Discussion in 'Employment & HR' started by YORKSHIREPUDDING, May 24, 2014.

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    48 2
    If somebody could help me with my predicament, that would be really appreciated.

    I have worked for the same company for the last 11 years, never had a day off sick never had a telling off or any type of warning. For those 11 years I have been the top performing account manager year in year out often bringing in double the amount of revenue than colleagues who do the same job as me.

    The company employs over 90 people but is owned by 3 people who not only are best of friends they also employ their partners / daughters and relatives also.

    All was perfect until out of the blue last week I was pulled into a private meeting by two directors stating that they are suspending me on full pay as there has been a private audit of all client facing staff for the last 6 weeks and I "may" have broken some company polices whilst in front of clients which means I "may" be at risk of disciplinary action. I obviously asked what exactly I had done wrong and why did they keep using the word "may". all I got was politicians answers saying that they would be writing to me this week and the disciplinary meeting would be this Thursday coming.

    I am sick with worry as I am the main breadwinner and loss of job would mean losing our home possibly. I am also angry beyond words as it all stinks of a set up to get rid of me on trumped up charges. They said they would explain fully in the letter and give their evidence. I said I had worked exactly in the same manner for the last 11 years, I have a 70% conversation rate for meeting clients that turn into orders do for the life of me I cannot think of anything I have done wrong at all. I have won awards at our company for achieving high sales figures and have many testimonials from clients praising me.

    Can somebody please help me with some advice, I have never been in this situation before in nearly 30 years of working, my wife is sick with worry and we have 3 small children so getting sacked would destroy us.

    I have evidence of other certain people in the company often sending out pornographic emails likening them to other member's of staff, it is a standing joke about a guy who comes into work drunk all the time reeking of alcohol and the financial director often overcharges on invoices breaking the quotation terms, also engineers often hand in false hotel receipts without vat numbers on. Yet nothing is ever said or done about this.

    The company has done this before creating false audits and giving everybody else perfect scores and then destroying the persons scores they want to sack.

    I am beyond words for anger as over the last 11 years I have given them several million pounds worth of fresh revenue at near 50% profit margins.

    Any help would be really appreciated.

    Many thanks
    Posted: May 24, 2014 By: YORKSHIREPUDDING Member since: May 24, 2014
  2. Bob

    Bob UKBF Legend

    3,666 929
    Sorry to hear of your problem. I'm sure that there will be an HR professional along soon although it is bank holiday weekend. Also at the moment, neither we nor you know what was the reason behind your suspension. That will obviously become more clear once you have received the letter. Some very good information on the ACAS website including this booklet on Discipline and Grievances at Work
    Last edited: May 24, 2014
    Posted: May 24, 2014 By: Bob Member since: Jul 24, 2009
  3. RP Branding

    RP Branding UKBF Contributor

    66 11
    Sorry I can't be much help, I just wanted to wish you every best of luck with this case, though I'm sure you won't need it.

    Whatever the outcome, hopefully you find a new company that treats you better and gives you a more stable future for your family.

    All the best.
    Posted: May 24, 2014 By: RP Branding Member since: May 21, 2014


    48 2
    Many thanks for your help, I will post the "trumped up evidence" once the letter arrives hopefully Tuesday which by the way only gives me 24/48 hr window to prepare my case" is this legal ???.

    I bit my lip when the directors told me I nearly let it all go and call them a bunch of lying abhorrent ******** and they were setting me up, then I just thought smile and be more than courteous as they probably wanted me to go beserk to fall into their hands. The audit has been going on for a few weeks and all they could say is "may" have broken the rules and could not give me any indication or be more specific as to what I "may" have or have not done.
    Posted: May 24, 2014 By: YORKSHIREPUDDING Member since: May 24, 2014
  5. kelvin1950

    kelvin1950 UKBF Legend

    1,226 398
    I would forget about what everyone else has done or not done and just concentrate on yourself.
    Posted: May 24, 2014 By: kelvin1950 Member since: Jul 19, 2011
  6. fisicx

    fisicx Moderator
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    I don't think it is. Have you got a union rep? Even if you don't you have the right to take an advisor to any meeting to corroborate what is said.

    If they really want to get rid of you and don't manage it this time they will no doubt be keeping a very careful eye. so maybe it's time to start looking for another job anyway.
    Posted: May 24, 2014 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006


    48 2
    Hi Kelvin,

    If the meeting looks like its a set up and they are sacking me no matter what I say should I get the dirt out on other people at the very end and show them the evidence and reference it against their gross misconduct policies ??? I have evidence against the FD who is part of the ownership about him false accounting and invoicing above what the legal quotation said ?? I also have evidence that a member of staff behind the back of another called him a kiddie fiddler peedo and was like Jimmy Saville, again 6 ladies in the office all apparently made official complaints and he's still in a job because he's a drinking buddy of the MD. Also a manager sent round an email showing a cross dresser in a gimp outfit and re badges it saying it was a holiday snap of another manager who works in the same department - so this was pornographic and again breaks gross misconduct rules ??? Why would these people not face the sack ??? is it legal and fair for me to make comparisons whilst in my own disciplinary meeting ?? I want them to know I will fight till the death on this because getting the sack means me and my family could lose our home. Its one rule for one and one rule for another at the company. Could I say that the porno pictures and the jimmy Saville peedo comments upset me and I want to complain ??????? and do that in the meeting, that will then obviously shake them up.
    Posted: May 24, 2014 By: YORKSHIREPUDDING Member since: May 24, 2014


    48 2
    I think that's what they are after anyway, destroying me to force me out but I will happily sit and smile at them for the rest of my life to rub their noses in it if I carry on working there. But I do take your point, if I win then it will be hard for me to line their pockets with orders after what they are doing to me and my family, it is a total set up.

    The MD's son has been there 6 months fresh out of uni and is thick as a plank, 2 months ago he was made sales director !!!!!! he can't even log onto a computer he's that dumb !!! that's the kind of company they are.
    Posted: May 24, 2014 By: YORKSHIREPUDDING Member since: May 24, 2014
  9. fisicx

    fisicx Moderator
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    So resign and go look for another job.

    Don't under any circumstances mention the gossip and apparent gross misconduct - it's a seperate issue that isn't related to your problem.

    Get out now, if you are as good as you say you are then you should have no problem finding another job.
    Posted: May 24, 2014 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
  10. Scalloway

    Scalloway UKBF Legend

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    Keep the head and get the lie of the land at the meeting before you start firing off your accusations. It would be a surfire way for you to get sacked if you repeat them and it will be up to you to provide proof.
    Posted: May 24, 2014 By: Scalloway Member since: Jun 6, 2010
  11. paulears

    paulears UKBF Legend

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    until the meeting there's not much you can do, because you don't know the accusations that have been made, or the evidence they have. So cool it, and go to the meeting. Take a friend if you wish, and take a tape recorder or use your phone. Simply say, "this is very important, so you won't mind of I record the conversation so I can review it later, do you?" Then, listen - try not to speak at all. Let them do the work. Make notes, and then if you are calm enough, you can ask questions. Tell them that you will need a while to consider their comments and take some advice. They'll probably hope to get it sorted there and then, but you then tell them that you will consider what they've said, and they'll have your response soon. Then you go home, and consider what has happened.

    You will then have the evidence 'against you'. You can then see how severe your transgressions are and look at your contract. You might well discover you have accidentally crossed the line, and let's say this is really obvious - maybe you said something that even though you didn't mean it or even remember it, was racist, sexist or derogatory about somebody in a serious way? Did you do it? If you actually did, then is it serious to be a sackable transgression viewed from the point of view of somebody else. Did you do something you shouldn't have, even with best intentions? Did you make it difficult for somebody else? Maybe you put another member of staff in a really dodgy position? On the other hand, maybe you did something trivial that got misunderstood and you were not in the wrong. When I was a teacher in a college, I got suspended, sent home and investigated. I had no idea what I'd done. A week later it emerged at a meeting that I had made an inappropriate comment about the woman's menstrual system. I had no idea what they meant. It transpired that I told a joke about PMT. I asked which student had complained, because if I'd offended them, I hadn't meant to and I'd of course apologise. It wasn't a student, it turned out to be a colleague walking past the open door - who heard me and reported what they heard.

    I laughed. They looked mortified - the Head of this and the Manager of that amazed I was laughing. I explained I now remembered the event quite clearly - I was teaching a module called 'Variety Performance' - and the subject was comedy. Part of the deal is to show the differences between different types of comedy - and the joke telling is in the course specification. I mentioned that the week later I was scheduled to move on to adult comedy - and was planning to use a transcript of a Bernard Manning show. So I got suspended and sent home - told to sever all contact with my colleagues because I told a joke, which was an integral part of the course. The result was they said to come back to work on Monday. The students and my colleagues had been told I was ill!

    Hopefully, your fears that they want you out are just you worrying. Maybe you have done something, or your performance has been identified as lacking. Hopefully, if this is the case, you'll receive a verbal or possibly first written warning. Don't do it again, and all should blow over.

    Of course, they could have it in for you, but what changed recently? If you really are on the way out - then you need to prolong it if you can stand it, and find alternate work. It is always out there for those who really want it. If the firm are being unfair, or acting illegally, then you can use the employment law to have a tribunal look at it, or maybe even join a union if you feel it appropriate.

    However - until you find out the details, there is nothing you can do - you simply don't have the information. It's difficult, but do try to not worry. If you worry, and make yourself ill, go to your doctor immediately. They understand this kind of stress and will be able to sign you off work, and prescribe if necessary. While on sick leave, a firm are going to look very bad if they fire you - if you later go to a tribunal.

    It's hard, but wait until they call you in to present their side of things, and DO NOT jump in with both feet. Listen to the evidence, make sure it's recorded or written accurately down, and then get help considering it.

    Best of luck.
    Posted: May 24, 2014 By: paulears Member since: Jan 7, 2015
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    48 2
    Thank you for your help and comments these are really helpful and is great advice.

    There is something definitely going on, I visit on average 4 clients a week and have done for the last 11 years week in week out and have around a 68% conversion rate to winning orders from these visits. My figures for the last 11 years have been the best on the company. All of a sudden a 6 week audit takes place on all client facing staff and I am the only one who is in for the suspension on full pay because "I may" according to them have broken some company procedures.

    I am absolutely disgusted in them to put me and my family through this ordeal, I have never had a day off sick and have a clean slate. For the life of me I cannot think of anything I have said or done in the last 6 weeks to warrant this. The only evidence the company will have will have been obtained from the client which leads me to think that they have "engineered" the questions to set me up for a fall.

    I will be covertly recording the meeting via my I phone even if they refuse because I do not trust anything they say or do, but I will still ask them to fully audio record it as I need it for reference afterwards. If they refuse then again it smells of bull sh*t.

    If they evidence they have gathered is all from asking questions of the client then legally do they need to detail this and can I bring the client in for questioning as a witness, can I ring the client and ask question them over the phone to help my case ??

    If they simply say client x on x day has stated that I did this surely they must provide documented evidence to support this, I would have thought an audit will be via email ???? I do not believe an audit took place ????
    Posted: May 25, 2014 By: YORKSHIREPUDDING Member since: May 24, 2014
  13. Newchodge

    Newchodge UKBF Legend

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    You really need to focus on what is happening to you and ignore your concerns about your colleagues. Do not even consider mentioning them.

    The reason they have used the word "may" is that they cannot be seen to have made a decision prior to the investigation and hearing which will establish the facts. You mention a disciplinary hearing on Thursday. Is this a hearing or an investigation meeting? There is a huge difference between the two.

    Ask for a copy of the disciplinary policy and procedure and understand what they have to do. Come back when you have received the letter, as you will then be able to ask more focused questions.
    Posted: May 25, 2014 By: Newchodge Member since: Nov 8, 2012
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    48 2
    Hello Newchodge,

    I will not dish any dirt at all on anybody only when the need arises and you are correct I am desperate to get the letter which will explain in full what I have supposedly done and the evidence. They never said what type of meeting next Thursday would be, again it will be all in the letter. The minute that letter arrives I will post the info up on here and I would really appreciate your comments and advice.

    I just want to treat this as the company against me and nothing else, it will be bare faced facts and evidence and I will be treating as so.

    I am in the mind set of being very polite and courteous and do everything by the book and not let any emotion be shown as I am sure I can pick holes in what they are fitting me up with especially as I have already been told the audit highlighted instances when I am in front of clients which "may" have broken procedures. In these meetings there is only me and the client and nobody else so its kind of their word against mine ????????? I want to be almost robotic and sterile and deal with the bare facts only and don't get angry and stay calm. Its up to them to try and provide enough evidence to "hang me" and I want to defend myself to my last breath with this as getting fired even if it is a trumped up charge could see my family lose our home.

    Its like waiting for Christmas Day waiting for the letter and associated evidence !!!!!!!!! but I am losing sleep as its on my mind constantly, this week the kids are off school and we had trips to the coast and Alton Towers planned but we have cancelled them because we may need every penny we can should the worst happen. I cannot forgive them for what they have done especially with it affecting my family. Even if I keep my job then it will be hard for me knowing what they tried to stitch me up with, maybe that's their long term game plan wanting me to leave ??????

    I will sit tight and post the evidence when it lands.

    One question, can I call my customers in for witnesses and am I allowed to view all correspondence from their audit ??? I do not believe and audit actually happened but they said it was a selection of customer facing staff. That selection could be just 2 people !!!!!!!!! me and the MD probably who is also in on the set up/
    Posted: May 25, 2014 By: YORKSHIREPUDDING Member since: May 24, 2014
  15. Newchodge

    Newchodge UKBF Legend

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    Calling your customers as witnesses would be a really bad move as it may show your employers in a bad light to their clients and therefore of itself amount to misconduct.

    I know it is hard but for now you just have to wait and see what is in the letter. You cannot make any plan until you know what they are talking about.
    Posted: May 25, 2014 By: Newchodge Member since: Nov 8, 2012


    48 2
    Ok Newchodge I will sit tight then advise what's in the letter for your much needed advice !!, many thanks for your time and help.

    I would have thought if a customer has been making statements about me from questions posed by the company then they are an essential part of the process and I would of course need to speak to them to confirm / debunk what I am being accused of.

    Scenario could be. Dear Mr Bloggs did X our employee tell you were are an equal opportunities employer as specified in the company handbook ???? No he didn't ............Ok thank you.

    They the company accuse me of not presenting the company in a the right manner and stitch me up.

    I was clearly told my alleged offence (s) are that I have broken some sort of policy when sat in front of a client, so the only way they would know this would be evidence provided by the client.
    Posted: May 25, 2014 By: YORKSHIREPUDDING Member since: May 24, 2014
  17. fisicx

    fisicx Moderator
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    Cancelling Alton towers and the other activites was the wrong way to go. Carry on as normal and start looking for another job. This problem isn't going to go away so start planning your future elsewhere.

    You also need to be careful about posting the content of the letter on the forum. This could easily go against you. Have you arranged a union rep or employment consultant to be with you at the next meeting?

    If as you feel they really want to get rid of you then resign before you get fired.
    Posted: May 25, 2014 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006


    48 2
    Hi Fisicx,

    Reason why we cancelled our trips this week is that would be around £250 cost for those two days, if I get the sack next Thursday then I need every penny I can to pay the bills and a roof over our heads and that's the reason why. As for carrying on as normal, next Thursday they could fire me and that would be it.

    I can't resign with no job to go to as we don't have a money tree in the garden !!! a wife and kids + the house + bills all rely on me and without my wage we are in the brown stuff big time.

    If I resign I fall into their trap of exactly what they want, for 11 years I have loved my job and made many friends who I socialise with outside of work also who work there. I would rather be robototic, sterile and without emotion in the meeting next week and fight them to the death on this.

    I will be careful what I post on this forum when I get the info and the evidence against me. I will also record in secret and not mention any recording of the meeting.
    Posted: May 25, 2014 By: YORKSHIREPUDDING Member since: May 24, 2014
  19. fisicx

    fisicx Moderator
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    You can fight them all you want but if they want you out they will find a way to do so. They could make you redundant, give you impossible targets and so on.

    Have you looked for alternative employment yet?
    Have you got an employment counsellor lined up to help fight your case?

    This isn't something you can do on your own - you need professional help.
    Posted: May 25, 2014 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
  20. Merchant UK

    Merchant UK Verified Business ✔️

    2,419 593
    You seem to be good at what you do, surely you must know of a competitor of your company that you could offer your services and hopefully take you on. It appears that your company don't respect you enough to let you know for what reason your suspended and they haven't the bottle or perhaps proof to confront you direct.

    I think its time that you move on from this piss poor management team and set yourself up with a company that respects what you do. Lets face it even if you stay with them things are never going to go back to what it was and you'll feel that you have someone looking over your shoulder all the time.

    Start looking at another job NOW and start getting your CV's out there.

    As for what everyone else has done, ignore it, its not your issue and would only make more trouble with other staff, after all you want to leave on good terms with the other employees, and not be known as the one who tried to get them all into trouble, Your better than that so rise above it all.

    Sometimes it feels hard to leave a company that you have worked for for so long, but its probably the break you need to find a better more respectful position with a competitor company or even with a different type of company all together.

    Good Luck and try not to worry too much, They has suspended you on full pay, and if they get rid of you then you'll get all your pay and holiday entitlement owing so you should be safe for a couple of months at least, Plenty of time to get a new position with a company that values your knowledge.

    Last note!! If you manage to get a new job before all this gets sorted then resign immediately, let them know that you'll be leaving with immediate effect then hopefully they won't carry on with this circus.

    Good Luck
    Posted: May 25, 2014 By: Merchant UK Member since: Aug 15, 2010
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