What happens when HR practitioners abuse their position, and end up abusing the very people they are meant to be protecting?
My partner had a major operation a year ago, and since then she has had to go home sick from work on a couple of occasions. On the most recent instance, she went to her doctor, who checked her over and gave her a sicknote for a week to help her recover.
She then received a letter from HR demanding a meeting on a specific time and date to discuss her health. The HR team also decided that, for my partner’s “own good”, it wanted access to her doctor’s records. If she doesn’t grant permission, she will be subject to the disciplinary procedure, leading to dismissal. Over the past two days at work, my partner has been subject to repeated browbeating, harassment and stress to get her to agree to these demands.
These people appear to be using heavy-handed tactics to try to reduce an unacceptable level of absence and attrition within the workplace. The HR team appears to have lost sight of the fact that its approach is part of the problem, not the solution, and will only result in more time off with employee stress or appearances at tribunals.
I agree that HR plays an important role in protecting employees from bullying, but it needs to start looking at its own approach first to make sure it is helping, rather than further victimising, the victims.