In need of advice...

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
Hello, my name isn’t actually John Smith but I’m trying to remain anonymous.

I need advice because my world has just been turned upside down and I thought I might get helpful advice here.

I was a one to one live in carer for 2 and a half years, I did 24 hour shifts 2 or 3 times a week. Sometimes 4 shifts a week to cover for sickness or holidays.

Yesterday I was sacked with immediate effect. I acknowledge that I was in the wrong but need to know whether this is fair after 2 and a half years of service.

So a couple of weeks ago I was on call. I honestly forgot I was on call and we decided to go to see my wife’s father a couple of hours drive away. We got up early and set off to spend the day with him, about an hour into the drive I realised I had left my phone at home in the rush to leave the house. We had a lovely day and then at about 7:30PM I sent my colleague a message from my wife’s phone.

My colleague informed me that my manager had been trying to contact me since about 12PM and my other colleague was ill and needed to be sent home. I rang my manager and informed him that unfortunately I had left my phone at home and hadn’t received the messages, I was leaving now and would be at work in a couple of hours.

I have now been sacked due to the events of that day. I’m absolutely devastated because it was a genuine mistake. The colleague who I took over from informed me that he didn’t need to go home, he felt fine but the guy we care for has OCD (among other things) and didn’t want him around because he had been sick.

I am happy to answer any questions regarding this, I just want to know if there’s any chance of getting my job back.
Hello John

I'm very sorry to learn of your situation but I regret that we are unable to help or advise you.

Carers UK is a charity set up to help support and advise those caring for friends/relatives in an unpaid, non-professional capacity.

I would suggest that you contact either your union or ACAS with regard to this situation.
John, hi - just speaking as a forum member here, but yes, definitely IMMEDIATELY get in touch with the appropriate union (probably Unison?). You don't have to be a member, you can join 'on the spot' with an employment issue already present. Get their legal advice, and get their representative to support you and see whether an 'unfair dismissal' applies.

Read your contract of employment very carefully to see whether the agency has 'over-reacted' etc.

To me, however, the bottom line is this - to be blunt, from this side of the caring fence, ie, the family side, we know that good care-workers are 'gold-dust'! I've a fried who has live in care-workers come in to look after her dad with dementia and a catheter, so she can get away on holiday, and she tells me some are good and some are 'not good' etc etc.

So, a 'good care-worker' is NOT someone to be 'casually discarded' believe me!

Also look back on your relationship with your managers over the years, do you feel they have 'wanted to get rid of you'? And this is an 'excuse'? Are they cutting back on hiring, for example, and sacking you is a 'cheap' way of reducing headcount rather than making you redundant etc.

The important thing is not necessarily to reinstate you (you may not want to work for them anyway after this incident!) but about not 'blemishing' your professional reputation, and that is why getting your union 'on side' fighting your corner, is so important.

Wishing you all the best, even if Carers Uk isn't the place to get the help and advice you need now.

PS - I had a union rep with me when I was made redundant a few years ago and it made a HUGE difference, I know!
Don't lose sight of the SLEEPOVERS thread ! ... vers-28622

As you were employed for sleepovers , were you paid , at least , the minimum wage ?

Another one for your union , presumably Unison , to sort out on your behalf.

That's what they are there for ... on paper ?

Purely advice ... commission free.