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My question is two-pronged - 1. My friend took out a griev…

My question is two-pronged:- 1....
My question is two-pronged:-

1. My friend took out a grievance against his line manager and was himself suspended a few days later. Should both of them have been suspended? In this case the line manager is still working whilst the investigation carries on. There has been a Hearing and he is awaiting the verdict or outcome of that Hearing,
2. Is there a legal requirement that your Representative should be a Union member?


I am very busy at the moment (Wed. 6th) and may not be able to continue with this correspondence until Friday 8th. Sorry!
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Answered in 27 minutes by:
10/5/2010
Jenny McKenzie
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 6,475
Experience: 10 Years of experience in Employment Law and HR
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Was he suspended for raising a greivance or for another reason? How long has he worked for the company?
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago

He worked on a project involving a lot of money from sponsors. Unbeknown to him this project was hijacked by his line manager, several serious alterations were made and submitted to one of the sponsors under my friends name. He only discovered this by chance and re-submitted his own and original figures to the sponsor. He put in a grievance about this but within a week he was suspended on full pay and has been off work for over a year. A decision is expected soon following an investigatory hearing.

 

He has been with the company for about 708 years.

are you saying that his suspension has lasted over a year? If so why has it taken the employer so long to bring the matter to a hearing?
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago

Partly because my friend became unwell with stress and hypertension and secondly during this time he fractured all the toes on one foot. Matters became complicated and he required hospital admission. The Hearing was heard in 2 sessions - the first was terminated after half an hour because his Union representative had to leave abruptly to deal with a 'more complicated matter involving 100 employees elsewhere' and the second leg was held some weeks later. At his request his employers activated his e-mail account so he could access information/evidence to support the claims in his Grievance letter. He was given two very short time extensions in order for him to do this but because he had to trawl through three and a half years of e-mails he could not achieve this in the time-frame he was given and the account was de-activated. He had only managed to achieve about 40 per cent of what he wanted. He is now waiting for the outcome of their investigation.

I'm still not clear about the connection between the grievance and the suspension so can you please clarify:

 

1. The reason for the grievance

2. The reason for the suspension.

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Customer reply replied 7 years ago

Like I explained above, he was working on a Financial Project for the Refugee Council which involved a lot of money. This Project was surreptitiously taken over by his line manager, several serious changes were made, and it was then submitted to the Funder (HBOS) in my friend's name. When my friend received some queries from HBOS he realised what had happened and submitted his own set of figures (the original figures). He then took out a grievance against his line manager for having submitted a false set of accounts in my friend's name. That same week he was suspended on the grounds that he should not have submitted the altered figures.

I hope I'm making sense!

Customer reply replied 7 years ago

Is it possible to pick up where I left off on Friday? I still need answers to my previous queries.

Many thanks.

 

Ok no problem, sorry I was offline over the weekend. Just one further question before I answer your original questions. Is his line manager accused of the same thing?
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago

More or less, but he wasn't suspended, even though he is being investigated as well.

Ok to answer your 2 questions:

 

1. If they are both accused of the same offence and one is suspended and the other is not then the person who is suspended has the right to raise a greivance regarding the difference in treatment. If the employer cannot justify the decision he can argue that it amounts to a 'breach of trust and confidence'. If he is dismissed and the other person is not this would be grounds upon which he could argue unfair dismissal. He may depending on the reason the company give be able to argue it is adequate reason to resign and claim constructive dismissal.

 

2. The right to representation is either by a trade union representative or a work colleague.

 

I would be grateful if you would press ACCEPT if you have found my answer useful. I will then leave the question open to answer your follow on questions for free.

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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
The answer to the first part of my question is fine, but what I really wanted to know is, does a Director of Human Resources have the right to contact the trade union representative, without prior reference to the employee? This was not done in an attempt at reconcilation.
why would they do so if it wasn't to assist the employee?
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
Right from the very beginning my friend had issues with the HR Manager whom he believed knew what was going on and should have stepped in and done something about it. He didn't. When it came to a Hearing my friend objected to his presence at that Hearing but was over-ruled by the Director of HR. Throughout the Hearing (this was done in 2 legs several weeks apart) the HR Manager practically comandeered the Hearing and my friend wrote to the HR Director about this and accused her of defending him regardless. She is turn contacted the Union representative who supported the HR Manager's behaviour, not my friend. What none of these people knew (still don't) was that my friend had already written to the Unite Head Office outlining his concerns about whose interest this representative had in mind. Apparently this Representative had threatened my friend, at both legs of the Hearing, that if 'you don't 'do things their way (the company) I will withdraw my support'. My friend had never trusted this Representative from the word go, he felt that he was not on his side. He has now decided to dispense with the Union services.

The head of HR does not have the right to insist that your friend is represented by this union rep. It is up to your friend to chose his representative. The amounts to a breach fo trust and confidence and your friend should raise a grievance.

 

Both things this and the suspension do give your friend good grounds to complain that this amounts to a breach of trust and confidence.

 

Your friend should also complain to the head of the union about the representative's inappropriate conduct.

 

I would be grateful if you would press ACCEPT if I have answered your original question.I will then leave the question open to answer your follow on questions for free.

Jenny McKenzie
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 6,475
Experience: 10 Years of experience in Employment Law and HR
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