Can my Boss prohibit me from talking to a colleague whos suspended?

Discussion in 'Finance, Property, Law' started by Sinner251, Aug 26, 2010.

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  1. Basically my question is in the thread title.
    Arrived in work to find my mate has been suspended (No idea what the allegations are, Boss isn't saying so need to speak to the lad concerned), area manager then informed us no one is to talk to him until his investigation was completed.
    Can my boss do this? I have worked with my mate for three years but known him as a friend for eight years.
    Can I tell my boss he's over stepped his authority?
    • Show again braincell Show again braincell x 1
  2. Prohibit? No. Could it be a disciplinary offence to ignore him? Yes - in fact, almost certainly.

    Boss shouldn't tell you what the allegations are (DPA98 s2(g)).

    Your employer has no right to deny your freedom of association (ECHR Article 11) but, unless they are the govt, they aren't actually legally bound not to discriminate against you for employing it.

    It could have probably been worded better - xxx is suspended while we investigate a complaint. Please don't ... otherwise we may have to take disciplinary action .. regardless of whether they are ...
  3. Thanks, Mmmm may use the Yoomun rites innit bruv angle.
  4. msr

    msr LE

    Can't stop you bumping into him in the street and him spilling (spinning?) the story.

  5. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    If he's a friend of yours and you regularly see each other outside of work, then you can carry on.

    What the specific reason of the ruling at work is for is that you do not discuss any work-related issues, specifically, why he's been suspended.

    Usually in situations like this, it's for theft or fraud.
  6. A good starting point might be what you do and what your diciplinary code says? If you are unionised a good port of call is your local rep. The cynic in me says how will your boss know?
  7. Sounds like a complaint has been made against your colleague about something, and the boss wants to get people's stories investigated before taking any further action.

    Rather than risk having the integrity of those accounts be compromised, he's asked people to not talk to the suspended employee in the meantime.

    Whilst I understand the reasoning behind it, I think it's impossible for him to actually prevent you talking to someone, however, in a desperate arse covering exercise by your mate at some hypothetical future date, your buddy could spill that you got in contact. This could have nasty repurcussions not necessarily from a disciplinary perspective for yourself but from the viewpoint that your boss now thinks (rightly in this instance) that you can't be trusted to act like an adult and let him continue with the standard investigation.

    I'd shy away to cover my own arse for now, it's probably only a short period of time anyway. If you do bump into him/her/it socially try to steer away from work conversations. Bring up football for example 'don't you think man city are great now, i'm going to start supporting them' is always a good way to get a loud and angry response that will be unrelated to work activities :D
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  8. Cheers guys, its been let slip that its a "Very Serious" allegation by the female cleaners. Police may be coming involved and my mate has disappeared. His wife is going mental and had no idea he had been suspended. So if I do bump into him I'll set my phone recording to cover myself.
    A couple of us at work are looking for him to make sure hes ok. Boss has been told and agreed we can try and find him as his wife and kid are now involved.
    Thanks for your input.
  9. Make sure the storm drains are your first port of call.
  10. Lobster being as he's an emotionally retarded Steroid abuser the thought had crossed my mind, but he's turned up at his Mothers. ( The fooking big Jessy)
  11. I thought Raoul Moat was dead?:)
  12. Glad that he's shown up. My views about keeping at a slightly discrete distance still stand though, particularly in light of the words 'serious' and 'police' used in your recent post. Whenever plod gets involved because of something that's happened at work it's normally a good time to give gentle support but cover your arse. Good luck with it.
  13. If he is a good friend become his 'McKenzieman' (work place collegue) and assist and support him with his work problems, i.e. collect from your employers on his behalf copies of the terms and conditions of employment, rule book etc.

    Your employer can not prevent you from doing this and are in breech of employment law if they try. (Remember your friend is innocent of any criminal offence until proved guilty in a court of law).

    If your friend is dismissed for an alleged work place incident then he has the right to appeal via the company disciplinary rules/employment law and may be able to take the matter to the Employment Tribunial, seek advice from a solicitor or CAB now.

    Both of you keep a records of incidents where the management have made threat, given warning to not to communicate etc, as it can be useful if your friend goes to the Employment Tribinial later.

    The reference to a Police investigation is sometimes used by management as a bluff to make the alledged problem sound worse than it really is and to prevent members of the work force becoming involved and supporting him.

    Advise your friend to have legal representation at all times he speaks to the Police, and advise him to have a work place collegue (i.e. you or a trade union rep etc) present taking notes when ever he speaks to management concerning this problem. Tell him to keep a detailed log of events.

    One of the questions I would be asking is why does the cleaner know of the details etc? who told her etc? All employment disclipinary investigations should be confidenial.

    If you do support you friend in this way be advised you may not be popular with the management. I know from first hand experience.
  14. DB216LOKDVR its the cleaners that have made the allegation against my colleague. I found that out by accidently(cough) reveiwing the office cctv which has sound. Supposed to be turned off for confidential meetings. Or that section of footage can be put into a secured folder on the hardrive to prevent nosey bastards (I'm one I know got a t-shirt saying let me see I'm a nosey bastard) from seeing it.
    I accidently (cough) found it while checking the door access logs against the camera footage, a routine check. Not my fault if the boss is too thick to follow the rules. On realising what it was I bookmarked it and emailed the boss so he can secure it when he returns on Tuesday.
    Still don't know exactly what the allegation are though.
  15. I'd have taken FSNb's advice at 10:31, given the potential outcomes of this situation.