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firesafety101  
#1 Posted : 12 February 2019 12:23:13(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
firesafety101

Hi, some of you may remember me discussing my friend's application to work in a Specialist Fire Management Team, Casual Work for a well known football club.

He got the job and hasn't missed a match ever since October, not watching the games you understand, he does not support that team but does support their 'mortal' enemies.

The Fire Team didn't get going as intended and he was placed among the Safety Stewards who have received basic fire training, but the new Fire Team members are all retired or serving FRS who all have extensive fire experience.  This is where the problem lies.

The intention was to employ 'off the shelf' experienced men and women who have another 'level' because the H&S Manager knew he needed 'Something Better'.

Well he got 'Something better' and others at the club didn't like that.  The Maintenance Department were suddenly being called upon to carry out repairs which had been ignored in the past, fire doors damaged or kept open/unlocked, rooms with combustible storage up against electrical equipment, essential electrical equipment not secured, fire stopping compromised - I could go on.

My friend was often asked if he had nothing else to do but report maintenance issues.

Yesterday my friend was informed he won't be offered any further shifts, no reason given however this followed two occasions when he was taken to one side and questioned about his reports and told Means of Escape is not his responsibility.

My friend believes he has been "fired" because of the fire and safety reports he had made, all in writing by the way.

My question is this.  Does anyone here have any experience of Whistleblowing and the rules protecting a whistleblower from being dismissed.

thanks 1 user thanked firesafety101 for this useful post.
Kim Hedges on 24/04/2019(UTC)
fairlieg  
#2 Posted : 12 February 2019 13:19:20(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
fairlieg

How was your friend employed.

Was he a fully employed employee or a contractor?

specifically your friend should have a read of Part X of the Employement Rights 1996 and Part IVA Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 

They should then get some advice from ACAS or a solicitor who spscialises in employment law, like the ones the trade unions use.

Edited by user 12 February 2019 15:39:31(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

thanks 2 users thanked fairlieg for this useful post.
A Kurdziel on 12/02/2019(UTC), firesafety101 on 12/02/2019(UTC)
firesafety101  
#3 Posted : 12 February 2019 15:37:59(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
firesafety101

Originally Posted by: fairlieg Go to Quoted Post

How was your friend employed.

Was he a fully employed employee or a contractor?

specifically your friend should have a read of Part X of the Employement Rights 1996 and Part IVA Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 

The should then get some advise from ACAS or a solicitor who spscialises in employment law, like the ones the trade unions use.

My friend was employed as a Casual Employee on a contract that will end and renew after the football season has ended.  It is usual for all casual worker's contracts to be renewed.

I've looked at the documents you suggested, great advice thank you.  I think the next step will be ACAS then maybe a Solicitor. 

Many thanks fairlieg.

MikeKelly  
#4 Posted : 12 February 2019 15:40:42(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
MikeKelly

Hi Fire safety 101,

In addition to Fairlieg's options contact Protect [Public Concern at Work]

Their objective is to assist whistleblowers. Find the organisation on Google.

Regards

Mike

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firesafety101 on 12/02/2019(UTC)
firesafety101  
#5 Posted : 12 February 2019 16:19:29(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
firesafety101

Hi Mike, thank you.

I just called ACAS and received loads of great advice.

Greivance procedure could work if not Employee Tribunal.

ACAS provide free service and there are No win No fee solicitors out there.

I'll keep you all informed.

PIKEMAN  
#6 Posted : 12 February 2019 17:42:46(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
PIKEMAN

Inform the local Fire and Rescue service, they should inspect and enforce the RRFSO

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firesafety101 on 13/02/2019(UTC)
teleworm1337  
#7 Posted : 12 February 2019 19:45:22(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
teleworm1337

In addition to Fairlieg's options contact Protect [Public Concern at Work] Their objective is to assist whistleblowers. Find the organisation on Google. GBWhatsApp

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firesafety101 on 13/02/2019(UTC)
firesafety101  
#8 Posted : 13 February 2019 11:27:29(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
firesafety101

Good morning all.  Thanks for the further comments.

ACAS advised I write to the football club with three points.

1. What I am not happy about, 2. Why I am not happy and 3 What I want.  That letter will be posted later today first class to be signed for.

Greivance procedure was suggested but the policy of the employer is that does not apply to casual workers, hence straight into the letter, with 7 days to reply before considering further action.

ACAS provide a mediation service whereby they have telephone conversations with both parties in an attempt to get agreement.  If that fails it will be Tribunal.

If I fail the FRS is in my mind but that will be decided later if I'm still angry.

During the course of my attendances over the past few months I was informed that fire risk assessments had been carried out and everything was found to be up to date.  I did wonder at the time who did them and what were their qualifications.  I know they do some assessments using a PC based software (COSHH) and now think FRAs may be done on similar software.  This could be the reason they are getting annoyed with me for raising issues.

A mate of mine who also works there sent me a photo of two Chimps, one said to the other

"You pi--ed off a lot of people today, what did you do?"  The other Chimp answered

"I told the f-----g truth". 

That sums up the issue methinks.

I hope the Mods allow that, apologies if not.

thanks 1 user thanked firesafety101 for this useful post.
Kim Hedges on 24/04/2019(UTC)
Elfin Davy 09  
#9 Posted : 13 February 2019 11:53:19(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Elfin Davy 09

..Don't you mean that "your friend" wrote to the football club ???  ;-)

Elfin Davy 09  
#10 Posted : 13 February 2019 11:57:11(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Elfin Davy 09

...and do Mods still exist ???

Mr Insurance  
#11 Posted : 13 February 2019 12:27:32(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Mr Insurance

Also have a look at https://www.gov.uk/whistleblowing.

The law doesn't just apply to employees - it should protect you as a "worker".

Zyggy  
#12 Posted : 13 February 2019 12:45:16(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Zyggy

Slightly off the question you posed, you may wish to look for similar employment at another Premier League Club just down the East Lancs who also play in red!

I'm not sure if there are any current vacancies in the Fire Team, but we are always looking for good Stewards & I know that they "borrow" some of my team who have the requisite experience when necessary.

Zyggy (Deputy Head Safety Steward)

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firesafety101 on 13/02/2019(UTC)
firesafety101  
#13 Posted : 13 February 2019 16:59:04(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
firesafety101

Originally Posted by: Elfin Davy 09 Go to Quoted Post

..Don't you mean that "your friend" wrote to the football club ???  ;-)

DOH !!!!

firesafety101  
#14 Posted : 13 February 2019 17:02:51(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
firesafety101

Originally Posted by: Zyggy Go to Quoted Post

Slightly off the question you posed, you may wish to look for similar employment at another Premier League Club just down the East Lancs who also play in red!

I'm not sure if there are any current vacancies in the Fire Team, but we are always looking for good Stewards & I know that they "borrow" some of my team who have the requisite experience when necessary.

Zyggy (Deputy Head Safety Steward)

Why thank you Zyggy, for the job offer even though I have been sacked from a similar position.  I would consider your suggestion but there are too many miles for me to travel, a position within your Safety Team may tempt me however.

watcher  
#15 Posted : 13 February 2019 17:27:32(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
watcher

So, once I managed to get through all the "hilarious" friend stuff, the upshot is you were employed on a casual contract, and your contract hasn't been renewed.

You don't know the reason, but you're guessing its because you offered Health & Safety advice

You maybe should make sure that was the reason before you start down the routes of grievances, complaints, reporting, etc.

Maybe you didn't fit in, maybe you rubbed others up the wrong way, maybe you were cut out for it.  There are plenty possible reasons.

firesafety101  
#16 Posted : 13 February 2019 17:53:29(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
firesafety101

Originally Posted by: watcher Go to Quoted Post

So, once I managed to get through all the "hilarious" friend stuff, the upshot is you were employed on a casual contract, and your contract hasn't been renewed.

You don't know the reason, but you're guessing its because you offered Health & Safety advice

You maybe should make sure that was the reason before you start down the routes of grievances, complaints, reporting, etc.

Maybe you didn't fit in, maybe you rubbed others up the wrong way, maybe you were cut out for it.  There are plenty possible reasons.

Hi watcher, apologies for any confusion I caused but happy you saw the funny side, as I intended.

I am in mid contract but told I will not be offered any more shifts.  No reason given, I did ask but they are not obliged to say.

I do fit in with the H&S Officer who employed me but not with the people who have to respond to my reported deficiencies, i.e Maintenance Dept.  While their boss agrees with my findings, albeit eventually after some explaining, one of the maintenance lads asked me if I had nothing better to do.  I was doing my job and they don't like it.  They are rubbed up the wrong way as you suggest but isn't that typical of the introduction of new health and fire safety people.  I do have a friend who works in the same team as me and he agrees with everything I find and report,  I may have written this earlier but my boss is retired fire service and is the H&S Officer.  He explained to us he had a concern and wanted 'something better' so he has employed retired fire officers who are 'off the shelf', well experienced and competent.  I believe that is where the problem lies.

thanks 1 user thanked firesafety101 for this useful post.
Kim Hedges on 24/04/2019(UTC)
angbate  
#17 Posted : 22 April 2019 08:09:11(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
angbate

The such a useful article. Again, thank you so much

earn to die

firesafety101  
#18 Posted : 22 April 2019 11:06:35(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
firesafety101

Happy Easter everyone.

Further to the unfair dismissal, which by the way is going through the Tribunal process with (hopefully) support of Solicitor paid for by the home insurance, there appears to be a Bullying issue as well at the same football club.

Another friend of mine, (this is really someone else), is suffering bullying by other members of the same stewarding team not talking to him and turning their back when he approaches.  Another team member has been "hounded out" (his own words) by similar happenings.

Bullying itsef is not an offence but it does come under Harassment in the Equality Act.

Has anyone experienced dealing with bullying in the workplace.

Thanks

OwenHarding123  
#19 Posted : 22 April 2019 13:40:59(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
OwenHarding123

Hi Firesafety, 

Bullying is a hard one. The best advice I can offer is to tell your mate to get themselves a notepad and pen.

Then religiously write down times, dates, locations and persons present of any comment and/or action that may be 'considered' bullying or harmful by 'victim' (I really hate that word, but don't know what else can sum it up) and the way it made them feel.

They then should follow the organisational structure laid out (usually in the employee handbook which generally forms part of the contract of employment between the organisation and employee) to deal with such matters.

Ususally this consists of a complaint being made directly to their line manager (in writing) and a meeting being set up, i.e. investigation and mediation.

Failing to resolve this usually a organisation will have arrangements in place to involve more senior management in the matter.

However, if the victim feels that this is not sufficient; that is the time a grievance is usually raised against the handling of the situation. This grievance then can be directed upwards to the highest level of the organisation (obviously following the hierachy so Manager to Area Manager to Director to Managing Director etc). 

Again, I cannot stress enough the importance of noting down and keeping records.

And if the worst came to the worst, i.e. the victim feeling they have to leave then yes that could possibly lead to a constructive dismissal being filled with the Employment Tribunal.

My advice is to tell your mate to consult with ACAS as you did earlier and if they are a member of a trade union raise the matter with their representative.

That's my personal experience in the past.

I can tell you now proving harassment or vicitmisation etc is one hell of a hard thing to do if you dont put in the leg work.

I hope this helps!

Edited by user 22 April 2019 13:50:44(UTC)  | Reason: Edit

thanks 1 user thanked OwenHarding123 for this useful post.
firesafety101 on 23/04/2019(UTC)
firesafety101  
#20 Posted : 23 April 2019 12:13:11(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
firesafety101

Wow Owen, brilliant post and many thanks. I shall pass on your guidance to my friend.

Clark34486  
#21 Posted : 24 April 2019 09:23:57(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Clark34486

Employment tribunals now cost money, the Tories do love to 'cut red tape'....

What did the gentleman's contract state? what were his TORRs? (terms of reference and responsibilty), it may be that the employer (club) construed that he did indeed exceed his area opf responsibility, it could be that he was stepping on the toes of the estates/ facility department?

In essence welcome to the world of H&S, we always seems to be standiong on someones toes. This does not suggest that were H&S oversight is apparent you (sic) shouldn;t raise the issues, it's how and where and who you raise the issues. We are getting one side of a story and although I wouldn't suggest your friend has over-stepped the mark we don't know the other side of the story here.

Edited by user 24 April 2019 09:25:23(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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Kim Hedges on 24/04/2019(UTC)
Brian Hagyard  
#22 Posted : 24 April 2019 09:44:19(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Brian Hagyard

I thought they had stopped charging for tribuneral's as found to be unlawful?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40727400

firesafety101  
#23 Posted : 24 April 2019 09:50:47(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
firesafety101

Originally Posted by: Clark34486 Go to Quoted Post

Employment tribunals now cost money, the Tories do love to 'cut red tape'....

What did the gentleman's contract state? what were his TORRs? (terms of reference and responsibilty), it may be that the employer (club) construed that he did indeed exceed his area opf responsibility, it could be that he was stepping on the toes of the estates/ facility department?

In essence welcome to the world of H&S, we always seems to be standiong on someones toes. This does not suggest that were H&S oversight is apparent you (sic) shouldn;t raise the issues, it's how and where and who you raise the issues. We are getting one side of a story and although I wouldn't suggest your friend has over-stepped the mark we don't know the other side of the story here.

My friend's tribunal is not costing any money. He has help of Solicitor paid for by his home insurance.  True you don't have both sides of the story but neither does he.

By the way I thought health and safety was everyone's responsibility.

Edited by user 24 April 2019 09:52:52(UTC)  | Reason: add a footnote

Clark34486  
#24 Posted : 24 April 2019 09:58:30(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Clark34486

Originally Posted by: firesafety101 Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Clark34486 Go to Quoted Post

Employment tribunals now cost money, the Tories do love to 'cut red tape'....

What did the gentleman's contract state? what were his TORRs? (terms of reference and responsibilty), it may be that the employer (club) construed that he did indeed exceed his area opf responsibility, it could be that he was stepping on the toes of the estates/ facility department?

In essence welcome to the world of H&S, we always seems to be standiong on someones toes. This does not suggest that were H&S oversight is apparent you (sic) shouldn;t raise the issues, it's how and where and who you raise the issues. We are getting one side of a story and although I wouldn't suggest your friend has over-stepped the mark we don't know the other side of the story here.

My friend's tribunal is not costing any money. He has help of Solicitor paid for by his home insurance.  True you don't have both sides of the story but neither does he.

By the way I thought health and safety was everyone's responsibility.

I refer the honourable gentleman to the points above (emboldened)
Clark34486  
#25 Posted : 24 April 2019 10:02:52(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Clark34486

Originally Posted by: Brian Hagyard Go to Quoted Post

I thought they had stopped charging for tribuneral's as found to be unlawful?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40727400

There are still costs involved, an employment tribunal is the lowest court in the land, thus incurred costs, particularly if you lose and incur the other persons costs (emplyer in this instance)

Elfin Davy 09  
#26 Posted : 24 April 2019 10:25:06(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Elfin Davy 09

Costs are sometimes still involved at tribunals as Clarke34486 suggests, but - even if you lose - you're unlikely to have costs awarded against you unless you've wasted the courts time.  In other words, if you've brought a case to a tribunal that has a reasonable chance of success, and requires a legal ruling to decide it, then the award of the other sides costs is extremely unlikely.

MikeKelly  
#27 Posted : 24 April 2019 16:02:29(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
MikeKelly

Another hoop to jump through for the claimant is getting the money from the employer even if successfull!

Regards

Mike

Kim Hedges  
#28 Posted : 24 April 2019 21:46:36(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Kim Hedges

I am not a safety officer, but I am Tech IOSH.  Personally from a pragmatic approach, if you witness bullying in the workplace, challenge it, actually say 'This could be seen as bullying in the workplace', this alone could slow it down or stop it.  The come back often said is 'It's all friendly...'  Challenge it 'It doesn't come across as that'.  As I said, this is my experience, it usually slows down and the person who the 'bullying' is aimed at is also made aware that it is bullying, often they are unaware. 

If you really need to record the incidents, one easier method, is to buy a 'Spy Pen', this is a digital recording device, that records both voice and picture, the Police use something similar. 

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