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Ross Miller
Ross Miller,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1767
Experience:  Director (Litigation and Mediation) at Hilltop Solutions
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I am havin an employment law issue - it involves a grievance

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i am havin an employment law issue - it involves a grievance and a capability hearing!
JA: Have you discussed this with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: it is about my manager
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: i belong to a union and i am hired through an agency. i work for a company "G" but i am technically employed a company "A."
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: My line manager has been bullying me and months ago created a WhatsApp group with the other 4 members of the team but excluding me. I think she doesn't like me as I am Catholic. She is very bigoted and has made comments about black employees I have found offensive. I have submitted a grievance. In my grievance I complained about unfair treatment - she also placed me on a Performance Improvement Plan which is asking me to do much more than others in my job. Please can you advise - will the Capability Hearing be paused now I have a grievance submitted?

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will be the expert assisting you with this matter today

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Thank you

Have they put you too a capability hearing?

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
They wanted a Capability hearing to go ahead today. I have submitted my grievance yesterday. Today I have called in sick

When did they notify you of the capability hearing and on what grounds are they asking for it?

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
They only gave me 7 days notice of the capability hearing and it was based on saying I wasn’t reaching an extremely arbitrary high number of calls - which my team members are not expected to make

Ok so it seems as though you are saying that you are being subjected to a detriment due to your Religion which is a protected characteristic.

What you need to do is initiate the workplace grievance process. You will want to present all your evidence and points you wish to make at the grievance interview. If you get a response from them that they don't agree with you they will have to tell you why. You then will have to appeal this outcome and can then explain why you don't agree with their findings. If you then still do not obtain the resolution you want, but feel it is wrong. At that point you will have to raise early conciliation with Acas. You can do so here; https://ec.acas.org.uk. The conciliators at Acas will contact your employer and indicate to them that you have started the conciliation process. Acas will mediate the issue and see if they can help resolve the matter. If they cannot resolve the matter then they will close conciliation and issue you with a EC Certificate. This is the first step in the legal process and once the EC Certificate has been issued you can make an application to the employment tribunal if you wish to do so. In your case this would be under the Equality Act 2010 for discrimination due to race. Please be advised that there is a very strict time to make an application to the Employment Tribunal which is 3 month minus one day from the date the issue arose. Do also note that this time limit gets put on "pause" while you are going through the Early Conciliation process.

I hope this information has helped. You can find a local solicitor who deals with this on the law society webpage which is;

https://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/

I would be obliged if you could Click the 5 stars at the top of the webpage (this will not cost any extra). This will tell the website that I have responded to your question, you can, of course, continue to ask any follow up questions free of charge. I won’t be paid for my time from the website if there is no rating left for me.

Many Thanks

Ross

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Thank you! The HR at my work sent me an email saying they would “reschedule” my Capability Hearing. However, my Union rep seemed to think that the capability hearing would be paused because I have raised the grievance. Are HR wrong in assuming they can simply rearrange the capability hearing without first investigating the grievance?

There really is no law to state what should be done in this case. However, it would be good practice for them to pause the capability whist dealing with the grievance. Also it may be possible to use it against them in evidence if they don't, but there are no laws prohibiting this. I hope this has helped. I would be obliged. if you could use the 5 stars at the top of the page to rate the advice I have given you. Many thanks and I wish you all the best with this.

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
I will definitely give you 5 stars - do ACAS say it is good practice for them to pause the capability while they look into the grievance? And do they have to do the grievance hearing within a certain timeframe? I’m also wondering if the exclusion from a WhatsApp group seems like good evidence to you

It would be inappropriate for me to comment on the strength of evidence you have without reviewing the case, but an exclusion could be deemed evidence. If the company contacted Acas then they would be advised to look at the grievance hearing first as it may affect the outcome of the capability issues. They should move forward with the grievance within a reasonable time period, obviously this may require slightly more time due to the ongoing pandemic. However, they should respond to your request within 14 days.

I would be obliged if you could Click the 5 stars at the top of the webpage (this will not cost any extra). This will tell the website that I have responded to your question, you can, of course, continue to ask any follow up questions free of charge. I won’t be paid for my time from the website if there is no rating left for me.

Many Thanks

Ross

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Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Thanks Ross. I feel so uncomfortable going back to having daily Zoom video calls with my manager now she knows I complained against her... is there guidance from ACAS or anyone here? I’m happy to go back to work if I don’t have to have video calls with the person I’m complaining about

I would raises this with the manager and see if there is any compromise, again there are no laws in place about this.