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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 47916
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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HiI feel subject to harassment at work, and I of course feel

Customer Question

Hi
I feel subject to harassment at work, and I of course feel vulnerable. The matter would be too detailed to explained on this session, however. I feel the sanction that I belief I will be sanctioned for, has not applied to other staff in a comparable situation. I of course have engaged my Trade Union, but I feel that I could do better. Your advice on this would help, but I would ask that If felt victimised and a lack of justice, would I be in my rights to engage a lawyer. If so, what would be the process I should follow for any steps to this. I would appreciate your help.
Kind regards
John
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked there for and why do you believe you have been singled out - what are the reasons for that in your opinion?

JACUSTOMER-qw4chchi- :

Thank you. I have without doubt been singled out, as I have been sanctioned for an accident that a few colleagues have also had the misfortune of previously, and did far greater damage. It is generally understood by many colleagues that this matter is one of certain discrimination. Also, I was recently sent for a health check, presumably to check my faculties'. There were no problems with this, and the management were verbally condemned by the company's health department. I noticed, and was shown, the referring report by the nurse.It was suggestively derogatory in every sense. I will be sent a copy of this soon, which is perhaps helpful. I wondered if employing a lawyer to deal directly with the matter would be against internal procedure. I would however respect your direction in how I go forward with matters.

Ben Jones :

It is not usual for a lawyer to get involved unless you have a formal claim against your employer. There is nothing stopping you from getting a lawyer to write to the employer to highlight the issues you are experiencing and ask that the employer deals with them but there is little they can do to force this and all they would be doing is pleading with the employer - they have no power to make any changes. So getting a lawyer at this stage may be costing you unnecessary money as all they would be doing is the same as what you can do yourself. The only advantage I can think of is that if this comes from a lawyer it may show that you are taking this seriously and may prompt them into acting but there is no guarantee that would be the case.

In terms of what an employee who is the victim of bullying/harassment/unfair treatment can do to try and deal with such problems, the following steps are recommended:

  1. First of all, and if possible, the employee should try and resolve the issue informally with the person responsible for the unwanted behaviour.
  2. If the above does not work or is not a viable option, the employee should consider raising a formal grievance with the employer by following the company's grievance policy.
  3. If, following a grievance, the employer fails to take any action or the action they take is inappropriate the employee would need to seriously consider their next steps. Unfortunately, employment law does not allow employees to make a direct claim about bullying. As such, the most common way of claiming for bullying is by resigning first and then submitting a claim for constructive dismissal in an employment tribunal (subject to having at least 2 years' continuous service with the employer). The reason for resigning would be to claim that by failing to act appropriately, the employer has breached the implied term of mutual trust and confidence and that there was no other option but to resign. However, that is not an easy claim to win and there has to be a reasonable degree of certainty that continuing to work for the employer in the circumstances is no longer possible.

In general, try and gather as much evidence as possible before considering making a formal complaint and certainly before going down the resignation route.