Saying the right thing to eventually right a disciplinary wrong.
Published 12 January 2022
Roller shutter engineer Julian was blissfully unaware he had done anything wrong prior to the fight he faced to save his job.
Julian was one of five employees suspended from work for comments made about a former manager on social media.
The manager was fired after a whistle-blower made protected disclosures about his long time disregard for health and safety.
Delighted employees took to a private group on social media to celebrate the dismissal and to air their brutal opinion of the ex-boss.
The celebratory mood was dampened a couple of weeks later when management became aware of the messages.
Julian was a member of the group, but was on annual leave when the manager was dismissed and the comments posted.
He did not post any messages and was adamant he did not see them before they were quickly deleted.
During the subsequent disciplinary investigation three employees resigned and another, who did post messages, was dismissed.
At an investigation meeting Julian, who had worked for the company for 13 years, pointed out he did not post any messages, did not even read them or know the content of them.
It made no difference, and he was later invited to a disciplinary hearing to face an allegation of breaching the social media policy.
It was because Julian was alleged to have failed to report work-related online abuse of an individual. He was warned that dismissal was a potential outcome.
Julian exercised his right to be accompanied at the disciplinary hearing and took a colleague with him.
He was provided with the disciplinary outcome in a letter two days later. Although Julian was not dismissed, he was issued with a final written warning.
While he was relieved to have kept his job, Julian felt it was unfair. He was aggrieved at being given such a severe sanction, which was one step short of dismissal.