Work Grievance

ArthurMcB

Registered User
Messages
74
Hi,

Should I initiate the grievance process at work? Here is the situation.

My manager threatened me by saying that with taking sick leave may result in a Performance Improvement Plan.

At the time that he said it i had just returned from 1 week of certified sick leave and people would have had to pick up the slack while i was out.

When i returned from this sick leave i was moved off the project.

I subsequently got sick again a few months later and was certified off for a few days.

Then in my year end appraisal i was given a poor rating and told i was being put on a PIP. I strongly dispute some of the feedback i have been given.

I believe that, based on what my manager said and based on the year end feedback and PIP, that I have been penalised for taking sick leave and i am thinking of raising a grievance.

I would greatly appreciate any advice that might be out there.
 
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Leo

Moderator
Messages
12,349
Have a read of this advice.

My sense is that two certified absences would not constitute a pattern sufficient to justify termination.

I think they employer is on shaky ground here and would be scrutinising the terms of any PIP in great detail. Try to ascertain whether your performance when in the office was meeting expectations and it was just the fact that you were absent that resulted in the poor feedback.

Document every meeting / conversation with your manager, send minutes and ask them to confirm accuracy so that you can build a record of meeting performance expectations.
 

Leper

Registered User
Messages
1,484
If there ever were a case for trade union representation, this is it. I'd love to be representing you.
 

cremeegg

Registered User
Messages
3,467
Hi,

Should I initiate the grievance process at work? Here is the situation.


Given how hard it is to prove constructive dismissal, i think my case is very hard to prove out, but i feel like iv no choice but to try.

In my experience it is not so difficult to prove constructive or unfair dismissal. The problem is what then, OK you get an award of a few thousand Euro and feel vindicated, and then ??

While every case is different, you may be better ploughing on where you are despite the issues, things are as likely to change for the better as not.
 

ArthurMcB

Registered User
Messages
74
The difficulty is...

My employer may be able to stand over their performance appraisal, to some extent.

I feel that some of the feeback is inaccurate/incorrect.
From a procedural perspective, i was only given the various feedbacks at my yr end conversation and indirectly by my manager and this is when i was also told i was going on a PIP. Most of the feedback is from other individuals that i had worked with. I would have expected an oportunity to discuss the feedback with the feedback giver.

Iv read the unfair dismissals act and i think i might have a case under penalisation.

Id be interested to hear peoples view or questions.
 
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LS400

Registered User
Messages
615
At the time that he said it i had just returned from 1 week of certified sick leave and people would have had to pick up the slack while i was out.

Hes not wrong, this is what happens when people are out sick. Some companies can manage it better


If there ever were a case for trade union representation, this is it. I'd love to be representing you

And this is why I have disdain for modern trade unions of today.
You/they just swan in with a big stick and do everything in their power to bring companies to their knees, without looking at the facts, as facts are meaningless where trade unions of today are concerned.

I run a small company, if an employee is out sick, others need to pick up the pace. Thats life today in a small business. Employees have been out sick, some very seriously ill over the years, and Im talking months, I work around that so, don't throw the nonsense about people getting ill, and employers do not accept that ect ect.

We had a trade union come into my place of work many years ago, some of the employees decided to form together to teach the bosses a lesson on strength, and what havoc a trade union can bring to the company. I and a small selection of good lads rejected such a move. The union came in, and with in a few years, the all left, I run the company now, no union, with the same motley crew who knew the damage unions of today can bring to a great company.


Grievance, give me strength.
 

dereko1969

Registered User
Messages
2,895
The difficulty is...

My employer may be able to stand over their performance appraisal, to some extent.

I feel that some of the feeback is inaccurate/incorrect.
From a procedural perspective, i was only given the various feedbacks at my yr end conversation and indirectly by my manager and this is when i was also told i was going on a PIP. Most of the feedback is from other individuals that i had worked with. I would have expected an oportunity to discuss the feedback with the feedback giver.

Iv read the unfair dismissals act and i think i might have a case under penalisation.

Id be interested to hear peoples view or questions.
If the first mention of the need for a PIP was at year end then they have to prove that the issue only arose between mid-year and year-end, if performance issues arose before then it's not fair not to have mentioned it at your mid-year review.

The problem you face is that you accept that some of the feedback is accurate, is that enough to put you on a PIP?
 

dereko1969

Registered User
Messages
2,895
Hes not wrong, this is what happens when people are out sick. Some companies can manage it better




And this is why I have disdain for modern trade unions of today.
You/they just swan in with a big stick and do everything in their power to bring companies to their knees, without looking at the facts, as facts are meaningless where trade unions of today are concerned.

I run a small company, if an employee is out sick, others need to pick up the pace. Thats life today in a small business. Employees have been out sick, some very seriously ill over the years, and Im talking months, I work around that so, don't throw the nonsense about people getting ill, and employers do not accept that ect ect.

We had a trade union come into my place of work many years ago, some of the employees decided to form together to teach the bosses a lesson on strength, and what havoc a trade union can bring to the company. I and a small selection of good lads rejected such a move. The union came in, and with in a few years, the all left, I run the company now, no union, with the same motley crew who knew the damage unions of today can bring to a great company.


Grievance, give me strength.
It seems to me that Leper was looking at the Facts (as presented as such by the OP). If we take him as honest then it seems like a perfect scenario for appropriate representation (be that lawyer or Trade Union Rep) to support someone who seems to have been punished for the simple fact of being sick, during a pandemic?

Do you not think that on the facts as presented the OP has a rightful grievance? You seem to accept the case above "that's life", did you punish employees for being sick or are you just using this thread to have a go at trade unions in general?
 

ArthurMcB

Registered User
Messages
74
@dereko1969 i dont think the valid feedback is anywhere near PIP territory.

I am going to initiate the grievance process in tandem to appealing year end as theyre two processes albeit related in my case.

I have consulted a solicitor and they feel that there is clesr breach of the unfair dismissals act under penalisation and there may possibly be another legal angle to it. But i think it all depends on the strength of my case and evidence.

My company does have a disciplinary process for people taking too much leave but my leave doesnt fall into the category.

My manager made a threat when he made those comments and he has followed through on it and in doing so has penalised me unfairly.

A PIP has real and serious consequences both to my career and my compensation.
 

LS400

Registered User
Messages
615
did you punish employees for being sick

Your having a laugh, right. That's the usual default line trotted out though.

Do you not think that on the facts as presented the OP has a rightful grievance?


No, I don't. I think posts encouraging this nonsense are doing them no favours at all.

If there's nothing to represent, trade unions remain quiet.

That's the Leper sense of humor.

are you just using this thread to have a go at trade union

Would you prefer I didn't mention the Word Trade Union. I didnt bring up the TU comment, I replied to to the comment.

I don't like Trade Unions of today. I have never pretended to like them. I see them for what they are. I've see the destruction they bring.

When i returned from this sick leave i was moved off the project.

I have deadlines to meet, Some expect the world to stop turning on their grounds, and that's where I see a problem.
 

Clamball

Registered User
Messages
222
If you were put on a PIP then it must document what performance needs to improve. If it does not mention something like improving your level of absences then it can’t be the sick leave they are trying to fire you on. Looking at the PIP can you improve on what they are asking? Is it specific enough?

But you have the advice of your lawyer so I would go with his recommendations.
 

ArthurMcB

Registered User
Messages
74
I havent seen the PIP yet as i am appealing it.

I can be fairly sure they wont mention absence in it as they are clear in that the PIP results from underperformance and not absence.

I disagree however with material aspects of the feedback that is driving my rating and i have supporting evidence.

In light of the threat my manager made i feel i am been penalised and possibly being forced out. I no longer trust my superiors and cannot see how I can continue working with them.
 

ArthurMcB

Registered User
Messages
74
@DeeKie Could that fall under constructive dismissal if it can be proved that the PIP is not warranted and if it can be proved that your manager threatened a PIP for getting sick?
 

Purple

Registered User
Messages
10,826
@ArthurMcB, if you were in fact punished for being out sick then you certainly have a grievance and a strong case. The appraisals and feedback from colleagues are a different matter. It would be very hard to prove these were not legitimate and going down that road could have a significant impact on your mental health.

The problem with Trade Unions in the private sector is that while they can be very helpful in situations like this they tend to become corrosive and cause longer term harm to the viability of the business. I have seen many good and prosperous companies closed by their Unions.

That is why there is a fear of them within companies trading in the real economy and they tend to mainly operate in the State sector and the protected and less open sectors of the economy (the sections which to not compete internationally).
 

ArthurMcB

Registered User
Messages
74
Thanks Purple. Theres no fear that my employer will close down over this. Theyre a global behemoth!
Theres no relevant trade union that im aware of given the industry. I wish there was!
The feedback that im disputing is specific and is material to their decision and i have evidence to dispute it. I wont let it affect my health in any way. Im trying to remain objective in this and so be it if im not successful.
I think its a hard one to prove in some ways because there are 3 individuals all giving me poor feedback - im sure i sound like a terrible employee. I just think, and maybe im paranoid, that theres been an orchestrated attempt made to penalise me.
If i felt that my performance last yr wasnt up to scratch or i had taken the mick id accept it but this isnt the case.
Another individual in my team took long term sick leave last yr for 3 months and i suspect management werent happy with this given the impact on the team. I feel there is just a dim view of people takinbg sick leave which i understand in a lot of ways. However my sick leave was reasonable in length and was certified.
Of course they will argue that my PIP is nothing to do with sick leave. But given what my manager said and given the tenouos nature of some of the feedback i would say otherwise.
 

ArthurMcB

Registered User
Messages
74
The solicitor i spoke to previously was a 1 hour initial consultation. I could go back to that solicitor i suppose but does anyone have any recommedations for a dublin based employment law solicitor?

I need help navigating the grievance procecess and writiing the grievance letter.
Do i ask them questions in my grievance letter?
Do i quote the law?
Can i ask them for a "without prejudice" discussion?
How should i time all of this?
Do i go i to my complaint in detail or keep it high level?
How to manage potentially going on sivk leave?
What if i am asked to see their occupational doctor?

There seems to be many tactical decisions i need to think about and i need an expert to guide me.
 
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