Help please

Discussion in 'Army Pay, Claims & JPA' started by archer, Nov 5, 2004.

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  1. Not service related but your thoughts and advice please.

    2 weeks ago I was given 30 minutes warning to attend a meeting with my department head.

    I went into that meeting expecting to discuss day to day work but the entire meeting was about my attendance at Jury Service and how the time had been allocated.

    Based on my answers I now face a disiplinary hearing to discuss my absence and misuse of company time.- (They dispute the definitions of release and standby.)


    Was/should I claim this was a Disiplinary Interview?

    The hearing is based on this meeting.
    Just my manager and I were present,
    No other topic was discussed,

    If yes should I have been given prior , written warning- or at the least verbal before the meeting started?

    If yes what sections of Employment Laws have been breached?

  2. Archer, you should have at least been told exactly what the meeting was about. You went in ill prepared (something similar happened to me). Judging by your answers and the fact you now face a disciplinary hearing I suggest you approach a union rep (if you have one) or someone neutral to attend the meeting with you (HR department?), to take notes and to be a witness. However that meeting goes, there are plenty of employment solicitors out there who do the 'first hour free' interview. An email or fax first mapping out the history and they should be able to give excellent advice and you'll have had a witness who can votch for what happened in the meeting. I used one a few years back when I was told I was moving within the company and then got binned. I got three months pay and I was working again within a month just on the wave of a solicitors letter to the boss!
  3. I suggest you get your employee handbook out, and check out the discipline and grievience procedure.

    also i would get the facts on the jury service and your obligations when not required to be in attendance at court.

    Find out if anybody else has been on jury service from your work, if they reported for work whilst "not on duty" etc.

    it may prove difficult to prove the meeting as a disciplinary interview, but you could try that one, if there are no notes of the meeting, it is word against word.

    How long ago was the jury service commitment compared to this discipline action?.

    check out the acas and dti sites for more employment law.
  4. ViroBono

    ViroBono LE Moderator

    It will be difficult for you to prove that this was a disciplinary meeting. I would advise you to make your own notes, as soon as possible, of that meeting. This may come in useful at the hearing, to show that your line manager tried to wrong-foot you at the outset.

    The other advice given is good.

    It may be as well to consider that there may be a hidden agenda - are the company trying to find reasons for binning people, or does your line manager dislike you for some reason? In my experience (I've accompanied people of discip hearings), line managers sometimes bring spurious discip cases in order to demonstrate to their boss that they are managing effectively, especially if they have been criticised recently. Forewarned is forearmed.
  5. Excellent points! I've witnessed this before.
  6. Depending on the time lapse between the jury service and the initial interview, it sounds more like a "return to work" interview rather than a disciplinary interview.

    The previous advice is all good, especially about checking out your company discipline and grievance procedures and looking for the hidden agenda. If you have a decent HR department, especially any staff there with CIPD qualifications (GradCIPD, MCIPD or FCIPD), then they should be up to speed on the statuatory and regulatory requirements. If you are a union member, see your rep but also call the union helpline for free legal advice.