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  1. #1
    Tincan's Avatar

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    Default Disciplinary meeting next week .

    Please can anyone advise or help re taking a witness to a disciplinary meeting ? Has anyone one done this ? How did it go ? .... Thank you in advance for any help .

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    Rohan's Avatar

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    Default Re: Disciplinary meeting next week .

    Hi,

    It's not something I know a lot about but I had one recently, I'd think it's always recommended to take someone with you.
    This was my 2nd meeting in 14 days, the first was a 'fact finding' meeting with my shift manager, I was accompanied by my Union Rep.

    I completely forgot to do something when my shift ended and this was classed as a serious security issue.
    I held my hands up and admitted to the 'offence'.

    At my disciplinary meeting I had one of my friends with me who works on the same shift.

    The meeting went the way I thought it would and my friend was allowed some input, my union rep asked after the meeting if I wanted to appeal the decision but I don't think it would be worth the hassle.

    Sorry I can't be of much help but would think getting someone to go with you would be a 'must', and good luck with your meeting.
    Last edited by Rohan; 29th November 2016 at 22:23:PM.

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    Tincan's Avatar

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    Default Re: Disciplinary meeting next week .

    Thank you Rohan for your reply ... It is not me but my OH . There has already been an investigation , where a companion was present and will be present again at the disciplinary next week .... What i am asking is if anyone has taken a witness to a disciplinary meeting . HR seem to be saying it should not happen , yet this witness has been involved in meetings / situations that are relevant to the allegations to the case .

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    Rohan's Avatar

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    Default Re: Disciplinary meeting next week .

    Hi,

    As far as I know anyone who is subject to a disciplinary has the right to be accompanied by either a work colleague or a Trade Union rep.

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    TonyG's Avatar

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    Default Re: Disciplinary meeting next week .

    From my reading of the OPs posts, they are not asking about being accompanied, they asking about witnesses being called in their defense of the allegations. A colleague or union rep are there to support the person at their disciplinary. A witness, which will probably be a colleague, would be called on by the person to give evidence at their disciplinary. The employer will have witness statements against the employee, so it is only fair that the employee should be able to defend against the allegations in any way available which may include calling on witnesses or at very least have witness statements in their support.

    Forget what HR say, especially if they have not put it in writing, in my experience HR does not have a clue about most things. Whether or not employees can call witnesses I am not sure of but I would assume if they were allowed to, they would have to inform the employer beforehand and name the witnesses. If no one can answer the question on here about witnesses, then I would suggest your OH inform their employer in writing as soon as possible that they will be calling a witness in support of their defense at the disciplinary hearing and give the employer the name of the witness. The ball is then in their court.

    If they refuse, it would have to be in writing which could be used as evidence further down the line if things go bad. If they do not reply, then make sure the witness is their for the hearing anyway, ready to be called, and inform the employer at the start of the hearing that the witness is there so that it is documented in the minutes.

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    Default Re: Disciplinary meeting next week .

    It may be worth bearing in mind that calling a witness at this stage will give the employer a heads-up on any potential evidence which may be used at a future hearing (ie ET, if applicable).
    Even if it does go that far, witness statements & other evidence should be exchanged simultaneously, so as to avoid last minute 'alterations'.
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    Default Re: Disciplinary meeting next week .

    Quote Originally Posted by charitynjw View Post
    It may be worth bearing in mind that calling a witness at this stage will give the employer a heads-up on any potential evidence which may be used at a future hearing (ie ET, if applicable).
    Even if it does go that far, witness statements & other evidence should be exchanged simultaneously, so as to avoid last minute 'alterations'.
    Does that mean the OPs OH can call a witness? HR seem to be saying 'no' about this. The OP is unsure.

    Calling a witness at this stage could also clear up certain issues and avoid disciplinary sanctions and the need to go to ET. That will all depend on what the witness discloses at the disciplinary and if the employer takes it into account. If the employer wants to sack someone, they will do that regardless of what is said at a disciplinary. If they are a reasonable employer, they will take everything into account before making a decision, so best they know as much as possible from all sources available.

    The OH should have got all evidence and statements against him with the letter to attend a disciplinary hearing so he/she can form their defence. As far as I know regarding disciplinary hearings, the OH is not required to disclose their defence until the hearing itself so he/she does not need to give the employer any witness statements or any other evidence they have prior to the hearing. Letting the employer know the name of any witnesses that will be attending simply ensures, or should do, that they allow time for the witnesses to attend and not send them off on a task at the same time as the hearing.

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    Tincan's Avatar

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    Default Re: Disciplinary meeting next week .

    Thank you TonyG & Charitynjw for your replies . Sorry i will try and clarify, O/H has been on suspension for nearly five months . The investigation was carried out via an external department who are employed by the same employer ( does that make sense ) ? Ok we have all the witness statements and the letter confirming the disciplinary date , He has had no contact with any of his colleagues other than his companion , who attended his investigation meeting and will be there also at his disciplinary . The witness who will be attending made a statement at the time of the investigation , However this person is key in several of the allegations , IE they were there , they saw , they heard etc , yet they were not asked these things at the investigation . HR i must say appear to be reasonably decent , when asked about statements /witnesses they said it is not usually the done thing , how many was he thinking of , I can't put to much here but basically his position could be seen to be putting people in a situation that could be frowned upon as coercion ....... We have also been told the deciding officer has made his decision , and that he will either tell him on the day or go away think about it then get back to him , i guess under the circumstances a witness being produced will probably be the latter . This whole situation is incredibly stressful , and all consuming it should never have got to this stage . Living in fear of losing your career should come with a health warning . May i add that when i talk of HR i mean the external , and not HR from the business , who have been less than helpful.
    Last edited by Tincan; 30th November 2016 at 12:42:PM. Reason: Needed to add

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    Default Re: Disciplinary meeting next week .

    The witness has more to say than was given in their original statement at investigation stage. As the hearing has not taken place yet, and as the company has not asked the questions you feel needed to be asked, maybe your OH could take an additional statement from the witness, ask those questions, and submit it prior to the hearing and see what happens. The company may ignore it, they may act on it, they may say it will be dealt with at the hearing, but at least it will be documented as part of the disciplinary and they can not then deny knowledge later on.

    When I talk of HR, Im referring to internal HR who I find are clueless.

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    Tincan's Avatar

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    Default Re: Disciplinary meeting next week .

    Yes Tony that is correct , they were not given the opportunity , The investigation officers questions are very leading , verging on putting words into peoples mouths in fact several statements all use the same words , two use the same sentences . You would think they had all got together colluded some might say . We have informed them both verbally and written that a witness will be in attendance , and they are ok with that , At this moment in time the " Company " have no knowledge as to what is going on all they know is the date of the disciplinary , everything is being dealt with away from them at a different location . I guess once this is over and done with , whichever way it goes the info etc will most likely end up back in the "companies hands " And a possible Gross Misconduct on O/H's record .

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    Sangie595's Avatar

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    Default Re: Disciplinary meeting next week .

    The normal process would be for your OH to submit witness statements of their own, and any witness can then be called or questioned if there is cause to do so. It's actually quite rare for witnesses themselves to actually attend unless the facts are in contention and it is felt that attending would clarify this. Witnesses, for either side, generally get called in less than 10% of the hearings I've attended.

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    Default Re: Disciplinary meeting next week .

    Are you going to record the meeting?
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    Tincan's Avatar

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    Default Re: Disciplinary meeting next week .

    Thank you for your reply Sangie595 . yes certain facts are in contention , this witness will be clarifying them . As they were actually there and witnessed what was said etc . So valid facts , and not just hearsay .

    - - - Updated - - -

    As in secret ? If so have thought about it , but not mentioned it to the O/H i doubt he would , he is to honest for his own good sometimes .

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    charitynjw's Avatar

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    Default Re: Disciplinary meeting next week .

    Quote Originally Posted by Tincan View Post
    As in secret ? If so have thought about it , but not mentioned it to the O/H i doubt he would , he is to honest for his own good sometimes .
    Covert recordings have been accepted in ET cases as admissible evidence, albeit frowned upon. (Private deliberations would probably not be allowed, though even they have been permitted if they reveal evidence of discrimination).
    I was thinking of 'up front' recording, where the employer has been forewarned of the desire to record the meeting to ensure accuracy.
    Some employers do expressly forbid this.
    You would want to review the employer's disciplinary/grievance procedures.
    CAVEAT LECTOR

    This is only my opinion - "
    Opinions are made to be changed --or how is truth to be got at?" (Byron)

    You and I do not see things as they are. We see things as we are.
    Cohen, Herb

    There is danger when a man throws his tongue into high gear before he
    gets his brain a-going.
    Phelps, C. C.

    "They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance!"
    The last words of John Sedgwick

  15. #15
    Tincan's Avatar

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    Default Re: Disciplinary meeting next week .

    Government department big no-no .

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    Sangie595's Avatar

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    Default Re: Disciplinary meeting next week .

    Very big no- no! It could be a criminal act in a government building / department.

    Just make sure that the person accompanying is making lots of notes. For a tribunal - if that is where it is heading- they would accept the validity of notes as being as accurate as the employers, if you see what I mean.

    Covert recording is something I don't recommend, but as a general principle the transcripts ( not the recordings themselves) may be advertised by a court. That's for the court to decide. But "bugging" ( recording when your are personally absent) is a very different matter. I know of only one instance where a recording was permitted when the person had left the room, and in that case the recording was not covert (the device was in the table, the panel knew about it, and forgot!) - and even then, the tribunal only accepted it because of public interest considerations. That was upheld at EAT.

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    Tincan's Avatar

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    Default Re: Disciplinary meeting next week .

    Many thanks . I do not think he will be going down the covert route . His companion is very adept at note taking , so hopefully no problems there. Hoping it does not need to go to an ET , and that somehow he can discredit ( if that is the right word ) some of these allegations with the facts , we have a minor , a serious, and a gross to deal with , at best looking to try and have the first two removed and the latter down graded . Avoiding dismissal is the aim , but even if that were to happen he could never go back to his job . We have some mitigating circumstances (2) both of which we are sure will be strong , but never having been in this place before are unsure how things will pan out .

  18. #18
    Sangie595's Avatar

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    Default Re: Disciplinary meeting next week .

    Bear in mind that mitigation is really irrelevant to the outcome, in that the employer does not have to give it any weight, and an remount tribunal must disregard it entirely.

    I don't know what has gone on here, but I agree - by bringing three allegations it's clear that the employer doesn't see him as able to return to his job. Which is not good in terms of likely outcome. Three allegations strongly suggests they are intent on getting him for one or another if not all. And I'm not saying that with any view on where the truth of these matters lies - with him or the employer. It's just that multiple allegations usually suggests a bit more than a casual approach to any disciplinary. It's more strategic.

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    Tincan's Avatar

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    Default Re: Disciplinary meeting next week .

    Indeed there is definitely strategy at play here some of the witnesses have a lot to gain from his dismissal , I wish i could post all the details ,sadly i can't , there were several allegations that the investigating officer put forward , thankfully (or not) the deciding officer discounted some , so these three remain . I never knew that about the employer not having to give it any weight , he has been told the deciding officer is a fair man , well we shall see . Deep down i know what is possibly coming and am trying to prepare myself , My O/H however thinks he has a good case . and may be moved elsewhere , it is completely soul destroying to watch a good man be crucified and possibly hung out to dry by incompetent management , In 39yrs of employment ( 4 with these ) he has never had any complaints re his style . He was brought into to change the culture of the business , it seems some do not care for such change . You can only give your view and i appreciate that i really do ....

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Disciplinary meeting next week .

    Ah. Cultural change positions can be fraught with risk. It isn't the first time I've seen "change" go down like this.

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    Tincan's Avatar

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    Default Re: Disciplinary meeting next week .

    Indeed they are .
    Last edited by Tincan; 2nd December 2016 at 20:51:PM.

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    Default Re: Disciplinary meeting next week .

    Hi just thought i would pop in for some advice if poss , Appeal was held on the 2/2 / 17 , Seemed to go well , so we are 4wks on from that and still no decision , The last 2wks have been full of we will get back to you next week , and lots of apologies ,apparently the appeal officer needs to query some points , does anyone have any knowledge of what might be going on here , I am sorry but i cannot put everything on here . I do not want to risk someone involved seeing this . They said they would be in contact today , not happened, they said they would be in contact last week , didn't happen ... The clock is ticking for submitting ACAS EC ... So stressful and difficult to know what to do .

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Disciplinary meeting next week .

    Quote Originally Posted by Tincan View Post
    Hi just thought i would pop in for some advice if poss , Appeal was held on the 2/2 / 17 , Seemed to go well , so we are 4wks on from that and still no decision , The last 2wks have been full of we will get back to you next week , and lots of apologies ,apparently the appeal officer needs to query some points , does anyone have any knowledge of what might be going on here , I am sorry but i cannot put everything on here . I do not want to risk someone involved seeing this . They said they would be in contact today , not happened, they said they would be in contact last week , didn't happen ... The clock is ticking for submitting ACAS EC ... So stressful and difficult to know what to do .
    I am obviously guessing, but in my experience delays come down to one of two things - the hearing officers have gone off sick, or they don't agree with the finding and are trying to work something out.

    If you haven't started drafting the claim, start. You don't have to wait for a response before submission.

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    Tincan's Avatar

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    Default Re: Disciplinary meeting next week .

    Thank you Sangie595 for your reply , Trying to stay positive here and would like to think it is the latter reason , As the appeal officer agreed things were not quite right throughout the process ... Re the drafting of a claim , nervous about this , have e-mailed them and CC'd all involved yet again tonight asking (politely ) for an answer . As for drafting the claim we have been doing this ready to submit . Many thanks again for your response .

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