How would you deal with this?

Discussion in 'Employment & HR' started by anonuk, Jul 3, 2021.

  1. anonuk

    anonuk Contributor

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    We took on a new employee 3.5 months ago, who has generally been a good worker. We like to keep a good atmosphere at work so are generally quite relaxed.

    After a promising start, this particular employee has started to show signs of being problematic. A week ago there was an incident of this persons making which caused £3000+ of damage to company property. She was mortified and apologised profusely but the fact remains it happened. Since then, she has been caught asleep at her desk, watches videos on her phone whilst working (despite there being a new ‘no phones’ policy), takes herself off to the shop whenever she fancies which means she’s gone for 15 minutes. Eats her dinner at her desk then takes her half hour lunch in addition. And this week she had a sleep for her entire lunch in the admin office where she doesn’t work (she had to be woken up by her line manager), then went to the shop in the afternoon citing she hadn’t had lunch because she fell asleep.

    I just feel like she sees that we are generally relaxed and is taking the mick. I really don’t know how to handle it.

    We have been waiting for a quote to repair the damage from the incident mentioned above so we are planning to give her a verbal warning and asking her to consider contributing towards that, but feel like also going to written warning regarding defying the rules and lack of respect for the management and the rest of the staff.

    Ultimately I can’t see the employee lasting long term but I want to do everything above board so as not to bite me in the bum.

    I’d really appreciate any advice.
     
    Posted: Jul 3, 2021 By: anonuk Member since: Feb 27, 2014
    #1
  2. Dave Boatman

    Dave Boatman UKBF Newcomer

    21 2
    Just tell here it isn’t working out and dismiss her.
    Pay notice pay and any unpaid holidays.
     
    Posted: Jul 3, 2021 By: Dave Boatman Member since: Mar 27, 2020
    #2
  3. ctrlbrk

    ctrlbrk UKBF Regular

    208 56
    What was the employee's performance like prior to this accident?

    Can you provide more details about the nature of the accident?
     
    Posted: Jul 3, 2021 By: ctrlbrk Member since: May 13, 2021
    #3
  4. DontAsk

    DontAsk Contributor

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    I believe in giving people a chance, so follow your disciplinary procedure and issue a warning. If she leaves it cost you nothing (notice pay, etc). If she improves, result. If not, just get rid.
     
    Posted: Jul 3, 2021 By: DontAsk Member since: Jan 7, 2015
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  5. anonuk

    anonuk Contributor

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    I don't want it to come back and bite me in the bum. Surely I can't just dismiss her.

    She had already started to take liberties...going to the shop when she pleased (and without permission), spending 25 minutes in the bathroom with her phone, watching videos while working (hence the new 'no phones' policy).

    I'm trying to keep this anonymous in the event they frequent this forum (although I doubt they do). All I can say is that the incident was a result of their 1) cockiness and b) lack of concentration. The incident could have been much, much worse but in addition to the financial implications of repairing the damage, it's had a knock on effect causing issues with the running of the business which could then effect the rest of the team.

    Yes, I am the same. I am not a naturally confrontational person which I think is why this employee is taking advantage. It's a fine line though between giving someone a chance and being a mug and I fear that I'm being the latter.
     
    Posted: Jul 3, 2021 By: anonuk Member since: Feb 27, 2014
    #5
  6. ctrlbrk

    ctrlbrk UKBF Regular

    208 56
    You don't need to be confrontational to deal with an employee who is taking the proverbial.

    You can start having informal talks telling them that you are concerned about their performance.

    Unless they have a well-defined job description, you could establish some clear (written) requirements and what is expected of this employee. You could then agree a way forward.

    If you don't see improvements then you could go down the route of a capability procedure.


    There's several ways to skin that cat. I'm sure HR specialists can chip in but the bottom line is, if the employee is not clear about what's expected of them they may always have a case. But if you're crystal clear...
     
    Posted: Jul 3, 2021 By: ctrlbrk Member since: May 13, 2021
    #6
  7. WaveJumper

    WaveJumper Contributor

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    Several things spring to mind here, why have you let this go on for so long. Clearly you have rules, this is a new employee, and you should have been enforcing your rules from day one. Going forward you may want to take a fresh look at the management style / culture.

    You could sit her down on Monday and start your disciplinary procedures, I am all for giving people a second chance, however personally I would be parting company with the individual.
     
    Posted: Jul 3, 2021 By: WaveJumper Member since: Aug 26, 2013
    #7
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  8. WaveJumper

    WaveJumper Contributor

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    Posted: Jul 3, 2021 By: WaveJumper Member since: Aug 26, 2013
    #8
  9. MBE2017

    MBE2017 Contributor

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    OP, the big problem here is not your employee, it is your lack of management control. Get a grip on the situation, get rid, falling asleep whilst at work, breaking your no phone policy etc, you have more than enough reasons to dismiss her, if she has been with you less than two years simply dismiss saying it is not working out.
     
    Posted: Jul 3, 2021 By: MBE2017 Member since: Feb 16, 2017
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  10. Fagin2021

    Fagin2021 Full Member
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    Couldn't agree more. Never mind about 'having a chat' or 'discussing her performance'. What do you think your other employees think about this - and more importantly, think about you unless you act.

    Get rid of her asap with the minimum you need pay. Then gather her work colleagues in a meeting and tell them (without going into detail) that so-and-so has been asked to leave the company.

    End of story.
     
    Posted: Jul 3, 2021 By: Fagin2021 Member since: Jan 27, 2021
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  11. JEREMY HAWKE

    JEREMY HAWKE Verified Business ✔️
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    Sack her on Monday morning
     
    Posted: Jul 4, 2021 By: JEREMY HAWKE Member since: Mar 4, 2008
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  12. fisicx

    fisicx Moderator
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    Don’t wait until Monday. Sack her today. Text message: ‘you’re fired lol’.

    They taking the mick. They are laughing at you. They don’t give a toss about you or the job.
     
    Posted: Jul 4, 2021 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #12
  13. Mark T Jones

    Mark T Jones Contributor

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    As above - get rid and learn the management lesson
     
    Posted: Jul 4, 2021 By: Mark T Jones Member since: Nov 4, 2015
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  14. Newchodge

    Newchodge Contributor

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    Call them in on Monday. Explain all the things they have done that are unacceptable, ask if they have anything to say to explain themselves, listen to anything they have to say and then make the decision to either sack them or give them a final chance. If you decide on a final chance make sure they understand exactly what will be unacceptable - phone at desk, sleeping at work, taking more than the allotted break time, First incidence of any of those, instant dismissal.

    Dismissal would be with notice pay and holiday pay and leaving immediately (ie pay in lieu).

    Unless they have an employment contract that states they are covered by your disciplinary procedure, If they do, follow that. And re-write your contracts so that the disciplinary procedure is non-contractual.
     
    Posted: Jul 4, 2021 By: Newchodge Member since: Nov 8, 2012
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  15. Newchodge

    Newchodge Contributor

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    Oh and don't bother asking her to contribute to the cost of the repair.
     
    Posted: Jul 4, 2021 By: Newchodge Member since: Nov 8, 2012
    #15
  16. Stas Lawicki

    Stas Lawicki Contributor

    391 175
    As a young manager i would have thrown my weight around, huffing, puffing and coming up with a way of getting rid. Nowadays, I'd favour the following: getting to the bottom of why this behaviour exists - what is causing them to sleep during the day? What can you do to help them control/stop them doing this? What am I doing that may be promoting this sort of behaviour? As for time off for lunch etc, she has a right for lunch, if they spent it praying, eating, sleeping or singing - it's none of your business, so long as it's reasonable and not impacting their work when it's over.

    There's a reason you employed this person. They did well initially, the failings may be on your part or a another's, but don't just right them off. A chat to try and get to the bottom of it is the least you can do for you, them, and your team. If the result of this is no change, or no reason other than laziness or sciving, sure dismiss as you see fit.
     
    Posted: Jul 4, 2021 By: Stas Lawicki Member since: Nov 14, 2017
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  17. ctrlbrk

    ctrlbrk UKBF Regular

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    Hi Cyndy, I am curious about this. Does that mean that you can have a disciplinary procedure outside your employment contract? Can you elaborate?
     
    Posted: Jul 4, 2021 By: ctrlbrk Member since: May 13, 2021
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  18. Newchodge

    Newchodge Contributor

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    A disciplinary procedure is usually separate from the written contract. However the contract should refer to it and can state that it is not a contractual right. In effect anyone within the first 2 years of employment could be dismissed without having to follow the full disciplinary procedure. After 2 years, even if it is not contractual, an employer would be mad not to follow it. If the procedure is not specified as non-contractual failing to use it would be a breach of contract leading to a potential claim.
     
    Posted: Jul 4, 2021 By: Newchodge Member since: Nov 8, 2012
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  19. JEREMY HAWKE

    JEREMY HAWKE Verified Business ✔️
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    As an older and more stroppy business owner I am more like your younger self :):)

    Im not a councilor or a marriage guidance engineer (or what ever they are called )

    I cant be bother with it if they cant be bothered
     
    Posted: Jul 4, 2021 By: JEREMY HAWKE Member since: Mar 4, 2008
    #19
  20. ctrlbrk

    ctrlbrk UKBF Regular

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    Ok so to make your disciplinary procedure optional in the first 2 years of employment you need to explicitly state in your employment contract that it is non-contractual.

    Thanks, always something new to learn.
     
    Posted: Jul 4, 2021 By: ctrlbrk Member since: May 13, 2021
    #20