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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 49806
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I work in a GP Practice as the Practice Manager. One of the

Customer Question

I work in a GP Practice as the Practice Manager. One of the Partners at the practice H is very over baring and her attitude & behaviour puts immense pressure on me. This culminated in my return from holiday in May. I felt very under pressure. The other Partners were on holiday in July & the lead up to this & ensuring I have GP,s to cover for their absence is a complete nightmare as H is very dominating and if I can not find Locum she becomes very angry as if it is my fault. This pressure has been building for some time although as a Manager to admit this to a Partner would feel to me like I was a failure. I broke down to H in July and was very tearful, I explained that I was very annoyed with myself for being this way as I had never been this way in a work situation and was always professional. As she is the instigator of the major part of my stress I was unable to explain this to her and blamed outside influences, I just wanted someone to know I was not myself. I made a grave error of judgement and to overcome my stress I drank at work. This was noticed in August - I again broke down to a salaried GP and explained how I was feeling. I was advised by H to go home & she had found evidence of alcohol in my office - I was totally honest and admitted this was the case. I saw my GP & she diagnosed me with stress & referred me to a counsellor. I was issued with a final warning on the 8/9 I was advised that they had revealed my drinking issue with a locum GP who I also work with for a different company - I was advised by my GP on the 15/9 to take 4 w sick I knew this would not be seen in a good light as H is very vocal as to her feelings about staff sickness. I rang the senior partner P & explained 4 weeks he was very quiet so I suggested 2w which he said was much better. I was very aware that if I took too long off it would have a detrimental effect on my relationship with H & we were heading into a very important time of year & if we did not hit our targets it would be my fault. I returned to work 2 & half weeks early. I arranged my return to coincide with H days off Wednesday- on the Friday I plucked up the courage to go to the senior partner & explain how I felt & broke down again - he asked if I wanted him to speak to H (which at that time felt like the most horrific thing) & I declined. I came in on the Monday to a full staff meeting & was so stressed I over compensated & I must admit I was fidgety and restless as I felt that a spotlight was on me. By Wednesday I was melting down and having panic attacks and unfortunately made a second error & drank - I was in such a state of stress I could not think I could not settle I had not eaten or slept since Monday - Thursday I had a very quick meeting with P & said I was fine - smiley - & breaking down inside. I went to my Senior Receptionist and in tears told her I wasn't coping & also to my admin staff, the thought of going off sick again after such a short time & how this would be viewed was the only think I could think of. On Friday I tried all the coping techniques my counsellor had given me - went out of the building & walked - tried mindfull breathing techniques but I was in crisis 9:30am I was confronted by the H & P with evidence of my drinking - I was very very tearful & said I had come back too early & admitted that I had drank but a very small amount - my husband was called & I was suspended on the 6/10 I contacted P & H over that weekend and explained how I was feeling and apologised for my actions. 19/10 second disciplinary - I provided a written statement on the 18/10 explaining my situation. I have had no contact with anyone since then & received my notification of termination today 10/11 with immediate effect. This has been a debilitating time for me and I was hoping for some understanding - I totally accept I was in the wrong with my actions & I should have gone to a Partner but my mind was so full of thoughts and actions I was incapable of putting myself at risk of feeling more of a failure than I already did.I have been honest about my actions I guess to my detriment - I understand that I should have admitted I was not coping but the thought of admitting failure after a spotless carrier for 35 years - & taking the Practice to an outstanding rating I just kept tryingIf there is any advise you can give me I would be very appreciative this is a terrible time for me & my husband as he is trying his best to support me.Many Thanks Paula
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 months ago.

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

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 months ago.

How long have you worked there for and what are you hoping to achieve?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hi I have worked there since Dec 2012 - I am hoping that they will reconsider there decision as I am suffering from stress, which both my counsellor & GP both believe I can overcome. In 35 years I have never been in this position and have an exemplary career.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hi I would prefer not to speak on the phone - thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 months ago.

Ok thanks leave it with me please I am in court for now but will reply as soon as I can, hopefully later in the day

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 months ago.

Many thanks for your patience. Now that you have been dismissed you only have a couple of options available to you - one is to appeal their decision using the internal appeals procedure and failing that, to make an unfair dismissal claim in the employment tribunal.

The appeal is made with a view to overturn their decision to dismiss you and to try and get your job back. There is no guarantee it will be successful and nothing will force them to take you back on. It is something that is entirely in their hands. Ideally you want to be remorseful about what happened and to be given a second chance, whilst being fully clear about what has caused this. On the other hand if they know the full extent of what caused the issues they may be reluctant to allow you to return for fear of this remaining an ongoing issue which cannot be resolved and causing further conflict between staff. However if you do not tell them the chances are that you will be in the same position in the very near future.

If the appeal is unsuccessful then your only other option is to consider the unfair dismissal claim. The issue is that in the circumstances I am not too certain you will have a good case. You were clearly guilty of misconduct and whilst this may have been caused by another employee you did not give the employer the full opportunity to try and resolve this because you were not fully open with what you were going through. Whatever the reasons for this they did not have the opportunity to try and fix things and in the meantime you were guilty of misconduct on more than one occasion.

So whilst you may not necessarily be able to get your job back, I would hope that you would at least be able to negotiate something with them which will not adversely affect your prospects pf getting work in the future, such as a positive, or at least a neutral, reference.

I trust this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars above - this is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you still need me to clarify anything else, please reply on here and I will assist as best as I can. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 months ago.

My response to your query should be visible on this page. Could you please let me know if it has answered your original question or whether you need me to clarify anything else in relation to it? If your query has been answered I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating, selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars above. I can still answer follow up questions after that if needed. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 months ago.

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Could you please let me know if it has answered your original question? You can either reply on here with a quick ‘Yes, thanks’, or select 3, 4 or 5 stars on this page. I can still answer follow up questions if needed to clarify anything for you. Many thanks

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 months ago.

Hello, not sure if you are having trouble seeing my posts? Do you need any further assistance or are you happy with the response to your query? I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks