The AA has good, well-established disciplinary policies. How they are applied, however, can vary from business to business and from manager to manager.
If you find yourself facing this kind of trouble at work, the first thing to do is contact your local IDU representative or the IDU national office as soon as possible – the more notice you give us of any impending disciplinary investigation or hearing, the better prepared we can be.
At times, we have seen the incidence of disciplinary cases and / or suspensions from duty rise within some parts of the business. Some of this is due to heightened vigilance regarding poor working practices, but some is due to inexperienced middle and senior management making poor judgements.
A good, experienced manager is usually able to make sound judgements about when to sort something out informally and when to take things down a formal route. This doesn’t always happen though, does it?
Whether you feel you are facing inappropriately applied disciplinary proceedings or whether you are in trouble because you genuinely made a mistake, whether you face proceedings because you have been told your performance is not up to scratch or because you have been absent, we will do everything we can to ensure you are treated absolutely fairly with a view to the most positive outcome for you. We will be thorough and, if necessary, robust on your behalf.
Investigation meetings and giving a statement – some tips
If your manager asks you in for a “chat” over an incident, whilst wanting to be cooperative is understandable, you should be very careful. There is no such thing as an off-the-record chat when facts are being established about a potential breach of discipline. Your little ‘chat’ can lead to serious consequences – it may lead to disciplinary action which would have been avoidable had you got advice and support from the IDU first.
We also would intervene on your behalf if you find yourself in a position where two managers conduct the investigation meeting with you alone rather than one. This is intimidating and usually unnecessary and goes against the agreed rules and procedures.
You do not have the right under UK law to be accompanied by a trade union representative to an investigation meeting, but many times, this will be allowed, so always make a request to have your IDU representative with you.
Although the manager may take notes at the meeting, the notes do not stand as your formal statement. Under the agreed procedures, you will usually be given a copy of the notes at the end of the interview, which you may amend if necessary and sign. In addition to this, you are at liberty and indeed advised to go away and write up your statement in your own words after the investigation meeting. You must ensure your IDU representative sees it before you submit it to your manager or whoever the investigating officer is.
If the matter does progress to a disciplinary hearing, you do have the right under UK law to be accompanied and represented by your IDU representative or official. If you are suspended pending a disciplinary hearing, this should be on full pay.
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