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Sat in on a disciplinary today and..

Discussion in 'Legal' started by PerfectP, May 26, 2010.

  1. PerfectP

    PerfectP UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 216 Likes: 44
    I was called in today at the full time job, to be a friend/witness for someone who was having a disciplinary and I was after some other peoples thoughts on the process:-

    The manager had got someone in to scribe the conversation.
    The meeting was between 10:00 and 12:00 - at 12:00 the scribe disappeared as they had another appointment.
    At 12:05 a replacement scribe arrived and this person then took the last 15/20 minutes of notes.
    Not once was the person under suspicion offered the chance to review the notes of scribe 1 or scribe 2.
    I did mention afterwards that I thought this a little strange as anything could of been written and it was kind of a pointless exercise.

    I would of thought (just to protect yourself) that if you were party to taking notes, that it would be customary to share those notes with all parties and ensure that it was an accurate reflection of what the discussion was about - perhaps by getting all parties to sign the notes at the bottom?

    So I was kind of wondering what others do or have done in this kind of situation?

    thanks
    Craig
     
    Posted: May 26, 2010 By: PerfectP Member since: Mar 30, 2010
    #1
  2. TheGuru2010

    TheGuru2010 UKBF Enthusiast Full Member

    Posts: 936 Likes: 107
    When ever i have conducted a disaplinary i have always let the otehr party have a copy of notes - sometimes this isnt strait away as they need to be typed etc, I always request they rear sign & agree to these, again i let them do this in there own time in about 72 hours. I would find it very strange of the employer didnt provide the notes from the meeting , im fairly sure if you ask them they have to provide a copy.
     
    Posted: May 26, 2010 By: TheGuru2010 Member since: May 11, 2010
    #2
  3. PerfectP

    PerfectP UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 216 Likes: 44
    Thanks for the reply. Thats what I thought.
    It just concerns me that the longer they leave it the less fresh in the mind it is for all parties - especially as this is a Bank Holiday weekend coming up and some people may take an extended period of leave, thus exasperating it further.

    cheers again
     
    Posted: May 26, 2010 By: PerfectP Member since: Mar 30, 2010
    #3
  4. TheGuru2010

    TheGuru2010 UKBF Enthusiast Full Member

    Posts: 936 Likes: 107
    Hey if you need a chat about how it should have been conducted etc drop me a pm.

    Happy to help
     
    Posted: May 26, 2010 By: TheGuru2010 Member since: May 11, 2010
    #4
  5. Employment Law Clinic

    Employment Law Clinic UKBF Big Shot Full Member - Verified Business

    Posts: 3,016 Likes: 1,419
    Hi Craig,

    In my previous life as a trade union rep, I had many arguments with managers that felt sharing notes was not necessary (always got them in the end, but occasionally after a long battle).

    The notes that were taken could be pretty useless to anyone but the minute taker though, as everyone has their own style for these (mine would deliberately be illegible to anyone but me). What's more important is getting agreed minutes. Whoever minuted the respective parts of the meeting may easily have missed important points - never easy being a minute secretary - so you first need to obtain draft minutes, and then get your amendments in to these.

    Was this actually said in the meeting, or subsequent to it? If an important point is made (from your side), always worth ensuring the minute is recorded accurately.

    If practical, it would be worthwhile writing your own version of the notes too, although if you have later disputes with the management, they may not care to recognise these.

    Best approach is to put a request in writing for the minutes, and challenge them if they don't reflect your view of the meeting - or if you can get the tone changed in pertinent paragraphs, to benefit your side! ;)


    Karl Limpert
     
    Posted: May 26, 2010 By: Employment Law Clinic Member since: Aug 10, 2009
    #5
  6. PerfectP

    PerfectP UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 216 Likes: 44
    Karl,
    thanks for your thoughts. I did mention at the end of the meeting that both sides should agree the minutes of the conversation - but this was obviously very difficult as there were two minute takers for the same event.
    Incidently tThe first minute taker did ask that the conversation be slowed down to allow her to correctly take the minutes, so who knows what was missed or what hasn't been inferred in the text.

    As a hypothetical question - if the minutes were challenged by the employee as being inaccurate (for instance) and giving misleading information/wrong detail etc - where would the company stand?

    It concerns me that it/they might be on a sticky wicket as nothing was agreed (minutes wise) after the meeting - and nothing was agreed for a timescale on when they would be reviewed either.
     
    Posted: May 26, 2010 By: PerfectP Member since: Mar 30, 2010
    #6
  7. Employment Law Clinic

    Employment Law Clinic UKBF Big Shot Full Member - Verified Business

    Posts: 3,016 Likes: 1,419
    Quite typical, and in my view the sign of a bad chair :mad:.

    In the ideal world (I've always followed Citrine's chairman style when I chaired meetings, and pretty much insisted the same from the Chair when I was secretary of a meeting), the Chair would actually write the minutes by summing up at the end of a relevant exchange, which may be simply complimented by minuted key points of the exchanges.

    Minutes being challenged are not unusual, and there's not too much you can do if there is no agreement. Technically, I believe the Data Protection Act applies - the employee can file their own version to sit alongside the 'official' version. Neither version should normally carry more weight than the other, unless either are clearly biased (again, not too unusual).

    Timescales for producing these are not defined, but reasonable should apply for recollection purposes. If the party you represented doesn't have a draft version in a few days, worthwhile submitting one before the memory fades.


    Karl Limpert
     
    Posted: May 26, 2010 By: Employment Law Clinic Member since: Aug 10, 2009
    #7
  8. FreelanceSoftwareDeveloper

    FreelanceSoftwareDeveloper UKBF Ace Free Member

    Posts: 1,563 Likes: 348
    I've had the same experience, employer took notes but I was never asked to review or sign them.

    Recieved the 'outcome' of the disciplinary a few days later and there were numerous mis-quotes and mis-interpretations.

    I appealed and we reached an agreement.

    I can see the problem though, I was maybe fortunate that the mis-quotes were easy to prove based on my evidence, other scenarios may be very different.
     
    Posted: May 27, 2010 By: FreelanceSoftwareDeveloper Member since: Sep 14, 2009
    #8
  9. Cobby

    Cobby UKBF Ace Free Member

    Posts: 2,843 Likes: 576
    Assuming you get everyone's consent, can you use an audio device to record the actual meeting?
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2010
    Posted: May 27, 2010 By: Cobby Member since: Oct 28, 2009
    #9
  10. retailworld

    retailworld UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 149 Likes: 12
    If you haven't seen the notes, and you haven't signed to confirm this, then they hold little or no weight.

    The idea of a notetaker is that they have an unbiased account of what has been said, which both parties should then sign to accept (or as mentioned above, they can be sent later, and amendments could be made).

    As it stands, they hold no value in my opinion.
     
    Posted: May 27, 2010 By: retailworld Member since: Jan 8, 2006
    #10
  11. munchkin123

    munchkin123 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 36 Likes: 1
    I am in the middle of a grievance and disciplinary procedure for my partner too. I am a fully qualified shorthand secretary and transcriber. When my partner went to his first grievance notes were taken by the manager conducting the hearing!! He then produced "Minutes" which didn't accurate record or reflect what was discussed in the meeting. We did ask if I could be in attendance and they refused saying he had to take a work colleague or trade union rep although their handbook actually stated "alternatively a colleague of your choice" which they said was a duplication!!!!

    At the actual meeting I gave him my mobile phone to record the meeting whereupon I would then transcribe (only for my partner's sake) as if both parties wanted a complete accurate transcript then the only real way of doing this is for it to be recorded and transcribed by a professional.

    He has yet to go to his disciplinary but I will again suggest that he takes my mobile phone to record events. It may help if we need to appeal to suggest that the company were reluctant to help in this regard and thus there is no accurate account on record of what happened especially if the company are not following their own procedures etc which is what is happening here ie they have cited gross misconduct and ONE potential outcome is dismissal. According to their handbook gross misconduct results in instant dismissal. They should be citing serious misconduct in order to use the phrase "one" potential outcome ie final written warning/dismissal. Not legally qualified, worked as legal secretary for years but just using a bit of commonsense and reading their procedures.
     
    Posted: May 27, 2010 By: munchkin123 Member since: Apr 21, 2010
    #11