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  1. #1
    babsie007's Avatar

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    Default I received a Written Warning by email

    I work for the UK subsidiary of a German company and was invited into the office on Friday (I had a tezt at 3:55) for a quick meeting, but I wasn't able to make it. I asked what the meeting was about and didn't received a response.

    By 4:15 I had received a written warning issued via email.

    I'm in absolute shock. The warning relates to conduct involved 2 men that I work with. One has listed a couple of occasions when I had either messaged the guy in question or tried to interact with him via social media. And then the fact that I accused him of making "eyes" at me, which he denied and I "wouldn't drop". And then a complaint from his friend who said I asked him repeatedly about his divorce when he doesn't want to talk about it and I also was asking him if his girlfriend was frisky when drinking and how I was frisky right now and asking him if he also got frisky too.

    I'm in absolute shock.

    My employment contract is governed by Northern Ireland law, although I reside in England.

  2. #2
    Amethyst's Avatar

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    Default Re: I received a Written Warning by email

    It sounds like your colleagues may have made an allegation of harrassment / inappropriate behaviour against you - presumably there's some kind of background to it - did you have any inkling that this was coming at all ?

    Is the letter a formal written warning or is it their notification to you of the allegations ? Have they come back to you about the meeting at all ? - they are supposed to give you notice of the meeting ( more than 5 minutes !) and inform you of your right to be accompanied. Or have they said because you couldn't make that meeting ( because of the short notice ) they are just issuing a written warning ? Have you been suspended ? Have you responded to the warning email and have they advised you of your right to appeal the decision ?

    Tagging @Ula to look in as she actually knows employment law stuff ( rather than me just trying to be helpful lol )

    This seems to be the relevant NI LRA code of practice which is very similar to the ACAS Code of practice in England - https://www.lra.org.uk/publications/...3rd-april-2011 which doesn't seem to require a meeting where the outcome is 'just' a warning - although only because there would be no unfair dismissal without the dismissal bit - however if the written warning was used against you at any further disciplinary issue and resulted in dismissal the lack of following the code could be relevant.


    First formal action – misconduct
    24.
    Where, following a disciplinary meeting, an employee is found guilty of
    misconduct, a first step would be to give him/her a formal oral warning
    or a written warning depending on the seriousness of the misconduct.
    When such a warning is issued the employee should be informed,
    either orally where a formal oral warning has been given or in writing
    where a written warning has been given:
    • that the action is part of the formal disciplinary procedure;

    of the nature of the misconduct;
    • of the level of the disciplinary action being taken;
    • of the change in behaviour required; and
    • of the consequences of failing to correct behaviour.
    25 The employee should also be informed that he/she may appeal against
    the disciplinary action taken. Where a formal oral warning
    has been
    given a note of the warning should be kept but disregarded for
    disciplinary purposes after a specified period, for example, 6 months.
    Where a written warning has been issued a copy should be kept but
    disregarded for disciplinary purposes after a specified period,
    for example, 12 months.
    “We may not win by protesting, but if we don’t protest we will lose. If we stand up to them, there is always a chance we will win.” Hetty Bower

    Any advice I provide is given without liability, if you are unsure please seek professional legal guidance.

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  3. #3
    babsie007's Avatar

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    Default Re: I received a Written Warning by email

    The written notice is the official written warning - no meeting. They have suggested we meet to discuss how I can improve my behaviour.

    Yes there's a lot of background to this and it seems to me like he's trying to cover his back. We had flirted a lot back in April, it was a 2 way thing so I'm in no way innocent here. We flirted a lot, it turned out that his wife thought he was having an affair with me, he did say he liked me. Once I found that out, I backed off although I did try to maintain a friendly relationship with him, I did let him believe that I wasn't interested and he had misunderstood.

    I did tell him at a later stage that I did like him and I'm sorry I led him to believe otherwise and that I was pleased we were able to start our working relationship again. It was a pretty awkward few months! Then in August, we were together for a meeting over 3 days and he was making loads of eye contact and starting at me - you can't mistake that kind of eye contact for anything else. I didn't reciprocate.

    I seen him again recently - we arrived at hQ on the Monday afternoon and didn't have much contact. On the Thursday morning, he passed a comment to me on how good I looked (I've recently lost 3 stone). I took it as a compliment and nothing more. Then they eye contact starting again. Not as starting as previously but lots and lots of little glances and brief catching of my eye.

    I messaged him about it and said I found it very confusing as he said he only wanted a professional relationship. He edenied it and I said you were doing it last time too. He didn't respond and the next day he went to HR with the claim that I'm harassing him, with his buddy to back him up on a bogus story.

    The whole thing is a mess. I'm the only female in a team of 9 men and 3 of them were included in this meeting (I'm assuming one of them was just a witness??).

    I haven't had any information on appealing or anything.

    I've responded to the company to advise I've sought legal advice and before arranging to meet, I would like a copy of their procedures - within the next 7 days. And then I'll be in a position to discuss further. I haven't had a response yet.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I appreciate I shouldn't flirt with the men I work with but I did not expect this to happen. This is my worst nightmare.

  4. #4
    Ula's Avatar

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    Default Re: I received a Written Warning by email

    Northern Ireland employment law is not my area if expertise but I have had a look at the code of conduct which as @Amethyst has said is similar to the code of conduct in England and Wales.

    It appears that there is a specific statutory minimum procedure if an employer is considering dismissing an employee or imposing some other disciplinary penalty other than suspension on full pay or a warning, However since you were issued with a warning it may be on that basis they are not following this minimum procedure.

    It would however be interesting to see what is detailed as the company's disciplinary procedure and to see whether the actions they have undertaken are consistent with that procedure.
    I do my best to provide good practical advice, however I do so without liability.
    If you have any doubts then do please seek professional legal advice.


    You can’t always stop the waves but you can learn to surf.

    You are braver than you believe, smarter than you think and stronger than you seem.

  5. #5
    babsie007's Avatar

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    Default Re: I received a Written Warning by email

    Thank you for your advice.

    theyre actually a German company and I believe they've followed German processes without checking the correct procedures.

    I havent heard from them today today but I only responded to them this morning. It's a sad state of affairs and I would have much preferred to keep my job but I don't feel that's a long term option.

    A bad bad case of flirting gone sour!

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