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Disciplinary Hearing At Work

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Trying to get to the bottom of this for a friend who's organising a disciplinary hearing for a staff member.

Long story short; the staff member's working days are Mon to Fri. The company wants to have the disciplinary hearing on a Saturday for reasons of security due to the nature of the business, not to p1ss the member of staff about.

My feeling (and that of my friend who's organising the hearing) is that this may be seen as taking the piss and may come back to haunt them as it could be seen to be pressurizing the staff member into a corner. The staff member is being asked to come in on a non-work day but, like I say, there are good reasons.

Anyone know anything about this at all?

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Guest theboltonfury

Trying to get to the bottom of this for a friend who's organising a disciplinary hearing for a staff member.

Long story short; the staff member's working days are Mon to Fri. The company wants to have the disciplinary hearing on a Saturday for reasons of security due to the nature of the business, not to p1ss the member of staff about.

My feeling (and that of my friend who's organising the hearing) is that this may be seen as taking the piss and may come back to haunt them as it could be seen to be pressurizing the staff member into a corner. The staff member is being asked to come in on a non-work day but, like I say, there are good reasons.

Anyone know anything about this at all?

It'll most likely say in his contract that the hours of work are Monday to Friday but there will be a requirement to work outside these days as the business requires.

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Grievance and disciplinary procedures are covered by the semi-voluntary[*] ACAS Code of Practice.

There are 5 elements of fairness regarding both procedures:

1. Matters should be raised and dealt with promptly

2. Parties should act consistently

3. Employers should investigate and establish the facts

4. Employers should inform employees of the problem and allow the employee to state their case

5. Employees are allowed to be accompanied at any formal meeting

More specifically, disciplinary procedures require the employer to:

  • Establish the facts of the case
  • Inform the employee of the problem
  • Hold a meeting with the employee. In cases of alleged misconduct, the staff at this hearing should be different to the staff who investigated to establish the facts, if possible. Notification of the meeting must tell the employee of their right to be accompanied.
  • Allow the employee to be accompanied at the meeting. The employee and their accompanying person should make every effort to attend the meeting.
  • Decide on appropriate action. If an employee is persistently unable or unwilling to attend a meeting without good cause, the employer may reach a decision on the information available.
  • Provide the employee with an opportunity to appeal.

So if the employer has good reason to hold the meeting on a saturday, the employee and the representative should make every effort to attend. If they want the meeting held another time, they should request this in writing with reasons why a saturday is not possible. Your friend will help themselves to be seen in a good light if they give reasons for the saturday meeting and offer lieu time to the employee and representative.

[*] semi-voluntary means that these are not statutory measures, but an Employment Tribunal may penalise non-compliance by varying an award by up to 25% if there is subsequently a successful claim made.

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It'll most likely say in his contract that the hours of work are Monday to Friday but there will be a requirement to work outside these days as the business requires.

As far as I'm aware the employees contract only requires them to work Mon-Fri as they business isn't open on a weekend.

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As far as I'm aware the employees contract only requires them to work Mon-Fri as they business isn't open on a weekend.

Oh well, a meeting at the little chef round the corner is totally justified.

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Guest theboltonfury

As far as I'm aware the employees contract only requires them to work Mon-Fri as they business isn't open on a weekend.

Contracts can be full of generic, vague clauses that oculd be applied in many different ways.

He should just say he's at a wedding and get them to offer another time.

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It's impossible to comment without knowing the reason for wanting to hold the hearing out of hours. If the case ends up at an employment tribunal, presumably they'll be required to come to a view as to whether the reason was justified or not.

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Guest absolutezero

It's impossible to comment without knowing the reason for wanting to hold the hearing out of hours. If the case ends up at an employment tribunal, presumably they'll be required to come to a view as to whether the reason was justified or not.

Indeed.

Personally I would say it's unreasonable to hold it out of work hours.

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Indeed.

Personally I would say it's unreasonable to hold it out of work hours.

No, as long as it's not ridiculous and done to deliberately inconvenience or unreasonably put the employee out of their way there's nothing wrong with holding hearings out of hours or even at a different location.

In disciplinary matters employees have no more rights than employers to not be inconvenienced.

It would be wise to allow employees to re-schedule once if they need to but there would be no need to bend over backwards any further than this.

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Guest Ian Chesterton

I can't speak for England, but in Scotland they couldn't force someone to do anything work related outside of their contracted hours or location of work without both their permission to do so and compensating them accordingly, with both expenses and paying for their time.

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Guest theboltonfury

Indeed.

Personally I would say it's unreasonable to hold it out of work hours.

That's because you're a militant, public sector unionist. ;)

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Indeed.

Personally I would say it's unreasonable to hold it out of work hours.

Or in the case of the public sector..In working hours....thats why they dont sack anyone..they cant find the time.

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Guest Ian Chesterton

Or in the case of the public sector..In working hours....thats why they dont sack anyone..they cant find the time.

We sack people all the time, and I'm in the public sector.

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It's impossible to comment without knowing the reason for wanting to hold the hearing out of hours. If the case ends up at an employment tribunal, presumably they'll be required to come to a view as to whether the reason was justified or not.

It's due to the nature of the business which I can't go into here. There are genuine reasons behind why the company has asked the meeting to be held on a non work day and isn't related to p1ssing the employee about. It is also, apparently, not uncommon for this type of industry to do this type of thing on a weekend it's just that it sounded a bit weird to me.

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Guest absolutezero

It's due to the nature of the business which I can't go into here. There are genuine reasons behind why the company has asked the meeting to be held on a non work day and isn't related to p1ssing the employee about. It is also, apparently, not uncommon for this type of industry to do this type of thing on a weekend it's just that it sounded a bit weird to me.

The word you use is "asked".

The employee is free to say no.

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I can't speak for England, but in Scotland they couldn't force someone to do anything work related outside of their contracted hours or location of work without both their permission to do so and compensating them accordingly, with both expenses and paying for their time.

To clarify; the company concerned is not interested in forcing the employee to attend on a non-work day, the reason is essentially that they feel it's better for the business, it's customers and the employee if it's done on when the premisis aren't open for business. Indeed, they have requested this of the employee and have specifically asked whether it is convenient. The concern I have is that if it does come back to haunt them then the employee may try to argue that they were in some way co-erced or pressured into it.

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The word you use is "asked".

The employee is free to say no.

They're not - unless they're planning on flouncing out of the job.

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The word you use is "asked".

The employee is free to say no.

True but, as I say, employees sometimes say all sorts of things and then claim they were pushed into it.

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True but, as I say, employees sometimes say all sorts of things and then claim they were pushed into it.

As a former Union Rep, successful self litigant & lay rep before the Employment Tribunal I would agree with Absolute Zero. Whilst there is no harm in asking the employee, if they say no I wouldn't push it any further

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True but, as I say, employees sometimes say all sorts of things and then claim they were pushed into it.

Bit of paper. Signed, witnessed, dated. From both sides agreeing on the time and date for the meeting.

Job done. Being a bit of Legal Eagle - I thought you would know this !!

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To clarify; the company concerned is not interested in forcing the employee to attend on a non-work day, the reason is essentially that they feel it's better for the business, it's customers and the employee if it's done on when the premisis aren't open for business. Indeed, they have requested this of the employee and have specifically asked whether it is convenient. The concern I have is that if it does come back to haunt them then the employee may try to argue that they were in some way co-erced or pressured into it.

Ive never heard of a Court giving comebacks for asking?..unless it was illegal to do so.

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To clarify; the company concerned is not interested in forcing the employee to attend on a non-work day, the reason is essentially that they feel it's better for the business, it's customers and the employee if it's done on when the premisis aren't open for business. Indeed, they have requested this of the employee and have specifically asked whether it is convenient. The concern I have is that if it does come back to haunt them then the employee may try to argue that they were in some way co-erced or pressured into it.

I would explain the reason for asking in writing and offer overtime pay and travel costs for the inconvenience.

That way at least if you do end up in a tribunal it looks as if you had a genuine reason and were bending over backwards to reasonable by taking the loss of your employee's time and expense of an extra days travelling into consideration.

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Guest X-QUORK

I would explain the reason for asking in writing and offer overtime pay and travel costs for the inconvenience.

That way at least if you do end up in a tribunal it looks as if you had a genuine reason and were bending over backwards to reasonable by taking the loss of your employee's time and expense of an extra days travelling into consideration.

+1

Seems only reasonable that the employee should be reimbursd for attending a meeting at a time scheduled solely for the benefit of the employer.

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Bit of paper. Signed, witnessed, dated. From both sides agreeing on the time and date for the meeting.

Job done. Being a bit of Legal Eagle - I thought you would know this !!

Signed bits of paper aen't the be-all and end-all of everything. The problem you are dealing with is that an employee is always going to be in the weaker position and if anything arises in the future there will always be the potential for the accusation that they were pushed into it..

I don't think much will come of it, and I can't seem to find any precident on it, but it's always good to cover all your bases.

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Ive never heard of a Court giving comebacks for asking?..unless it was illegal to do so.

As my previous reply; asking is one thing but in an employee/employer situation "asking" could very easily be construed as a sham for "intimidating" on the part of the employer as the employee will in many cases be taken to be in the weaker position.

Look at it from the employees point of view. If the disciplinary goes against you and you want to whinge about it, what's the first thing you are going to do? You'll try and pick holes in the employers procedure and a disciplinary hearing out of hours is one of the obvious things you'll have a go at. If I were desperately trying to get a payout, I would!

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