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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50161
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I have been working at the company for just over 6 months.

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I have been working at the company for just over 6 months. All 1 on 1 reviews have been very postivite and i have been working over what they though. 3 weeks ago we have had a change of whole management in the team, our new manager has come back from maternity leave and is the opposite of previous management. We used to have a mre relaxed approach now it is more like micro managing. there has been a very big clear clash of personalities bewteen me and my manager, and she clearly wants to get rid of me from the team. Had a chat on Monday about certain issues she had with timekeeping, being late 6 minutes without notifying her, previously this was fine as i always worked my hours if i was late, but in the beginning it was made clear that its more relaxed so i dont have to stress if i hit traffic and delays me for 6 minutes. mow its wednesday and i got given a letter for a disiplinary meeting where they see my suitability for employemnt due to lateness, not doing contracted hours and unexlained absenses from work station, those are probably kitchen and toilet breaks... one day you have more one day you have less. she also had a problem with me having breakfast in the morning if im late so i started having breakfastt at my desk since monday and now she mentioned that i am still having breakfast when im late. whole company is more comfrotable and casual EVERYONE eats at their desk and i never thought that would be an issue... there is so much to this but my main question is, do i go for the meeting and defend myself, or file a complaint about her as a lot of actions have also been taken from her side which make me feel pushed out from the team from day 1.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Have you raised the issues you have been having with anyone else in the management team?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Great I really need some help but in more of a law way because this is the card my manager plays really well.. I need to make sure this situation doesnt ruin my future
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have spoke to HR about my feelings, as she is the only current manager of the team. I spoke with HR last week Wednesday, then on Friday my manager led me to tears which led my collegue in reporting it to HR further. then on Monday I had the normal chat with manager and HR present in the room with suggestions for improval. Now today at 5pm i got given a disciplinary letter for meeting on Monday to protect myself

OK, thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Also, please do not responded to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you.

The main issue here is that if you have been continuously employed at your place of work for less than 2 years then your employment rights will unfortunately be somewhat limited. Most importantly, you will not be protected against unfair dismissal. This means that your employer can dismiss you for more or less any reason, and without following a fair procedure, as long as their decision is not based on discriminatory grounds (i.e. because of gender, race, religion, age, a disability, sexual orientation, etc.) or because you were trying to assert any of your statutory rights (e.g. requesting maternity/paternity leave, etc.).

So the issue here is that she can discipline you or dismiss you anyway, whether you had done anything wrong or not. It does not matter if it is petty, misguided or even untrue.

There is nothing stopping you from making a complaint against her – you do this via the grievance procedure at work. But be careful as this could aggravate the situation and she could just push through with a dismissal and you will not be able to challenge it.

I'm sorry if this is not necessarily the answer you were hoping for, however I do have a duty to be honest and explain the law as it actually stands. This does mean delivering bad news from time to time. I hope you understand and would be happy to provide any further clarification if needed. If you are still satisfied with the level of service you have received I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page. Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
i believe i am allowed to have a work collegue with me at the meeting on Monday.
can this be my partner who would look at this is a professional way or is it better to be someone else. i dont want to give my mnagaer another ground of having something against me...

Does your partner work there?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
he works there too but not exactly with me. he is in a different department. he is IT im in projects

you can certainly have your partner there with you - that should not impact your position in any way and the employer cannot really say anything about it

If your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page - it only takes a second to do and is an important part of our process. I can still answer follow up questions afterwards if needed. Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay thats great! thank you for this. you have made me feel a little more certain on what i should do. i feel like i just have to defend all arguments and protect myself. would making an exit with a lump sum of money to be made something you feel i should consider and could be eligible for ?

remember they can dismiss you simply by giving you your notice period and you do not have grounds to demand a pay out - still nothing to lose by suggesting it

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I dont think it is right to be given notice period if they dont have fair ground of firing me. I have read a little about this, and is it true that i am also legally able to call in witnesses into the hearing?

Hi there more than happy to answer follow up questions, please remember to leave your rating for the initial response, many thanks

Ben Jones and 2 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

Thank you. Whilst I agree that it is unfair to give you notice if you have done nothing wrong, as mentioned in your circumstances that is possible just because you do not meet the minimum criteria to challenge it. If you are attending a formal disciplinary hearing then you are able to call witnesses to support your case, but this only applies to a formal disciplinary, not t an investigatory meeting

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay that makes sense. Need to check exactly what the letter says of what the meeting actually is. Now what is your suggestion of how to structure the whole meeting?

well it would be very difficult to give you advice on how to structure it - this is not really done in advance as a lot of it is done on the day, depending on what the employer says, asks you about etc. All you have to do is raise the issues you do not agree with and provide examples of why you think they are wrong. I cannot really give you specific advice on that as i would need to see you in person to get full details of what is happening and then as mentioned it depends on how the employer deals with it on the day

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you Ben.Also a quick check. The person that I bring to support me on the day, are they allowed to speak with me, on my behalf or just sit a listen?

Hi there, the ACAS Code of Conduct says that “The companion should be allowed to address the hearing to put and sum up the worker’s case, respond on behalf of the worker to any views expressed at the meeting and confer with the worker during the hearing. The companion does not, however, have the right to answer questions on the worker’s behalf, address the hearing if the worker does not wish it or prevent the employer from explaining their case.”

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay thats great help. Thank you.
Feel more ready for Wednesday and I hope that it will go smoothly with no extra riddles...

best of luck

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry one more question...
I have looked into the letter I received and it says it is a 'Disciplinary Conduct Hearing'. Is this classed as a fomral disciplinary hearing where i am able to call in witnesses or is this an investigatory meeting where I can't call in witnesses?

it is a formal disciplinary hearing so you can call witnesses if needed

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Right. I will clarify that this is correct with the HR manager, because when I mentioned witnesses, I was told the below ' You are entitled to bring one person to the meeting with you – this person is to support you and is allowed to make a statement on your behalf (if you require them to) but you are expected to answer questions yourself. ' and verbally over the phone that I'm not allowed a witness, only one person to be present, and a 'witnesss statement' might be obtained by them if they deem its necessary as part of the 'investigation'.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have just emailed the HR Manager, to confirm that this is a formal disciplinary meeting:
' Just a quick confirmation though. On the letter I received it explains the meeting as a ‘Disciplinary Conduct Hearing’.From my understanding this is a formal disciplinary hearing, is that correct? 'To which i received this response:
'That is correct it is a formal disciplinary meeting Paulina – it is regarding lateness to the office.Did you want Marcio to attend with you or will you be bringing someone else to accompany you?.In this circumstance, am I still legally allowed to call in a witness?

yes you should be allowed witnesses, the ACAS Code says:

The employee should also be given a reasonable opportunity to ask questions, present evidence and call relevant witnesses. They should also be given an opportunity to raise points about any information provided by witnesses. Where an employer or employee intends to call relevant witnesses they should give advance notice that they intend to do this.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
thank you Ben.
What is the law on notice period and resignation if I am in a formal disciplinary process?
I feel like the meeting on Wednesday is going to go one way only.

what do you mean exactly - what you can do to resign if you are facing a disciplinary?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If I was to resign does my 1 month notice period still apply or does this work differently simply because i was put on a disciplinary?
Meeting is tomorrow 11:30AM so I all extra prepared now.Last question.Am I allowed to leave the room, 'hearing', for 2 minutes if i feel i am getting emotional and need a break? or if i want to discuss something with the work collegoue who will be with me ?

You are still bound by the contract and the notice period required of you on termination. This does not change whether you are facing a disciplinary or not.

You can ask for a break – nothing specific in law which says you must be given that opportunity but ask for it – they can’t forcefully keep you in

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for all your help.i resigned with immediate notice, and they are paying me for the full month notice priod and unused annual leave, but i dont have to attend work.thank you for all your support, absouletly love this site. and i might have other questions in the future as i think this is definetly worth the price, and thank you for that.the promp responses are amazing.

Many thanks for the kind feedback and all the best