I have just received a verbal warning from my employer for being off more than four times.One occasion I was off (with a doctor'snote) with gastric flu for 2 weeks, and four time with migraine. I have always suffered with migraine. I wake up with migraine and the only thing I can do is sleep in a dark room.Myemployer apparently does not dispute my time off, it has been suggested that I should have approached them to see the company OT, I am "under" my doctor and there is nothinhg he can do. What can I do?
Province/Country relating to question : UK
Visit to GP
Is there anything in your contract that requires you to see the company OT?
Not as far as I am aware but would have to check my contract which I'm unable to do at the minute
Ok check the contract and then post back. I will answer immediately if I am online. If I am not online it could take up to 24 hours. Ideally quote the entire clause about OTs if there is one.
Have checked nothing stated.HR first mentioned during disciplinary
In that case there is no obligation for you to see the OT. Provided you have complied with your sickness policy which normally requires a doctors note or a self certificate you are likely to have grounds to appeal your warning. Ask for details of your employer's disciplinary appeals process and appeal on the basis that the contract does not require you to see an OT.
When I have migraine I am only off for one day therefore a doctor's notice is not required, I have had 4/5 migrinaes and gastric flu for which I had a doctor's note.
I understand that there is no longer a policy for disciplinary action that involves a verbal warning. I understand ACAS policy changed April 2009, therefore is my verbal warning valid.
My contract does say I would be approached by HR after being off sick x4 but no one has come to me before. Also from an investigative meeting it has taken 5 weeks to give me a verbal warning, can HR do this?
Your company should have followed the statutory disciplinary action before giving you a verbal warning.
You may also wish the raise that your migranes may be a disability under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and as such your employer should make reasonable adjustments.
Is a verbal warning an acceptable disciplinary since the change in ACAS policy?
Sorry I don't understand - In April 2009 the new Employment Act came into force. This changed Acas's role. Certainly a verbal warning is one decision an employer can take in response to disciplinary investigations.
Please explian. I was of the opinion that employers had to follow ACAS "rules" is this incorrect ie can an employer have their own disciplinary rules that do not go along with those of ACAS. Does an employer not have to follow the new employment act?
The employer has to follow the statutory disciplinary procedure which ACAS oversee. It is as follows:-
The employer then has to make a reasonable decision as a result of the investigations and can given an oral warning. You can, however, appeal.
You are therefore saying that verbal warnings still stand althogh Employment law has changed.
Aside from this how would you suggest I proceed. I have asked HR what will happen if I have further migraines and they could not give me an answer. It is almost certain that I will get further migraines but is my job in jeopardy because of this?
I find it difficult to take on board that I can be disciplined on health grounds when I always give 110% in my job.
You say that my employer must give me their written decision, how can it then be an oral warning?
Yes it stands but you can appeal it. They must confirm in writing that the reasons why they have chosen to give you an oral warning.
How can I ascertain from HR what action they will take if I have further migraines which is a distinct possibility.
Can you advise me how I go about an appeal? Could the outcome be detrimental to me, could HR change their decision to a written warning?
In order to appeal you just ask for an appeal hearing of their decision. The appeal should not be detrimental to you. You should make it clear (if it is the case) that there is no obliation in your contract to see an OT and that you have not breached the sickness policy.
If I go ahead and see the company OT and she agrees (which I can only assume she will as I have consulted with my GP)that unfortunately there isn't a cure for m igraine do I make the assumption that she will report to HR, after which can I ask HR for a further meeting to discuss the OT report?
You could do it that way or you could do a straight forward appeal.
If I do a straight forward appeal do I have to provide a medical report from my GP to substantiate my claim?
I am not sure how I can defend my case at an appeal as I have given HR all the information re my migraines and other than written documentation have nothing further to add
What else can I do at an appeal, I assume this will be heard by higher management, is this who I rely on to revoke the HR decision?
No medical report required. Yes the appeal will be held by higher management. You should, however, make the request to HR.
The million dollar question?
Would you advise me to appeal under the circumstances, I just need to be sure that I won't jeopardise my job in any way, but feel I need an answer from the company as to the action they will take if I have time off due to migraine in the future
The danger in not appealing is that you are at risk of further action which may result in greater sanction next time. It sounds like there will be a next time as you suffer from migranes. I would suggest you do appeal. It is, however, a matter for you.
Many thanks, XXXXX XXXXX take your advise to go to appeal as hopefully a more comprehensive discussion could take place.
Goodnight, thanks again for all your time this evening, is there a way that I can update you as to the result of my appeal?
If you click accept the post will remain open for you to come back to me with details of the appeal.
BA (Hons) Pgdl Pgdlp (LPC)
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