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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 75163
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I've had to take time off work because of a bereavement and

Customer Question

Hi. I've had to take time off work because of a bereavement and my father's poor health. I asked them to cover my shifts for fri and sat this morning and rota me off unpaid for next week but I've to attend a disaplinery meeting on fri.
JA: Have you discussed this with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: I was told I could take a colleague but I said no I would record meeting. We don't have HR dept. Just a owner and general manager
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: I'm an employee contracted to 24 hours but they have only been giving me 16 recently because I'm almost 50 and they take on teenagers so they on a lower minimum wage.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I emailed my boss this morning because my father been ill at weekend. To ask if my shifts can be covered and I accept unpaid and I have holidays booked off for 20th for a week which they knew about.
Submitted: 21 days ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 21 days ago.

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 21 days ago.

How long have you worked there for? Please note this is not always an instant service and I may not be able to reply immediately. However, rest assured that I am dealing with your question and will get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks

Customer: replied 21 days ago.
I have worked there for just over a year in July. I am reliable and always turn up early for shifts
Customer: replied 21 days ago.
I just need a bit of advise. A bargaining chip so to speak. They said I might get a written warning. I was also able to take colleague to meeting but I said I wanted just to record it?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 21 days ago.

Thank you very much for clarifying. So what are you ideally hoping to achieve in the circumstances? Take the time off as requested, or anything else?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 20 days ago.

Without the requested information, I can only provide you with general information, which hopefully will still be useful to you. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues you have experienced in your situation.

Taking time off to look after someone dependent on you is a legal right, as long as it is for an emergency, rather than something you knew of in advance. See here for a summary of these rights:

You should not be penalised or treated detrimentally for taking time off for that reason.

In any event, if you are having issues in the workplace, whether about this or anything else, you can consider a grievance, which is the usual way to deal with anything like that.

You can get a detailed explanation of the grievance process here:

In summary, an employee is expected to submit their concerns in writing and send them to their line manager, or whoever is nominated as the person to send grievances to under an official workplace grievance policy.

The complaint should include details of what the grievance is about, any evidence that may exist which is relevant and also what the employee wants their employer to do about this issue.

Once the grievance has been submitted, the employer is expected to arrange a formal grievance hearing, inviting the employee to attend and discuss the nature of their complaint. The meeting is also as an opportunity to ask for further clarification or information, as required.

Following the meeting, the employer will take time to consider all the issues and evidence and then make a decision, communicating it to the employee. If the outcome is not to the complainant’s satisfaction, they can appeal and get a second opinion from a different person assigned by the employer to consider the appeal. Once the appeal is also completed, that brings to an end the formal grievance process and there is no option to escalate it further internally.