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ukfamilysolicitor, Solicitor
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 1431
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor Currently specialising in Family. Also experienced in Corporate, Employment, Civil Litigation, Debt Recovery
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Two years ago I started work with a cycling charity after working

Customer Question

Two years ago I started work with a cycling charity after working with them on a temporary basis through an agency.
When I was offered the job I told them that I had previously had breast cancer and that I am diabetic. I work 4 full days a week.
In May this year I was off ill with a chest infection – 3 weeks with doctors certificates.
When I returned to work, I thought that all was ok with my work- but .. I had problems trying to fit in doctors appointments around my day off and late evening working. (My weekly day off work was often told to me late night on the previous day.)
My diabetes was out of control.
At the end of 4 weeks, I was called into a meeting with my line manager and was told that my work wasn’t up to the mark, and that I was under threat of having a written warning.
On the following Monday I visited my GP who signed me off with work related stress- this lasted for 4 weeks- Because I thought that my work was ok I couldn’t understand what I had done wrong.
During this time I spoke to ACAS and they advised me to write a letter setting out my situation.
In this letter I stated that I was having problems trying to fit in doctors appointments into the unexpected day off work and late night working, problems with the varied lunch break. ACAS suggested that i might take out a grievance with the organisation.
When I went back to work I was called into a meeting with the HR manager, where she stated that I was to amend the letter-“it made them sound like a bad employer”.
I was told to write another letter straight away stating my amendments- which I did and handed it to the H manager.
On the following day I was again called in to a meeting with the HR manager and this time I was told that if I was to keep my job I was to write a letter withdrawing everything that I had written.
She sat by me while I typed out the letter and emailed it to her.
The following day I was told that I could never bring those original comments up again while I was working at their organisation.
I was unhappy with this but thought that all was ok and maybe we could move on and I would continue with my job.
The HR manager then told me that Wednesday is my regular day off work, I am to have lunch between 1pm and 2pm and I am to leave work at 5.30pm sharp.
She also said that I must not talk to anyone in the company about anything other than work related- so apart from “Good morning” and “Goodnight” I am not allowed to say anything to most of my colleagues.
During the past weeks since my return to work I have been micro managed- having many meeting with my line manager who regularly emails me with a list of work items which she claims that I am dong wrong, and I have constantly been told that I am under threat of having a written warning. One day I had two meetings with the HR manager and then the line manager who both said the same thing.
What bothers me is that the 3 top level female managers in the organisation are all involved in these discussions- and they all sit behind me. Above them is the most senior person in the organisation who is the CEO and he is off on long term sick leave.
On Friday this week I was in another meeting with my line manager and I am now definitely in an “Official” disciplinary meeting on Thursday 25th September where I am told that it is almost certain that I am to be handed a written warning.
I am out of my depth on this one- and need someone’s advice as to how to handle it.
I am due to retire at the end of this year- but I am unsure of what to do.
Can I just resign from the organisation and just leave it all behind me- and move on- but I am concerned that because of this I wouldn’t be able to get a reference from them.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 2 years ago.
Welcome to Just Answer
Thank you for your question.
I am a Solicitor and will try and assist you.
I am sorry to hear about the difficulties that you are experiencing with your employers.
In respect of the disciplinary meeting you can be accompanied to that meeting by a colleague or trade union representative. This person would be called your companion.
When asked to go to a disciplinary meeting, you have the right to be accompanied by:
a colleague
a trade union representative, or
an official employed by a trade union.
You do not need to be a member of a trade union. You can ask an official from any trade union to come with you.
The union doesn't have to be recognised by your employer. If your employer tried to deny you the right of being accompanied then you should remind them that this is your legal right.
You can find an appropriate trade union using this search:
You should arrange to meet the representative in advance so that you can give them the full history.
In relation to a reference by your employers - they have a duty to take reasonable care to ensure it is true, accurate and fair and that it is not misleading – a duty that is owed to both you and to the new employer.
If your employers were to provide a bad reference that they could not substantiate, then you could make a claim for damages if you didn't get the job as a result or suffered some other financial loss.
Kind Regards
Positive feedback gratefully received.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
When would I be allowed to resign? Just after the official meeting?
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 2 years ago.
There is nothing to stop you resigning either before or after the meeting - you would have to give the appropriate notice. Although your employer may choose to continue with the disciplinary.
If you were dismissed due to gross misconduct, this would over ride your resignation and the dismissal will be effective immediately with no entitlement to notice or pay in lieu of notice. Although from what you have described - the likely outcome will be a written warning and not gross misconduct with dismissal.
Your employer might also be concerned that you might use your resignation to make a claim for constructive dismissal.
Your employers may also choose to include in a future reference that you resigned during the process.
Kind Regards
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 2 years ago.
Positive feedback is gratefully received