Re-deployment following a disciplinary hearing and pending appeal
Thanks for your prompt response, your comment was appreciated and alike you I firmly believe an Independent review of procedural fairness needs to be address elsewhere to bring resolution to this on going matter.
I am sorry, but this is far too complex a situation for us to advise here. It involves quite specialised employment policies which are pretty unique to the NHS, grievance, disciplinary and hearings held in absentia. We could pick and choose bits of what is a long and involved story spanning two years, and give you entirely the wrong advice based on a minimal summary. You need an employment lawyer.
Wondered if someone can look through the Lens and from a different Angle with my on going work issues that are keeping me awake at night and have me holding my sanity with just one nail and a strand of thread.
I am NHS employee with over 10 years service with my employer and for all material times have worked the same number of years in a clinical setting before forcibly removed during what my employer termed 6 mths rotational secondment to enable career development and return to your usual place of work on completion of the six mths rotation. Everyone within this clinical setting was given a letter in 2006 informing them of this move within my employer Directorate. I was the first person to move and apart from one other staff no one else has ever been rotated since. Lo and behold sometime in November 2008 management noted the reason for my secondment which I accepted in good faith was to enable a conducted investigation where my status and conduct was the subject of an enquiry.
These conducted investigations commence since 2007 and lasted until 2008. Yes the longest conducted investigation in the history of the NHS just briefly informed me two days before my rotation was due to be completed that following received reports from staff from my usual place of work “that my behaviour was inappropriate” and now warranted an internal investigation. This was in 2007 the shock and distress from this news affected me and warranted a long period of absence and sickness as this vague information of what exactly I have done in a clinical area I had not been in for nearly six months left me depressed, stirred and well shaken, With family and GP support I managed to return back to work in Jan 2008 to a temporary relocation on gradual return whilst the on going investigation continued. Within 3 mths of my return a date for my pending surgery came through and had surgery on my both hands resulting in a further period of absence from Sept 2008.
During this sick noted period my employer informed me that the conducted investigation was concluded and invited me to a disciplinary hearing. Prior to the receipt of this letter I was requested to attend the Occ Health Department I did not have an issue with this as this was in line with their absence and sickness policy. On receipt of this letter for the disciplinary hearing I wrote back to my employer kindly asking them to re-schedule the hearing as I was expiring pain in my RT hand where the plaster cast was removed the week before this receipt of letter. I also requested relevant material used during this conducted investigation as well as the ward duty roster to see when those shifts was worked with management selected witness who made these allegation.
They the Trust / employer blatantly refused to despatch any of the requested material and felt it had no bearing what so ever on the allegation and all they sent within the letter of invitation to attend the disciplinary hearing was just extracts / excerpts of management witness interviewees. I consider these extracts as unacceptable especially with these serious allegations made against me by a core group of staff. Therefore in the absence of these requested material made it difficult to prepare a case / defence etc.
Any way to cut a rather long story short the Trust NEVER informed me of the rescheduled date for the hearing despite having my postal address and both my landline and mobile number. Instead I received correspondence stating that they sought advice from Occ Health stating they saw no reason why I can not attend the hearing as this was not physical. During this requested attendance at Occ Health the Nurse never asked me about any pain my hands and was just focusing on dexterity and grip and my ability to return to my job as a result of my recent surgery and recipient of physiotherapy at the time of my appointment at this department. The disciplinary hearing was held in my absence some time in Nov 2008 and the outcome of same was permanent deployment and a warning letter to be placed in my personal file. I immediately wrote back to HR informing them of my intention of Appeal on the grounds of: Flaws in the disciplinary hearing; alleged breach of natural justice and the severity of the disciplinary action etc. I then proceeded on authorised Annual Leave as planned in Dec 2008 and am patiently awaiting the pending Appeal which is due to be heard sometime early next month.
On my return from this leave in Jan 09 I was requested to meet with my line manager to confirm my deployment options. My selected chosen option that is similar to my previous clinical setting that I have been working in was obviously selected as it is an area I have developed my skills, knowledge, expertise and job satisfaction after working a number of years. The other option although closer to my geographical location was an area I derive absolutely no job satisfaction from and had worked in a similar setting during my years of service and consider this as a career graveyard. However, I feel as if I am being bullied to accept this option which is self selected by my employer and considered ideal as I do not drive and is closer or easier to get to and fro from work. They consider this deployment as “Organisational Change “ and not their deployment action therefore they are of the firm view that this is the option I should accept as it is ideal for me. Despite their awareness that I do not drive they gave me just two options to select from whilst there are known vacancy in similar setting in the very said hospital they forcibly removed me from in 2006.
The option I selected requires extensive and expensive travel cost irregardless whatever mode of public transport I use BUS / Rail this cost of travel is working out more than my current mortgage!!! Apart from this despite leaving my house since 05:15 am I would never arrived on time to fulfil my contractual duty hours – 07:00 hrs - 19:30 hrs and would be arriving much later on Weekends with public transport. On any given working day I would arrive back home around 23:00 hrs after doing these long hours at work. The Trust is using their Organisational Change policy to pay for public transport used for travel to any of these two deployment options which is 24 pence per mile. Can anybody tell me how to calculate the mileage of both public transports which I would have to use to get me to work?
The sad part of this on going saga is that I drop out the Union of which I had been a member for the same amount of years I have been in the service after trust and confidence had broken down and my Union Rep cancelling meetings at very short notice during the period of my raised Grievance process. However, after long and careful consideration I have most recently joined another Union who I do not reasonably expect to represent me at present as I joined after this on going messy business with my employer and a pending case awaiting a hearing some time this year following these on going acts of continuous victimisation after attending the ET as a witness in 2006 in a claim bought against my employer by a member of staff who have since left the service. I am currently sick noted with all these on going issues especially the deployment action following a disciplinary hearing with so many flaws and unsubstantiated claims from the Trust core group of selected witnesses. I do not feel I could continue working for my employer whose recent behaviour has become unreasonable and is considering throwing in the towel to protect my sanity after the Appeal hearing which is already predetermined.
As a nurse I do not have the required knowledge and experience in dealing with these big organisations and is grateful for any advice about presenting a Robust Case at the Appeal. Therefore any suggestions after looking through the Lens with a fresh pair of eyes is always welcome. Thanks in advance for any comments on this matter.