Some tips on dealing
with the practicalities of suspension and the disciplinary process.
sounds very defensive but sadly you may be very surprised at the things
managers may claim against you.
on Unions - click here
Letter to send to Employers
As a preliminary
to a union that you believe will represent your interests
effectively and provide a good service.
branch meetings and help with activities.
a note of essential phone numbers.
When there is an issue
attend a meeting with managers until you know what is the purpose of
the meeting and who will be present.
attend a meeting with managers on your own. Always take a union
representative or experienced work colleague. They will help you
make sense of what is being said.
to see your union representative as soon as you have had the
allegation sent to you. You should also receive a copy of your
organisationís disciplinary process so that you will know what
the suspension relates to a particular event, record what you can
remember of it as soon as possible. You may be surprised at how
quickly you forget things.
notes of what is being said at every contact with anyone so that you
can remember and reflect on what has been said later. You will
probably be feeling so stressed it will be difficult to absorb
information. Better still, record the meeting. As a matter of
courtesy, you will have to let the person conducting the meeting,
know at the beginning of the meeting or prior to it and you may be
refused permission. If your manager has nothing to hide, they should
may need to send a copy of your notes of any meeting to the manager
to confirm that you have understood what has been said correctly. It
is then up to the manager to write and clarify any points with which
your notes in a file and start a diary so that you can quickly see
what has happened and when.
letters and emails to communicate. People say things on the
telephone which they may later deny or claim has been misunderstood.
someone to check all your documents such as letters, notes of
meetings and notes for investigations. You need them to check
clarity and carefulness of expression so that you donít damage
you send letters, think who else should see what you are writing and
send them a copy.
meetings, request regular breaks so that you can collect your
thoughts. Your organisation will probably allow a family member to
accompany you to support you, though not to speak.
the investigation, if no disciplinary action is to be taken but
there is to be re-training or something similar, ask for a copy of
the report. There may be errors that need correcting on which the
re-training issues etc, are based. Organisations are being
encouraged to be open about reports on employees. The report is
about you and you should have the right to see what is being
investigating officer is a colleague of the person/people who
suspended you. It may be that their report is favourable to their
colleaguesí viewpoint rather than yours. If the report is
objective, fair and impartial, you are very fortunate.
the managers recognise that they have over-reacted by suspending you
but are unwilling to apologise and re-instate you quickly, they may
feel they have to justify what they have done by recommending
counselling, mentorship, re-training or something similar.
the current system, unless your managers proceed with disciplinary
action, you are unable to appeal. You may be able to have some
modification of what is being recommended if you can provide some
evidence for your good practice but this is difficult when you are
banned from work and talking to colleagues Ė all part of the
injustice and unfairness of the disciplinary process.
whole thing is over -
your notes and letters and records and keep them. You may want to
sue the organisation in the future (if you have a lot of money) or
write your memoirs!
to see your personal file to view the documents entered there. That
may be enlightening.
year later, ask to see your personal file again to ensure all
references to the events have been removed. You have served your
Keeping it all in perspective
enormous amount of damage has been done to you and your family and
may be that you are a very generous and forgiving person and bear no
ill-feelings towards the people responsible for the suspension and
the ensuing investigation and possible disciplinary action. That is
brilliant and well done to you.
the other hand, it is natural to want to hit back and hurt the
people who have been responsible for the suspension and the ensuing
investigation and possible disciplinary action. It may even be that
you have reason to believe there has been some personal animosity
it helps to protect you from some very strong and negative feelings
which may cloud your judgement and damage your cause, as well as
possibly damage your health, try and remember that these people are
also human beings, with family and friends.
Donít be reduced to their thoughtlessness and apparent
inhumanity. Try and remember some of their good and positive work.
If their work is really poor, contact the Nursing and Midwifery
Council and seek advice about their competence to practice and what
are your responsibilities in that case.
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