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Sudden "disciplinary hearing" without proper notice, evidence or previous warnings - should she go?

(5 Posts)
ChangingWoman Wed 08-Feb-17 22:06:20

A good friend of my family received an unexpected letter from HR at her workplace on the first day of a short (3-day) break. It summons her to a disciplinary hearing on her first day back at work, first thing in the morning, without explaining why. Should she attend this meeting, ask for it to be postponed or something else? She is on holiday overseas and has no chance to consult a lawyer, a union rep or her line-manager.

My friend replied to the HR email to ask for details of the allegations against her and to note that a more experienced colleague would accompany her. Within an hour of her reply, this colleague was also summoned by a supervisor, accused of a conduct-related issue (which could be easily disproved by CCTV footage but not before my friend's disciplinary hearing). He does not now feel able to accompany my friend and she will struggle to find someone else willing and competent to accompany her on the very short timeline she has, esp. as she is overseas.

There have been no verbal or written warnings. My friend has previously reported two older and more influential colleagues for sexist and racist behaviour. Two other young women who made the same complaints have already been sacked in the past few months in a very similar way.

As she has only been working at this place for 5 months, I suspect that her options are limited. She can't even check the terms of her contract properly until the night before this meeting. Our friend's mother thinks she should just quit now but she herself wants to go into the disciplinary hearing and have her say. I think that it's a bad idea to do this without written details of the allegations and time to consider her response.

Any advice from those with more experience of similar workplace issues?

Thanks!

Collaborate Wed 08-Feb-17 22:57:07

Needs advice from an employment lawyer, but I don't think the 2-year rule applies to sex discrimination cases.

MrsMoastyToasty Wed 08-Feb-17 22:58:49

I would suggest contacting ACAS.

Allthebestnamesareused Thu 09-Feb-17 20:04:46

Time limits do not apply to sex and race discrimination claims.

If they are trying to get rid of her as they see her as trouble she would be wise to seek advice regarding whether she has a counterclaim on that basis.

Is it definitely a disciplinary against her rather than her having to give evidence in respect of the complaints she made?

Under no circumstances should her mother go in!!!

ChangingWoman Thu 09-Feb-17 21:17:23

Thanks all. Her mother lives in another country so no danger of her storming the meeting!

I saw the letter and it definitely told her to come to a "disciplinary hearing" relating to "her conduct" without further explanation or evidence.

My friend printed all the ACAS stuff out while she was on holiday. She is having a late talk-through after getting off the plane tonight with another friend who is a lawyer (but not in employment law).

She didn't want to ask to postpone the hearing. I think shes expecting them to fire her on the spot as they did for the other women who complained and wants to get it over with.

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