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taratill
taratill, Solicitor
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 6305
Experience:  15 years experience of advising on employment law matters
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I am employed by Mencap as a permanent part-time paid Support

Resolved Question:

I am employed by Mencap as a permanent part-time paid Support Worker. Recently a colleague was suspended and subsequently all staff were interviewed regarding this. We were not informed what this was about only told in the interview that we would get some idea from the questions we were asked. I understood that this interview, and the signed statement made of it were confidential. I do not recal clearly but think I remember this being stated at the onset of the interview. Yesterday I found out that there is to be another 'hearing' to which members of staff are expected to attend, in another town and that staff who have said they do not want to attend have been told they must. I was also told that all the statements recorded in the fact finding interviews had been given to the subject of the suspension. I find this a complete breach of trust. My questions are:- Do I have to attend this second 'hearing' if asked? Have Mencap made a breach of confidence and if so under what headings do I make a complaint on the official procedure, or is there any inbetween action I should take?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  taratill replied 2 years ago.

taratill :

Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I am happy to help you today. How long have you worked there for?

Customer:

2 and a half years

taratill :

so are you saying that your colleague is now facing a disciplinary as a result of your (and the statement) of others?

Customer:

I do not know or have any information regarding this

taratill :

Ok thanks, XXXXX XXXXX effect you do not know what the 'hearing' you are asked to attend is about?

Customer:

No and know no one who has any idea of the terms of reference of this meeting they have just been asked to attend. I presume I may also be asked but as yet have had no contact.

taratill :

Ok understood. Generally speaking if an employee is asked questions in the course of an investigation meeting, they do not have the right to assume their statement is confidential. If the employer says it would be treated as confidential or the employee states that it is given in confidence then this would be different and the use of your statement could be classed as a breach of trust/ breach of confidence. As you feel sure that you were told that your statement was made in confidence then you have the right to feel aggrieved if your statement is later used and the correct process is to raise a formal grievance about this. You will be able to get a copy of the grievance procedure from your HR department.

taratill :

Given that you do not know what exactly is going on I would suggest you raise informal concerns in the first place. Hopeuflly this will lead to your mind being put at rest.

taratill :

If you have any further questions about this please do ask.

Customer:

Can Mencap insist that I attend the meeting? Is it a legal requirement? Am I putting my employment at risk if I refuse to attend? Are they required to give me information regarding what the meeting is about? Surely I should be able to prepare myself if attendance is mandatory.

taratill :

Hi you should be told if a meeting is mandatory what it is about. Theoretically you could get into trouble if you refused to attend as the employer may class this as a refusal to follow a reasonable management instruction. Ultimately this could put your employment at risk as this could be classed as gross misconduct.

Customer:

Thanks Jenny

taratill, Solicitor
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 6305
Experience: 15 years experience of advising on employment law matters
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