I was suspended from work end of March with little explanation of allegations against me. They have not included me in any investigations but have now invited me to disciplinary. I received the invite on 2nd May and signed for the letter and the meeting was due to be held at 11am 2nd May in London so I had no way of getting there. They have now rescheduled it to 11th May and sent some of the statements with the allegations. They have not let me have my laptop which contains evidence I need for my defence and most of the allegations are regarding staff being unhappy about directives they have asked me to implement and I seem to be the scapegoat. There is even an unsigned petition from staff threatening the company to either sort their demands out or they will and in a three page document from them only one paragraph is regarding myself. If they dismiss me I cannot work in the Care Industry again as I am a registered manager, so I am unsure whether to resign or face the meeting. I have raised a grievance since which I do not want heard at the same meeting. Where do I stand?
Province/Country relating to question: UK
Spoken to a friend who is a union official who says they have breached several of their own disciplinary policies and would have a good case for Unfair Dismissal. I belong to a Union but have not been in it long enough for them to represent me at the meeting.
Thank you of your question. You do not say if they have followed their own disciplinary procedures but suggested they have not done so. Normally when there is some allegation then the first thing the employer should do is investigate and you should be included in the investigation so that you can explain your point of view. Secondly they should do the investigation as expeditiously as possible particularly where you are suspended. You are also entailed to to be given reasonable notice of the disciplinary meeting and of the allegations so that you can be properly prepared. It sounds as if they have done none of those things .You should certainly attend the meeting and you should raise issue with the way the matter has been dealt with. You are entailed to be accompanied at the meeting by a union official or a work colleague and you should exercise that right if possible. You should make the point that you have been denied proper access to your laptop to prepare your response and make sure all of those points are recorded and minuted . You should keep independent notes anyway . If you are then subject to disciplinary action you should appeal. If all of that is unsuccessful then certainly you may have a claim for unfair dismissal but you must not resign and claim constructive dismissal - that is very difficult to establish and the mere fact that they have not followed the proper disciplinary process is unlikely to be enough if you resign before they have decided whether actually to discipline you . You are better off to go through the process and make sure you record the bad practice and then claim if you are dismissed.Bear in mind that even if you resign there is no guarantee they will not give you a bad reference which could affect your future prospects. If you can show they are not acting properly they might agree some sort of compromise with you so that you can leave and get a reference.
Should they now deal with the grievance I have raised before going ahead with the disciplinary meeting as I don't believe it is in my best interest to do both at the same time?
The two should be dealt with separately whether the grievance should be dealt with first really depends upon whether the outcome could have a direct effect on the disciplinary issues or whether it is unrelated.
30 years experience
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