Just as background, I have changed my long-term policy of advising people to join a union. I am not convinced that today's trade unions serve any useful purpose and when the shit hits the fan I think you are better off if your employers mess it up.
Many years ago an employee of my organisation did something which was unquestionably wrong. He only escaped criminal charges because of a lack of evidence. He went through the usual disciplinary investigation and was dismissed. He unfortunately made the mistake of having a union represent him in this, and they protested that the organisation had not carried out his dismissal correctly. The organisation reinstated him and dismissed him again, this time properly. In his circumstances he'd have been better off being wrongfully dismissed and making a claim at a tribunal, instead of the union crowing that they'd forced the employer to dismiss someone fairly.
Thus we come to the incantation. Even without union membership you can get very good employment advice from the CAB or ACAS (obviously this applies to the UK only). You must prepare for this spell by seeking their advice and following it.
You are then ready to utter your incantation. Don't wait for the phase of the moon or whatever, because employment tribunals have time limits. Approach your manager/HR person and fearlessly introduce these words into the conversation :
Of course this is the exact phrase I uttered myself this week. The director I posted about in my last post showed she is quality by actually asking what ACAS said and agreeing with it.
The upshot is that the manager who was supposed to be investigating me has had it taken out of his hands and we're doing it the director's way. He's also in for a good rap over the knuckles for doing it wrong and since he's spent his annual leave writing a report into me, my only problem now is that I can't sleep because every time I close my eyes I picture how annoyed he must be. Another one to me.