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Possible Sacking

Discussion in 'Careers, Employment and Professional Development' started by DAIR, Feb 12, 2016.

  1. DAIR


    Joined: Jul 23, 2009

    Posts: 8,682

    Location: Cayman Islands

    A friend of mine took a week off sick a while back. On one of those days he was invited to an interview.

    The following day he going into work and is questioned about his whereabouts. Apparently, his managers received news of the interview. And as a result have suspended my friend from work. Pending investigation.

    Something doesn't seem right here. The only people who could've tipped his current employer off. We're those who interviewed him. Now of this is the case, what right do they have to be disclosing someone else's business?

    Is this even legal?
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2016
  2. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 13, 2006

    Posts: 65,759

    Maybe they asked current employer for references?
  3. Thekwango


    Joined: Feb 5, 2009

    Posts: 11,514

    Location: Northern Ireland

    I'm pretty sure employers are obliged to give employees time off for job interviews if they request it through the proper channels/procedure. was the sickie week just used to cover the interview up rather than a genuine sick week? - curious on what grounds they have suspended him?

    but re the interviewers informing his current employer, you sure he didn't let slip to someone else that he had an interview, a friend at work perhaps. it's rather surprising how easily these things can get out. or maybe as roff has said they simply contacted his current employer for references
  4. marshalex


    Joined: Aug 27, 2015

    Posts: 77

    Whilst it's pretty poor what's happened you can't say you're off sick and then go and go for an interview, probably doesn't look too great with potential new employer either if they find out.
    Unless someones dropped a comment to management somewhere it will have most like come from the reference request as already mentioned
  5. anything I don't mind


    Joined: Dec 28, 2009

    Posts: 13,054

    Location: london

    I was fired once for taking a week off sick during probation. Even though I had a doctor certificate, they didn't want to see it and when i went back in on monday they took me in to a meeting room and then escorted me off the premises.
  6. Mr^B


    Joined: Nov 25, 2002

    Posts: 3,416

    They can disclose whatever they want to disclose. If someone happens to see someone else in passing, and knows them, where they work and who they work for then that's not confidential information. In my "line of work" as it were, you tend to end up having a LOT of contacts across different companies in the same sector, so it may not even have come via references/HR.

    He probably shouldn't have interviewed whilst claiming to be off sick. It's his own fault.
  7. Slam62


    Joined: Jan 3, 2006

    Posts: 7,318

    Location: Monaco

    Should have got a sick note, depends what he was claiming was wrong.
  8. Housey

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Feb 21, 2006

    Posts: 26,554

    If he is fit enough to go to an interview he is fit enough to work. That I suspect is the starting point for this.
  9. dowie


    Joined: Jan 29, 2008

    Posts: 44,952

    Why wouldn't it be? Maybe the hiring manager knows someone at the current employer and asked them discretely for an opinion of the guy and it got back to his current manager... Maybe the recruiter blabbed. Maybe someone who works there saw him in the building and told one of their friends at his current company.

    Don't expect the fact you've applied to another firm to always remain confidential.

    Last time I went for an interview I knew two of the rival candidates were current colleagues of mine because the recruiter asked a friend of mine at a completely different company(ex colleague) for his opinion of both me and the other candidates...

    Likewise I've been called by a different friend about colleagues of mine who've applied to a job he's advertised - I'm not going to be a douche and go tell their current manager but I reckon some people might.

    I currently know of quite a few people who've applied to different roles and they have no idea I know, that is simply from staying friends with former colleagues etc.. The typical MD will have an even bigger network and will hear far more gossip, not only that but some people below them might decide to share things they've heard... and recruiters (who are generally unethical) almost certainly will - it wouldn't be unheard of for a recruiter to let an MD know about members of their staff who are looking to move in return for hoping to be able to place people.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2016
  10. bazzabear

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Nov 2, 2013

    Posts: 2,164

    I reckon your friend needs to stop thinking how he might have been wronged, and start thinking about what he can do about what he did wrong himself.

    Assuming he doesn't want to get sacked, I would suggest a quite contrite approach - state that he was genuinely feeling ill, but didn't think he would have the opportunity for the interview again, so dragged himself to it anyway. That it was a lapse of judgement, but he was not deliberately taking advantage of his current employer.
  11. Ayahuasca


    Joined: Apr 23, 2014

    Posts: 19,218

    Location: County Durham

    It's not going to sit well lying to your employer is it, if you're well enough to interview you're well enough to work in their eyes.
  12. Glaucus

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Mar 11, 2004

    Posts: 76,645

    This isn't true, an interview is generally 30-90mins and a work shift more like 8hrs.
    He dragged himself to the interview didn't he, but wasn't well enough to do a shift and self certified. That's probably how i'd play it. Well actually I would just get union to advise.
  13. Housey

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Feb 21, 2006

    Posts: 26,554

    I've heard that many times so it sadly falls on deaf ears as in my experience that is rarely a real justification, it's just an excuse. If you are ill enough not to work there should be no interview either. I can bet 10000000 dollars if the company phoned up and asked him to attend for 1 hour to help them fix a problem that only he had the answer for, at the same time as his interview, he would be indignant at such a request due to his ill health.
  14. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 13, 2006

    Posts: 65,759

    Have to agree with Glaucus - I dragged myself through the hour or so for my driving test while sick but there was no way I'd have been any use in my job at the time for an hour let alone do a full shift - fortunately I wasn't expected in work for a few days anyhow.

    Does depend quite a lot on the nature of the job and sickness - I've dragged myself in for shifts in the office where I'm sitting down all day where I would have phoned in sick when doing more physically active stuff.
  15. BigT


    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 3,038

    Location: UK

    If you've been employed more than 2 years it's quite hard to actually get sacked. I'm pretty sure a sob story about how he managed to drag himself to an interview that seemed too good to miss out on is sufficient to avoid a gross misconduct charge. Not sure I'd be confident at a tribunal whereby my only reason for sacking someone was their attending an interview while sick. Might have happened outside of work hours etc.

    I'd be more worried about how his current employers will think if/when he doesn't get said job and has to pitch back up to work. Doesn't matter what the law says, human nature might see him overlooked or marginalized in some way.

    Lesson to most people to take away from this is don't expect your private matters to remain secret when applying to jobs. I've had situations before where agencies let me know when my staff come across their radar for other roles and I can take subscriptions out to the CV databases to see who's updating their online presence, linkedin makes things like this easier as well and depending on the industry the world can be a small place and people talk. I don't particularly think any of that is ethical and try to avoid it but many employers are less scrupulous.
  16. DAIR


    Joined: Jul 23, 2009

    Posts: 8,682

    Location: Cayman Islands

    Well this is what I hope he said. I've not been able to speak to him yet.
  17. Destination


    Joined: May 31, 2009

    Posts: 19,461

    Was he signed off for the week?
    What was the reason for the illness?
    You pull a shoulder muscle, and can't work, interview shouldn't matter.
    Depends on the illness, but if he has given them cause to doubt his sickness, then thats a different matter.
  18. Kill_Phil

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Feb 11, 2010

    Posts: 1,429

    Location: England

    You sure this is your 'friend' and not you?

    How long has your 'friend' worked for the company for? If it's more than 2 years if it's his first hiccup they will need to get him on gross misconduct; and when he's blatantly lied and breached the employers trust no matter where the source of info has came from then they could quite easily substantiate this.

    If he's less than 2 years service he's stuffed.

    You live and learn :rolleyes:
  19. DAIR


    Joined: Jul 23, 2009

    Posts: 8,682

    Location: Cayman Islands

    LOL it most definitely is not me.

    Im afraid he hasn't even been there a year. And I too believe he'll be asked to move on.
  20. Jokester


    Joined: Aug 7, 2003

    Posts: 39,141

    Location: Aberdeenshire

    Is it legal? You mean the fraudelantly claiming sick pay whilst going to a job interview. Probably not no.