Need help for displionary meeting please

Discussion in 'Employment & HR' started by Jimbo1995, Jul 24, 2021.

  1. Jimbo1995

    Jimbo1995 UKBF Newcomer

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    Hello, unfortantly i have a disciplionary meeting next tuesday 27th but i feel unprepared, scared and pressured about what outcome it might turn out to be

    I have been accused of potential gross misconduct for leaving during work at 4pm for optician appointment and not having arranged cover despite me booking it 3 weeks ago and making everyone aware if they could cover but no one not even management volunteered to help cover my shift. I decided i go on my break for 30 minutes believing it was ok and shouldnt take too long but unfortantly got back an hour later and my boss turned up at 4:35, found out and called me how bad the situation was for leaving without management permission and mistakenly not clocking in/out. I was deeply shocked and regretted going had i known as i was not fully aware how bad consequences would be.

    Now that im on suspension and got final displionary meeting meeting next tuesday. I have been feeling really stressful past few days from what the outcome would be. I have worked for the company for 4 years and is my first offence ive done working in stationary retail shop.

    I could not get trade union reps to support me as i needed long term membership and not sure if any of my work colleagues are willing to cover as I dont think manager can cover. Just dreading to go myself if theres no one can accompany me but have a feeling i will get intimidated when it will be myself against notetaker, manager and possibly someone from HR.

    Any tips and preparations for the last meeting would be much appreciated and ever thankful.

    - Jamie
    Posted: Jul 24, 2021 By: Jimbo1995 Member since: Jul 24, 2021
  2. nelioneil

    nelioneil Contributor

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    Was the booking the time off authorised? If so, why was it authorised with no cover? Surely the manager or whoever authorised should be arranging cover, so no blame on you.

    I think you are in a decent situation if you explain the situation above. Besides first potential offence and 4 years employment, highly unlikely they are looking for dismissal.
    Posted: Jul 24, 2021 By: nelioneil Member since: Jan 22, 2013
  3. japancool

    japancool Contributor

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    It sounds like the OP booked the optician's appointment, not the time off.

    That being the case, it doesn't seem you have a leg to stand on. You knew there was no cover, but you went anyway, without asking management's permission. You can't just swan out when you feel like it. I don't know how you can expect that NOT to be misconduct.

    The fact that no one offered to cover your shift is not their problem, unless they authorised the time off.

    However - I am not an HR expert. I'm sure @Newchodge would have a better insight.
    Posted: Jul 24, 2021 By: japancool Member since: Jul 11, 2013
  4. WaveJumper

    WaveJumper Contributor

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    As @japancool has said above you booked an appointment before checking you could get the time off you even asked management who for whatever reason never sanctioned it but you went anyway. A rather foolish move and a difficult position to defend
    Posted: Jul 25, 2021 By: WaveJumper Member since: Aug 26, 2013
  5. IanSuth

    IanSuth Contributor

    438 127
    Unless you use a VDU for work and thus needed an optical appt as part of your job.

    In current times getting an appt for anything is so hard you cant always book the time then get the appt top match - it is all chicken and egg.

    Anyway hope the meeting goes ok
    Posted: Jul 27, 2021 By: IanSuth Member since: Apr 1, 2021
  6. The Byre

    The Byre Full Member

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    1. It sounds as if you swanned off without permission - retail shops need people behind the counter.

    2. Management is being petty. I would have read you the riot act and then told you to get back to work and not to do it again. All this formal meeting and suspension malarkey is totally OTT and unnecessary and smells of pocket Hitlerism! (Unless of course, you were a repeat offender!)
    Posted: Jul 27, 2021 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
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  7. Paul Norman

    Paul Norman Contributor

    3,451 1,176

    This, in simple terms.

    Again, as I mentioned elsewhere, this could all be fixed with a chat. An actual conversation. But your bosses seem to want to make an issue of it, and, sadly, can do so.

    But, back to your main question. You are allowed some form of help to make sure you are able to put your case properly, and clearly. That would normally be a union rep - which you have said is not available to you - or a solicitor (probably expensive), or ( I understand) an independent person from outside the business. I would not recommend going in unassisted based on what you have said. But if you must, get everything written down clearly before you go in, and stick to the facts of the case.
    Posted: Jul 27, 2021 By: Paul Norman Member since: Apr 8, 2010
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  8. ecommerce84

    ecommerce84 Contributor

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    Very much agree with the above.

    I think this really comes down to whether or not they actually authorised the leave - if they did then you’re in the clear and if they didn’t then you shouldn’t have gone. And you absolutely should’ve clocked in and out.

    Although on the other side of that coin, what kind of company can’t arrange for an hours cover with 3 weeks notice so an employee can go to the opticians? It sounds like the welfare of their staff isn’t very high up the list.
    Posted: Jul 27, 2021 By: ecommerce84 Member since: Feb 24, 2007
  9. WaveJumper

    WaveJumper Contributor

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    Well of course we don't know if we have a serial Mickey taker here but it would be quite ironic if he was entitled to a free emplyee eye test
    Posted: Jul 27, 2021 By: WaveJumper Member since: Aug 26, 2013
  10. MBE2017

    MBE2017 Contributor

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    I think it is down to the company whether to allow someone independent into the process, it is not a legal right, but I could be wrong. Union rep, co worker are the norm.
    Posted: Jul 27, 2021 By: MBE2017 Member since: Feb 16, 2017
  11. WaveJumper

    WaveJumper Contributor

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    Posted: Jul 27, 2021 By: WaveJumper Member since: Aug 26, 2013
  12. Newchodge

    Newchodge Contributor

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    No, you are entitled to be accompanied by a trade union rep, none of whom would be interested if you are not a member, or a work colleague. that's it. Definitely no solicitor, some sympathetic employers may allow a family member, but most won't.
    Posted: Jul 28, 2021 By: Newchodge Member since: Nov 8, 2012
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  13. Newchodge

    Newchodge Contributor

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    A trade union rep, a work colleague or a trade union official. It's in the next paragraph.
    Posted: Jul 28, 2021 By: Newchodge Member since: Nov 8, 2012
  14. paulears

    paulears Contributor

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    If you go in alone, the pull out your phone pop it on the table and tell them you’re going to record the meeting as it’s so important to have a true record of what’s said, and as you’re rather upset, you’re bound to forget important things. Make sure the phone records this, and any objection to you recording it, offer to send them the audio file for their records. Wont help the conversation, but could be useful depending on outcome. Expect these question.
    Did you ask permission to be absent?

    If it is considered acceptable to pop out during breaks, is this always an ask thing? As in asking a supervisor if it’s ok to pop to the shop in your break? Or do you just go and nobody knows you are missing. Remember if they think you are in the building and there is a fire, people would be searching for you. That would be a serious issue wouldn’t it? Lunch hours are different as they know you’ve gone. Did you tell anyone you were going out? When you got held up did you text? They might also believe the reason you didn’t ask was because you knew permission would be denied. If you knew there was no cover, then you were also very unfair on your colleagues, putting them into a lie/not lie position. Did you not ask permission because you knew they’d say no?

    my feeling is that there is an important thing you’ve not considered. They have two ways to deal with you. Are you a valued employee they don’t want to lose, or a wild card who is unreliable? This will influence their response. It’s a perfect reason to get rid of you, sorry. The fire example, putting people at risk, searching the burning building for you is enough to use the gross word. Or they could yell a lot and put the fear of god in you and move on. You will know which side of the fence you are on. I hope it works for you.
    Posted: Jul 28, 2021 By: paulears Member since: Jan 7, 2015
  15. WaveJumper

    WaveJumper Contributor

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    Well the interview should have taken place yesterday so hopefully we may get an update on the outcome from the OP
    Posted: Jul 28, 2021 By: WaveJumper Member since: Aug 26, 2013
  16. Chris Ashdown

    Chris Ashdown Contributor

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    I would type a letter explaining all the relevant facts and give it to them at the start of the meeting so it is on record.

    Are we right to assume you did not just lock up the shop and go out, or was there other staff present
    Posted: Jul 28, 2021 By: Chris Ashdown Member since: Dec 7, 2003