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Author Topic: Investigation meeting: Front End  (Read 4691 times)

barafear

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Investigation meeting: Front End
« on: 29-07-20, 02:36PM »
Hi,

I have read several posts on here about investigation meetings - but still need some guidance about my particular example.

After working for Tesco for more than 10 years, I've barely had any disciplinary issues - until this year - where I've been racking up "Let's Talks" like they're going out of fashion.

And all for relatively "minor issues" - "refusing" to book 75% of my holidays by the end of March because I raised the query about "aren't we allowed to carry forward any unused leave into next holiday year as per Govt guidance on workers affected by Covid19 - i.e. we all had to work

Anyway - completely out of the blue, I received a letter "inviting" me to an investigation meeting - not sure I have a choice.

Two "counts" against me:

Not adhering to the company uniform policy
Leaving my till without informing Team Support.


I had a let's talk about my continued "refusal" to wear a name badge - in that let's talk, I commented that I had recently wore a name badge and when scanning an oversized item that the store sells, it hit into my name badge causing it to come open and the pin pierced my skin on my chest. Therefore, I took it off.
I mentioned this in the let's talk. I suggested a name badge without a sharp pin - and the Team support (doing the let's talk) stated that this would be passed onto management and they would get back to me.

I hadn't heard anything (that was around six weeks ago). I did ask the Team support and they stated they had heard nothing.

"Leaving my till"......consists of going to toilet to wash my hands/go to toilet. If the Team Support member is available and close to hand, I will alert them that I am going - but often the team support are no-where to be seen - and pushing the headset button tends not to produce much of a response - certainly not immediate. Obviously, I wait for a lull in customer numbers before going (other tills being empty/free).

I do not leave my till signed on - or unlocked - there are other cashiers nearby, and if I don't get the opportunity to tell Team support, I always tell the nearest cashier to me.

I know this is all a bit petty - and it seems if the 3rd Aug announcement is all about cutting hours, maybe this is the cheap way for them to do it.

To me, this just seems a complete waste of everyone's time.

I'm not in union - but intend bringing a trusted colleague (albeit this colleague is a bit too Tescofied.....they believe in black and white and believe I am "in the wrong" - so might need to choose someone else!) - and also intend not saying anything to incrimiate myself or provide their evidence.

What evidence will they have? CCTV? Witness statements from Team Support or managers?

So, if they say "Tom, Dick and Harry all saw you on 5th June not wearing a name badge" will that be enough?
If they say "you clearly weren't on your till for two minutes (here's CCTV to prove it)"

Is it a case of just going to Investigation and listening and not saying much and then waiting for disciplinary? Surely, it's such a minor offence I can only get a warning?


NightAndDay

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Re: Investigation meeting: Front End
« Reply #1 on: 29-07-20, 02:59PM »
For the 2 issues they're looking at disciplining you on, both don't have any merit, I will explain why.

For the uniform issue, by what you have explained, this revolves around you not wearing your name badge after an incident of the metal pin stabbing into your chest while carrying out your duties, this would mean that you had an accident that requires medical attention, even if it is a minor injury, it must be recorded in the first aid book (not sure if this is now part of the Safe and Legal log book), you say you received a lets talk by team support, was this just as the incident happened? You would then have grounds to say, if I suffered a workplace injury, why wasn't process followed? You would have a pretty strong case to appeal on grounds of failure to provide duty of care, especially if this was documented in the lets talk.

As for leaving the till to go to the toilet, if what you say is accurate, that the other tills were manned and you locked your screen or signed off, they would also have no grounds for a lets talk as you've done nothing wrong, you can also state that you haven't received the training on the process of having to ask team support to leave the till to relieve yourself, if your colleagues have had no problems doing the same thing, then the same must apply to you.

If it does go further, appeal and grievance the colleague/manager for harrassment, Tescos bottom line is that they will avoid unfair dismissal/constructive dismissal claims at any cost.

« Last Edit: 29-07-20, 03:00PM by NightAndDay »

Welshie

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Re: Investigation meeting: Front End
« Reply #2 on: 29-07-20, 03:32PM »
Leaving your till to go to loo is something that could have been picked up by the hub which is why it could have been flagged up . If till signed off or on secure mode it may have affected the idq or whatever it's called now . It is something being flagged a lot in our store atm which is ridiculous we're not kids in school and shouldn't have to ask to go to the toilet, .
Re  name badge , you'd be hard pushed to find a member of staff who hasn't been pricked by their name badge so I think you're clutching at straws there . It happens to me a few times a week , I hate the name badges , hate customers calling me by name but it is part of my uniform which I have known for over 15yrs I have to wear . I just suck it up .

@nightandday , I think calling a pin pr**k a work place injury that requires medical attention and needs recorded in s&L is a stretch 😂😂😂

lucgeo

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Re: Investigation meeting: Front End
« Reply #3 on: 29-07-20, 03:44PM »
Issue 1

Bend the pin, then state it's not securely fastening, and you don't wish it to unknowingly fall off and risk a customer injury, should it fall opened into their shopping.

Issue 2

You've tried to get a response on several occasions for a request to use the toilet, which have gone unanswered. It adds to your stress incontinence problem, and to not immediately answer your call of nature, could result in an embarrassing accident, which would then be grievanced under 'dignity at work' by you.

Regarding CCTV monitoring...if your till was signed off it would be registered as such, showing you have left your checkout in a secure mode, therefore the use of CCTV evidence would be in breach, as it is not being used to survey a security risk, but to monitor staff productivity.
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barafear

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Re: Investigation meeting: Front End
« Reply #4 on: 29-07-20, 04:09PM »
Thanks for the replies.

Yes, I share the same views of the name badge as Welshie - but so far I haven't succumbed (much) to "suck it up" - I do wear my badge on occasions;
Obviously the pin pr**k was not recorded as an accident, nor did I report it at the time - although I did let a nearby colleague know it happened as I "yelped" in pain.

Yes, I've tried bending the pin/breaking the pin etc. But they keep ordering me new badges or given me temporary ones!

So far I have yet to respond to the letter - I was a bit shocked to find that they only needed to give me 24 hours notice of investigation meeting!!

Is it a case of just "accept the invitation" and sit and hear what evidence there is?

I think it's more a case of what Welshie said - the "hub" is cracking down on very minor things - and it's really not making Tesco a nice place to work anymore.


Welshie

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Re: Investigation meeting: Front End
« Reply #5 on: 29-07-20, 05:36PM »
Temporary badge ?? Does this have your name on it ? No name on it ? Or someone else's  name on it , if someone elses as I have seen in our store then surely that in itself is your argument against a name badge , as it does not identify you .

A few months back I served a colleague,   I didnt know them and looked at their name badge . I was very surprised to see that they had the same very unusual name as my husband,  I asked about it and he'd lost his name badge and been given it as it was lying in the office . I was furious as my husband is off sick .

barafear

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Re: Investigation meeting: Front End
« Reply #6 on: 29-07-20, 07:33PM »
It will either be one of those "I'm new to the team" badges or someone else's name. I've been
Josh and Thomas...not my name. In reality there is no need for identification at all. They claim it's for customer wow comments or possibly complaints. But as a checkout person I'm easily identifiable by till number or login number printed on receipt.  But clearly, it is policy and this is what mgt will stick to.

Morris999

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Re: Investigation meeting: Front End
« Reply #7 on: 29-07-20, 07:45PM »
I won’t comment on the uniform issue or the holiday booking ones.
Now the investigation for leaving the till without authorisation/permission.

Now like Welshie has said its most likely a Hub investigation, whereby you have probably done the same thing a few times over a certain amount of time, most likely after taking cash payments or not long after doing a till pick up.
Whether it was after a cash payment/till pick up or not it will flag up in the Hub system.
Yes it might seem trivia to yourself or others on here, but this is a well known tactic for when cashiers/reliefs decide to steal money out the till.
Also the Hub will not have access to the cash management system to see if the Till is short.
Things like this and other things like taking the customers word for how many items they have and not checking, not scanning tagged items etc, are Red flags for the Hub system.
From an operation point of view leaving your till without telling the Team support could have an impact on IDQ resulting in relief calls going out etc.
Remember it’s the Team supports role to deliver this not the cashiers, so if the store is failing and the frontend team are being challenged/managed on this then cashiers disappearing will be highlighted to the checkout manager.
Now it shouldn’t be this because IDQ is not being managed in stores currently.
So unless your manager has it out for you personally it will be because of the Hub.
Now obviously colleagues can go to the toilet but it’s not unreasonable to expect them to let the Team support know first, unless they have a medical condition that prevents them from waiting.

Just so people on here know some other things the Hub picks up.
It will inform the Store Manager for things like:
Managers not locking the waste cage after chucking waste
Colleagues/managers chucking waste without booking it
Managers not closing/locking the Makeup shutters after a certain time in the evening.
Colleagues leaving the backdoor/gate unlocked.
Colleagues authorising age restricted products without looking at the customer on self-serve or clearing weight discrepancies again without checking first.

All the above are the most common ones that I’ve either come across or been told about.
Some will trigger a Hub investigation after 1 occurrence others will need to be repeated by the same person over a certain time period, normally a couple of weeks.
And yes I’m aware of managers being investigated for some of the above.

Nomad

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Re: Investigation meeting: Front End
« Reply #8 on: 29-07-20, 09:05PM »
Or ate something the night before that is having an adverse affect, means that one can not hang around waiting for team support to turn up or answer the call.
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Redshoes

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Re: Investigation meeting: Front End
« Reply #9 on: 30-07-20, 06:04AM »
The CCTV evidence will depend on your store. Even if poor quality it will be able to show you leaving your till. It may not be able to show if you left your till signed on or not when you popped off but that won't matter as the cash office journal will show this. Not asking or informing team support before you pop off is an issue too. They need to know what tills are open for customers. If store was quiet it would not be an issue but if store was busy they may need to arrange for someone to cover for you. It's about keeping the customer flow going.
As for refusing to book holidays, your manager can allocate them if you don't book. The whole point in the 75% before end of October and rest after that is so that Depts, and stores are not suddenly hit with so many holidays in a short space of time. Time off during COVID is not the same, same for everybody but it's time out from work. I have had this time during COVID, so have others. It's not great but we have all agreed after that we felt better for it. It does not really matter if you don't book, your holidays will just be allocated.

Bubbles1234

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Re: Investigation meeting: Front End
« Reply #10 on: 30-07-20, 10:16AM »
Regarding cctv i am confused we dont have hub what is the new policy my manager has told me we are not allowed to view cctv at anytime not even tge security guard we have alot of theft so what do we do hes only mentioned it to me not other shift leaders i spoke to other colleagues from other store and they know nothing about it I know they are doing a trail in some stores with the hub I guess we will all get them if we are not allowed to touch cctv why can a manager view it all day watching staff

Nomad

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Re: Investigation meeting: Front End
« Reply #11 on: 30-07-20, 10:26AM »
Team support not being around to ask or inform is more of an issue.
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NightAndDay

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Re: Investigation meeting: Front End
« Reply #12 on: 30-07-20, 10:46AM »
Regarding cctv i am confused we dont have hub what is the new policy my manager has told me we are not allowed to view cctv at anytime not even tge security guard we have alot of theft so what do we do hes only mentioned it to me not other shift leaders i spoke to other colleagues from other store and they know nothing about it I know they are doing a trail in some stores with the hub I guess we will all get them if we are not allowed to touch cctv why can a manager view it all day watching staff

Part of the security guards job is to copy cctv footage to disk and give to the police as evidence whenever an incident happens, your manager sounds inexperienced.

miriam

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Re: Investigation meeting: Front End
« Reply #13 on: 30-07-20, 10:54AM »
Is any manager experienced in anything ?
Ather than no people skills Gossip and go around in clicks

Bubbles1234

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Re: Investigation meeting: Front End
« Reply #14 on: 30-07-20, 11:33AM »
So nothing has changed shift leaders can still view cctv when something happens I know we have to sign a book to say been viewed and why but my manager said if anything happens to inform him and he will view it when in

taliahad

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Re: Investigation meeting: Front End
« Reply #15 on: 30-07-20, 05:01PM »
Tell them that they must put everything in writing so that you can show it to your friend/uncle/whoever who is a solicitor.  If they think you've got legal back up, they are less likely to harass you. 

barafear

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Re: Investigation meeting: Front End
« Reply #16 on: 30-07-20, 05:33PM »
thanks for all the responses.
I am a bit confused. The letter has come from my manager (Checkouts manager).
This manager will be chairing the investigation meeting - and the meeting is to discuss allegations made against me on the two grounds.
My view is that this manager is the only one that's all that bothered about me not wearing my badge (not sure if it's linked to their bonus or they are just being overly officious).

So this begs the question as to who raised the allegations?

Would I be wrong in thinking that this manager told one of the team support to make the allegation and then the manager could investigate me?

Surely if the checkout manager wanted to investigate me they could just raise the allegation and the investigation would just be carried out by another manager (there's enough of them floating about!)

I take on board what someone said about leaving the till/the Hub/possibility of stealing money etc.

To be honest, this Hub is a whole new Big Brother thing isn't it? I have my suspicions about its existence, but it seems people on here have had experience of it.

And if the "allegation" came from the Hub then fair enough - although the name badge wouldn't have been picked up by the Hub would it?

At the moment, those are my only concerns.

I have yet to respond to the letter - telephone to confirm my acceptance of the invitation.

Part of the reason for that is that I need to be at work to ask someone if they'd be my companion - my meeting is set for Saturday and this particular person doesn't work on Saturdays - I have no way of contacting them out of work - reading the "policy" it doesn't seem I can delay the investigation meeting just to allow me time to choose and ask for a companion?

thanks.


Mutti

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Re: Investigation meeting: Front End
« Reply #17 on: 30-07-20, 06:04PM »
Just out of interest, what induced you to take a job where wearing a name badge is a requirement if you are so opposed to wearing one?
 

lucgeo

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Re: Investigation meeting: Front End
« Reply #18 on: 30-07-20, 10:54PM »
If you have the hub in your store, you should have been made aware, by now, where the cameras are situated.

You can ask for an adjournment, if your chosen companion is unavailable, ( assuming this person is willing ) to arrange for when they will be available. Remember this person is YOUR CHOSEN REPRESENTATIVE, and therefore has the same rights as a Union rep, should be recognised and treated in the same way as a union rep. Not informed that they are not at liberty to speak or ask questions...they cannot answer questions on your behalf, unless you have stated they are to speak for, and instead of you.
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Redshoes

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Re: Investigation meeting: Front End
« Reply #19 on: 31-07-20, 07:20AM »
As part of a till investigation CCTV can be looked at regardless of if you have the HUB or not. It makes it easier to understand what has happened, mostly.
Older CCTV systems don't need individual sign in's, as far as I'm aware but there are so many different CCTV systems with the stores I can only say this about the ones I have seen.
You can't just stand over CCTV and watch for performance related issues. You need a reason and can use to verify a till loss for example.
The HUB has people watching CCTV from a remote area. They email stores when they find issues. When a store gets an email they have to investigate, starting with looking at the CCTV for the issue themselves. The HUB will also suggest questions to be asked during an investigation. If a store has the HUB fitted there are individual sign ins. Everything that is looked at can be seen by them. If a manager misuses the system this will flag up too.
The cash office system can show issues, when it comes to money it's the heaviest tracked thing in the company, and at very low levels. How many stock control colleagues get a PDAs investigation for counting out 10.00 of stock for example. How many grocery colleagues get an investigation over poor rotation that causes 10.00 waste.
Checkouts get investigations for 10.00 gain or loss. It is taken seriously. The tills should balance. Mistakes happen, scams at the front end happen but colleague theft happens too. The investigation is to establish which one it is. The focus is on theft, if you have not stolen anything it is not a worry but if you have the tools are in place to prove it. If you have made a mistake the first thing should be to look at training.
Leaving a till signed on Anne walking away does leave it vulnerable. So does leaving the de-tagged open. You just need to get into right routine of never doing these things. You need to protect your back.

Morris999

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Re: Investigation meeting: Front End
« Reply #20 on: 31-07-20, 11:35AM »

And all for relatively "minor issues" - "refusing" to book 75% of my holidays by the end of March because I raised the query about "aren't we allowed to carry forward any unused leave into next holiday year as per Govt guidance on workers affected by Covid19 - i.e. we all had to work


As a FYI for yourself or anyone else for that matter, yes the government has stated you can carry over holidays into next year, however be very mindful this is only the legally entitled holidays/bank holidays that the Law states you must have, Not the extra Tesco gives for long service.
Tesco will only be carrying over the legally entitled Holidays etc not used which will always come out of your holiday entertainment first, so if you use 4 weeks worth and your pro-rota Bank holidays then you will lose your personal day and any extra long service holidays not used.

It is all on the Covid updates on help centre and has been out since around March/April.
It’s worth bearing in mind if people were planning on not using any of their holidays to carryover.

barafear

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Re: Investigation meeting: Front End
« Reply #21 on: 31-07-20, 12:11PM »
Ok, thanks again for the responses.

To try to answer some of the queries in order:

Why did I take a job that involved wearing a badge? Well, a slightly churlish question - but to be honest, when I started, the badge we wore was aound 1/3rd of the size of the current badges - and that doesn't take into account the additional badges they expect to wear - including the "plastic border" (making the badge around 50% larger still), Think 25 badges etc.etc. Slight exaggeration but I feel like a Formula One driver (in terms of wearing uniform festooned with labels/badges) without the salary!! Clearly, the whole thing about the badge is "minor" although Tesco/my manager is taking it seriously.

Theft from till/till shortages:

If I was being investigated for this, would this not have been specified in the letter, rather than "leaving my till". I haven't been informed of any till shortages recently (not for more than 5 years).

I understand if these are the issues, then fair play.

This makes me mindful of staff searches. I remember one once where I had a half eaten pack of chewing gum in my pocket - I was asked for a receipt for it - I stated that I didn't even buy it from Tesco and I stated that I'd hardly "steal a pack of chewing gum" when I sit on till with hundreds of pounds in it - but manager at the time stated "that's the way things start - small and then build up confidence"

I understand that, but sometimes they really seem to stretch the point!!

I understand about the "statutory holiday only" - but my manager called the deputy SM when I was having the holiday meeting and he stated that "it's not Tesco policy to allow any c/f of holidays and will not be implementing the govt guidance/guidelines" 
Hey ho.

As it is, I've found another colleague - although it might be a bit tricky - the colleague is actually the store's union rep - as I say I'm not in the union - but she has agreed to come with me but has told me "if you're in the union or not, i'm always willing to help but I just can't talk to management for you" - does this imply she won't be able to talk on my behalf in the investigation meeting simply because she is the union rep - or that she believes that regardless anyone who represents me/accompanies me would not be able to talk?

All of which is contrary to the advice on here from Lucego and others.
thanks

Welshie

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Re: Investigation meeting: Front End
« Reply #22 on: 31-07-20, 12:45PM »
@Morris 999 , is the carrying over of holidays just for those that have been shielding or off long term sick with covid and so unable to take holidays ? Why would it change for those unaffected by it .  I'm just curious

barafear

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Re: Investigation meeting: Front End
« Reply #23 on: 31-07-20, 02:57PM »
Welshie

This is what the Govt stated:

Workers who have not taken all of their statutory annual leave entitlement due to COVID-19 will now be able to carry it over into the next 2 leave years, under measures introduced by Business Secretary Alok Sharma today (Friday 27 March).

Currently, almost all workers are entitled to 28 days holiday including bank holidays each year. However, most of this entitlement cannot be carried between leave years, meaning workers lose their holiday if they do not take it.

There is also an obligation on employers to ensure their workers take their statutory entitlement in any one year – failure to do so could result in a financial penalty.

The regulations will allow up to 4 weeks of unused leave to be carried into the next 2 leave years, easing the requirements on business to ensure that workers take statutory amount of annual leave in any one year.

This will mean staff can continue working in the national effort against the coronavirus without losing out on annual leave entitlement.

The changes will also ensure all employers affected by COVID-19 have the flexibility to allow workers to carry over leave at a time when granting annual leave could leave them short-staffed in some of Britain’s key industries, such as food and healthcare.


This is where the "argument" starts:

So, from an individual's point of view, during late March/April/May, Tesco were open and we were all working - other places were shut, people were on furlough. I don't know the exact terms of furlough and how other employers implemented it - but for the sake of my argument if you were on furlough, you didn't have to use/choose to use AL - but in theory, you were still earning/entitled to it.

I know it wasn't, but for a lot of people on furlough, it was effectively like "being on leave" (and getting paid 80% or in a lot of cases topped up to 100% by employer) whereas for Tesco staff we worked. My manager is stating that Tesco did not prevent me from taking any leave in this timeframe - I wasn't "needed" to work and prevent staff shortages in Britain's key industries. If I wanted to take leave, I could!
But this is where personal preference comes in (and some might see it as being greedy or selfish but I'm simply applying the Govt guidance). So let's say I had leave booked for mid-April - indeed I might have had an actual holiday booked and paid for - obviously I was not able to go on that holiday - but Tesco say "don't worry, you can be on leave and just sit at home and abide by the lockdown guidelines".

Personal preference would be "I'd rather work in Tesco and "help out" - and use my leave at another time when I am likely to be able to book a holiday/go away/whatever. Now I understand that if everyone did this and let's say Lockdown was completely lifted and holidays and anything else were bookable from Sept then I understand everyone would want to be off in Sept and that wouldn't work for Tesco as a business.
What I'm saying is that by applying the Govt guidance, I'm happy to delay my holiday to April next year - but I'd like to use this year's allowance (i.e. carry forward). I'm not expecting to carry forward 20+ days - but Tesco are stating "no" - no carry forward at all - we didn't prevent you from taking leave.

Going back to the furloughed employee example - I know, there's a risk they haven't got a job to come back to - but let's stick with the assumption that they come back in August - and they have their full AL entitlement available. They will "probably" also have that option to carry forward in next year or the year after - because how is everyone going to take a year's worth of AL entitlement in 7 months (this assumes an April-Mar holiday year) - but some companies would have Jan-Dec year - anyway - that's the "logic" behind it.

Welshie

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Re: Investigation meeting: Front End
« Reply #24 on: 31-07-20, 03:09PM »
In our store if you'd holidays booked you had to take them , you were not allowed to cancel because you couldn't go away and didn't want to sit at home . Also the company who my son works for has all staff working from home and who are very flexible with holidays usually, told all staff that they had to take the BH off , noone was allowed to work them . So I was just interested. 

 

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