Ladies & gents, some advice please


Book Reviewer
Today, a colleague was prevented from attending a small repatriation ceremony for two of our fallen as they return from Afghanistan. His deputy manager informed him that he could not have the time off. My colleague said, "b*lls i am going anyway", to be told if you do, you wont have a job to come back to.
This ceremoney, while not a funeral, was personal as we served in the same platoon with one of the dead on telic 6. However, my colleagues job is quite specialised, and the next place that might employ him in such a role is around 30 miles away minimum.

I dont want to name his place of work, but is there anything he can do about this (legally)? Battering the DM's teeth out with a spoon and then using spoon to force feed him would be satisfying, but might be harmful to future job prospects!


If he does get the push i am sure the papers will be intrested.
Sounds like your friend works for a company that doesn't give a darn about their employees... or maybe it's just his immediate supervisor. Either way, this is probably just the latest in a long list of issues with 'em so he needs to make a decision about his future with that firm because it's obvious they could care less about him.
First, it depends on how long he has been there. If it is more than 12 months then he has full employment protection rights.

Secondly it depends on the contract of employment. If he's casual he doesn't have a leg to stand on. If it is a perm contract then even if he has been there less than 12 months he would be entitled to his full notice period if he got the push. If he got the push for anything less than gross misconduct he would potentially have a claim through a tribunal, but usually if you are in employment for less than 12 months this would only be on the grounds of discrimination.

He could also try the grievance route, which a former employer is compelled to hear even if he has been given his P45, and it may compell his management to reinstate him.
You don't make it clear if he actually attended the service. Did he?
Are, you saying that your friend did not attend the ceremony? If so I assume that it is a non issue to management.

If he wants to make waves he should approach HR, but to what ends? It could cause more bother than it is worth. Remember, useless inefficiency is the stock in trade of all HR employees and their loyalty is to management not your mate.
What this boils down to is taking time off of work, you request holiday, its granted or it isn't. Your employer doesn't have to give you time off although for compasionate reasons it is advisable for staff moral.

If 'he' had unauthorised time off then he can be subject to the companies discipline process. This would normally involve a HR interview where both sides would be listened to before action being taken. If this is a significant event in his life then they may take his side and rebuke him rather than sack him.

I'd suggest he phones them for advice. Anything he says to them is normally confidential and they'd be able to give the companies line so that he knows where he stands. They could also back the manger as they are there to serve the company and your friend has taken unauthorised time off, therefore reducing productivity and maybe leaving a gap in the workforce for the time off he had.

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