Employee difficulties

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The following are common difficulties and problems that employees experience through the course of their jobs. The answers are to the best of our knowledge correct, however you are strongly advised to seek advice from your Trade Union, Citizens Advice Bureau or perhaps a Solicitor before embarking on any course of action.
See also;

--Ssmith 11:03, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

  • If an employer mistakenly overpays an employee does the overpayment have to be paid back?

Answer:Yes, but by the amount you agree to pay. If you were over-paid £500, you can agree to pay that back at a pound a week if you wish, and not by what they say!

  • I am a Senior Technician in a School and I supervise a team of three technicians. One of my technicians regularly has a bad attitude towards me and is very rude. What can I do?

Answer:Bad attitude should never be tolerated from anyone! Since it is a regular occurrence, this would indicate a complete lack of respect towards you and your authority. Your actions are clear. Keep notes of all dates, places and times that this individual has demonstrated behavior of this nature. It is important that you familiarize yourself with your workplace disciplinary policy and follow this exactly. Typically, you will issue the individual with a verbal warning. Note this also in your own personal records. If their behavior does not change, you should then consult with your immediate line manager with a view to issuing a written warning to the employee. Normally, this should resolve most problems. Either the employee will leave or their attitude will change. If this does not occur then you should be prepared to follow through to the next higher stage of your disciplinary behavior policy.
See also; Dealing with a difficult superior

  • I have been ill for nine weeks and will be returning to work shortly. Can my employer discipline me if I have been signed off work by my Doctor?

Answer: The answer is yes! If you are absent from work without being excused by your employer you can be disciplined or fired.

Normally, you should inform your employer verbally or in writing at the time (or as soon as possible afterwards) that 
you realize that you will not be able to work. 

Your employer is not required to accept an note from anyone. However, you cannot return to work if you are signed off by your GP because your employers insurance wouldn't cover you. They can't discipline unless your absence is considered long term - for example more than one year. In this case your employer could dismiss you fairly on the grounds of "frustration of contract". Additionally, if your absence is fragmented in nature, for example, you have been taking off several blocks of absences at a time, your employer may in this case invoke a disciplinary action against you which, in theory, could lead to your dismissal on similar grounds . It is general policy among many workplaces that employee are invited to a "Return to Work" Interview meeting shortly after the return from absence. This is an investigation meeting (not to be confused with a Disciplinary meeting), however the outcome in itself could lead to disciplinary action.

  • I am a Technician working full time 36 hours per week. Because my Husband has taken ill I now want to go part-time to care for him. Will my employer allow me to do this?

Answer: Yes. In April 2003 the Employment Act introduced the right for parents of young and disabled children to apply to work flexibly. From April 2007 this right has been extended to cover carers of adults. An application to work flexibly can cover such things as your hours of work, times of work and even place of work (as between home and place of business only) and this must be taken seriously by the employer. The Employment Act lays down a specific process for how you must apply for a change. You will generally have to meet with your employer to discuss your individual circumstances.
More information can be found here on the Directgov website or contact your Citizens Advice Bureau or Trade Union for more help if you have any difficulties
See also; Emergencies at home

  • Last Year, I was disciplined by my Head of Science and as a result I received a final written warning which has now expired. I have applied for a job and I need to approach the Head of Science for a Written reference. Will he mention on this reference the fact that I have been disciplined?

Answer: More than likely yes. The obligation of the Head of Science is to give a true, accurate and fair reference. The reference must not give a misleading impression about you and should focus on such things as your character and personality in addition to your skills and competence to do the job.
You do not have the right to see what is written about you by your Head of Science. There is a specific exemption about this under the Data Protection act (1998). A reference that focused mostly on your disciplinary situation could be considered malicious in nature and therefore your employer would not be exempt under the Act. If you think that an unfair reference has been supplied by your Head of Science then In this situation then you would need to talk to an employment solicitor or your Trade Union.

  • I am 49 years old and about to be made redundant from my School I have been employed 15 years. I am currently getting £260 per week. How much redundancy pay will I get? I have been told I will get 1 and a half times my wages for 10 years plus an extra 4 weeks money is this correct?

Answer: You have the right to a redundancy payment if you're an employee who has worked continuously for your employer for at least two years. Statutory redundancy pay isn't taxable. You will receive;

  • 0.5 week's pay for each full year of service where age during year less than 22
  • 1.0 week's pay for each full year of service where age during year is 22 or above, but less than 41
  • 1.5 weeks' pay for each full year of service where age during year is 41+

If you are 49 years old and have 15 years of service, you will be entitled to 19 weeks redundancy pay. The 19 weeks’ entitlement is based on 1 week’s pay for each completed year of service between age 34 and 41 and 1.5 weeks’ pay for each completed year of service between age 41 and 49. This works out at £5130 - which does not include the four weeks pay + any holiday entitlement paid in lieu of notice.

See also:

  • Can my employer make me use my personal holidays for a longer shutdown period over easter/Christmas after the holiday year has already started. They only gave us a few weeks notice.

Answer : They can ask but you do not have to agree. You must take holiday when you wish but give them twice as much notice. They cannot then unreasonably refuse this time away. Otherwise they can do a deal when they shut down and you go on holiday but their needs to be consent by you.

See also:

--Ssmith 06:05, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

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