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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 44874
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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A work colleague is of sick with work related stress. I am

Customer Question

A work colleague is of sick with work related stress. I am informed by my line Manager that she has accused me of contributing to her stress but was not the sole cause. I have been asked to attend a meeting in line with the working well together policy I asked for union representation and will be bringing a representative..I have an unseen disability and this is putting me through unnecessary stress as i was supposed to get the details of the complaint on Monday before this Friday. To date I have not yet received any information and feel that this gives me little time deliberately to digest the complaints or answer them. I was asked by my line manager for my personal email for him to email them to me. I am not happy about how this is being handled to date. I would also like to know if the complaint is bad how to claim for defamation of character.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

How long have you worked there for please?

JACUSTOMER-n5ut8tvf- :

8 years

Ben Jones :

OK, thank you, please leave this with me - I will look into this for you, get my response ready and get back to you on here. No need to wait around and you will get an email when I have responded, thank you

Ben Jones :

Hi, I am sorry I just found out my answer did not post last night so I will try again. First of all I would not recommend that you pursue this as a defamation of character claim. These are extremely complex and expensive and will easily see you pending thousands before it gets anywhere, with no guarantee that you will get anything out of it. So whilst you may accuse the person of making defamatory comments, pursuing this as a claim is unrealistic and not something I would recommend you get involved with.

In terms of the meeting you have been asked to attend, unless this is a formal disciplinary hearing you will not be legally entitled to bring in anyone with you, although the employer may allow that if you ask them. That is unless the policy under which they are dealing with this gives you the right to be accompanied by someone.

At this stage you may certainly raise your concerns with the employer and advise them that you are unhappy with the way this has been handled, highlight the concerns you have about this and the ways in which you would like to see things change. If you believe that the allegations against you are unfounded, or even malicious, you may even consider raising a formal grievance against the person that made them. This is your legal right if you wish to pursue the matter in a formal manner and get a formal investigation and response from the employer.

Ben Jones :

Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this?

Ben Jones :

I see you have accessed and read my answer to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this?

JACUSTOMER-n5ut8tvf- :

the person concerned has made allegations against me which are unfounded and malicious . at a meeting with personnel these were challenged and a lot were found to be very petty, however some of the allegations were very nasty i.e like alleging i had made fun of her accent a total fabrication. I have not much faith in the formal grievance procedure but could i send a letter to her or contact personnel asking for a copy of the allegations as they did not wish to give them to me in writing but were discussed with my union rep present.. When we had finished presenting our side the person looked very bad and it did seem that she was maliciously trying to discredit me, I would at least like to send a letter of some sort concerning defamation of character and slander to personnel or to her privately?

Ben Jones :

there is nothing stopping you from sending a letter alleging defamation and asking or retraction of the statements or an apology. But taking legal action for defamation is completely unrealistic. As mentioned the grievance route is also open to you as that is the usual way of resolving such issues in the workplace. Has this clarified things for you?

Ben Jones :

I see you have accessed and read my answer to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this?

JACUSTOMER-n5ut8tvf- :

This is being dealt with informally under the working well together policy and i am not happy about these false allegations just remaining there. I feel useless and unable to do anything about this, Who would I write the letter alleging defamation of character to?

JACUSTOMER-n5ut8tvf- :

Can i ask a solicitor to write to Personnel under the data protection act requesting the full allegations in writing and who do I write the letter demanding an apology for defamation of character to?This is being dealt with under the working well together policy and I feel these allegations are just hanging there destroying my standing in work.?

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