We hope these resources, provided by Craig, a team member, with some re-organisation by myself Julie, will help you decide what further actions you can take as you face unjustified/unnecessary/unlawful disciplinary procedures. There is lots of food for thought.
Very important note: Remember we are not legally qualified and that the law changes regularly so please check that these resources are up to date.
A.Most important resources in order of importance
1.SUSPENSION – what to expect and how to manage practically
See page entitled ‘Suspended?’
2.Acas – (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service). Vital information.
The more you know about employment law and best practice the more you will be able to challenge poor practice by your employer.
In our experience, poor practice is endemic in the NHS. A manager has made a poor decision and now has to justify their action.
Hence the witch hunt that may follow to make additional allegations against you.
Be warned: sometimes colleagues who you thought were friends or at least sympathetic, but who fear for their own jobs and mortgage, keep silent, or worse, contribute to the witch hunt.
From the Acas website – The Acas Code of Practice sets out the basic requirements of fairness that will be applicable in most cases; it provides the standard of reasonable behaviour for most cases. (And yes, your employer is ignoring it – my addition.)
The Code will help employers, employees and representatives deal with disciplinary and grievance issues in the workplace.
The Acas helpline number is 0300 123 1100. It is available Monday 8am-8pm, Tuesday 8am-6pm, Wednesday to Thursday 8am-8pm and Friday 8am-6pm.
They can also be contacted by their on line service.
Also of value is their description of mediation as a cost effective way of reaching an outcome that both parties can agree to, that maintains the employer – employee relationship. Sadly I have never known it be used in these circumstances.
3.Written Statements – Guide about their purpose and how to write them. (Left click on the title and a link should appear. Left click on the link and the page should open. Please let me know if there is a problem. Thanks.)
4.Written Statement – Guide to jog your memory
B.Additional Resources Section in alphabetical order
Please note that Craig often quotes Handling Concerns about the Performance of Healthcare Professionals: Principles of good practice. These were jointly published in September 06 by the Department of Health and the National Patient Safety Agency for all non medical staff working in England. Thanks to someone’s Freedom of Information request, the Department of Health says ‘This was produced as a guidance document for managers and professionals which outlined key principles and elements for handling performance concerns; it was not intended to replace organisations’ own policies and procedures. Whilst many of the principles will remain true, it has become outdated because it refers to structures and organisations which have been
out of existence since 2006’ ie the same year or a mistake? This gives you an idea of what you are up against!
All these resources will need adapting to your own circumstances and in your own words of course, reflecting who you are and how you speak. (Left click on the title and a link should appear. Left click on the link and the page should open. Please let me know if there is a problem. Thanks.)
Compromise agreements now known as settlement agreements – see http://www.acas.org.uk/media/pdf/o/a/Settlement_agreements_(the_Acas_Guide)JULY2013.pdf
Compromise, Settlement & Termination – Craig’s thoughts about the implications of settling
Costs and Losses – Summary. Includes a comprehensive list of damages to the suspended employee
Crisis management guide: original version by Craig
Dismissal – Guide to decision factors for Employers and Employees
Hearings – acknowledge attendance with list of requirements regarding fair treatment of witnesses
Letter to Access Records using a Freedom of Information request
Letter to dispute minutes of meeting – VERY IMPORTANT because this is often an issue, whether intentionally or just by poor minute taking.
NMC Registrants Response to allegations
Notes Minutes and Statements – Checklist. SEE ALSO Letter to dispute minutes of meeting
Persuading, influencing, negotiating – 18 pages of thoughtful reflection and strategies
Politics games, ploys and strategies – planning and then presenting confidently
Public Interest Disclosure Act (PIDA) 1998 Declaration of Disclosure letter when all other avenues have failed
Raising Concerns informally with the person with whom you have a problem – action plan
Raising Concerns – Letter to Line Manager covering various concerns, that is:- poor practice, accountability for unqualified staff, inadequate number of qualified staff on shift, lack of support as newly qualified staff nurse, hostile team environment, equality of shifts, training opportunities
Reports for Investigations – Notes re their purpose, legal issues, how to write them
Representation – Case Summation:- headings and points to use, to sum up your case
Representation – Questions to ask witnesses and manager making allegations
Representation – Strategy for a hearing:- coping mechanisms, presenting your case, time out, if hearing not going well
Safety – 7 Steps to Safety published by the NHS – how safety issues should be handled
Safety – Incident Decision Tree tool. See also
https://www.ahrq.gov/downloads/pub/advances/vol4/meadows.pdf which describes how it was developed, an explanation for an American audience.
Safety Root Cause Analysis Summary to identify systems failure
Statement of Case fuller outline: In particular see appendix A Interpretation of Negligence and appendix B Interpretation of harm
Witnesses – Letter to witnesses asking them to attend your hearing, their rights and what will be asked of them.
C.Forms (templates) for you to use, in alphabetical order
Chronology of events, template
Filing System – template
Incident Report Log – to record all the concerns you may have reported
Representation – Meeting Notes; forms to use
Signed Receipt for a document
Legal advice from solicitors who specialise in employment law. You can find out who your local employment solicitors are by looking at www.lawsociety.org.uk The site will also give you advice about the service solicitors offer and how to prepare for meetings with them.
Department of Health, Richmond House, 79 Whitehall, London SW1A 2NS
Tel: 0207210 3000
Web address: www.dh.gov.uk
Nursing and Midwifery Council
23 Portland Place, London W1B 1PZ Tel: 020 7637 7181