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    Hi Everyone

    It's quite a long story, but I recently raised a concern I had following on from an incident to HR and mentioned a few associated issues, one of which they have picked up on and are focusing on, instead of looking at the reasons for the incident (I raised it with them myself) they have said the responsibility is entirely on me. We spoke at length at one meeting a few weeks ago about various issues and as far as I was concerned my issue had been dealt with, learnt from and we could move on from it with no formal action taken.

    This week I was summoned to HR with 5 minutes pre-warning from my manager where two HR people and my manager were in attendance to give me an "informal" warning for something I had done (nobody was hurt, nothing came of it but what I had done was against procedure). They discussed it with me and are putting a note on my personal file, which I am also going to receive a copy of at some point.

    I think this is pretty formal despite the amount of times they tried to reassure me it was "informal", is 3 people not overkill? To me, an informal meeting would be with just one manager on a one-to-one basis for a chat and nothing further, however I am going to have a note on my file for an amount of time they didn't disclose to me.

    I have checked the employee handbook and it clearly states that if any formal disciplinary action e.g. first warnings is being taken we must be given notice to prepare for the hearing and we are entitled to bring a representative (colleague or union rep) with us. They did not give me any warning besides the quick "we're going up to HR in a minute for a chat" and they never said I could take someone with me. Had I known it was going to be 3 vs 1 and a note going on my file I would have definitely taken someone with me.

    Have they acted properly and I'm overthinking it or do I have some grounds to query this?

    Thanks in advance!
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    They have acted inappropriately and are trying to cover their arses by saying it is an 'informal' warning. No. It is either a warning, in which case the procedure must be followed (how ironic!), or it is not. Can you go over heads and direct a query/complaint at somebody else in HR? Might be worth looking at what your complaints procedure is. Are you unionised? If not, might be worth a chat to the CAB if it is really bothering you.
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    (Original post by gjd800)
    They have acted inappropriately and are trying to cover their arses by saying it is an 'informal' warning. No. it is either a warning, in which case the procedure must be followed (how ironic!), or it is not. Can you go voer heads ad direct a query/complaint at somebody else in HR?Might be worth looking at what your complaints procedure is. Are you unionised? If not, might be worth a chat to the CAB if it is really bothering you.
    Wow, thank you so much for your quick reply!

    They have done a very similar thing to a colleague of mine recently where she was "ambushed" shall we say, and it doesn't seem right at all!

    The company I work for isn't unionised unfortunately but I will definitely seek advice from somewhere impartial, the trouble is the HR team are very friendly with each other and the management in general are experts in covering themselves and turning things on people (which is what has landed me in this spot in the first place!)

    Will see what this note says that's going on my file and ask how long they intend to keep it there for and take it from there, I think that might be the best thing.
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    (Original post by anon94123)
    Wow, thank you so much for your quick reply!

    They have done a very similar thing to a colleague of mine recently where she was "ambushed" shall we say, and it doesn't seem right at all!

    The company I work for isn't unionised unfortunately but I will definitely seek advice from somewhere impartial, the trouble is the HR team are very friendly with each other and the management in general are experts in covering themselves and turning things on people (which is what has landed me in this spot in the first place!)

    Will see what this note says that's going on my file and ask how long they intend to keep it there for and take it from there, I think that might be the best thing.
    I have been in your position once and it was awful, so I understand the stress it brings. You're best placed to judge how you want to proceed, none of us here can really second guess you, so if you feel like that's the right way to go, that is the right way to go. I would definitely advise keeping logs of everything said, times, names etc. and getting copies (even if it is a slyly acquired photocopy) of everything physical just in case something comes of it.

    Really, the problem comes from this idea of an 'informal warning' resulting in a note on the file. It's of a different in kind to just having a little word in your ear, especially when they are in a real sense documenting the transgression 'officially' in your personnel record. It seems to me that y using the word 'warning' at all they have made this a discipline issue which means you were entitled to representation in the meeting.

    I hope you get sorted!
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    (Original post by gjd800)
    I have been in your position once and it was awful, so I understand the stress it brings. You're best placed to judge how you want to proceed, none of us here can really second guess you, so if you feel like that's the right way to go, that is the right way to go. I would definitely advise keeping logs of everything said, times, names etc. and getting copies (even if it is a slyly acquired photocopy) of everything physical just in case something comes of it.

    Really, the problem comes from this idea of an 'informal warning' resulting in a note on the file. It's of a different in kind to just having a little word in your ear, especially when they are in a real sense documenting the transgression 'officially' in your personnel record. It seems to me that y using the word 'warning' at all they have made this a discipline issue which means you were entitled to representation in the meeting.

    I hope you get sorted!
    Thank you for your advice it has been really helpful! I've made a note of what has happened, but like you say it's a lot more formal than what I was led to believe and had I known it was so many of them and a note going on would have taken someone along to support, even if they just sat to witness what was being said so it didn't feel like they were ganging up disguised as an informal conversation. It didn't help that one stayed quiet the whole time and wrote everything down which again isn't very informal!

    Will wait and see if anything else comes of it and keep my head down, thank you again
 
 
 
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