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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, Solicitor
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 38674
Experience:  Expert in UK Employment Law
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Hi, I have been asked to get in touch with my HR department

Resolved Question:

Hi, I have been asked to get in touch with my HR department before Monday 17th June to discuss going back to work. I phoned them 5 times between Friday 14th June and Monday 17th June and have not had my calls returned. I have had a letter saying they recieved my voice mail on Friday and I was to contact them. Who is at fault here for non communication?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.
Before proceeding please note that as I am a practising solicitor, I am often in and out of meetings, travelling between clients or even at court when I pick your question up. This may even occur at weekends. Therefore, I apologise in advance but there may be a delay in getting back to you and providing my advice. Please be patient and I will respond as soon as I can. You do not have to wait here and you will receive an email when I have responded. For now please let me know how long you have worked there.

Customer:

I have worked there 7yrs, started off on 10hr sales assistant contract, 18months later I was made supervisor, 6 months later acting Ast manager and then within 2yrs of starting was made manager, which is the position I hold now.

Ben Jones :

Is any formal action being taken over the non-communication?

Customer:

Not that I am aware of. It's do do with a back to work interview I had on Thursday 13th June, after being off ill for 2wks due to severe anemia which I was in hospital for, had an iron transfusion and an endoscopy with biopsys done. After the return to work, my line manager basically told me she didnt think I was capable for the job and was worried that her being on holiday this week meant me being back to work would screw things up. I'm afraid I took offence at that and got her to confirm what she said then told her I was not carrying on with the interview until I had spoken to someone and that I was going home. The letter I recieved on Friday states I walked out, but having spoken to Citizens Advice, because I told her (3 times infact) I was going home, this isnt classed as walking out. The letters are very bad grammer wise, and dont make a lot of sense in a lot of places.

Ben Jones :

No one would really be at fault here because both you and the employer had tried to contact each other but it just so happened that you did not manage to get in touch. There is evidence that you had tried to contact them because you left a voicemail so the employer cannot claim that you had not made any efforts to get in touch. I fact by not returning your calls they may be more to blame in this situation. Whatever the case, this should not be a big issue and as long as you manage to speak to each other and discuss the matters at hand that is all that matters in this situation.

Customer:

My line manager has asked another store to ring my store and tell my assistant manager that if I have the cheek to turn up for work, she is to contact HR straight away. This tells me that they do not want me back, and are either pushing me to resign, or are just waiting to dismiss me.

Ben Jones :

are you capable to perform your job and do you have a fit note from your doctor?

Customer:

Yes I am capable. I did not recieve a fit note, was just told I was able to go back to work and get some exercise, but to take it easy for a few days. My line manager was fine with this when I rang her and told her I was able to come back. She arranged the meeting and my first day back for Thursday.

Customer:

One other thing that is bothering me, is that, all this time I am off, I am not being paid. We dont get paid sick pay anyway, and with this situation at the moment, I am assuming I am not being paid. Ofcourse I wont know this until I finally get round to verbal communication, but surely as they are not responding to my messages, they would have to pay me?

Ben Jones :

if you are fit for work then you cannot be prevented from returning, although you may wish to consider getting a fit note just so you have some professional back up that you are capable to return

Customer:

It seems to me they are preventing me from returning to work, as the letter (which is unsigned) states I cannot return until I've spoken to HR, and with what my line manager has fed back, she doesnt want me there at all. I will speak to my GP and get them to issue a fit note, although I dont think it will make much difference one way or the other.

Ben Jones :

you re free to return to work if you are fit to do your job, if your employer is preventing you from doing so then they will have to consider paying you for them time when you were not allowed to work once you have declared yourself fit. If you are having problems and it appears they may be stopping you from returning then you can also think about going down the grievance route

Customer:

I have an appointment with a Citizens Advice employment expert next week. I will try ringing HR once more, even though the time for contact has lapsed. I will save this conversation incase its needed for further reference and I guess all I can do is wait till someone calls me.

Ben Jones :

for now yes, but don't be too passive for too long as it may look like you just accepted the situation which may erode some of your rights in the future

Customer:

No, thank you, XXXXX XXXXX phone call a day this week, at least they cant say I am not making an effort. Once I've had my meeting next week, I will be in more of a position of knowledge as to where I stand and what the next step is. Thank you for your help on this matter.

Ben Jones :

My pleasure. Please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service I have provided you with as that is an important part of our process. Thank you

Ben Jones, Solicitor
Satisfied Customers: 38674
Experience: Expert in UK Employment Law
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