Well it’s fair to say I got some interesting responses from Friday’s email.
To jog your memory, I told the story of a club who had £1,500 go missing from the safe, with the last person to see it an employee who was cashing up.
And the question was: what’s the right course of action?
Disciplinary? No disciplinary? Get the police involved? Talk to their relatives?
Well, first things’ first, the golf club kind of tried to do ALL these things, leading to a very chaotic situation.
Right off the bat, they asked the employee to come in for a meeting to discuss it.
They ignored the request, so they left it.
Then they spoke to his mother (who is also the bar manager).
She immediately went off sick with stress, and has subsequently resigned and started a tribunal claim for discrimination and constructive dismissal.
They haven’t proceeded with any disciplinary action because they’re under the impression that he’s “self-employed”, despite the fact that he works exclusively for them behind the bar, on the payroll.
Plus, they also think that an employee must “agree” to be disciplined – you don’t.
In the case of gross misconduct, where employees fear they can be instantly dismissed, it’s quite common for them to adopt the “La la la, I can’t hear you approach”, and they don’t turn up to any meeting.
Here’s how you get round this:
- Invite them by letter/email to the meeting.
- Give them 3 working days’ notice.
- Send it by all media (post and email) and make it recorded delivery, read receipt etc, so you can prove that you tried everything to get hold of them.
- If you hear nothing, go ahead with the meeting in their absence. And make a decision based on the information you have. If they don’t defend themselves, they will probably be dismissed. They do have the right of appeal.
But here’s the big takeaway: don’t ever delay the process because they aren’t talking to you.
This is a process, with timelines, which are considered fair and reasonable by ACAS.
If you follow the process, even if they don’t engage, you can still deal with them.
Oh, and in this case the £1,500 is still missing, presumed never to be found!
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