Had a chat with one of my employees this morning. It didn't get off to a good start. Mostly because I had forgotten I had asked my assistant to book him in to see me, and he arrived half an hour early (8:30am!!), and so caught me on the hop, and I proceeded to look like a complete numpty while my at-that-point caffeine free brain struggled to catch up.
Hello, am I too early?
No, for what?
You wanted to see me?
I think so
Oh. OK (panic panic panic) hang on, let me.........(clicking mouse and staring at screen in hopefully purposeful way) oh yes! (thank goodness, well done brain, caffeine later, I promise xx)
What happened was this. Security were getting their underwear in a twist because someone was parked in the disabled spaces without a blue badge. Quite right too. A number of emails and disgruntled chats with managers and general kicking up a fuss later, they eventually hunted down the culprit. ("Ha ha!" I imagine them saying in glee - "it's the nasty HR lady's office for you!!")
However said employee promptly took the wind out of their sails by triumphantly producing a blue badge from his glove box and announcing his disability. Job done, you would think.
But no. As it happens, he didn't declare his disability on employment, and as his job is quite physical, his manager was less than happy. Manager had a chat, employee said "but I did tell you!" Manager insists he didn't.
Knock knock on my door. I get out his file, and in answer to the question on the application form designed specifically for that purpose, he categorically denied it. Hmmm what to do what to do what to do......
Well, in his favour he's been doing the job no problem for the last 10 months. His occupational health screen declared him fit for the job. So what is he guilty of really? Lying on the application form clearly, but is it worthy of disciplinary as the manager so strongly advocates?
Hence, we end up at 'the chat'. Why didn't he declare it on the application form?
'Well', he replies, "the question was 'do you consider yourself to have a disability?' And I don't". I reply "well clearly you do as otherwise you wouldn't be parking in the disabled bays under a blue badge". "Fair enough", he says, "actually I was worried I wouldn't get the job. It's happened before."
What can I do? He was cleared by occ health. He's been doing the job no problem. So all I manage to muster up is a bit of a ticking off for lying in the first place (felt a bit like a schoolteacher actually) and an admonition to keep us updated from now on so we can risk assess and fulfil duty of care and such like and so forth. Should I have disciplined? You decide......
Now off to puzzle out how I got duped into having 'the chat' when I think the manager should have dealt with it......
.......and tell the man-at-the-top off for parking in the disabled spaces - again - because he definitely doesn't have a blue badge......