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Informed redundancy risk and threat desciplinary action on same day!

(13 Posts)
Badlytreated Sun 13-Sep-09 18:53:54

This week boss had talk to all staff informing us redundancies were being considered ie start of consultancy period. All staff then received letter reiterating what was said in meeting. Then this Saturday received letter in post(dated same day as redundancy meeting) stating "allegations have been made about my conduct in the workplace" and i am required to attend a "fact-finding meeting next week. No details given of what the allegations are, just note saying as this is not yet formal disciplinary action I am not entitled to have someone with me. So i have to go to this meeting with no clue about what the issue is and answer questions prepared by boss, the results of which could lead to disciplinary action.

I have been with this company in a senior position for 5 years, have never had any adverse comments about my work or conduct. i am aware that i am one of the most expensive members of staff and that my employers may well be motivated to get a less well qualified person into my position at a cheaper salary to save money. Obviously they could not do this if i was made redundant as they would not be able to employ someone else in the same role.

What can i do? I feel that my name is being blackened and I will be pushed out of my job without compensation just to save my employers some money.

MyCatIsABiggerBastardThanYours Sun 13-Sep-09 18:55:45

I'm sure they have to tell you what the allegations are and that you are entitled to have someone with you. Do you have a union rep you can ask?

Badlytreated Sun 13-Sep-09 19:00:16

Not in a union, but my professional body may be able to help.

The letter stated as it was only a fact finding meeting and not yet formal disciplinary action I was not entitled to have someone with me. Did not say anything about not being entitled to know in advance what the allegations are!

I am sure that I have done nothing wrong and that this has been cooked up so they can avoid a redundancy. But I need to know how to stop them getting away with it!

MyCatIsABiggerBastardThanYours Sun 13-Sep-09 19:08:08

I have had to discipline staff in the past and at fact finding meetings I always have someone with them (usually their team leader or someone from HR). This is partly because it isn't a nice thing and I want them to feel supported, but also because if it comes to them being sacked I want to have independent witnesses to everything. I also type up the meeting notes myself and make sure that all attendees agree and sign them.

I suggest you put everything down in writing. How about asking to tape the meeting? That might make them think a bit!

It does sound a tad trumped up. Can you look up employment law, make sure that they are telling the truth (see if you are entitled).

Badlytreated Sun 13-Sep-09 19:45:46

There will be the boss at the meeting plus a secretary (selected by him) to take minutes. I am not allowed to have someone there.

My husband suggested taping the meeting - what is my position if boss refuses to let me do this?

In one way it is probably a good thing if they do not follow proper procedure because if I take them to a tribunal for wrongful dismissal they would automatically lose if they have not done this.

I intend to send letter requesting details of allegations and person making them as it is unfair not to give me this information.

If i do not get this information I intend to attend the meeting but i will refuse to give any answers on the spot and will tell him i will supply answers at a later date as i have not been given chance to prepare.

MyCatIsABiggerBastardThanYours Sun 13-Sep-09 20:03:03

Do you have a contract? What does that say about disciplinary etc. The company must have a written document on this sort of thing? I think they have to by law. Get yourself a copy and make sure they aren't breaching their own t's&c's

Just had a quick look on google and found this in dismissals from govt website. Might be worth looking through.

Badlytreated Sun 13-Sep-09 20:05:55

My contract makes no mention of disciplinary procedures. I have not been given a copy of any procedures manual either. As far as i know none exists.

frakkinpannikin Sun 13-Sep-09 20:11:32

Your contract legally has to outline disciplinary (assuming you're in the UK) which would be point number 1 to bring up at the meeting. It does sound rather fishy.

If it were me I would tape the meeting, ask for all the paperwork associated with the allegations and if they refused then I'd refuse to go to said 'fact-finding meeting'. Can you contact anyone more senior if they do refuse?

I have no concrete advice to give though, I'm afraid.

MyCatIsABiggerBastardThanYours Sun 13-Sep-09 20:19:12

I am sure that legally they have to have a procedure which they must supply you with. If you google employment law you get a few companies that claim to give you free advice. Could be worth a call.

flowerybeanbag Sun 13-Sep-09 20:23:13

They are unlikely to allow you to tape the meeting although you could ask.

Your letter sounds a good idea. You can't possibly be reasonably expected to answer questions at an investigatory meeting the outcome of which could be a disciplinary hearing without any idea of what of earth has been alleged.

Assuming your record is otherwise good, and if you genuinely can't think of anything it could possibly be, it's very unlikely to be anything they could justify dismissing you about straight-off.

It's more likely to be a case of getting a warning on your record, as disciplinary record is often used as criteria for redundancy.

Write back, say you will be unable to answer any questions about any allegations without being told what those are. If they refuse to tell you prior to the meeting, go to the meeting and do not say anything at all, take a note of the allegations and ask for the meeting to be adjourned to enable you to take advice and consider your response.

Badlytreated Sun 13-Sep-09 20:30:27

Thanks to all for your advice. I have been worrying all weekend and you have all helped reassure me.

Will write the letter asking for details of allegation and deliver it tomorrow. The meeting is schedule for Tuesday morning, so they are not allowing me much time at all to prepare even then!

this is so upsetting as I have had nothing but praise from boss in the past and now this out of the blue!

flowerybeanbag Sun 13-Sep-09 20:32:50

One other thing - assuming they don't allow you to tape the meeting, make sure you confirm that you will get a copy of the notes done by the secretary and will have a chance to amend them if you feel they are not an accurate reflection of the conversation.

MyCatIsABiggerBastardThanYours Wed 16-Sep-09 21:26:17

Hi there Badlytreated - were you? Hope it went OK yesterday.

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