is concerned about attending without a companion particularly when the potential outcome is so significant, and will they therefore allow him to bring a friend or family member instead.
They don’t have to allow it, but it’s worth a try.
Many years ago I was suspended for gross misconduct ( I had done what they accused me of to be fair)
I didn’t want a colleague to go with me as I was pretty embarrassed and I took my resignation letter with me
I didn’t really answer the questions they asked me at the meeting, I just said “I can’t remember” or similar and once I could see how it was going I asked to stop proceedings and handed over the letter.
I got a months garden leave and a bland generic reference saying that I worked as an X between these dates and resigned.
I got the first job I applied for in the same field and it was never an issue ( just said I wanted a new challenge)
Obviously I can’t say what your DH employer will do but that was my experience
The employer can continue even though he resigns. It depends on how much they wish to make an example of him or if they have any obligation through professional bodies to follow this through.
I have known someone join an external union in this sort of case. They had to make a case for it to be allowed, and as you could imagine it coat them quite a bit of money. There are companies out there set up to help in these cases
Definitely check your house insurance for legal cover. Why won't colleagues accompany your husband ? Is it a culture where they are scared of being sacked? Why should your husband resign to make their life easier?
The biggest mistake my DP made was attending the first meeting alone. He was not in the union but we took a close friend who was actually a union rep in another company and just came for support as he knew the right questions to ask. Speak to ACAS. Ask to record the meeting and for fully documented minutes . You also need a copy of the company's disciplinary procedures. Good Luck .
Deliberate or not doesn't really make a difference as you've said they have lost trust and therefore don't have faith that any remedial actions can be put on place to secure these errors don't happen again. Stress can explain errors but it doesn't explain why they were not pointed out once they were discovered by the person who made them.
Your oh is better off resigning with immediate affect and negotiate a reference.
I had a disciplinary hearing yesterday, and I have been very glad that I have paid my union dues all these years. We don't have a recognised union, so my union rep was external.
We initially got it postponed, because the first date was only two working days notice, and I couldn't get a rep to attend then. HR did go with our proposed changed date, which was what most suited my rep, so we met yesterday, not Monday.
Rep was very keen to be clear what the charge was, and for HR to be clear about what I had done that I shouldn't have done, and what I shouldn't have done that I should have done.
I had a prepared statement, which I read out, and sent them a copy of afterwards, so the scribe didn't have to try and keep up with what I said for the minutes. It started with a brief summary of when I started at the company, doing what, and that I had a good work history. It covered that I was not guilty of the allegation, and them went through a timeline of what I had been doing and why, and finished with me refuting the allegation again and what I hoped the outcome would be. This was about the third iteration the rep had reviewed, and in a couple of places, he had said thongs like, "if you phrase it this way, that will be helpful if it gets as far as tribunal."
After reading the statement, they asked me some questions about the case. Then we adjourned for about 25 minutes, while they decided on the outcome.
The main difference was that my outcome was no further action, as they never had a case in the first place, and it shouldn’t have got past an investigation (which had never been clear to me it was an investigation meeting - there were one or two other bits where it was pointed out they didn't follow their own process, as well.) But I hope describing the prep we did is helpful.
Also the ACAS guide to disciplinaries and grievances (can't remember the exact title) is easily googleable, and he should have a good idea of what's in that, and the employer's own disciplinary procedures.
If he's financially gained then effectivley he's been accused of theft or fraud, as such, it's hard to argue mitigating circumstances.
I suspect the best he can hope for is thy allow him to resign, as they may wish to prosecute, but prosecution is unlikely, most companies just want you to go.
Resigning means he can't claim benefits for a period, but does allow him to find another job more easily.
However if he's been ill with stress has he seen a doctor? If he could show this it may help him.
The financial gain makes this a lot more complex really.