Published on 12, July, 2020
Hello, can anyone help me please with what support my 24 year old son can have at work for a meeting? He raised or should I say I helped him with a grievance against him supervisor who treats him badly, she is a bully in my opinion! They’re now acting on this grievance with an investigation which my son has to attend on his own on Thursday morning whilst he’s at work. He is not aloud to have any representation at this stage but he will go into that meeting and not know what they’re talking about!? Can we insist under the disability act 2010 that he should have representation?
Im so worried for him as I think they’re trying to get him out!?
I'm not a lawyer, but I would have hoped so. I would expect representation to be allowed for any employee with a grievance.
If this is a company of any size, they will have an HR Dept. They should…
This sounds harsh. I've been in a similar(ish) position before. I had to read up a stack of ACAS things and eventually they backed down a bit.
I called ACAS who helped give me advice as to my rights…
Yes - The HR dept is only there to protect the company and management - not for your son.
It might be worth asking for a copy of the company policies that they are using against your son - if they deviate…
If this is a company of any size, they will have an HR Dept. They should be advising on how this is dealt with, and they should know and play by the Equality Act.
In theory, if they treat your son differently because of a disability, it will cost the company (though it can be hard to prove a claim, of course). So HR should want to be involved.
So 1) ask HR, 2) if he is in a union, consult his union representative.
Thank you. I have tried to contact the HR department but they’re not answering their phone. My son had a letter to say that the HR department will be taking notes as a company witness. My son is not in a union but my husband is and he is going to try to find out what he is entitled to. In the letter they say that it is just an investigation and that he does not have a statutory right to be accompanied.
I called ACAS who helped give me advice as to my rights so I'd say give them a try and see if they can provide advice on this matter regarding accompaniment or representation.
So my advice would be: Give ACAS a call.
In terms of tough meetings/investigation:I hated the meetings. Everything in the meetings was what I now recognise as a trigger.
In my case, I had to act like 'my own lawyer'. Things were framed by the company in such a way as to 'frame' me and absolve their own faults. So, I had to be quick to recognise when they were trying to con things. Which is tough for anyone with autism/Aspie traits.
Autism/Aspie has high traits of honesty. When put against an opponent that is shameless in lying, it's deeply unfair.
One of the hardest parts of the meeting was them looking at me blankly and emotionless. It's like the still face experiment that freaks out young children. This part pushed my anxiety as high as it would go. There were two of them in meetings against one of me, and so they had more time to process things and make notes. They were acting unfairly though [the HR manager was sister of the boss, which didn't help with fairness - it's almost laughable now I've quit them]. I did manage to catch them out on improper running of procedure which bought me some useful 'higher ground'
I wouldn't advise someone with autism to go into such a meeting alone if there's even a hint of bullying going on. I really hope there is precedent for your son having appropriate accompaniment. Fingers crossed this will be the case
just agreeing with calmerchameleon who is spot on in all details
so Contact ACAS.
Such meetings are awful.. They are so one sided its unbelievable. Have you rang the NAS helpline ?
It might be worth asking for a copy of the company policies that they are using against your son - if they deviate from their own procedures one tiny bit, you have grounds against them - if they follow their procedures, it can be much more difficult. Make sure you get a copy of their disciplinary procedure.
Most companies / HR depts are totally incompetent so try to ride roughshod over even their own rules and the law - just hoping no-one ever calls them out on it.
To be fair to HR Departments, I've found HR in my company to be genuinely helpful and supportive since I disclosed my ASD and ADHD.
That said, I don't assume that they are all like that, and I agree with your cautious approach.
If the HR department are providing the witness then this may satisfy any legal requirement for an employee to have a witness for a meeting, but then if it is just an investigation meeting and he's not the one under investigation then I'm not sure on the employee rights.
I'd make sure that your son can get a copy of the notes taken during the meeting - he'll most likely be asked to sign something to confirm that it's a fair and accurate statement of events, too.
If you are concerned that they are trying to "get him out" then check through his contract and employee handbook (HR should be able to provide a copy of these), as well as the Citizen's advice or Gov.uk websites, as dismissal has to be carried out through very specific processes. Although bear in mind that it can be difficult to dispute this if it's not clearly laid out.
I rang acas but didn’t find them very forthcoming, that said I did use a term they quoted when I spoke to hr again and he now has someone from his work supporting him in the investigation meeting tomorrow thank goodness!
that is such good news for everyone
yes, that's positive. we'll keep fingers crossed for him.