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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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My sister works coffee and there is a disruptive

Customer Question

Hi, my sister works for costa coffee and there is a disruptive member of staff that is soon to return to work. The remaining members of staff all wishing to sign a letter stating if the member of staff returns they will leave. I have concerns she is setting herself up and we want to know what the probably legal issues are with this
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Law
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
SHe has been requested to do this by her area manager "informally"
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 months ago.
Hello how long has she worked there for?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Under a year. I have put together a letter for her. Her AM is only looking for something to transfer the disruptive member of staff out rather than the rest of the team. letter wording as follows;17th March 2016
WITHOUT PREJUDICE
Dear Akash,
We the undersigned write following your appointment as Store Manager at the Old Town.
As you are aware, there have been changes with the management over the past few months, which have become somewhat unsettling. However, we are all quite excited by the prospective of you joining the team, hope going forward your appointment will galvanise us, and we can become even better.
It is with much regret, we write regards ***** ***** we all have very serious concerns. A member of staff, currently on an extended leave of absence for over four weeks, is likely to be returning to the store and the team is very uncomfortable about it.
We would record Kim Strattford has,
1) Been a major disruptive element to a good working team, she is not a team player and is selective in her duties. She is difficult when requested to work on coffee and till preferring only to work the floor. In some instances she has been belligerent in front of customers due to her carrying out duties she is not happy doing, for example when requested to make a coffee for a customer she has done so begrudgingly which has impacted on the high level of customer service we like to maintain.2) She affects negatively on the good morale of the team. She is often deceitful, underhanded and makes over critical snipes at other members of staff behind their backs.3) Her husband has regularly visited the store . Examples of his threatening and aggressive behaviour are;i) Been verbally abusive to a younger member of our team (Amelia) calling her, “a bitch” in store, in front of customers (this is recorded in her staff file).
ii) Shouted in front of customers (w/c 7th March 2016) at our outgoing Manager (Sharon Waller) when handing over his wife’s sick note and aggressively demanding she instruct her staff members to stop writing about his wife on social media. An accusation that is vehemently denied and is irrelevant to our working relationship in any case.
iii) Approximately four weeks ago he was aggressive and highly defensive when informing us his wife “would not be in for the foreseeable future” to Leigh. He made her feel bullied and antagonised and Leigh told him not to speak to her in the manner he adopted.
As a result, her presence in store and as part of the team causes a great deal of tension and bad atmosphere. The team feels it has had its trust betrayed by her and feels threatened by husband’s regular visits to the store.
It is with regret many of us feel we would prefer to be transferred ourselves to another store or consider our positions rather than work with Kim in our team. We work very well as a team, are always supportive of each other and have a high level of trust, the balance and dynamics of which are seriously disrupted when Kim is working.Yours faithfully
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 months ago.
There is nothing wrong with making a complaint like this – it is not uncommon and the good thing is that it is done collectively. So it is not like she is making an individual complaint against someone else and exposing herself in that way. A prudent employer should consider the feelings of the group rather than just try and protect an individual, but then again there are all sorts of politics in the workplace so I cannot tell how they will handle this and if it will be done reasonably. What I can say is that your sister’s rights are somewhat limited in relation to protection from unfair dismissal. Of course there is nothing indicating that a dismissal is even on the employer’s mind but it is best if I discuss this. She needs 2 years’ service to be protected against unfair dismissal so in reality she can be dismissed for more or less any reason before that. So if we are looking at wort case scenario here the employer can remove her if they believe that she is a problem or if they want to send a message to the others not to complain about someone the employer is trying to protect. But this is a long shot – as mentioned there is no indication at all that they are even considering dismissal but she just needs to be aware of her rights. I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 months ago.
Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. If this has answered your question please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars from the top of the page. I spend a lot of time and effort answering individual queries and I am not credited for my time until you leave your rating. If you still need further help please get back to me on here and I will assist as best as I can. Many thanks.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 months ago.
Hello, do you need any further assistance or are you happy with the above response? Look forward to hearing from you.

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