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Should I appeal an attendance review warning

Started by ihavequestions23, 14-05-22, 09:52AM

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ihavequestions23

I (after waiting a month for a rep) had an AR yesterday. My boss gave me a first warning. I was okay with it at first, like, whatever, but since then I've given it a lot of thought. My percentage was over 5%, and it was for 4 days of absence (one when I had the flu for a week and the other when I went home early with health-related issues). I am contracted 3 days, work 5-6, and it irks me that they work out the percentage in the way that they do but nothing I can do about that. I am, however, frustrated with the outcome.

For one, I had the flu back when the policy was any covid-related symptoms meant you couldn't go to work. I had a test done and it came back negative but still, I think it should have been thrown out because I wouldn't have been able to work even if I wasn't bed-ridden for the week. Second, my health-related issue had a doctors note, and they were aware of it. I had permission from another manager to leave because I was experiencing really bad dizziness and palpitations which meant stacking shelves was probably not a good idea for me.

I work so hard for these people, like I work myself to the bone. For months I worked 6 and 7 nights, my mental and physical health were taking a beating but I turned up every day, worked my ass off, and didn't complain. In my meeting my manager acknowledged that I work hard, do lots of overtime and help them out with the extra jobs, but said that he was forced to give me a warning. It's hit me now how underhanded that was. It's up to the managers discretion what to do when I am absent and he decided to feck me over despite all the "hard work and extra hours". I knew it would happen, because he likes to make an example out of people, especially people like me who rarely speak up about things. With other people, it seems they don't get the same treatment. A guy I know was calling in sick regularly, and only had some "next steps" to follow to improve his attendance, another guy walked out when he got moved, and didn't get so much as a talking to. A girl in my department had an AR a couple of weeks ago and had no warning under mitigating circumstances.

I believe it is because he wants to make an example. He can't afford to have me take more sick days and wants to prevent me from calling sick again because he knows it will cause problems for the team. They rely on me way too much and I am regularly asked to work more hours and more days when others are able to work only their contract shifts without even being asked, and they know I would happily work my contract shifts and no more, but cite "flexi contractual requirements" as to why I cannot refuse. I'm actually sick of it. I don't know whether I have grounds for an appeal, but I am very sure that if I were somebody else, or if it were another manager (not my own), there would have been a different outcome.

I am in no way upset about getting into trouble or having a warning on my file, that doesn't bother me in the slightest, it's that I bend over backwards and as soon as I have an issue, they throw the book at me. It's making me mentally unwell and the reason for my heart-issues is very likely, as my doctor has suggested, to be stress. I notice a pattern, and I always tend to have increased symptoms when I am put under pressure at work. I'm very close to handing in my notice because I'm tired of the hypocrisy and unfairness.

Redshoes

First off you need to ditch what you think happens to others. You have no idea what is said behind closed doors and people lie. I have known of colleague who have had warnings and come out saying "I told them, and all I got was next stapes".
Secondly, you need time out. People can work long hours and a lot of days but it catches up in the end. You can't burn the candle at both ends. You need to start saying no to overtime. Say "that put me on six days this week and I did six days last wk, I need time out". Use the words "work life balance".
Thirdly, Covid is Covid. If you did not get a positive test it's not Covid.
It also sounds like you have had this hanging over you a long time. If you do appeal I suggest you do it on the grounds of out of process but you need union support on this. As you waited for a rep to go in with you, what did the rep say?

Teddybonkers

" I work so hard for these people, like work myself to the bone". More fool you then. Have you only just learnt what sort of a company you work for?

lucgeo

Redshoes...can I ask some questions as I have been out of the system for a while, yet note you hardly ever address any of the issues questioned, in as much as advising on current policy?

1...should absence % be calculated on contracted hours, as the poster seems to suggest the absence % has been calculated on agreed overtime absence?
2... should the first day of suspected Covid not have been included in the %, as it was suspected and therefore unable to attend until attaining a test??
3...whereas the poster isn't privy to the outcome of other colleagues absence reviews, the poster can cite that they believe they are being treated at a detriment to other colleagues warnings!! As such the rep can question this for them!
4....what is the policy now on flexible contracts?? Citing " flexible contractual requirements" seems severely unreasonable, especially as the poster is working many requests to cover overtime?? Is there a limit as to how many hours and shifts they must accommodate before they can refuse??
Live for today. Learn from yesterday.

ihavequestions23

Quote from: Redshoes on 14-05-22, 12:28PM
First off you need to ditch what you think happens to others. You have no idea what is said behind closed doors and people lie. I have known of colleague who have had warnings and come out saying "I told them, and all I got was next stapes".
Secondly, you need time out. People can work long hours and a lot of days but it catches up in the end. You can't burn the candle at both ends. You need to start saying no to overtime. Say "that put me on six days this week and I did six days last wk, I need time out". Use the words "work life balance".
Thirdly, Covid is Covid. If you did not get a positive test it's not Covid.
It also sounds like you have had this hanging over you a long time. If you do appeal I suggest you do it on the grounds of out of process but you need union support on this. As you waited for a rep to go in with you, what did the rep say?

Although, the one reason on an appeal form is that the outcome was different to other outcomes, which is why I asked others their outcomes, I can choose several other reasons though. You're right, it may not have been truthful, but to be honest I'm quite close with these two colleagues. The one girl had it with another manager who didn't know her and I am 100% that's the reason why.

Yep, I've suffered burn out for sure. I thought I'd recovered after the Christmas and January periods but I'm still not right. It's hard to tell them no, though, they are quite forceful and love to try and butter me up with how great I am, their actions don't hold that up though. But definitely, they can forget the overtime if they're going to treat me the way they do.

Correct, but I was awaiting a PCR, and missed my contract shifts whilst waiting. At the time, the policy was any covid-related symptoms meant I HAD to stay home, and this should not have been taken into account. I brought this up in the meeting, but my manager quickly dismissed it by pretending I was talking about the time I actually had COVID. But I let it go, at this point he had already given me a warning.

The rep said it was their fault for not being available. She wasn't great to be honest she didn't say much. She was nice though, she saw I was frustrated and said I can appeal if I want to, but on the grounds of it not being a fair outcome. I really don't care I have a warning, I just care that my boss knew he was going to give it before the meeting, it's obvious by the fact he kept hounding the rep's about being available, and kept reminding me I needed an AR.

NightAndDay

I wouldn't bother to be honest, even though the process states that appeals have to be conducted by managers who are impartial, as the countless number of unfair dismissal cases and threads here will attest to, it is seldom the case.

What isn't that well known in the public domain is the dynamics between Tesco and the operability of the law, now woe betide people who break it, the law is the law afterall... except when it isn't, you see, for the majority, the law applies, but there are entities where the full brunt of the law can't be allowed to apply by virtue of how much economic leverage said entities hold, the judges have to walk a tight rope of appearing to ensure the law applies to all while at the same time, not prove to be chocolate in Tescos peanut butter to the extent they'll take their business outside of the UK and cause GDP in the UK to plummet.

If I were you, I'd take the first written warning on the chin and look for alternative employment, appealing would put a target on your back, and due to the quasi -superlegal status of Tesco management, they''ll look to get rid of you, they have successfully got rid of the undesirables during my tenure after the ex-employees have been found with stolen goods in their bag or illegal drugs (though they don't take drugs). One way or another, Tesco will make you "disappear".

oldfashionedplayer

For flexi contracts you just put down your availability, fill in a new availability form, stick to that, they have to adhere to it, the process for flexi contracts is 24 hours in exceptional circumstances (not all the time), 7 days sometimes, but should be on a 4 weekly basis for your rotas, of which you have the right to work with your manager to go "I can't do that, but I can do this" that is a reasonable request and adjustment fulfilling your contract, full on refusal would be 3 and gone, but if you are saying you can do do 5 days one week, 3 another and 4 another, then 5 again, and working with them, itd be on their back for giving you anything for it, cause you are working with them... As redshoes said, you should have time off etc.. As for covid old policy was while testing you should stay off, so that shouldn't of counted under old policy for any percentages. Only under new policy if you were off after it came in for covid..

horatiocain

My opinion is backed by what I experienced over a decade of working for Tesco.

Appeal, you have nothing to lose at all, they can't make it worse.
My rep said make them know you will fight for everything they do and they'll not come at you with petty c**p, it saves a lot of time in the long run.

If the flu sickness had covid symptoms then it was covid related absence until you had your negative result and is excluded as I understand it.
As to the latter illness  if it is related to an underlying health condition it is also excluded and managed under a different policy, not that most managers are aware of this.

Get a decent rep and fight it out.

And remember even if you lose at appeal you can still use ACAS to argue again if you feel the warning is unwarranted and finally you can always file a tribunal claim for the warning being unfair, especially if you can show other colleagues are treated differently.

You might make enemies, but they'll know you'll fight them.

lucgeo

If you know you're in the right...appeal!! Not only will it get them spending more time on it, they'll also know you're not one to be pushed around!
I wouldn't be too fussed about being targeted either, they obviously need you more than you need them!! If you don't stand your ground now, they'll just keep pushing you around!

If you hadn't been in agreement with the four week delay, in as much as they checked back every week to a mutually agreed extension, then it would be out of process due to the timeline!

Your rep may be nice, but sounds inexperienced to be honest...she should have adjourned the meeting, when she sensed you were getting frustrated ( emotionally flooded ) in the meeting.
She should have queried the absence %.
She should have queried your fit note agreement?
She should have queried the Covid absence waiting for results, if that was the agreed procedure at the time?
She should have queried why the manager stated they HAD to give you a warning, and was it obviously pre determined before the meeting?

Don't roll over, play their own game, do the overtime agreement to the letter, no more, no less...next time they try soft soaping you, tell them you've had the word MUG erased from your forehead  ;)
Live for today. Learn from yesterday.

Redshoes

#9
Quote from: lucgeo on 14-05-22, 07:49PM
Redshoes...can I ask some questions as I have been out of the system for a while, yet note you hardly ever address any of the issues questioned, in as much as advising on current policy?

1...should absence % be calculated on contracted hours, as the poster seems to suggest the absence % has been calculated on agreed overtime absence?
2... should the first day of suspected Covid not have been included in the %, as it was suspected and therefore unable to attend until attaining a test??
3...whereas the poster isn't privy to the outcome of other colleagues absence reviews, the poster can cite that they believe they are being treated at a detriment to other colleagues warnings!! As such the rep can question this for them!
4....what is the policy now on flexible contracts?? Citing " flexible contractual requirements" seems severely unreasonable, especially as the poster is working many requests to cover overtime?? Is there a limit as to how many hours and shifts they must accommodate before they can refuse??

Absence is calculated on contracted hours but if an error has been made I would re-calculate before fighting this. When you have less contracted hours it can raise your percentage. There is a possibility that absence percentage could go up.

I don't think it's worth fighting the Covid either. As I said Covid is Covid. Test results gave a code for wages to input and this should trigger people being paid. The way the system should have worked is that once code was given the wages system was updated and changed to paid. This depends on when the Covid absence was during the past six months though as there has been changes. However, colleagues have been expected to produce test results to trigger payment for a while.

Flexi contract policy at the moment states that colleagues should have two days off a week,  they can only be flexed one side of a shift but must have a minimum of 9 hours a wk. So if contracted to 1200-1600 on a mon your flexibility can be 0800-1600 or 1200-2100 but not 0800-2100. You also need to have 11 hours off between shifts. If you opt to pick up shifts with less that this that is up to you but you can't be flexed for it.  No flexibility on a Sunday, if contracted to a Sunday it's the exact contracted hours. If not it has to show as zero flexibility. Then you can restrict how much you can be flexed up, you can say how many days you want to work and how many hours. A lot of people select they only want to pick up one flexi shift a wk, over and above this they opt to select if they want to pick up more than this so they can be asked but have the right to refuse.

Saying all of that the policy is about to change. Mangers are handing out new availability forms now. The new process is asking colleagues to show 1.5 availability. You are going to be allowed to flex both sides of a contracted shift but the big thing is the wording. You are being asked to increase your availability but you are not required to do so. The forms state that at this time nobody has to change or increase availability but it also says that those who are seeking increased contracted hours need to show 1.5 times on additional hours.

The way overtime is issued is changing too. In wk 15 is is all due to go on an app. Managers post the overtime and colleagues select the shifts they are wanting to do. Colleagues can't take name off overtime but if they can't do a shift they have to go back to the manager who then needs to re-launch that overtime. The overtime should be three weeks in advance but sick cover and people dropping out will always be less than that. Flexi colleagues get first pick of the overtime with fixed hours seeing overtime on day two. I have advised my fixed hours colleague not to change to flexi contracts but to come back and see me if they are not getting enough overtime.

I understand that some shifts are harder to fill than others. Most don't want a late Saturday. There is frustration when people come in and will pick up these shifts but then as soon as they get a permanent contract they say that they can no longer work weekends. This is when managers bend the rules and try and force people to work. It can also be very time consuming trying to fill the shifts. The new way of working should help with all of this too. Overtime is so tight just now that with the odd exception the shifts are not hard to fill. I have a lot of people with partners working offshore. They don't want to commit to Saturday nights but happy to pick up shifts when partner is not home. This works for us, mostly. I try and ensure that everyone that is getting a permanent contract gets a Fri, Sat or Sun shift. Going from a temp contract to a permanent does not mean same hours. I look at that too. Sundays is hard for us as we are 0700-2200 on Sundays and most of the hours are contracted. When I worked in an English store the 1000-1600 shifts were easy to fill.

lucgeo

Thank you...appreciate the time you've taken in giving full feedback  :thumbup:
Live for today. Learn from yesterday.

Preacherpauly

 You roll over and you become a soft target. Some managers think they can intimidate and bully people but when you stand up for yourself they quickly back down and act all innocent.

Get yourself a decent rep and appeal it, it won't harm you. Some of these reps haven't got a clue how to defend you so find out which one in your store has the best reputation and use them.

Now that you ahve a warning you will under pressure about going off sick in the future until that warning comes off so if you appeal and win then that added stress goes away.

Flexi contracts are the worst thing to happen to jobs like these. Managers take the absolute p**s with them and a lot of staff quit because they're not fully expalained when people apply for the jobs.

Redshoes

The process needs to be right but if the error works in your favour why bother with an appeal. What is important to one person is not important to another. The majority of colleague attend work regularly and have little to worry about regarding a warning that will drop off system in a short time but may fell great stress at an appeal. If you put them through this process on errors that then result in higher percentages you have put the colleague through lots of extra stress for no gain.
You need to pick your battles, this works both ways. Sometimes it's not worth the battle from the company side of things. If the battle is worth it then go for it but the end game is to win the war. This applies equally to both sides.


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