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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 61826
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I was employed at a Private Members Club as a assistant

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I was employed at a Private Members Club as a assistant caretaker in May 2015 after retiring from the Fire Service. But in July of last year our contracts were taken over by a different company, Stone Management Group. After having our many questions and worries answered satisfactorily (we thought). There were just 2 changes to our contract, change of pay day and change from annualised hours to weekly/monthly rota. But on the 23 July I received a email via a computerised system stating that my shift the next day had been cancelled. I telephoned to query why this had occurred as it had never happened before and in any case, my terms and conditions state I am to be given a weeks notice of any changes (‘hours to be worked in accordance with a rostering system notified to you weekly in advance for the following week, otherwise by agreement ‘) The Line manager returned my call shortly after and stated that he was seeing the Manager of the Club later that afternoon and would get back to me. I emphasise at this point he did not tell me not to go in. He never returned my call and I rang him the next day at 0906hrs and 1336hrs leaving a answer machine message for him. He never got back to me so I went into work as normal.He later stated that he could not get back to me due to operational considerations, although the notes from the meeting omit that he stated he was due to see the Manager of the Club that afternoon despite it being discussed.When I went into work on 24 July the issue was not raised at the Club as I wanted to sort the issue via Stone Management and I worked my normal shift as usual and then worked the next 2 days as normal. I then received a call from the Line Manager on the following Monday 29 July stating I was suspended with pay following a Investigation. An investigation meeting was then made for 5 August when I was refused permission to bring anyone with me and accused of bullying, harassing and intimidating the client (The Club) and refusal to accept a clear instruction to cancel shift. A note taker was present at the meeting and it was agreed beforehand that the notes would be typed up, agreed and signed on completion of the meeting. This was not done and there are a number of errors and incomplete notes for comments/matters I brought up at that meeting. They basically ignored all of my side of the issue and have called for a Disciplinary Meeting this Thursday. They have stated that I cannot contact any staff member at the Club so I have asked permission to speak to the secretary as she can confirm there was no issues when I worked on the evening concerned. They have not replied. I have also written back over the changes needed to be made from the notes of the Investigation Meeting. They have not replied to this. I surmise that the Disciplinary Meeting will make a judgement from these notes that I dispute and therefore ask if they can use these notes despite the agreement before the meeting? They have also stated I can bring a fellow Stone Management employee or a union rep to the meeting on Thursday but I only know one other Stone employee (a cleaner who came across to Stone from the Club at the same time as me) and I am no longer in a union. I wish to bring my wife to the meeting as she can take shorthand. Is she allowed to come with me if they refuse? Is one days notice to cancel my shift a breach of my contract and therefore a breach of Employment Rights Act 1999?. There were 2 emails sent to me within 3 minutes on the 23 July. As stated previously this was the first time I was made aware of the cancelled shift the next day and the reason given on it was ‘shift not required’ the second email cancelled my shift on the 1 August, which is fine as it was just over a weeks notice, but the reason for the cancellation was given as POSITION REMOVED. To me, this is a clear indication that they intended removing me all along. I don’t believe I was supposed to see this reason obviously and as yet I have not made them awa
JA: Have you discussed this scheduling issue with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: No
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: Employee
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No thank you

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

Did you transfer under TUPE?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Just the 2 alterations stated above

Thank you. Your wife has no legal right to attend the meeting with you and this will only happen if the employer allows it, which they certainly don’t. If your contract provided a specific notice for cancellation of your shift and the employer did not follow that, it would likely amount to a breach of contract but that does not make it a breach of the ERA 1996 – it is not unlawful, it is just a breach of contract.

Whilst they may have stated that the position is removed, this is not confirmed yet so it is best to wait until you know for certain whether that is the case before you consider taking things further.

Does this answer your query?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Thanks. So I should not mention this at the Disciplinary Meeting? What about the notes taken and the agreement to the changes not being implemented? Also, their lack of response to my asking for permission to speak to a staff member of the club who is a witness to the fact that there was no bullying or intimidation?

No need to mention it unless they try and implement it or use t against you somehow. You have a right to se the notes so should still pursue them for these if needed. You also have a right to relevant witnesses so whilst you may not be allowed to directly contact them, you can expect the employer to do so on your behalf to gather the required evidence or allow you to deal with them directly.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Thanks again. I have received the notes but the agreement before the meeting was that they would be agreed and signed on completion. They were not and when they sent them to me there are a number of alterations needed and some relevant matters that were discussed are omitted. I have sent them the required alterations but they have not replied. How do I stand on this issue?

That is best dealt with by you sending them your own version with alterations

Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I have done this. Thank you

All the best

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I have just had my Disciplinary Hearing whilst I am suspended on full pay. They have said they will telephone me tomorrow with their decision. I am on Annual Leave as of tomorrow though so would ask if they can implement their decision during this time?

They certainly can - once the hearing has been held, then it does not matter whether you are on leave or not, they can proceed with making a decision