Dismissed? Redundant?

Hi everyone.
I would like some views and advice on the following scenario please, because I think that the employer (a large local authority) has acted wrongly .. and the union, to be quite frank, has so far not been up to the job.
I had previously had cause to make complaints against a manager and a temporarily promoted colleague because of what I believed to be bullying, and it has been confirmed through their own investigations that inappropriate comments were documented and recorded over a prolonged period. However, during the investigations I was told by the senior HR rep that "to manage my expectations, whatever the outcome, the manager would not be moved". As far as I am aware, no actions have ever been taken against the manager .. My complaints covered the period November 2018 to July 2019.
Bigger problems then started ..
On 30 July 2019 I was suspended from work with pay, with suggestions that I had acted inappropriately. 
On 24 December I was told I would be receiving a letter.
On 30 December a very large bundle of papers was received.
On 21 January a disciplinary meeting was held and I was verbally informed that the outcome was Misconduct (which I completely deny). 
I was advised that because the final outcome was 'Misconduct' I was not being dismissed, but would instead be issued with a Final Written Warning. However, I was then informed that an additional sanction would be applied and that I would not be returned to my position, "because of an irretrievable breakdown with the manager". Instead, I was to be placed on a redeployment register, with a ruling that "If alternate employment is not secured during the next 4 weeks your employment will terminate at the end of the 4 week period being 18 February, 2020." 
On 24 January, written notification/confirmation was received.
No alternate employment was advertised during the specified period. 
I have appealed the additional sanction and have a formal meeting tomorrow.
I am actually not bothered about the Final Written Warning and I was willing to accept this just to move on. This is because I have been dealing with a father and son with cancer over the same period, which the employer is fully aware of. I was also not bothered about being moved to another department, because I would not have to deal with the same manager. However;
1) I had almost no contact from the employer during the suspension. Surely a duty of care should have applied, particularly in the circumstances described?
2) I would have completed 103 weeks employment with this employer on Friday 21 February (102 weeks 4 days by date but 103 working weeks). I believe that the termination date of Tuesday 18 February is therefore deliberate. However, should the 4 weeks not be calculated from the written notification date? This would make the final date of employment Friday 21 February, which would then possibly give access to an Employment Tribunal?
3) The disciplinary policy states that no employee will be dismissed for a first offence (which this is) except in cases of Gross Misconduct, which this is not. Is the additional sanction not just dismissal by another name?
4) The additional sanction will effectively dismiss me/make me redundant as far as I can tell? If so, is it really permitted to not dismiss someone, but move them from a permanent contract of employment to a temporary one via a redeployment route? To be clear, my old position is still available and I will be replaced.
5) As far as I can tell from procedure, the disciplinary manager is within their rights, as the disciplinary manager, to apply additional sanctions. However, the policy examples these additional sanctions as; additional training; behaviour correction; mentoring etc. These examples all relate to additional support/training, rather than dismissal/redundancy or however else my termination may be explained? 
I would be interested in anyone's thoughts or guidance please.
The union representation is currently only at a local level, and I think that this is possibly beyond their capabilities? However, they have not yet gone higher for guidance or legal advice, which I have asked them to do ..
Apologies if anything is unclear and thanks in advance.

Comments

  • Undervalued
    Undervalued Posts: 8,808
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    Forumite
    edited 25 February 2020 at 2:04PM
    Just to answer a couple of points....
    For the purpose of calculating the length of employment for the "2 years before you can claim unfair dismissal rule" only one week's statutory notice counts, not however long your contractual notice may be. Whilst you are still entitled to be paid for or allowed to work your contractual notice (except in cases of gross misconduct) it does not help in getting you to the magic two years.

    So if I correctly understand your lengthy post, you do not have two years service so cannot claim unfair dismissal unless you could argue that the real reason was unlawful discrimination or one of the handful of protected characteristics.

    Failure to follow their own policy is of little help to you. You might be able to claim wrongful dismissal (doesn't need two years) but all that would gain you is a little compensation. It doesn't stop them dismissing you. In any case it is rare for there to be a hard and fast contractual entitlement for a laid down disciplinary process to be followed, certainly not in the first two years. Generally such processes are "non contractual" or a guide to the type of process that is usually followed.

    The family illness issues, serious and sad as it may be, only entitled you short periods of unpaid leave to deal with emergency situations. It doesn't help with employment issues in any other way.

    If I am reading any of your post incorrectly no doubt you will say and I and probably others will look again.


     
This discussion has been closed.
Meet your Ambassadors

Categories

  • All Categories
  • 341.7K Banking & Borrowing
  • 249.7K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 449.1K Spending & Discounts
  • 233.8K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 606K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 172.5K Life & Family
  • 246.7K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.8K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards