Here we have a grievance appeal concerning a client being unfairly singled out for redundancy and with the outcome being pre-determined. Also, a colleague was unofficially given the nod to take over the job after our client was going to be ‘made redundant.’
Grievance letter: Redundancy appeal against pre-determined consultation
[Company name and address]
[10 February 2015]
Dear [HR Manager]
I am writing to you to raise a formal grievance.
As you are aware, my employment started in [July 2010]. I am employed as a Payroll Supervisor.
Since [October 2013], following an instruction from [Manager 1 ] part of my role has been to check and to double check the values being processed through the office for overtime to ensure that the correct amounts were processed, that individual employees were paid the appropriate amount and to ensure that where appropriate, overtime was charged to our relevant clients. As part of this task, and more generally as my role of Payroll Supervisor, naturally., I have access to the payroll details for all employees. I can see at a glance the hourly rate of my colleagues and myself.
The reason I was allocated this task, which I have completed on a monthly basis since [October 2013] is that I identified problems and errors with the overtime payment. In fact most recently, in [September 2014], I again identified some errors, which had to be corrected because the wrong person was paid some overtime. I was following reasonable instructions given by my superiors. At no point have I done or accessed any documents which I did not have permission to. In order to check the correct overtime payments were being made I looked at a spreadsheet which would include the following information in relation to my colleagues:
- Hourly rate;
- Amount payable;
- How much was being paid for the overtime (e.g. x1.5, x2 or x3); and
- Whether that amount was chargeable or rechargeable to clients.
I have always been able to see whether the hourly rate for other employees was greater or less than my hourly rate, as I know that my hourly rate is £14 per hour.
On [10th December 2014] you accused me of accessing this information for my own personal financial gain, which I strongly deny.
I was on paternity leave in [November 2013]: I had two weeks off. When I came back from paternity leave I was moved, without my consent to a different role. This amounted to the detriment for having taken paternity leave and it was a unilateral variation of my contract of employment.
The role that I was doing before paternity leave was to supervise a team of 18 to 20 staff in the payroll team; when I returned from paternity leave you covered another colleague’s maternity absence. This involved managing a new smaller team involved in a higher profile piece of work. This team was performing poorly and it required a lot of work to get into shape. Between about [May 2014] to [August 2014] I was required to work excessive hours and I, in fact, worked 349 hours of overtime during that period.
At [11:00am] on Monday [8th December 2014], I requested to meet with [Manager 2] to ask why it was that I had not been given a pay rise. I suspected that I was being discriminated against, possibly because of my disability or possibly because of my gender.
Before that meeting could take place, due to the lack of [Manager 2’s] availability and on [8th December 2014], I carried out the overtime checking task that I do on a monthly basis (a little earlier than usual as payroll was to run earlier in the month so that staff could be paid before Christmas). I was not looking for confirmation of the pay rises: I had no need to as my colleagues had already verbally told me that they had been awarded pay rises of various amounts. However, I accept that if I had wanted to get confirmation from the figures, I would have been able to do this during the overtime checking task, as I have access to all employee’s hourly rates of pay, and always have had such access. I finally met with [Manager 2] on [9thDecember 2014] and asked why I had not been awarded a pay rise, whereas my female colleagues all had. I asked him whether he knew of any reason as to why I had not been given a pay rise. I asked whether it was because of the move I had to make following the birth of my daughter when I returned from paternity leave. [Manager 2] agreed that he would speak to [Manager 3] and come back to me. Instead of this, I was summoned to an investigation meeting.
I explained the above in detail to [Manager 3] at an investigation meeting on [12th December 2014].
Of the disciplinary process:
- I was not informed what the investigation was about before the meeting on [12th December 2014]. I was then told that the matter was about a breach of data protection, which it is clearly not as I have always had permission to access the payroll information of my colleagues as part of my job as Payroll Supervisor.
- It is of note that I was not suspended during the investigation and I was required to carry on with the job I carry out, which involves accessing and checking the overtime spreadsheet which contains all individuals’ salary details.
- The Investigation timeline is wrong in several respects [what are they?] and [Manager 2] has lied [by saying what?]
- [Manager 3]was not independent and should not have been the investigating officer, as I had brought my complaint to him in the first place.
- The statements taken from all employees were written for them and they were forced to sign them at their manager’s request, as [Manager 3] confirmed
- I was alleged to have committed “serious breach of data protection act” in regards of personal information (it is not clear what personal information other than salary details which I am entitled to access as part of my role, or how this is a breach of the data protection act)
- I was alleged to have committed conduct which causes loss of faith in my integrity and a “serious breach in trust and confidence”.
- The allegations made against me are trumped up charges presumably to punish me for raising a complaint about my pay, or for trying to protect my own health and that of my colleagues, or for having a disability.
I look forward to hearing from you and would invite you to lift my suspension immediately, to award my pay rise, to compensate me for the above treatment and to allow me to return to work.