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Thread: Harassed by Managers whilst of work sick (NPower)

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    Default Harassed by Managers whilst of work sick (NPower)

    Hi all,

    My girlfriend has worked at NPower for approx 3 and a half years as a Customer Services Rep (call center worker).

    Mainly, due to work related stress, she went on the sick in early February. I dont want to go in to too much detail as i dont want to chance disclosing her ID, but she has valid and genuine reasons for being off work.

    Since she went on the sick she has recieved phone calls at least once a week from her Immediate Manager and other Managers. Supposedly to ask how she is. The conversation has ALWAYS ended with them questioning when she will return to work.

    She has already been asked to go in to work once for a so called 'Welfare Meeting', but she is now being pestered to go in once again (she only had the welfare meeting 3 weeks ago), this time they are saying that when she was last there they forgot to get her to fill in some paperwork.

    Her Operations Manager has made it perfectly clear in telephone conversation today, that he is trying to force her back to work, stipulating that he is aiming to set a date for her to return asap.

    When she went for this Welfare Meeting 3 weeks ago, her immediate manager tried to force her to go on to the shop floor and 'socialise' with her colleagues, she is now being told that they intend to do the same IF she goes in to fill in this paperwork. ( I say IF because ive told her she doesnt have to do anything she doesnt want to).

    They have also informed her that she has to see the Occupational Health Nurse and the Company Doctor.


    My questions are,

    How often can her employer demand she attend work for a 'Welfare Meeting'?

    Is it acceptable for an employer to phone someone who is off work sick on a weekly basis (at least once a week)?

    Can the company force her to see the occupational health nurse and company doctor? (I dont see why she should have to when she is already seeing her own GP to have the issues addressed).

    She is becoming increasingly worried and frustrated with them as they have told her that she is to be disciplined for being off when she returns.

    She has also recieved a text message from a colleague informing her that her immediate manager has been discussing her absence and conversations with her work mates.

    I want to compose a letter for her to forward on to her employer, informing them that unless they back off we will take legal action against them.

    They dont seem to understand that by constantly harassing her and telling her she is to be disciplined is having the oppisite effect of what they want.

    She is now looking for another job as she is worried they will make life difficult for her should she return. I believe this would be the case aswell. Imo, they will be scrutinising her every move trying to find reasons to discipline her, ultimately with a view to sack her.

    I know of more than one case where NPower have done this to others.

    Any advice or help draughting a letter would be much appreciated.

    Thanks

    pfuk
    Last edited by pinkfloydianuk; 18th April 2012 at 19:52:PM. Reason: spelling mistakes
    ALL COMMENTS OR SUGGESTIONS MADE ARE BASED ON MY OWN EXPERIENCES AND OPINIONS, IF IN DOUBT SEEK ADVICE FROM A QUALIFIED LEGAL PROFESSIONAL.

    IF YOU LIKE WHAT YOU READ DON'T FORGET TO GIVE ME SOME THANKS AND REP.

    ANY PRIVATE MESSAGES DEEMED TO BE NON SUBJECT RELATED, DEROGATORY OR INSULTING WILL BE REPORTED.

    pinkfloydianuk

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    Default Re: Harassed by Managers whilst of work sick (NPower)

    I'm not sure if they are allowed to chase her like they are, personally I'd think the best thing is for her to talk to Human Resources, such a big company like that must have an HR Dept.
    POLITE NOTICE: FOR YOUR PROTECTION AND MINE I DO NOT GIVE ADVICE VIA PRIVATE MESSAGE, ANY ADVICE I MAY GIVE IS DONE FREELY AND WITHOUT LIABILITY, IF YOU HAVE ANY DOUBTS, PLEASE CONSULT A FULLY QUALIFIED AND INSURED PROFESSIONAL.

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    Default Re: Harassed by Managers whilst of work sick (NPower)

    She has tried speaking to the HR rep for her dept.

    Her manager informed her that if she has any HR 'issues' then she has to take them up with this rep.

    Quite frankly HR for this company are about as much use as an ashtray on a motor bike.

    I genuinly believe that the only way they will back off is to recieve something threatening via mail.
    ALL COMMENTS OR SUGGESTIONS MADE ARE BASED ON MY OWN EXPERIENCES AND OPINIONS, IF IN DOUBT SEEK ADVICE FROM A QUALIFIED LEGAL PROFESSIONAL.

    IF YOU LIKE WHAT YOU READ DON'T FORGET TO GIVE ME SOME THANKS AND REP.

    ANY PRIVATE MESSAGES DEEMED TO BE NON SUBJECT RELATED, DEROGATORY OR INSULTING WILL BE REPORTED.

    pinkfloydianuk

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    Default Re: Harassed by Managers whilst of work sick (NPower)

    Thats awful, I hope someone with better info will pop along soon, in the meantime you might find some help on the ACAS site.
    POLITE NOTICE: FOR YOUR PROTECTION AND MINE I DO NOT GIVE ADVICE VIA PRIVATE MESSAGE, ANY ADVICE I MAY GIVE IS DONE FREELY AND WITHOUT LIABILITY, IF YOU HAVE ANY DOUBTS, PLEASE CONSULT A FULLY QUALIFIED AND INSURED PROFESSIONAL.

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    Default Re: Harassed by Managers whilst of work sick (NPower)

    POLITE NOTICE: FOR YOUR PROTECTION AND MINE I DO NOT GIVE ADVICE VIA PRIVATE MESSAGE, ANY ADVICE I MAY GIVE IS DONE FREELY AND WITHOUT LIABILITY, IF YOU HAVE ANY DOUBTS, PLEASE CONSULT A FULLY QUALIFIED AND INSURED PROFESSIONAL.

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    Default Re: Harassed by Managers whilst of work sick (NPower)

    Quote Originally Posted by sapphire View Post

    Thats excellent Sapphy, thank you.

    pfuk
    ALL COMMENTS OR SUGGESTIONS MADE ARE BASED ON MY OWN EXPERIENCES AND OPINIONS, IF IN DOUBT SEEK ADVICE FROM A QUALIFIED LEGAL PROFESSIONAL.

    IF YOU LIKE WHAT YOU READ DON'T FORGET TO GIVE ME SOME THANKS AND REP.

    ANY PRIVATE MESSAGES DEEMED TO BE NON SUBJECT RELATED, DEROGATORY OR INSULTING WILL BE REPORTED.

    pinkfloydianuk

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    Default Re: Harassed by Managers whilst of work sick (NPower)

    Just popping in to let you know i will make a full post in the morning advising you what to do next - Thats if someone doesn't beat me to it!

    So far what Sapphire has posted is correct, but theres more that you need to do to ensure the employer, or manager in this case, understands the seriousness of their actions!
    Please note that this advice is given informally, without liability and without prejudice. Always seek the advice of an insured qualified professional. All my legal and nonlegal knowledge comes from either here (LB),my own personal research and experience and/or as the result of necessity as an Employer and Businessman.

    By using my advice in any form, you agreed to waive all rights to hold myself or any persons representing myself of any liability.

    If you PM me, make sure to include a link to your thread as I don't give out advice in private. All PMs that are sent in missuse (including but not limited to phishing, spam) of the PM application and/or PMs that are threatening or abusive will be reported to the Site Team and if necessary to the police and/or relevant Authority.

    I AM SO GOING TO GET BANNED BY CEL FOR POSTING terrible humour POSTS.

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    Default Re: Harassed by Managers whilst of work sick (NPower)

    Thanks Teaboy, we look forward to your response

    Regards

    pfuk
    ALL COMMENTS OR SUGGESTIONS MADE ARE BASED ON MY OWN EXPERIENCES AND OPINIONS, IF IN DOUBT SEEK ADVICE FROM A QUALIFIED LEGAL PROFESSIONAL.

    IF YOU LIKE WHAT YOU READ DON'T FORGET TO GIVE ME SOME THANKS AND REP.

    ANY PRIVATE MESSAGES DEEMED TO BE NON SUBJECT RELATED, DEROGATORY OR INSULTING WILL BE REPORTED.

    pinkfloydianuk

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    Default Re: Harassed by Managers whilst of work sick (NPower)

    An employer can seek an occupational health assessment, as this is in compliance with their obligations under Regulation 3, Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. As for the manager blatantly admitting he is trying to force her back to work against the advice of a medical professional, my question to him would be, "Do you like working here? Because if you carry on like that, you won't be for much longer." The prat is in breach of Section 2, Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 (Failing to Ensure A Safe Working Environment and Exposing An Employee to Unnecessary Stress) and could face prosecution, along with the company, if NPower's senior management do not get a grip on him pretty damn quick. For an employer to ignore the advice of a medical professional is serious.

    Turning to the threats of disciplinary action for being off sick, Sapphy's advice to contact ACAS is a must. There is also a piece of legislation called the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 which can be used to considerable effect to deal with this sort of thing. There is case law in the form of Mjrowski -v- Guys & St Thomas's NHS Trust 2005 which makes an employer vicariously-liable for any conduct which amounts to bullying or harassment of an employee by another employee. This certainly appears to be the case hear.

    I've been on the receiving end of similar behaviour in my last job before FM made life a bit more difficult so I can empathise with your OH.
    Life is a journey on which we all travel, sometimes together, but never alone.

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    Default Re: Harassed by Managers whilst of work sick (NPower)

    Hi pfuk,

    Re disability due to stress, what they look for is how it affects day-to day activities.

    So, any evidence of 'normal' activities will be detrimental to a disability claim.

    Using public transport, shopping, even going alone to a meeting with the employer, especially if the employee is lucid & rational, can (& has, believe me!) been used as evidence of little, if no, affect of stress on activity.

    Nowadays, if it were me, I'd even suggest (not too obvious, though), in written communications, that help was needed to compose the letter.

    Just a word to the wise.

    EDIT
    Lol - forgot to include this http://www.parkcourtchambers.co.uk/s...0at%20Work.pdf
    Last edited by charitynjw; 18th April 2012 at 23:14:PM.
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    Default Re: Harassed by Managers whilst of work sick (NPower)

    Hello and welcome pinkfloydianuk

    Sorry to hear about your girlfriend's problems.
    Can you tell us, is there anything specific within her role that is causing this stress?
    Shadowcat.

    Please note that any advice given by me is given strictly ex gratia, meaning it has been done voluntarily, out of kindness or grace.

    It is not legal advice but solely the passing on of ideas and knowledge that is in the public domain.

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    Default Re: Harassed by Managers whilst of work sick (NPower)

    Right first of all Pfuk welcome to LB.

    What your partner needs to do, or better still you need to do this for her is write a formal letter of grievance on her behalf and signed by you and counter signed by her.

    Entitled the letter "Formal Grievance Letter"

    In the first paragraph, detail the events that have been taking place and who has been behind those events and also details the effect this is happen on your partner.

    In paragraph two, state that the managers contact with your partner is now deemed as harassment under the protection from harassment act 1997 and also that trying to force someone to return to work, by regularly asking when they will return or under threat of disciplinary action/procedures if they do not return is not only a breach of Section 2, Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 (Failing to Ensure A Safe Working Environment and Exposing An Employee to Unnecessary Stress) (As pointed out by Blue Bottle) the same applies for attempting to force her on to the shop floor when she attended a so called welfare meeting, also outline that the managers attempt to force your partner back into work when it is evident she is suffering from work related stress which is recognised under the equlity act 2010 as a mental impairment, and whilst she was signed off sick by a medical professional who diaganosed her condition and the cause, then they are also in clear breach of the equality act 2010 and their actions therefore amount to disability discimination!

    In the third paragraph state that "I (enter full name) as the husband/boyfriend/wife/Girlfriend of Mrs/miss (enter full name) have wrote this letter on Mrs/Miss behalf as she is not in the right frame of mind to be able to write this herself due to all the additional stress the actions of your company (her employers) have had on her. Which have only served to worsen her condition. I also can confirm, that she will not be attending any further welfare meetings as a result of the managers action, and if the manager truely has any forms that need filling him, he is to send them to us by post where we will then complete them and return them by post.

    Signed (Your signiture and name)

    On and for the behalf of Mrs/miss (Surname)



    I Mrs/Miss (surnamen) hereby authorised the above named person to right this letter on my behalf, as such this letter is to be treated as though it was written by myself. As such (Employer name) is to commence greivance procedures against the employees named in the above letter for the stated actions. Signed_____________ Date___________"


    Then post it to them by recorded post. If the call your partner in the mean time state a letter of formal grievance is in the post and you will not be communicating with them over the telephone and all communication is to be in writing only - Though you may wish to state that in the letter too as the last paragraph.
    Please note that this advice is given informally, without liability and without prejudice. Always seek the advice of an insured qualified professional. All my legal and nonlegal knowledge comes from either here (LB),my own personal research and experience and/or as the result of necessity as an Employer and Businessman.

    By using my advice in any form, you agreed to waive all rights to hold myself or any persons representing myself of any liability.

    If you PM me, make sure to include a link to your thread as I don't give out advice in private. All PMs that are sent in missuse (including but not limited to phishing, spam) of the PM application and/or PMs that are threatening or abusive will be reported to the Site Team and if necessary to the police and/or relevant Authority.

    I AM SO GOING TO GET BANNED BY CEL FOR POSTING terrible humour POSTS.

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    Default Re: Harassed by Managers whilst of work sick (NPower)

    I can sympathise with you and your girlfriend, N-Power isnt the only company to do this
    My son works at Sainsburys, and has a broken rib, [on the mend now] but the manager asked him to go into work, as the rib is pressing on his lung he was advised to not lift or do any strenuous work,
    The manager said other people come into work, and people have seen you walking about, [he has obviously had to get more painkillers etc,
    He said my rib is broken, not my legs
    Also if they are off sick more than once they dont get any bonus due, and get called in for a TALK when they go back.
    This is disgusting how workers are treated when they have a genuine illness

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    Default Re: Harassed by Managers whilst of work sick (NPower)

    Hi Val

    Whilst your sons manager is out of order (some people don't know what common sense is even if it hits them in the face!)

    The "TALK" when they return to work is standard procedure for the majority of companies, its more commonly known as a "Back to Work Review". These can be done either by informal chat or by formal meeting with direct manager and/or HR. Basically its for the company to see the employee to make sure they are fit and well enought o return to work and if their is any on going concerns with regards to the employees health that maybe worsen by certain parts of their job, such as heavy lifting. Basically the return to work review is part of the employer duty of care to the employee. Though some do abuse this and use it to apply unwarranted preassure on the employee or issue warnings if they take anymore time off.
    Please note that this advice is given informally, without liability and without prejudice. Always seek the advice of an insured qualified professional. All my legal and nonlegal knowledge comes from either here (LB),my own personal research and experience and/or as the result of necessity as an Employer and Businessman.

    By using my advice in any form, you agreed to waive all rights to hold myself or any persons representing myself of any liability.

    If you PM me, make sure to include a link to your thread as I don't give out advice in private. All PMs that are sent in missuse (including but not limited to phishing, spam) of the PM application and/or PMs that are threatening or abusive will be reported to the Site Team and if necessary to the police and/or relevant Authority.

    I AM SO GOING TO GET BANNED BY CEL FOR POSTING terrible humour POSTS.

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    Default Re: Harassed by Managers whilst of work sick (NPower)

    I can confirm what Teaboy has said.

    The back to work meeting is standard practise, its normally to ensure that the worker has everything they need to return to work without any further injury etc.
    In cases such as your sons Val, they may go through the accident report if your sons injury was at work, or show him the copies of doctors notes etc, its to cover both backs.

    Some places do double up as a "interveiw" with threats and warnings about further illness, your son is within his rights to call a halt to the proceedings and demand the meeting to be rescheduled when he has someone (legal rep, union rep etc) present. Also if your told he cant be in a union its crap.. totally illegal for the company to say that! (this also is the case for the OP's partner)

    Health and Safety also denote that there may be the need for a risk assesment (dependant on the nature of the absence) accidents etc its most likely.. as well as pregnancy ladies.. yes you need a risk assesment if your preggers! Employers are well within their rights to request one.


    Past The Rainbow, North of the North Star

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    Default Re: Harassed by Managers whilst of work sick (NPower)

    I understand what the meeting is supposed to be for, but some have been very unpleasant, not just my sons meetings,and as far as i know NOTHING has ever been mentioned about how they are feeling or whether they are fit to go back to work, they are more like you have been off for too long,
    My son has had a representative there with him before,and has also been there for someone who was more or less being bullied , to stand up for her

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    Default Re: Harassed by Managers whilst of work sick (NPower)

    yeh its a typical thing in a "return to work". make you feel like crap so you return quicker!

    Returning workers are legally allowed to state they feel pressurised by the interviewer and ask for someone else to do it. As for calling you, i have checked, according to a friend who is a manager in a call centre, the company are allowed to call you once per week in line with their chain of care policy, this should be only to ask how the worker is feeling and if they have a return date as yet, if this is said to be ongoing, they should accept that and concerntrate on the wellbeing of the worker.

    They are also, after a period of time (3months i think) entitled to request a visit at home, but not if you are recieving treatments such as chemotherapy, blood transfusions (any illness that gives you a low immunity.) They are also not permitted to visit a hopsital.

    Hope this helps a bit


    Past The Rainbow, North of the North Star

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    Default Re: Harassed by Managers whilst of work sick (NPower)

    Hi everyone,

    Thanks for all of your help. I wrote a letter today and sent it via recorded.

    Unfortunately my Girlfriend took a turn for the worse on Thursday, she collapsed whilst at home with our two kids aged 8 and 3, luckily my stepson (the 8 yr old) was off school with chicken pox. He tried to wake her but when he couldnt, he ran to a neighbour for help.

    Her blood sugar had dropped to 4.1. Her GP is putting it down to stress and wrote clearly on her medical certificate 'work related stress and low mood'.

    That was the final straw with NPower. I rang their HR from the hospital waiting room and gave them a right mouth full.

    Can you believe her asshole Manager rang my girlfriend again on Friday!?

    Unfortunately my Girlfriend now feels that she cant return to work as they will be scrutinising her every move in a ploy to sack her. Ive heard of them doing this to others before.

    pfuk
    ALL COMMENTS OR SUGGESTIONS MADE ARE BASED ON MY OWN EXPERIENCES AND OPINIONS, IF IN DOUBT SEEK ADVICE FROM A QUALIFIED LEGAL PROFESSIONAL.

    IF YOU LIKE WHAT YOU READ DON'T FORGET TO GIVE ME SOME THANKS AND REP.

    ANY PRIVATE MESSAGES DEEMED TO BE NON SUBJECT RELATED, DEROGATORY OR INSULTING WILL BE REPORTED.

    pinkfloydianuk

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    Default Re: Harassed by Managers whilst of work sick (NPower)

    Poor love, i feel for her, this is sheer , I would suggest that she contacts legal advice asap, if she is in a union to contact th, if not and she works in a call centre i suggest she contacts CWU asap.

    I would definatly be looking to take them to a tribunal as the pressure on the poor love is unfair, and a box of chocolates will both raise her blood sugars and mood

    i think i have the number for the CWU somewhere, i used to be a member when i worked in a call centre.


    Past The Rainbow, North of the North Star

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    Default Re: Harassed by Managers whilst of work sick (NPower)



    Past The Rainbow, North of the North Star

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    Default Re: Harassed by Managers whilst of work sick (NPower)

    Find out who the CEO is of NPower and complain directly to him/her, and say that you wonder how they would like it if the story hit the papers, that will concentrate their minds on the problem and I bet you penny to a pound of poo that her manager will be in serious trouble. Oh and mention that you're also in touch with ACAS, CWU, Legal Beagles, uncle tom cobbly and all.
    POLITE NOTICE: FOR YOUR PROTECTION AND MINE I DO NOT GIVE ADVICE VIA PRIVATE MESSAGE, ANY ADVICE I MAY GIVE IS DONE FREELY AND WITHOUT LIABILITY, IF YOU HAVE ANY DOUBTS, PLEASE CONSULT A FULLY QUALIFIED AND INSURED PROFESSIONAL.

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    Default Re: Harassed by Managers whilst of work sick (NPower)

    Quote Originally Posted by puffrose View Post
    I have a feeling Militant is a health and safety rep for the CWU. I'll PM him and get him to look at this thread.
    Life is a journey on which we all travel, sometimes together, but never alone.

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    Default Re: Harassed by Managers whilst of work sick (NPower)

    Quote Originally Posted by pinkfloydianuk View Post
    Hi everyone,

    Thanks for all of your help. I wrote a letter today and sent it via recorded.

    Unfortunately my Girlfriend took a turn for the worse on Thursday, she collapsed whilst at home with our two kids aged 8 and 3, luckily my stepson (the 8 yr old) was off school with chicken pox. He tried to wake her but when he couldnt, he ran to a neighbour for help.

    Her blood sugar had dropped to 4.1. Her GP is putting it down to stress and wrote clearly on her medical certificate 'work related stress and low mood'.

    That was the final straw with NPower. I rang their HR from the hospital waiting room and gave them a right mouth full.

    Can you believe her asshole Manager rang my girlfriend again on Friday!?

    Unfortunately my Girlfriend now feels that she cant return to work as they will be scrutinising her every move in a ploy to sack her. Ive heard of them doing this to others before.

    pfuk
    I am very concerned about the way your OH is being treated by NPower and the effect it is having on her health. It is clearly evident, from what you say in your posts, that there is a culture of bullying and harassment at NPower. This needs to be dealt with quickly before it has a serious effect on your OH's health. As well as asking Militant, who is a health and safety rep for the CWU, to take a look at this thread, I feel you need to speak to the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and ask their guidance on this. In all probability, NPower and the manager are in breach of Section 2, Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 and the manager is in breach of Section 7 of the Act, also. Please be aware that the HSE may refer you to one of their inspectorates or the Health & Safety inspectors at your local council's Environmental Health Department, if call centres fall under the heading of "office premises".
    Life is a journey on which we all travel, sometimes together, but never alone.

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    Default Re: Harassed by Managers whilst of work sick (NPower)

    ty bb


    Past The Rainbow, North of the North Star

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    Default Re: Harassed by Managers whilst of work sick (NPower)

    i have just been notified on this thread and i am here to help.

    have you contacted your union, (you dont have to be in it) and asked for advice

    i can do it on your behalf if you want me to.

    i and a certificated branch official through the central arbitration committee and what you say stays with me

    this whole thread on the way you have been treated and is an outrage. it is performance management gone mad

    has npower sent you for an occupational health assessmant yet, if not then they have no legal right to badger you over this, your own GP sets precedance

    vacarious liability is starting to come into play now me thinks

    please answer my questions the best you can
    Last edited by miliitant; 26th April 2012 at 17:25:PM.

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