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Dismissing an Employee - Less Than 1 Years Service

Discussion in 'Employment & HR' started by msharron, Nov 9, 2017.

  1. The Byre

    The Byre UKBF Ace Free Member

    6,822 2,665
    Please do yourself a favour and follow Cyndy's and Karl's advice to the letter - and do not 'discuss' this issue with you delinquent employee. He obviously (judging by what you have told us) regards any friendly chats as a clear sign of weakness.
     
    Posted: Nov 13, 2017 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
    #21
  2. STDFR33

    STDFR33 UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    3,500 851
    Do you work in the catering industry?
     
    Posted: Nov 13, 2017 By: STDFR33 Member since: Aug 7, 2016
    #22
  3. msharron

    msharron UKBF Regular Full Member

    276 54
    Cindy and Karls advice is appreciated and has neen heeded.

    I have an HR consultant advising me as well. Her advice mirrors that posted earlier, the issue is I havent had a chance to document anything in order to demonstrate a fair process.

    No, digital marketing.

    ---

    To clarify an earlier point.

    The employee does not turn upto work under the influence of controlled substances.

    He had a psychotic episode earlier this year that was brought on by smoking excessive ammounts of cannabis (his fathers admission and his own).

    Since then he has been prescribed anti psychotic medication.

    Consumption of alcohol and/or cannabis can negate the effect of the medication and exposes the individual in question to risk of a relapse.

    The employee admitted to myself that he had been partying, drinking and smoking weed outside work (yes, I gave him a firm lecture about the risks), two days later, like clockwork, psychotic episode 2.0.

    He blames me for causing him stress, which can be a trigger.

    From my point of view, its self inflicted damage.
     
    Posted: Nov 14, 2017 By: msharron Member since: Feb 28, 2014
    #23
  4. msharron

    msharron UKBF Regular Full Member

    276 54
    Im going to clarify what work related stress means.

    As one of you picked up on, upto now I am apparently a lax employer (nit any more).

    I was of the belief, if you make a mistake you learn from it and dont repeat it.

    When an employee screws up I dont shout, I dont belittle them, I dont lose my temper, I dont dock their wages.

    Here's my modus operandi...

    I start by explaining the mistake.
    I then explain how to avoid the mistake.
    Next I explain the cost of the mistake.
    Finally I re-assure the employee and insist the employee puts the mistake right and I work along side the employee till everything is in order.

    That's how I mistreat people and damage their (mental) health.
     
    Posted: Nov 14, 2017 By: msharron Member since: Feb 28, 2014
    #24
  5. msharron

    msharron UKBF Regular Full Member

    276 54
    Way ahead of you.
     
    Posted: Nov 14, 2017 By: msharron Member since: Feb 28, 2014
    #25
  6. pen2670

    pen2670 UKBF Regular Free Member

    417 104
    Sorry, but you're still blurring the boundaries.

    What he does out of work (with a very few exceptions) is categorically none of your business as his employer unless your offering to support him by agreeing to a reasonable adjustments or offer to send him to professional support.

    If he is failing to perform at work discipline him using proper procedures against documented poor results for his capability in work.

    You cannot, as an employer, discipline him for his personal life and are potentially digging yourself a deeper hole if you do not grasp this principle.

    I know you're trying to help him, but trust me, you are not qualified to help with his addiction (and on this one thing he's right that your stern talks are unhelpful) and as an employer considering dismissal / disciplinary it's totally inappropriate to try.

    Look up the 3 c's of addiction - whatever your relationship to him you cannot fix him, stop trying!
     
    Posted: Nov 14, 2017 By: pen2670 Member since: Mar 1, 2012
    #26
  7. msharron

    msharron UKBF Regular Full Member

    276 54
    Quick update on this one.

    I now have formal contracts in place and an employee handbook.

    Existing members of staff have been given the documentation to read and sign (no issues).
    The problem member of staff promptly threw a hissy fit and accused me of fabricating the documentation, then got signed off for another month.

    His employment health worker has been in touch, we had a long friendly conversation, I advised I was prepared to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate the employee should he wish to return once he is fit for work, she's happy, mentioned she hadn't encountered many business owners that were as understanding and now considers me to be a reasonable employer (always nice to hear).

    Following the hissyfit, the employee demanded to be paid his full salary (I'm giving him SSP) and demanded to be paid early. The sense of self-entitlement and demonstrable lack of caring is a little unsettling but round one to me.

    The game's afoot, let's see what next month brings.
     
    Posted: Nov 25, 2017 By: msharron Member since: Feb 28, 2014
    #27
  8. msharron

    msharron UKBF Regular Full Member

    276 54
    I get it, don't worry I'm not digging myself a hole. The way I personally feel/want to act vs how I actually act when faced with a situation like this is very different.

    I've taken professional advice and am following it to the letter.
     
    Posted: Nov 25, 2017 By: msharron Member since: Feb 28, 2014
    #28
  9. The Byre

    The Byre UKBF Ace Free Member

    6,822 2,665
    I hope this is real advice from a professional, such as Cyndy and Karl and not bogus advice from one of these HR companies that charge a fixed fee per month and then fob you off with horror stories.
     
    Posted: Nov 25, 2017 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
    #29
  10. Employment Law Clinic

    Employment Law Clinic UKBF Big Shot Full Member - Verified Business

    3,137 1,464
    Very efficient turn around, I hope you have terms that allow you to return to & amend these later if needed - guessing these are very basic for now.

    How can you fabricate employment terms you hire someone to draft for you, and issue to your staff?

    His what? Is there a whole new industry here that I’m not tapping into? Do you offer a service as an “employment health worker”, Cyndy @Newchodge? Does it pay well?

    He’s still got employment, an apprenticeship, his “employment health worker” has rubbed you up with nice words to make you feel good, and he’s still making unreasonable demands. Definitely a great first round to you, @msharron o_O


    Karl Limpert
     
    Posted: Nov 25, 2017 By: Employment Law Clinic Member since: Aug 10, 2009
    #30
  11. Newchodge

    Newchodge UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    8,852 2,248
    I think it is a type of social worker whose role is to try to keep those with mental health issues stay in work.
     
    Posted: Nov 25, 2017 By: Newchodge Member since: Nov 8, 2012
    #31
  12. msharron

    msharron UKBF Regular Full Member

    276 54
    @Newchodge yep, a social worker.

    Right now, I'm simply collecting evidence with a view to demonstrate that I'm a reasonable employer should the need arise.
     
    Posted: Nov 25, 2017 By: msharron Member since: Feb 28, 2014
    #32
  13. Employment Law Clinic

    Employment Law Clinic UKBF Big Shot Full Member - Verified Business

    3,137 1,464
    To try to get those with issues to stay in work isn't the same as getting the employer to accept they should have a job though.

    The employee isn't in work - he's been off for a while, yet is making demands that only invites his termination.

    The fact he has one of these does imply he has more long-term issues, but there's been no indication earlier in this thread that @msharron could or should reasonably known of that.

    You only needed reasonable grounds to terminate the apprenticeship - terminating the employment was straightforward, and you didn't have any need to demonstrate being reasonable; the dithering is only complicating things, and this development makes it more likely that this employee is disabled, and particularly that you have reasonable grounds to know he is disabled.

    Round two to someone else.


    Karl Limpert
     
    Posted: Nov 25, 2017 By: Employment Law Clinic Member since: Aug 10, 2009
    #33
  14. Newchodge

    Newchodge UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    8,852 2,248
    I'm not sure there weren't sufficient indicators of a disability earlier. A psychotic episode requiring sectioning, then a considerable period of time on anti-psychotic medication aurely gives an indication to the employer. Even if the employee and or his dad said it was drug-induced, some people would rather be thought addicts than admit to a serious psychiatric illness. I'm not saying that did happen here, but the initial bits would prompt a prudent employer to make enquiries.
     
    Posted: Nov 25, 2017 By: Newchodge Member since: Nov 8, 2012
    #34
  15. msharron

    msharron UKBF Regular Full Member

    276 54
    I'll clarify a few points:

    1. The employee is not an apprentice. He completed his apprenticeship.
    2. The first psychotic break occurred whilst he was an apprentice. I had an opportunity to walk away then, I didn't. I naively thought, the kids screwed up, he's had a scare, lets give him a second chance.
    3. Yes, my goodwill has now potentially bitten me on the ass, I can absorb SSP, my prime concern is to avoid making a mistake that will expose the company to a claim under the equalities act, hence the caution.
     
    Posted: Nov 25, 2017 By: msharron Member since: Feb 28, 2014
    #35
  16. Employment Law Clinic

    Employment Law Clinic UKBF Big Shot Full Member - Verified Business

    3,137 1,464

    I’d have been more inclined to ignore any indicators, probe only as far as necessary, and accept the evidence of the employee & his father on face value.


    Probing further than necessary reminds me of an infamous cross examination case, where a barrister was puzzled how a witness was so confident in their recollection of precise events: without knowing the answer, the barrister asked how the witness could recall so much detail, only to receive the reply that the witness had a photographic memory.

    If I don’t know what will be exposed by digging, I’d rather recommend acting on what is available without digging deeper – there could (and here appears to be) a hole opening wider from that digging.



    Your prime concern is understood @msharron , and I believe both @Newchodge , myself, and anyone else that’s posted would share your objective. Sadly, your goodwill may now have bitten you on the ass. You have policies in place now, but it’s not clear if you have clear & consistent advice that you’re following to deal with this employee. If you do, just ensure it is firm & effective (not necessarily fair & nice), but legally keeps you in the right lane, and follow it. You can still dismiss, you simply need to take extra caution.



    Karl Limpert
     
    Posted: Nov 26, 2017 By: Employment Law Clinic Member since: Aug 10, 2009
    #36
  17. r. kumler

    r. kumler UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    9 1
    Does your business have workplace policies that are written and acknowledged by employees in writing ? While a bother to prepare and sometimes require legal review, I have found having basic policies in place would make such written communication less problematic.
     
    Posted: Dec 20, 2017 By: r. kumler Member since: Dec 20, 2017
    #37
  18. msharron

    msharron UKBF Regular Full Member

    276 54
    The situation concluded in my favour. Stood my ground. Game over!!!

    I have an apology from the senior management team of the social care trust dealing with the case and a letter of resigation from the employee without prejudice.

    I'll think twice before hiring anyone else.
     
    Posted: Feb 9, 2018 By: msharron Member since: Feb 28, 2014
    #38
  19. Chris Ashdown

    Chris Ashdown UKBF Legend Free Member

    9,124 1,858
    Have you put anything in their contracts about drug abuse and random drug testing can be undertaken

    You seem what most would call a do gooder, but in doing so your other employees must consider you very weak in management skills as unable to act on professional advice, I would suggest you read or go onto some management books or courses
     
    Posted: Feb 10, 2018 By: Chris Ashdown Member since: Dec 7, 2003
    #39
  20. msharron

    msharron UKBF Regular Full Member

    276 54
    @Chris Ashdown

    Inexperienced would be a better way to have described me before this incident.

    I took a lot of professional advice over the course what can only be described as a very challenging situation and I'm NOT by any standards the soft touch I was at the start of this episode.

    I had to learn and learn quickly. I engaged professional advice, read through countless resources, demonstrated that I was a reasonable employer and turned around what could have been a potentially damaging situation in my favour.

    All employees are now bound by contracts and handbooks that have set out what is expected of them.

    I dont not understand why you feel I did not act on professional advice, I had two HR consultants who's advice I followed to the letter, prehaps there are some details I omitted from a public forum.

    The employee is no longer an employee, employment terminated without prejudice.

    @Chris Ashdown, I additionally turned the tables on the social care team trying to pressure me to take the employee back. I would not describe someone reducing the area manager and senior management team of a mental health trust to a nervous wreck as soft.

    This entire experience has changed me.

    NEVER AGAIN WILL I ALLOW MYSELF TO BE AT THE MERCY OF DEAD WEIGHT.
     
    Posted: Feb 10, 2018 By: msharron Member since: Feb 28, 2014
    #40