Ask Lisa

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Dear Lisa,

I have worked for a number of years for the same employer and my manager recently said she wanted to meet with me about an incident that occurred with a family. She told me I could bring a support person to the meeting but only gave me one day'€™s notice.

Also, since I have been with the employer for more than five years without any previous situations like this arising, I did not feel I needed to bring anyone to the meeting.

At the meeting I was shocked to be told that I had breached a policy and I was then given a letter that said my employment may be terminated. I am very distressed because I had no prior warning about the content of the meeting and I felt intimidated and unsupported by my manager. What can I do now?


Dear A

In my experience if an employer invites you to a meeting and advises that you can take a support person then you need to contact the IEU and request that a Union official attend the meeting. It is very likely in this situation that issues regarding work performance will be raised.

If the meeting had been a regular staff / team meeting or appraisal it would be very unlikely for your employer to suggest you may want a support person to attend the meeting. If you had contacted the IEU prior to the meeting the Union would have given you advice regarding how you may respond to any allegations raised in the meeting.

For instance, you may prefer to respond to any allegations in writing, to provide you with time to check any notes you may have made on the day of the alleged incident, rather than answering verbally during the meeting. If any further meetings are initiated by your employer I recommend that you contact the IEU immediately.