HR Problems PageWednesday, February 9th, 2011
Here we take our weekly look at answering some of the tricky HR questions we’ve been emailed. If you have a tricky HR question you needs answering email it to email@example.com and we’ll post the best here with an answer each week.
Disciplining Different Types of Misconduct
One of our employees has appealed to me against the decision of his manager to give him a final warning for making a minor false expense claim. He was given a formal warning six weeks ago for horseplay in a hazardous area. He claims that, as this is a different type of offence, he should receive no more than a formal warning for it. What do you think? Is he right?
No, he is wrong, but a nice try. Both incidents constitute misconduct. This man appears to misbehave on a regular basis, therefore it is perfectly alright to impose increasing sanctions. Some organisations do have separate procedures for lateness and absenteeism on one hand and other forms of misconduct on the other, and therefore may be giving warnings in two streams. But otherwise misconduct is misconduct in whatever form. Assuming that your manager has handled the procedure you are within your rights to reject the appeal.
A week ago we gave an employee four weeks notice but now have decided that we need to keep him. We have told him that we have withdrawn his notice but he insists that he is still leaving at the end of the four week period. What can we do? How do we stand?
The legal response is that, once an employer has given notice to an employee, it may not be withdrawn. In practice of course there really is nothing you can do. If he wants to leave at the end of the four week period or indeed at the end of today, there really is nothing you can do to stop him. If you do want him to stay you will have to sweet-talk him or even offer him an incentive. It is possible, of course, that he has gone off you because you sacked him in the first place.