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Suspended from work!

(264 Posts)
BeckiF Tue 04-Jan-05 12:20:22

Maybe W & R can help me here. I am a manager and went back to work today after Xmas break and was taken straight up to the conference room where a string of allegations were made against me and I have been suspended on full pay. The allegations range from the ridiculous (i.e we only play my choice of music in the office, when I'm in a bad mood the office suffers etc. etc.) to the serious (i.e I have touched this male member of staff on the back of the neck. We are a tactile office and there are others far more tactile than I).

I am devestated and in utter shock. I am not able to talk to anyone from work except my director, and yet this guy remains at work and could be saying goodness know what. I've been there 2 years and he has been there 6 months and has already been moved from one dept as he wasn't up to scrathc and I agreed to have him in my office! This is the thanks I get.

What is my position?

galaxy Tue 04-Jan-05 12:23:22

OMG! I can't help you on your legal position but just wanted to respond. This sounds dreadful.

I would contact the ACAS helpline.

mckenzie Tue 04-Jan-05 12:23:29

So sorry to here your news Beckif.

can you afford to go and get some advice from a solicitor? I recommend David Green at Charles Russell Solicitors in London. 020 7203 5000/5224. I used him when i was made redundant while pregnant and he helped me a great deal.

galaxy Tue 04-Jan-05 12:24:17

Just looked up our policy on discpline and it says they may suspend without notice whilst they undertake a full investigation where it concerns gross misconduct and/or dishonesty so your emploters seem to be taking a very tough line.

Twiglett Tue 04-Jan-05 12:25:42

OMG {{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}}} don't know what to say .. are the allegations from this one person? do you know any further details?

WideWebWitch Tue 04-Jan-05 12:25:58

Is there an HR department? Have they given you anything in writing? So sorry, this must be awful.

Mum2girls Tue 04-Jan-05 12:27:26

No advice, but you've been treated very poorly imo.

Marina Tue 04-Jan-05 12:27:59

Wish I could offer some helpful advice, so sorry to hear this. Union rep? (you're going to say it's not a unionised workplace, aren't you...)

Freckle Tue 04-Jan-05 12:38:47

Do you have a union? If so, speak to your rep asap.

Failing that, it might be helpful at least to speak to an employment specialist. New regulations came into force last October regarding disciplinary procedures. However, suspending on full pay is something an employer can do before embarking on these new procedures. If, as a result of their investigation, your employers decide to discipline/dismiss you, then they must follow the new procedures. There are 3 steps to the new procedures: The employer must

1. tell the employee in writing why the employer is contemplating disciplinary action or dismissal; and

2. hold a meeting with the employee; and

3. hold an appeal meeting if the employee wishes to appeal.

The employer must set out in writing the employee's alleged conduct or characteristics, or other circumstances, which led them to contemplate dismissing or taking disciplinary action against the employee. This statement is called a Step one letter. The employer must send the statement, or a copy of it, to the employee.

In addition to setting out the employer's reasons for contemplating or taking the action they have, the statement must invite the employee to a meeting to discuss the statement, without unreasonable delay, and the employee must take all reasonable steps to attend the meeting.

The employer must invite the employee to a hearing at a reasonable time and place so that the issues raised in the Step one letter can be discussed. The employee must take all reasonable steps to attend this meeting. If the employee does not attend a disciplinary meeting because they think it is a waste of time, they will be treated as having failed to comply with the procedure, with the result that the rest of the disciplinary procedure does not have to be followed and any award given by the tribunal can be reduced.

After the first meeting, the employer must inform the employee of their decision, and offer the employee a right to another meeting to appeal the decision, without unreasonable delay. If the employee does not appeal, any award made by a tribunal may be reduced because they have not followed the full procedure.

If the employee wishes to appeal, they must inform their employer of their wish to do so. The employer must invite the employee to attend a further meeting where the employee's appeal against the employer's decision can be heard. If possible, a more senior manager should attend the appeal meeting.

After the appeal hearing, the final decision must be communicated to the employee, without unreasonable delay. The employee is entitled to take a representative or colleague to the meetings with them.

Have you been given any indication of how long your suspension will last?

Stripymouse Tue 04-Jan-05 12:53:00

No advice just sympathy - hope that it is cleared up really soon for you and that they treat you fairly and sensitively. Hope you have people around you to give you practical support and comfort, otherwise take plenty of comfort in knowing that we are all thinking of you.

BeckiF Tue 04-Jan-05 12:57:18

Hi. No timescale has been given. They are waiting for out IT guy to come back tomorrow so that they can investigate my internet usage. I did say that on the run up to Xmas that I had been on the Net more than we're supposed to but then so has everyone else. I'm not overly worried about this. Others go for ciggie breaks and are gone for 10-20 mins at a time. I don't smoke so now and then I peruse the web for a break. If they reprimand me they have to reprimad everyone surely?

It is one guy that has made the allegations, her is 27 and I am 34. He is a real arrogant skiving beered up eejit, and just doesn't ike me. I'm shocked that I have been suspended and he hasn't. I am the nicest, sweetes person ever ,,,, I'm utterly devestated.

aloha Tue 04-Jan-05 12:58:58

How awful and upsetting for you BeckiF. I can't imagine how upset you must be feeling - he sounds a total bastard. I'm really quite shocked on your behalf. I also know a good (female) employment lawyer so could pass her name on to you if necessary. She got me a good deal with no heartache and minimal stress!

morningpaper Tue 04-Jan-05 12:59:27

Becki: no union?

Fimbo Tue 04-Jan-05 13:02:07

I find this truly shocking. Poor you, cannot believe they are doing this to you. Even if they lift suspension, could you face working for this company again?

Azure Tue 04-Jan-05 13:08:08

BeckiF so sorry to hear this - what a huge shock. Do you have the allegations in writing yet? Start making a note of what your responses to these are. I don't have anything else to advise, but you have my sympathies.

MrsBigD Tue 04-Jan-05 13:20:38

Beckif - poor you!
This must be horrible. Surely if people weren't happy with your choice of music they could have said something beforehand, you don't sound like the wicked witch of the east to me! also what a STUPID allegation! If I'd have a go at my boss each time he puts in a CD I don't like he'd be in a lot of trouble! Not to mention that when he's in a bad mood it's best to stay clear, but hey! I know that so no problem

To me this sounds a bit like a setup... stupid question but the the guy who alledged these things ever made a pass at you in the past and you turned him down? Might be food for thought if that's the case.

Hope you get assistance to sort all this out.

Hulababy Tue 04-Jan-05 13:22:41

Oh Becki Nightmare. You need to get some legal help fast. Maybe W&R can help - maybe put a thread out asking for her.

studenti Tue 04-Jan-05 13:26:29

Sounds awful, Becki. Do you think you have your line manager's support? Do other people recognise this guy for the tosser he clearly is? Sounds like you need union/legal support asap.

handlemecarefully Tue 04-Jan-05 13:33:46


So sorry that you are going through a really stressful time.

Just try to bear in mind that it is 'suspension without prejudice'. I have had to suspend people in the past when serious allegations have been made (in accordance with our HR policy) to enable a preliminary investigation into those allegations. Sometimes those initial (very quick) investigations have demonstrated that there was no case to answer, and the member of staff was reinstated very quickly with disciplinary action having been ruled out.

I am sure that this bloke's allegations are trumped up and malicious, but from your employers' perspective if serious allegations are made they might have had little choice but to suspend you pending an investigation. It doesn't mean that they think you are guilty.

Its awful for you though. Keep us posted on developments...

BeckiF Tue 04-Jan-05 13:43:05

No, we have no union.

Discussing with df and he asked the same question, had this guy made a pass at me. He hasn't, although he did grab me at an out of work party and laid his head on my chest. he even cites in the allegations (I haven't seen the list yet) that he thinks all this stems from an incident at this party. Maybe he will say that I made a pass at him and he turned me down.

The music thing is silly. We have a radio that I used to keep on the floor behind me so that it didn't disturb us all. There are only 5 of us! Over Xmas we put on festive music and it was always a group choice of what went on. I did put one of my own CD's on once and it got laffed off!

He clearly can't stand me. The only allegation that is trus is that I did spend quite a bit of time on the net before Xmas, but he says 90% of the time which equates to 6.75 hours a day! Our IT manager will confirm what time I have spent on there, but I doubt it's that long.

I'm going to the docs later I hope. I had a break down in October which I kept to my close family, didn't visit the doc. But now I feel that I am going to explode, be sick, pass out and as though my heart is about 9sized bigger than it should be. No way can we go for the IVF that we planned to now.

Blu Tue 04-Jan-05 13:49:05

You need Sis....let's see if we can lure her on to this thread....

morningpaper Tue 04-Jan-05 14:07:25

I'm not surprised you are feeling so awful, it must be a real shock.

It really sounds grim and my opinion on this will be unpopular and probably immoral but to be honest I would think about moving on/looking for another job asap. If someone in the office has it in for you then you are onto a loser IMO. I've been in this sort of situation and in the end the simplest thing was to look for another job. Basically if someone at work WANTS to get you, they will do. These things drag on and you could still be on paid leave under investigation in 12 months time.

I'm sorry if this sounds awful but I'd start thinking more in terms of moving on than fighting this particular kind of battle.

pixiefish Tue 04-Jan-05 14:14:07

and [sad[ for you. No advice- just loads of hugs

Blackduck Tue 04-Jan-05 14:14:16

I would ask to see the procedures being applied (if you don't already have a copy) to check they are being followed to the letter and ask to see someone in HR (it is not HRs job to tkae sides, they should advise you about your rights etc. as much as the person making the complaint.)

BeckiF Tue 04-Jan-05 14:30:06

I don't see as I chould have to seek alternative employment bvecause of these unjust and ludicrous allegations. I have 16 years or exempelary srvice in the industr and have had 2 great years with this company working my bippy. I am professional to the last, even though we all have the odd bad day. I love that job and th people that work there. I'm not about to roll over and be kicked in the tummy like this. Although I have an awful gut feeling that all will not turn out well. I hope to God it does though.

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