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Very Little Helps => Dot Com => Topic started by: T3chie88 on 03-11-18, 07:33PM

Title: Investigation Meeting - not sure where to turn
Post by: T3chie88 on 03-11-18, 07:33PM
Hi all, been a long time lurker on here and have joined and donated to be able to post as I'm not sure where to turn with regards to a friend of mine being pulled in for an investigation.

I'll try and detail as much as possible...

So my friend has been with the company around 6 months and a few weeks ago was pulled up on allegedly smoking in a van due to a strong smell being apparent in the cab, my friend who is a smoker absolutely denies doing this and of course I believe them but it appears that management do not and in my opinion are now out to get them.

Another colleague has apparently gone into their cab and smelt smoke/tobacco. But here's where it gets interesting. The actual van was taken around to the compound to be jet washed and the actual jet washers have been known to smoke so there's a possibility as the cleaners need to move the van to get it cleaned. My friend also stopped to get directions from a passer by when they got lost on their run (they were actually only a few doors away but it was dark) and the passer by was actually smoking so the smell could have passed in to the cab as they leant in.

My friend has had a couple of meetings where each time new information has apparently come to light. The first meeting was done without a rep being present (they was told they could ahead with or without one regardless) and there was a single person who had reported it. Second meeting, a rep was present, however it had gone from one person to two people. Third meeting, was the actual hearing and it's now gone to ash being found in the cab, at this point the meeting had been adjourned. My friend is in such a bad way that it is making them physically sick and causing a lot of stress, I'm tempted to tell them to go to their GP to be signed off work for stress it's that bad.

So my friend doesn't actually take any kind of tobacco out with them, all the management have and to go on is 'reasonable doubt', two witnesses (one of which is an options manager...make of that what you will and the other person is well known to be in with the managers) and apparently this new evidence of ash being found (of which it has been asked if there is a photo, which hasn't been produced yet) is reasonable doubt enough for them to act like my friend has commited manslaughter. My friend has also requested black box information so they can confirm where they stopped to ask for directions, this also hasn't been produced. I'm at my wit's end because it appears they are clutching at straws and my friend is being targeted because they are a smoker.

Sorry for the long rant, I'm not sure if I've missed anything, any help or advice would be great thanks
Title: Re: Investigation Meeting - not sure where to turn
Post by: Welshie on 03-11-18, 09:28PM
Any smoker who  is driving would open their window even in a private car , for a lingering smell of smoke they would need to have smoked  many cigarettes or have been sitting in the yard smoking just before the locked up the van .
Title: Re: Investigation Meeting - not sure where to turn
Post by: gomezz on 03-11-18, 11:07PM
I can smell if a smoker has used the lift after being outside for a smoke so I would have to disagree.  Which in fact goes in this person's favour in this case as smokers can leave a rank smell even if they have not been actually smoking in the confined space concerned.
Title: Re: Investigation Meeting - not sure where to turn
Post by: valleyboy on 04-11-18, 08:31AM
Welshie/Gomez

Don't think the poster is seeking advice on how long tobacco smoke can be detected. I may be wrong. I think the poster is asking if a fair investigation hass been carried out?
Title: Re: Investigation Meeting - not sure where to turn
Post by: lucgeo on 04-11-18, 09:04AM
Deny! Deny! Deny!!

Ask for a copy of the notes of the initial meeting. Was the statement of no rep being present written in the notes. Your rep should be querying this statement along with the inconsistencies, first one person, then two, now ash??

They are basing their assumptions on the fact the driver smokes, with no visual/ photo evidence of the alleged smoking or ash?? But on the say so of a colleagues sense of smell ???

They would be hard put to go on the basis of probability, as it could be interpreted that they are saying a smoker is in all probability guilty of misconduct, merely because they are a smoker... :-X :-X
Title: Re: Investigation Meeting - not sure where to turn
Post by: hesketh on 04-11-18, 10:18AM
A vehement denial against two opinions that someone has smoked in the van. No evidence whatsoever and several alternative explanations..... Oh get real!

Even without the sloppy investigation procedures, any steps they take would be blasted on appeal.

Deny the allegation and let them hang themselves >:(
Title: Re: Investigation Meeting - not sure where to turn
Post by: gomezz on 04-11-18, 10:31AM
I once knew that the driver before me had been smoking in the van because not only was the smell very strong but he had as good as admitted his guilt by leaving both cab doors wide open in the hope it would air before anyone would notice.

Call me hypersensitive but I can even smell when someone starts using a vape the other side of the pub.
Title: Re: Investigation Meeting - not sure where to turn
Post by: lucgeo on 04-11-18, 12:13PM
Having re read.....if I have got this right, the cleaners have driven the van to and from the jet wash?? If this is the case, then your friend was not the last one in the cab ???

I had assumed that it was a straightforward case of one driver out, one in ??? If not, then how can he be held responsible for any sort of alleged misconduct made after he has vacated the vehicle and before the accuser enters the cab  ???
Title: Re: Investigation Meeting - not sure where to turn
Post by: T3chie88 on 04-11-18, 12:48PM
Having re read.....if I have got this right, the cleaners have driven the van to and from the jet wash?? If this is the case, then your friend was not the last one in the cab ???

I had assumed that it was a straightforward case of one driver out, one in ??? If not, then how can he be held responsible for any sort of alleged misconduct made after he has vacated the vehicle and before the accuser enters the cab  ???

This is one of the points I myself am questioning, the van was driven from the loading bay, to the compound and then removed from the compound by the cleaner for washing. The investigating manager has now gone away to question the cleaning company (which is why it's been adjourned once again, as my friend has brought up scenario for them, which was questioned why they'd 'changed their story', they haven't they just gave a possible explanation as they have got so many thoughts running through their head that they are bound to forget certain details as is human nature) , but of course what is to stop the cleaning company turning round and saying that no they don't smoke, where does that leave said friend? They can't prove either way, my friend is going to approach a different union rep who is more familiar with the specific department in question.

As someone said earlier in the thread, they are assuming my friend has smoked several cigarettes between the yard and compound (which is at best 2 minutes) for it to leave a strong smell of cigarettes. My friend did question if the following day did a driver who went in the van smell anything as if it was such a strong smell it would still be present the day after, the answer was 'well we don't know' 😡
Title: Re: Investigation Meeting - not sure where to turn
Post by: lucgeo on 04-11-18, 01:05PM
"Well we don't know" doesn't cut it when your accusing someone of misconduct.

Again I'd say they need to ask for a copy of all notes taken, especially the ones where no rep present.

As for changing their story??.....isn't that what they have done?? One witness....now two....now ash?? Ash after a jet wash and cleaners climbing in and out of the cab?? What kind of ash was it, molten larva  :-X :-X

Tread carefully when changing reps, ask the first rep their opinion on involving the rep who has more specific knowledge of the department for their input, rather than just go to the other rep instead. Most reps exchange views and knowledge anyway, and have probably discussed this case amongst themselves....however you always get one or two, who take umbrage if they feel their repping skills are being questioned?? Also there are some who are manager mouthpieces, and only in it for the gossip and time away from department.
Title: Re: Investigation Meeting - not sure where to turn
Post by: lackofinterest on 04-11-18, 08:17PM
wouldn't worry too much. this investigation is a f****ng farce and as already mentioned would be kicked out on appeal anyway
Title: Re: Investigation Meeting - not sure where to turn
Post by: 1 on 04-11-18, 10:48PM
At Tesco you are guilty unless you can prove otherwise.
Title: Re: Investigation Meeting - not sure where to turn
Post by: lackofinterest on 05-11-18, 04:50PM
the f***ing government shouldnt allow it to be that way. >:( >:( >:(
Title: Re: Investigation Meeting - not sure where to turn
Post by: Vanilla on 06-11-18, 05:01PM
Suggest/recommend that to stop his happening in the future all dotcom vans be fitted with "cabincams" and smoke detectors.
This resolve this type of jovial time wasting in the future.
Title: Re: Investigation Meeting - not sure where to turn
Post by: T3chie88 on 23-11-18, 07:57PM
So this is still going on, said friend has been off with stress/anxiety because of this ongoing situation. It has now escalated in to a further THREE separate investigations, it's beginning to feel like this is now a witch hunt against my friend.

1st: Shopping on company time (friend had finished 5 mins early thought they'd clocked out, literally 3-4 minutes, grabbed and paid for a few items and then had second thoughts whether they had in fact clocked, went to do it anyway to be safe but it appears that he was being watched by a TM so now being fingered for that)

2nd: mishap in a van, scuffed the van step Ladders against a railing, honest mistake, reported right away, (now in for investigation again)

3rd: Sickness, due to the way the whole situation has been treated, it has had a really bad effect on my friend, resulting in bouts of depression, stress and anxiety.

My friend is no snowflake but this is taking a toll on their physical and mental health, losing weight, not eating and not sleeping.  I've told them to take the entire management team down the grievance/bullying route what good that will do I'm not sure, but surely something needs to happen, it's absolutely appalling how they are treating my friend.
Title: Re: Investigation Meeting - not sure where to turn
Post by: lucgeo on 23-11-18, 08:33PM
Ok....they need to put a grievance in....this is stupid....where is the rep in all of this??? The first is bit suspect, as they could be done for " stealing company time" by shopping before clocking out....why was he being watched, and by what means?? CCTV.? They need to elaborate. Shouldn't be getting investigated for the latter two especially the sickness, this all suggests some sort of vendetta IMHO as they know they've screwed up on th initial investigation so hoping this constant " harassment" will wear your friend down and they'll throw in the towel and leave.
Title: Re: Investigation Meeting - not sure where to turn
Post by: 1 on 24-11-18, 12:47PM
How the managers are treating your friend may be unfair but they shouldn't go off sick if they have nothing to hide. Would it not be better to get all this out of the way. If you think your colleague is being treated unfairly why not help them out by complaining yourself.
Title: Re: Investigation Meeting - not sure where to turn
Post by: madness on 24-11-18, 01:44PM
There is more to this than being said. No dot com manager wants to drum out a driver. Infact they usually drag their feet with hauling up anyone for minor misdemeaners as replacing drivers is a pita.
Title: Re: Investigation Meeting - not sure where to turn
Post by: forrestgimp on 24-11-18, 05:27PM


So my friend doesn't actually take any kind of tobacco out with them, all the management have and to go on is 'reasonable doubt',


Thats all they need, If you/your friend thinks they have been harshly treated appeal if you/they get dismissed get advice about a tribunal.
Title: Re: Investigation Meeting - not sure where to turn
Post by: Buddha on 28-11-18, 01:19PM
Plausible deniability.
Title: Re: Investigation Meeting - not sure where to turn
Post by: Doris Stokes on 07-12-18, 11:18AM
Is it a common occurrence for Tesco colleagues to be investigated re smoking in vans?
Is it a common occurrence for Tesco colleagues to be dismissed for smoking in vans?
If you are re-suspended, following an investigatory meeting, is dismissal an inevitability?
Title: Re: Investigation Meeting - not sure where to turn
Post by: Nomad on 07-12-18, 01:52PM
You do know that smoking in a company vehicle utilised by more than one person is illegal.
Title: Re: Investigation Meeting - not sure where to turn
Post by: Doris Stokes on 07-12-18, 02:23PM
I've some knowledge, but I framed my question to see if, and how, it's practically applied across the whole Tesco network.
Title: Re: Investigation Meeting - not sure where to turn
Post by: Malridge on 07-12-18, 04:39PM
Hi T3chie88
I think you'll find that it's only "beyond" reasonable doubt that they can do anything, reasonable doubt alone means nothing, as far as I know.
Title: Re: Investigation Meeting - not sure where to turn
Post by: forrestgimp on 07-12-18, 04:46PM
Not being funny but they can do exactly as they please including sack them for have a reasonable belief that they have smoked in the van, This is not the Old Bailey this is work.  If once they have decided on a course of action you believe it is wrong then you have a few ways of appealing it which as a last resort is an industrial tribunal.

Title: Re: Investigation Meeting - not sure where to turn
Post by: Malridge on 07-12-18, 05:25PM
Hi forrestgimp
As omnipotent as they like us to think they are, I'm not sure that their "I think that they might have done it" process supersedes the law of the land.
No it's not the old Bailey forrestgimp lol, but equally they just can't act as they please!
Title: Re: Investigation Meeting - not sure where to turn
Post by: lackofinterest on 07-12-18, 06:01PM
they can, cos the government are for employers not employees >:( >:( >:(
Title: Re: Investigation Meeting - not sure where to turn
Post by: Redshoes on 08-12-18, 07:03AM
They only have to prove "balance of probability". It's not a court of law so they don't have to prove "beyond reasonable doubt". 
Title: Re: Investigation Meeting - not sure where to turn
Post by: optout on 09-12-18, 06:26PM
@T3chie88
if this situation is still on going, contact your area organizer via usdaw head office

https://www.usdaw.org.uk/Contact-Us/Usdaw-Offices (https://www.usdaw.org.uk/Contact-Us/Usdaw-Offices)
Title: Re: Investigation Meeting - not sure where to turn
Post by: Malridge on 10-12-18, 08:56AM
Hi Chojac2412
Interesting 😊
http://www.employeerescue.co.uk/advice/i-dont-want-to-lose-my-job/im-facing-disciplinary-action/ (http://www.employeerescue.co.uk/advice/i-dont-want-to-lose-my-job/im-facing-disciplinary-action/)
Title: Re: Investigation Meeting - not sure where to turn
Post by: Nomad on 10-12-18, 10:26AM
Where would we all be without, would - could -should  :o

A simpler world perhaps  :)
Title: Re: Investigation Meeting - not sure where to turn
Post by: gunner5139 on 28-01-19, 10:09PM
This bit of advice applies to all staff. Please take note.
I recently attended a 'let's talk' because of some minor damage I caused on the bumper of one of our vans.
When I sat down to start the interview the manager carrying out the interview read my 'charge' which was instantly recognisable to me as the wrong one due to it being for two incidents.
I pointed out his error which her then challenged and handed me the paperwork to prove his point.
I made him aware that he had the wrong paperwork and he then reluctantly conceded his error.
He became very defensive and angry when I pointed out that he had breached serious Date Protection laws by showing me paperwork containing another drivers private details.
You all need to be aware that the general standard of managers that I have encountered at my particular location is extremely poor and staff need to check every detail of what work they carry out.
I am lucky enough to be leaving this company next month but I pity any staff that need to rely on long term employment with this company and its shower of s*** management.