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Putting things “in writing”

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Ruby Slippers, Apr 1, 2020.

  1. Ruby Slippers

    Ruby Slippers New commenter

    Hi guys

    A trivial one I fear!

    i emailed my school literally the day before lockdown to ask to return to work from maternity on the 20th or April. Was told I’d need to put the request in writing as they can’t accept an email.

    Now lockdown has begun and I’m not going out as my twins were born prematurely and have been hospitalised three times already in their short lives with chest problems. Everything is being delivered here. I’m not taking them out to post a letter and I’m not leaving them here to go out for any reason.

    so my question is, is it actually a legal thing to need to put it in writing or is HT just being a bullying ass?! I did not have to put it in writing for previous maternities under different heads - my emails were accepted.

    thanks guys
  2. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    Could you not ask a friend or neighbour to post the letter? (If nec. you could leave it on the doorstep when they get near your house, no need to actually 'meet' them!)
  3. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

  4. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Your head is being an idiot. What does the head think an email is if not "writing"? Presumably you didn't send the notification as a series of pictures!

    But rather than waste time and effort arguing with the head do what morninglover suggests.
  5. Incommunicado

    Incommunicado Occasional commenter

    I don't think this is trivial, Ruby.

    My problem is the other way round to yours: I want to discuss a probable overpayment on gym subscriptions over a number of years. When I look at the company's website and click on Contact Us they give no means of direct contact by phone or address. They only offer an online form to fill in and 'submit'. I prefer to deal with such a matter in a way that generates a clear 'paper trail' that I can keep copies of.

    Surely a company should give a name and address of someone responsible for membership issues who can be written to directly?

    If I get no joy on this I will send all further questions to the CEO of the company, complaining that their employees are not co-operating.

    By the way, if ever you want to 'nag' the CEO of any company that has caused you an issue you can find their name, e-mail address and more at the website CEO.com
    agathamorse likes this.
  6. dumpty

    dumpty Star commenter

    It might be a tad understandable, as annoying as it can be.

    E-mails do not carry any form of digital signature so he is just covering his backside in the very unlikely event you claim never to have sent it and suddenly demand a range of changes (for example).

    Only you know if there is friction between you and the school because yes, you would expect an email to be sufficient as the information you are giving is hardly a threat to national security.
    nomad likes this.
  7. Ruby Slippers

    Ruby Slippers New commenter

    Thank you for your replies.

    No friction, I don’t know these people as they took over ( a new trust) just before I left for maternity. So only actually knew them for a month.
    agathamorse likes this.
  8. celago22

    celago22 Established commenter

    It does seem trivial.
    Could you not write a letter as normal but instead of posting it attach to the email as a pdf file? That way it is more official than an email but still has a trail and could be printed off for your file if necessary. You could even request a read receipt and mark as high importance.
  9. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Something really does not add up here...
  10. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    @Ruby Slippers: How about writing your Head a letter, over your signature, taking a photo of it, and then emailing him that?
  11. Ruby Slippers

    Ruby Slippers New commenter

    Perfect! I will do that! Thank you!

    Honestly can’t understand why people assume there’s more to it or it doesn’t add up.

    1- I was SLT before second maternity, stepped down to go part time after my son arrived.

    2- Got pregnant again with twins.

    3- Weeks before most recent maternity, got taken over by new trust. Lots of change and unrest but none affecting me as I am on maternity! I understand the school I’m going back to is very different to the one I left, lots of staff have left etc. But again.... I’ve been on maternity.... ive been in my own bubble.

    4- thought it was very odd, slightly zealous request to insist I put the request “in writing” so posted here.

    Sorry there’s nothing juicy to add....
    agathamorse likes this.
  12. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

    Most places these days would accept an email as in writing. I would send two letters though that you intend to return to work early addressed to the headteacher and to HR. I would then email the head and HR to say that you have sent the letter as requested to confirm that you are returning to work on X date as discussed in your email dated X.
  13. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Could you write a letter, sign it, scan it as a PDF and send it electronically?

    It might not be the original, but I if it bears your signature it should be okay.
  14. bajan

    bajan Occasional commenter

    Send an email with a 'read request' then you will know it has been received.
    agathamorse likes this.
  15. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Spidey sense...
    nomad likes this.
  16. celago22

    celago22 Established commenter

    Love how a few people copied what I said!
    agathamorse likes this.
  17. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Not actually dealing with your example, but note the quotation at the end from a case.

    The suggestion to attach a PDF letter with your signature is a good one. If you can't manage to produce a PDF (there are websites that do it), I would just photograph it with your camera and send it. You can't be expected to faff around too much with all you have on your hands at the moment.

    Congratulations on your growing family, by the way, and best wishes to you all


    Serving a notice electronically
    The legislation as drafted does not specifically mention what “in writing” constitutes and whether an email or text would suffice. It is obvious however that electronic communication is now used more and more in everyday life. Courts now not only allow but actively encourage service of documents by electronic means but there does not appear to be any reported case law dealing with the issue of whether electronic service of a Notice to Quit is valid.

    In cases where documents have been served electronically this method of service does not appear to have been questioned by the courts. Referring to service of notice in writing at a tribunal case, His Honour Judge Hand QC said:

    “I include within the concept of written notice modern methods of communication such as the SMS text message, internet based so-called instant messaging and email. Here the email was used as a medium to convey an electronic version of the letter of dismissal, which was attached but, no doubt, any of these methods could be used to convey the notice itself.” Wang v University of Keele… UKEAT/0223/10/CEA

    Stay safe everybody
  18. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Or, perhaps, offered their advice independently before (or without bothering) to read down as far as your suggestion.

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