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Dismissing a short service Employee -

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  • Dismissing a short service Employee -

    We have an employee who is less than 2 years service.

    There are several performance related issues with this Employee over the past several months so planning to hold a disciplinary hearing. Examples are around:
    -Lack of attention to detail
    -Keeping files up to date
    -Payroll errors
    -Failure to follow reasonable management instructions
    - Accurate reporting
    Etc.

    There are around 30 supporting evidence documents to back this up.

    The outcome we want is to dismiss her.

    Ordinarily this would be a straight forward case. However she has recently applied for flexible working due to Childcare reasons which has been rejected by the Company.

    There is also some indication that she may raise a grievance against her line manager who has raised the performance related issues.

    Im reaching out to this forum to get some EL advice on this as I believe that we have grounds to dismiss her however i would like to get some opinions.

    My question to the experts is what would be the best strategy to dismiss her and what are the pros and cons?
    Tags: None

  • #2
    Can i ask what were the reasons why you rejected the flexible working request?
    How long has the person actually worked for you?
    Are the issues you have identified recent, or have you had previous issues with her performance and if so has there been any informal discussion with her about them.
    I do my best to provide good practical advice, however I do so without liability.
    If you have any doubts then do please seek professional legal advice.


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    You are braver than you believe, smarter than you think and stronger than you seem.



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    • #3
      Hi Ula, She asked if she could WFH 3 days a week due to childcare issues. It was rejected due to the following reasons. This is a retail business and she is office based.

      1. Her line manager (director) is field based so there are no fixed days he would come to the office. It would be unreasonable to expect him to work his schedule around her being 2 days in office.

      2. Due to Covid retail is in a crisis situation so need more hands on support for documents. Stores are losing money and many still on Furlough.

      3. Her role involves printing, filing and scanning documents which requires her to be in the office to do this.

      These are just some reasons.

      Since this rejection she has been coming into the office for the last 3-4 weeks and has not raised anything about this

      She has been there less than 2 years r(18 months).

      Yes, the line manager did raise an issue with some manuals that were not done properly. He had to call in a colleague to be a witness to this discussion. This has led to pulling together other errors and mistakes over the past 3 to 5 months.

      The manager has increasingly found it difficult to work with her and tried to give her a chance but its not sustainable anymore.

      ​​​​​​​I hope this is enough info to give some further advice.

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi thanks for the further information which is really helpful. I have also moved your thread to a more relevant area of our forum.

        The reasons for rejecting the flexible working request seems to be based on solid business reasons. It is also helpful that her manager has picked her up on issues in the past.

        If you are going to do anything then you need to do it soon given that if she has one months notice that could arguably tip her over the two years service, so to be on the safe side I always suggest 23 months being the cut off.

        Since she has less than two years service you can "fairly" dismiss, I would suggest given her length of service i.e. not just a few months that you do this via a disciplinary meeting. You would need to set out the allegations with all the documentary evidence, it could not be her manager that conducts this meeting, it must be someone neutral, you need to give her time to prepare so not 24/48 hours notice to attend the meeting, allow her to be accompanied by a colleague or union rep and let her know the potential outcome which in this case would be dismissal.

        However you decide to proceed her course of action would be firstly to appeal as she should exhaust any internal procedure and then if she wanted to pursue the matter she would only be able to do so on the basis she argues some form of discrimination or other criteria which are not covered by the two year service and can be brought at any length of service. Below is a link to how these are defined.

        https://www.gov.uk/dismiss-staff/unfair-dismissals

        I hope this helps but please just come back to this thread if you have any more questions.

        I do my best to provide good practical advice, however I do so without liability.
        If you have any doubts then do please seek professional legal advice.


        You canít always stop the waves but you can learn to surf.

        You are braver than you believe, smarter than you think and stronger than you seem.



        If we have helped you we'd appreciate it if you can leave a review on our Trust Pilot page

        Comment


        • #5
          Thank you Ula,
          We already issued her with a disciplinary hearing letter with all the supporting documents a week ago which would be chaired by someone impartial. At the time she said that she needed more time and also that she may want to raise a grievance against her line manager.

          She still has not raised any formal grievances.

          Can you please advise what grounds she could potentially raise her grievances on? And what evidence would she need to provide?

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi Ula, just checking you received my reply?

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi sorry since we are all volunteers we are not always immediately available.

              Can you let me know the date you sent her the letter and the date you had set for the meeting please?
              What was the date she requested more time?
              I do my best to provide good practical advice, however I do so without liability.
              If you have any doubts then do please seek professional legal advice.


              You canít always stop the waves but you can learn to surf.

              You are braver than you believe, smarter than you think and stronger than you seem.



              If we have helped you we'd appreciate it if you can leave a review on our Trust Pilot page

              Comment


              • #8
                Ok no worries. I really appreciate your time.
                The date the letter was given was Thursday 23 July and the meeting was due 24hrs later. She requested more time on the date she received the letter and mentioned she may want to submit a grievance but we have heard nothing since. Its been 7 working days now. I hope this helps and answers your question.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I do have to say that 24 hours notice of a disciplinary hearing is not enough time to give the individual time to prepare. Under the ACAS code of practice for disciplinary and grievance procedures you are required to give the employee reasonable time to prepare their case.

                  In order to move this forward I would suggest that you write to your employee reconvening the meeting for later this week, maybe sent the letter tomorrow and reschedule for Fri morning. This means that given they first knew of the event on 23 July and you are giving 3 days notice of the revised date they have had more than enough time to a) prepare and b) raise the grievance if they were using that as a tactic to avoid the disciplinary.

                  In the letter on the 23rd just checking that alongside the supporting documentation, you made clear the allegations, right to be accompanied and that the outcome, if any disciplinary action is to be taken, could be dismissal. If not please make sure those things are added into the letter rescheduling the time.
                  I do my best to provide good practical advice, however I do so without liability.
                  If you have any doubts then do please seek professional legal advice.


                  You canít always stop the waves but you can learn to surf.

                  You are braver than you believe, smarter than you think and stronger than you seem.



                  If we have helped you we'd appreciate it if you can leave a review on our Trust Pilot page

                  Comment

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