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Note taker at grievance about manager is managers sister

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  • Note taker at grievance about manager is managers sister

    Hi

    someone I know has a grievance hearing at work that they have made about a manager itís around disability discrimination so pretty serious if it progresses. Person got letter today informing that the note taker will be the managers sister who isnít HR etc. I think itís unethical but donít know if itís allowed. Not sure if itís worth just going ahead and then informing ACAS.

    Person is not a member of a union. Is also neurodiverse has trouble retaining info.

    Is a reasonable adjustment for the meeting requesting his official carer attends the meeting who is also his mum as she can keep him calm and lesson his anxiety and also can he also ask for the meeting to be recorded so he can listen back to it etc.

    There is no one available in work who would go in with him as itís a small company and he doesnít want to put anyone at jeopardy with their job if they are seen to be openly supporting and they are all young adults with no idea about such procedures.

    any advice please
    Last edited by theGobbyOne; 11th September 2023, 22:08:PM.
    Tags: None

  • #2
    Hi I literally just joined this site but wanted to respond to your post. I would ask in writing for reasonable adjustments to be made for the employee and state the reasons. I would keep it brief and to the point. In terms of the manager's sister being the notetaker, I would also raise this in writing and state that you believed it would be a conflict of interest. Keep paper trails of everything, then you can prove that you did attempt to raise these concerns. It doesn't always mean the company will comply unfortunately but if the case ends up in the employment tribunal at least you would have some evidence as to the company's conduct. Companies are very hesitant to record meetings as they do not want to incriminate themselves. I am not 100% sure but I have heard you can record meetings, employment tribunals do not encourage you to do it but do accept them. Good luck with it!

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by miffybear View Post
      Hi I literally just joined this site but wanted to respond to your post. I would ask in writing for reasonable adjustments to be made for the employee and state the reasons. I would keep it brief and to the point. In terms of the manager's sister being the notetaker, I would also raise this in writing and state that you believed it would be a conflict of interest. Keep paper trails of everything, then you can prove that you did attempt to raise these concerns. It doesn't always mean the company will comply unfortunately but if the case ends up in the employment tribunal at least you would have some evidence as to the company's conduct. Companies are very hesitant to record meetings as they do not want to incriminate themselves. I am not 100% sure but I have heard you can record meetings, employment tribunals do not encourage you to do it but do accept them. Good luck with it!
      Thanks for your reply. Full written trail via email is being kept and reasonable adjustments were requested via email with a response from the company via email.

      Reasonable adjustment of both parties recording the hearing was refused with no reasons but told his companion can take notes. Reasonable adjustment requesting the grievance and disciplinary hearings not to be held on same day also refused despite the company having medical proof that there are neurodiversity issues that impact the persons ability to process & retain information and that the persons neurodiversity difficulties would be amplified if made to attend 2 complicated hearings in same day.

      Reasonable for his mum to be his companion has been accepted.

      Had some good advice from ACAS suspect it will go to a tribunal for disability discrimination.

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi

        I haven't really anything useful to add to this but am intrigued as it has some parallels potentially with something I'm dealing with (neurodiversity, conflict of interest with the person part of the investigation/disciplinary process (in your case a notetaker), and the fact the meetings were held together (or at least on the same day) which is something an external HR advisor/advocate for me raised concerns with (especially as the greivance concerns the fairness of the disciplinary/investigation).

        To give something useful though, or try to at least, I would press for a reason the adjustments cannot be made - a notetaker admittedly isn't a 'active' part of the disciplinary/greivance process and in theory should be a passive role, just jotting things down, however I'd argue this does provide grounds for conflict of interest as it's fair to say they are family of this manager, and this may provide information leaking back to the person to whom the greivance relates, and that could compromise a future investigation etc, so unless the company is really so limited there isn't anyone else who can fill the role as a notetaker it doesn't strike me as an unreasonable request at all.

        Don't get me wrong, adjustments can be refused but I'm pretty sure you're entitled to a reason and if there are neurodiversity issues at play here then it does seem a risky path to take especially as the concentration/processing of information is a very sound argument. It does really sound like they're leaving themselves wide open here.
        Last edited by Presonus; 13th September 2023, 22:58:PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          So both meetings went ahead. First the grievance hearing then a disciplinary hearing.It was a shambles we were there from 10am until 2.30pm with a 1 hour break.
          The note taker was actually fabulous and very thorough.
          I asked the chair who chaired both meetings and the manager who investigated the disciplinary (the grievance was about this manager) issue if they believed both hearings were linked and they both agreed there was overlap and a direct link and this was noted. I then asked why then was the manager in question allowed to investigate the disciplinary no answer was forthcoming. The manager who the grievance was about was actually sat in the grievance meeting when we arrived and I didnít know who he was so when introductions were made I said as it was a grievance about him it wasnít fair that he was there and I asked him to leave which he did. However had I not asked for him to leave the intention was for him to sit through it.

          it transpired they had used an outside HR company for advice and this is where it got interesting.

          Employee was refused any record of previous disciplinaries including date, what it was for the investigation notes and disciplinary notes etc and told to submit a SAR despite asking for the info a week ago with no response they only sprung it on him in the meeting and said the HR company they were using had advised them via telephone to do that during the break. We believe there are no records and this gives the company time to fabricate them and we asked for that to be noted.

          The most shocking element however was that the employee was asked to provide medical evidence to prove his disability a week ago so he got a print out of his records from his GP provided it to the employer and put in writing that it was highly sensitive medical information should be treated with strictest confidentiality and not shared with anyone else unless ďabsolutely necessaryĒ and we discovered at the end purely by accident that the chair of the meeting (company director) had shared all emails and medical information with the HR company without informing the employer or asking for permission.

          Iíve contacted the information commissioners office and theyíve advised next steps on that issue.

          Last edited by theGobbyOne; 16th September 2023, 09:25:AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            ULA would you mind adding any additional advice you may have if you have time to my last post. Thank you

            Comment


            • #7
              My first comment is that the disciplinary and grievance should not have been chaired by the same manager - they are two separate processes and should be treated as such, even if there is a link.

              Again the manager against whom you raised the grievance should not have been allowed to investigate the disciplinary.

              Sorry I am a bit confuse about this paragraph:

              "Employee was refused any record of previous disciplinaries including date, what it was for the investigation notes and disciplinary notes etc and told to submit a SAR despite asking for the info a week ago with no response they only sprung it on him in the meeting and said the HR company they were using had advised them via telephone to do that during the break. We believe there are no records and this gives the company time to fabricate them and we asked for that to be noted"

              If the employee has a previous disciplinary record then I presume they kept copies themselves of all the documentation in respect of the invitation to the meeting, the evidence being used and then the outcome. If the employee did not keep them then they should just be able to produce from the personnel file if indeed the disciplinary action is still "in time". No need for an SAR in my opinion.

              On the medical records issue then yes take the advice and any action required advised by the ICO.

              If you would like a one-to-one expert consultation with me on your employment issue than I can be contacted by emailing admin@legalbeaglesgroup.com

              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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              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by ULA View Post
                My first comment is that the disciplinary and grievance should not have been chaired by the same manager - they are two separate processes and should be treated as such, even if there is a link.

                Again the manager against whom you raised the grievance should not have been allowed to investigate the disciplinary.

                Sorry I am a bit confuse about this paragraph:

                "Employee was refused any record of previous disciplinaries including date, what it was for the investigation notes and disciplinary notes etc and told to submit a SAR despite asking for the info a week ago with no response they only sprung it on him in the meeting and said the HR company they were using had advised them via telephone to do that during the break. We believe there are no records and this gives the company time to fabricate them and we asked for that to be noted"

                If the employee has a previous disciplinary record then I presume they kept copies themselves of all the documentation in respect of the invitation to the meeting, the evidence being used and then the outcome. If the employee did not keep them then they should just be able to produce from the personnel file if indeed the disciplinary action is still "in time". No need for an SAR in my opinion.

                On the medical records issue then yes take the advice and any action required advised by the ICO.
                Ula the employee had a final written warning for refusing to do a job thatís not his role and due to neurodiversity canít cope with sudden unannounced changes and was told he had to do a different job one morning when he got to work and he said no. Nobody asked him why or for his reasons. He entered the workplace at 8am and by 8.10am had signed a piece of paper not realising it was a final written warning and left the building.

                Another warning because another employee swore at him and it was overheard in a meeting the directors were having and the process goes like this.

                Manager ďIf you werenít annoying people they wouldnít swear so you are getting a written warning sign this piece of paperĒ
                Employee ď Give me a penĒ as theyíve no idea of procedures or the seriousness and sign it
                Manager ďNow go home unpaid and donít come back till tomorrowĒ

                I asked about investigation etc for other disciplinaries and they donít exist. What does exist allegedly is a signed piece of paper accepting the disciplinary without any explanation given to employees. They have a young inexperienced workforce who do not understand the seriousness of what they are signing.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Firstly can I just double check did the company know that the person has neurodiversity even before they asked for the medical records to be provided?

                  Giving someone a piece of paper and asking them to sign it stating that they are being disciplined is not following a fair and reasonable process on either occasion.
                  If you would like a one-to-one expert consultation with me on your employment issue than I can be contacted by emailing admin@legalbeaglesgroup.com

                  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


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ULA View Post
                    Firstly can I just double check did the company know that the person has neurodiversity even before they asked for the medical records to be provided?

                    Giving someone a piece of paper and asking them to sign it stating that they are being disciplined is not following a fair and reasonable process on either occasion.
                    Yes they did know but they are denying knowing although it is common knowledge among the workforce including supervisors and managers and one of the directors . The director chairing the meetings said the company had not been informed in writing of the employees neurodiversity I told the director that putting it in writing is not a requirement.

                    They said proof was needed for reasonable adjustments for both meetings so it was provided then they basically refused the reasonable adjustments anyway after proof was given. One of the reasonable adjustment requests was that 2 hearings not to take place on same day. Company said 15 minutes rest between grievance/disciplinary hearings then said 60 minutes. It was put in writing that employee could not cope with 2 hearings on same day as struggles to retain and process lots of info with a suggestion that the second hearing take place within 5 working days after the first hearing this was refused on the basis that it was too short notice to change as witnesses were attending for the company despite requesting this on the same day the company sent the hearing times and date. The company didnít provide the evidence pack until 2 days before the hearings.No witnesses attended and the hearings took place in the persons workplace so I canít see why it was refused. The employee also asked as a reasonable adjustment that both parties record the meetings so that he could re listen and process what had occurred in meetings again this was refused with no reason.

                    First hearing was 2 hours long. Break of 60 minutes and then second meeting was 100 minutes long.
                    Last edited by theGobbyOne; 23rd September 2023, 09:47:AM.

                    Comment

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