Project Refusing to follow a reasonable request

Project work: Analysis
of an organizational event

Refusing to follow a
reasonable request

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Das, Aninda

The achievement and
disappointment of a business is reliant after guaranteeing that employees are
doing what is expected of them and that they are conforming to directions given
to them by their boss. It is a test for any business to manage an employee who
basically won’t follow directions and it is vital to have the capacity to
separate between bearings that one can sensibly ask for workers to conform to
and those which might be esteemed to be absurd 1.

An important part of any business
contract is the verifiable obligation for employees to do a legal and sensible
direction from their boss.

A standout amongst the most major
attributes of a business relationship, many employees are ignorant that
neglecting to take instructions from their boss can constitute ‘Misconduct’ at
work, which can possibly bring about a disciplinary action 2.

What is a Reasonable Request?

Under custom-based law, workers
have an inferred obligation of submission and collaboration in their agreement
of business. Employees along these lines have an obligation to comply with a
business’ directions, in as much as they are legal and sensible 1.

The sensibility of the business’ direction
will rely on the conditions of every individual case. When mulling over whether
a request is sensible, one should consider the idea of the work that an
employee does, the terms of the agreement of business, standard practices


and the typical course of
managing between the gatherings.

Examples of how an employee could sensibly decline a Legal and
Sensible Direction: 1

Employee not playing out their part and obligations as expressed in the
worker’s business contract;

Employee declining to take after organization strategies or systems;

Employee proceeding to act in an absurd route in spite of being advised
not to.

An employee can’t be required to
take after a business’ order if 3

a) it is not in accordance to

b) it is outside the
capabilities, capacity or range of abilities of the employee;

c) completing such an order would
make genuine or inevitable hazard to the wellbeing or security of the employee
or others involved.

Refusing to follow a Reasonable Request

A gross disobedience or the
wilful refusal to take after a sensible administration guideline is misconduct.
Notwithstanding, so as to legitimize dismissal a business should first be
completely sure that the request being issued is in actuality a sensible one. A
business might also have the capacity to legitimize expulsion if first they
have directed a reasonable and successful disciplinary process with the worker
being referred to before achieving that choice to dismiss 4.

Cases leading to employee dismissal for failing to follow a
reasonable request:

In Powell v Hunter Water Corporation 5 the business summarily dismissed a worker for
neglecting to take after a reasonable work direction to take his faulty auto to
be promptly overhauled. Rather, he kept on heading to and from occupations for
rest of the day.

In Burns v Sacred Heart Mission Inc. 6 the business fired the employee on the premise that she
had occupied with genuine unfortunate behaviour by neglecting to go to a
planned medical evaluation without sensible clarification, and by neglecting to
conform to written instructions to go to meetings on three separate dates.

As always, an effective
communication structure within business is always vital in these types of
issues. An effective downward as well as upward communication will aid to avoid
such circumstances leading to employees refusing a reasonable request and
subsequent disciplinary procedures 7.

Source – Dr. Hugo Gaggiotti’s presentation slide

Some effective ways to improve
upward communication will be a) grievance procedure; b) open-door policy; c) counselling
and attitude questionnaires.

Hence, declining to complete an
immediate request can be a reason for dismissal. But before any move is made,
HR leaders of the company ought to guarantee that organization approaches
clarify what constitutes disobedience and ensure occurrences are documented 8.

Star footballer refusing a reasonable

This alludes to the
asserted refusal of the Manchester City player Carlos Tevez to play against
Bayern Munich.

An employee is and shall
always be an employee irrespective of their stardom or importance to the
organization or team 9.

Should a worker neglect to
take after a sensible and legal guideline by the business in the work
environment, it is probably going to add up to a rupture of agreement.

An employer should attempt
and resolve it casually; however in the event that the employee still won’t
co-work, it should be managed as a disciplinary or capacity matter, contingent
on the conditions.

The arrangement will, if
essential, need to take after its disciplinary methods.

The aim of this project is to
read and analyze a real life case study on ‘Refusing to follow a reasonable

The case involves an UK postal
services company employee refusing to follow a reasonable request by his reporting
manager10. The name of
company and employees has been changed in order to maintain data

This report presents the details
of the case and the subsequent steps to be followed by Tim – the Operations

Case study – Refusing to follow a Reasonable Request

Background facts – Part A

On 3rd March, employee
X refused a reasonable request by his Manager to move from one area of work to
another. At the time, the employee felt that he was doing the work that he had
signed for and that he should not be asked to move. Despite an explanation
about why he needed to move work areas from his manager, he continued to refuse
the request. They have held two informal discussions on the same issue in the
previous six weeks reminding employee X of the need to work as required.

What should Tim – as Operations Manager do at this initial stage?

The first stage is to give
employee X some time to calm down and reflect on the request.

Employee X was given 10 minutes
to reconsider and reflect on his refusal to work as required. He was also
encouraged to speak to his union representative. Ten minutes later, the Tim
alongwith employee X’s manager called the employee into an office to see if the
‘cooling off’ period has been useful and whether employee X is now willing to
move to the new work area (the lobby) to meet the workflow deadline. Employee X
still refuses to move area and says there is a lot of work on the mech to do.
The manager explains that his machine is being closed for the evening and extra
support is needed on the lobby.

This is not the first time
employee X has refused to change work areas. He claims that he has signed for
and trained to work on the mech and should not be asked to do work in any other
area. The manager asks him if there are any physical reasons why he is unable
to work on the lobby. Employee X says ‘NO’ but says he is not trained. The
manager has previously explained that everyone needs to be flexible and work in
the area required to maintain timescales.

Background facts – Part B

Employee X is unwilling to move
as he says it’s been years since he has worked on the other work area and he
says he has not had the proper training to work on the outward lobby.

Employee X protests about moving,
he says he is settled in to a routine and has his area set up, he mentions that
the machines are cleared and any jams are sorted promptly, limiting the time
they are not working. He says that the area clears because of all of his

Tim wants to make sure that he is
not being unreasonable by his request, he is convinced that he has seen
employee X working on the outward lobby over the last few months. He tells
employee X that he is going to get back to him.

What does Tim need to investigate to allow him to determine whether
there is a case to answer?

The next stage us for Tim to
check whether employee X has had training to work on the lobby. He will need to
check training records as well as speaking to the manager in the lobby area to
understanding whether it supports what employee X is saying.

The manager confirms that
employee X has been trained on the lobby and confirms that employee X has
worked on the lobby every weekend over the last 4 weeks.

Tim also contacts a few of the
other employees who work on the lobby at the same time as employee X and ask
whether he works with them, They both confirm that he does.

If employee X claims to have no
training on the lobby, Tim will need to show employee X that he has listened to
his concerns and has investigated the following:

n  Evidence
of the signing on sheet at the lobby.

n  Who
can confirm that employee X not only is trained but regularly works on the

n  Statement
from the manager and the employees.

Background facts – Part C

Having concluded his
investigations, Tim has obtained witness statements from a manager and witness
comments from other employees that confirms that employee X performs the first
hour of his overtime on the outward lobby at the weekend and the manager confirms
employee X has had all of the required training to do his job safely.

How should Tim treat the matter – is there a conduct case for employee
X to answer?

It appears there is a case to
answer here and so this should be progressed formally. Employee X has
previously been informally informed of the need to work flexibly, yet still
refuses to move areas even after the manager had given him the cooling off
period. He has been given an explanation why it is important that he moves work
areas and has decided not to follow it.

Tim seeks guidance from HR
department as to the correct procedure to follow when progressing the matter
and starting conduct proceedings.

Tim arranges a fact finding
meeting with employee X giving him the opportunity to attend with his union


Fact Finding Meetings

The manager should
undertake a prompt and detailed investigation of the facts of the suspected

Where there are
investigations under other policies, evidence may include:

An executive summary where a Security investigation is taking place.

A Grievance file can form part of the fact finding investigation.

Before the fact-finding meeting

The manager should

Arrange a meeting with the employee to establish the facts of the

Examine relevant documents of the incident.

Copy any relevant documents to be shared with the employee during the

During the meeting

The manager should

Explain the purpose of the meeting to establish what happened and why it

Establish and clarify the facts.

Listen carefully to the explanation from the employee.

Make notes, inform the employee what the next steps are and the
associated timescales.

After the meeting

The manager should

Consider whether witnesses need to be interviewed.

The case is heard. Tim outlines
the background to the case and all of Tim’s points are considered, no new
evidence is brought to the meeting by employee X or his representative.

Tim also checks whether there are
any other factors that are stopping employee X from working on the lobby, this
includes asking about issues with other employees. Employee X says that none of
those issues apply to him.

If so, what will be the draft for conduct notification and what should
be considered as appropriate penalty?

For the potential penalty, a
range of penalties within the authority of the first line manager can be

One option is a warning which
remains on employee X’s conduct record for 12 months, for failing to follow a
reasonable instruction to move from one work area (the mech) to another (the
lobby) as the standards discussed in the two informal discussions did not lead
to an improvement in behaviour.


Hence, the objective for a
business is to have already given composed mandates, disciplinary notices and a
last cautioning with notice of conceivable end before terminating an employee.

Managers ought to specifically state
that inability to complete direct and reasonable requests from supervisors may
constitute reason for termination.

As in this case, Tim concludes
after going through various evidences that employee X has indeed failed to
perform and adhere to a reasonable request made by his supervisor and hence
amongst other possible penalties liable for a warning letter.

Conduct Code Flowchart