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Resigning to avoid dismissal

(84 Posts)
Popeinthewoods Fri 06-Oct-17 10:00:11

DD has been in her first graduate job for 3 years and has really enjoyed it. It comes with lots of perks if she performs well which she often enjoys. She receives personal thank you cards from her manager including testimonials from the clients she's worked with and is often included in the monthly newsletter with a 'keep up the great work' piece as she has managed to keep a huge client onboard for 2 years which is unusual for the company.

Monday, she went into work as normal and was called to see the boss. A member of HR was there taking notes. The boss said she'd been gathering the monthly feedback from clients and one didn't have great things to say about her. When dd pushed this, her boss said the client mentioned her being slow.

She then went on to say that this client moves in high circles and she can't risk the client bad mouthing the company and if they did it would be gross misconduct on dd's part.

Boss then said dd had a choice. She could resign there and then, receive her notice pay and have a glowing reference or they would suspend her, investigate it all and it would likely lead to dismissal which would be on her record and no one in the business would want to work with her again. Boss said dd should go quietly or it could get ugly.

DD agreed and resigned. She was distraught to say the least. She contacted HR the next day to ask for clarity on what the client had said and if that was the only complaint they had against her as she was confused. HR replied saying it was the only complaint but it wasn't an official complaint, it was an informal chat that they had no record of so couldn't tell her exactly but 'it basically wasn't good'.

And that's it. I've never seen DD so low and I don't know what to do to help her. She's utterly in shock and had planned her work diary up to next summer so really wasn't expecting this.

Is there anything she can do? I feel useless.

RJnomore1 Fri 06-Oct-17 10:01:52

This doesn't sound at all right.

Is it a big company?

lalalonglegs Fri 06-Oct-17 10:03:37

I'd advise her to get legal advice. It seems she was pressured into resigning on the basis of nothing very much - possibly constructive dismissal. At the very least, she should have been given time to consider her options. flowers

RB68 Fri 06-Oct-17 10:03:43

Tell her to phone ACAS and have a discussion. There are a range of red flags in the way she has been treated and she is over the two year hump so it could well be something like constructive dismissal

PotteringAlong Fri 06-Oct-17 10:04:41

Well if they have no record of it then they can't use it to sack her. She shouldn't resign. Is she in a union?

Austentatious Fri 06-Oct-17 10:05:33

it's constructive dismissal, and also probably unfair dismissal. Seek advice extremely quickly as there are very tight timescales in which to issue a claim. She should collate all her evidence of past good performance and make a written / dated note of the conversation wtih HR and with her boss ASAP - note everything as accurately as possible, direct quotes if she recalls them. Time / date it.

RB68 Fri 06-Oct-17 10:06:27

I bet they didn't follow company process, they have no documented complaint or complaint handling system, no formal review system, no process was described to her at the meeting or followed, it wasn't a dismissal "offence" like swearing at the customer etc.

I would personally be asking her if any approach was made to her by this "client" in terms of looking for sex or inappropriate attention...this sort of thing is used as a sort of punishment in some industries for not giving extras (ie retaliation for the brush off)

senua Fri 06-Oct-17 10:08:05

She then went on to say that this client moves in high circles and she can't risk the client bad mouthing the company and if they did it would be gross misconduct on dd's part.

Total hogwash. Any other company would simply ensure that DD and awkward-client don't meet up again. No need to remove her from the whole company.shock

senua Fri 06-Oct-17 10:10:14

How had DD resigned? - verbally or in writing.
Has the company formally accepted the resignation. If not then get her to withdraw it before they do.

senua Fri 06-Oct-17 10:12:00

I bet they didn't follow company process

This. Even if a company has good cause, they are on a sticky wicket if they don't follow procedure.

RhonaRugMuncherr Fri 06-Oct-17 10:15:42

See an employment solicitor asap. Don't hang around.

MyBrilliantDisguise Fri 06-Oct-17 10:21:51

What a horrible situation. When they say she was slow, what do they mean? Did she not meet deadlines? Didn't she get back to them when they asked her to?

graceyg Fri 06-Oct-17 10:29:26

As someone in HR - call a lawyer asap. Call ACAS .

Make sure she has kept a log of all conversations etc.

Sounds very fishy to me.

snowgirl1 Fri 06-Oct-17 10:34:46

Sounds very much like constructive dismissal and, as PPs have said, your DD daughter should ring ACAS for advice.

Judashascomeintosomemoney Fri 06-Oct-17 10:36:33

Blatant case of constructive dismissal as others have pointed out.

flumpybear Fri 06-Oct-17 10:44:56

She absolutely needs an employment lawyer - what they’ve done I’m sure is illegal, she should have been given option of representation prior to the meeting - if they’re that bothered then pay her a very decent lump sum to leave, 6 or 12 months pay to find another role and give a glowing reference at the very minimum - take it to a lawyer tho

Postagestamppat Fri 06-Oct-17 11:00:12

Your poor dd. Is she a member of a union? At least the Tories have changed the rules about employment tribunals (I think). What industry is she in? What a horrible thing to have to go through. I hope that she has the strength to stand up to them.

AVirtuousLife Fri 06-Oct-17 11:12:29

I'm no expert but I'm pretty sure they flouted procedure by not pre-warning her what the meeting was about and telling her she could bring someone in with her to take notesetc.
Did she gat a set of minutes from this "meeting"?
She needs a good employment lawyer who will probably make mincemeat of this company. Some of them do no win no fee terms.

AVirtuousLife Fri 06-Oct-17 11:13:38

Sorry I see flumpybear already mentioned representation for your DD at the meeting.

Popeinthewoods Fri 06-Oct-17 11:26:51

Thank you all so much for replying. I've been in bits over this as I just don't know how to help.

She isn't a member of a union. I will suggest acas and a lawyer but at this point she's kind of shutting it all out. If she brings it up she instantly cries. She'll ask me not to mention it but then asks me what she should do.

The resignation was verbal but even that was informal. She never said the words 'I agree to resign' or anything like that.

She works as a trainer for a fairly large regional company. She goes into other companies to do the training and puts an awful lot of effort into her presentations and teaching. She loves her job.

Another thing that isn't sitting well about all of this is the client seemed to really like her in person and kept rebooking her and used her on multiple sites. After this complaint was raised (boss suggested it was a couple of weeks ago) and up until the Friday before this happened DD received several new invites from the client to perform training in the upcoming weeks and even received a personal invite to the client's company's Christmas party.

Also, client had asked DD if she knew of anyone looking for a job in their area, her best friend happened to be looking for something new so she suggested him and he went in for an interview on the Tuesday, not knowing DD had been 'let go' on the Monday. It all seems so bizarre as it's suggestive of a good working relationship.

Popeinthewoods Fri 06-Oct-17 11:32:51

So she will not be receiving the minutes from the meeting as HR said 'it's not necessary for a resignation'. HR is one guy on his own.

She still has no idea what they meant by 'slow'. This is what she is now feeling very self conscious about and has been asking us if she talks slowly, moves slowly, responds slowly sad it's awful to see.

She's only ever had positive feedback and she's very upbeat and engaging so I don't think could ever be described as slow. There's the possibility of slow to respond to clients but she's ruled this out as she always emails back straight away. I wondered if they meant her diary was too booked up, so maybe the time from requesting her and her attending to perform the training was too slow, but we can't know without her boss telling us.

LizB62A Fri 06-Oct-17 11:37:02

Get your DD to check her home insurance and see if it includes any legal cover - might be useful if she's going to take this further (which she should, that's appalling, poor thing)

Gingernaut Fri 06-Oct-17 11:37:28

The problem now is that as she's resigned, she'll be penalised as having given up work voluntarily.

This sounds like someone misunderstood a client's feedback and now your DD's employer don't want to go back on the decision that was erroneously made.....sad

AVirtuousLife Fri 06-Oct-17 11:42:44

It all sounds very upsetting and if she is up to it she should see an employment lawyer ASAP.
Get her to write down everything that happened and her conversations with HR as soon as possible too.
A relative of mine was in a similar situation and his boss made a total screw up of the whole process. Cue employment lawyer making a fool of the boss at a tribunal and it took the tribunal minutes to find in my relative's favour because the boss hadn't followed due procedure at any point.
I hope she hawls them over the coals.

PuppyMonkey Fri 06-Oct-17 11:46:20

That sounds awful, hope she can get some good advice from an employment lawyer.

I'd be dying to find out more about what this client is alleged to have said and why. Don't suppose any of DD's former colleagues (i.e. Not the bosses) have heard anything that could shed any light on it all? What do they think of your DD resigning?

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