Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Protect Yourself At Work

If you are in employment, it makes sense to protect yourself. Things happen, often out of the blue, and the best time to do this is before anything happens that makes you even think about it. Here are a few things you can do:

1 Make sure you have a copy of your contract of employment (or more precisely, before my HR friends jump on me, the statement of particulars of your contract.) It's quite possible it won't be up to date. If that's the case, ask for an updated version - you are legally entitled to one.

2 Pull together your appraisal reports, probation reports, training records, any letters of commendation (or criticism), thank you cards, grievances, disciplinaries: anything, in fact, that is evidence of your 'standing' with your employer

3 Keep all of these things - or a copy of them - at home. Should the day ever come when you get into difficulties, or just get made redundant, it is quite possible you won't have access to your desk, files, computer, mobile phone etc and will be escorted off the premises, with your personal belongings following in a carrier bag.

4 If you have any 'difficult conversations' with your managers, make a file note as quickly as possible after the event. Don't embellish, or give a one-sided account, just write down exactly what was said. Keep it, and any correspondence that may be involved, at home.

5 If you belong to a Trade Union, make sure you know who to contact, again bearing in mind that you may well be off the premises with no access to the internal phone directory. Keep this information at home. If you're not in a union, decide now who you're going to ask to help and advise you. Remember that some organisations will only allow you to be represented by a union rep or a fellow employee, so if your first thought is 'get an expensive solicitor', check whether he/she would be allowed across the threshold.

6 If you are suspended, you will probably be told not to contact anyone in the organisation. Make sure that the specifics of this are made clear - what about friends, social events, potential witnesses, union reps etc?

6 Save this post somewhere!

I really hope that none of this is ever relevant to you, but if it is, I hope it helps. Feel free to share.

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