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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 47877
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Ive been covering the positions of 3 employees plus my own

Resolved Question:

I've been covering the positions of 3 employees plus my own position since July 2013. I have asked my manager both in writing and verbally for assistance. He has since hired another manager to who is now adding to my already impossible workload by requesting documentation of all of the errors that are occurring due to our current lack of staff. I am stressed and depressed. It would seem that the company is going to attempt to hide their recent failure to fill these positions by having me assume the blame for errors. Do I have legal recourse?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.Can you please tell me how long have you have you been with your employer

Customer:

Hi Ben,

Customer:

I have been with my employer for 8+ years

Ben Jones :

sorry for delay i am having problems with connection


leave it with me I need to look up a few things and then get my advice ready.I will post back on here when done there is no need to wait and you will receive an email when I have responded.

Customer: Thank you. I have to log off now anyway to I to the ofgice to try and catch up to prepare for Monday. Another thing to note is that while my base salary is £38k. I have earned £50k in overtime - exceeding the billing of my colleagues due to the additionL responsibilities I have essentially forced to take on. Look forward to receiving your reply.
Ben Jones :

Many thanks for your patience. There are a couple of options you can pursue. Initially you could try raising this issue as a stress at work matter and ask the employer to deal with it as reasonably expected of them and I will explain your legal rights in this respect below.


 


Whilst stress in the workplace is becoming an ever-increasing problem, no specific legislation deals with it. The rights of employees in these circumstances are scattered across various legislation and common law examples.


 


A good starting point is to look at The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and related statutory instruments, which impose a general duty on employers to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all their employees. This includes a duty to undertake risk assessments and manage activities to reduce the incidence of stress at work. In addition, under common law an employer owes a duty of care towards its employees, the breach of which can amount to negligence.


 


As no standalone claim exists for being exposed to stress, the affected employee has the following options open to them if they were going to challenge their employer over this:


 


1. Grievance - this is a formal internal complaint, following which the employer is obliged to investigate the issues and deal with them in an appropriate manner. It should always be the first step in trying to bring the problem to the employer's attention and to try and reach a resolution.


 


2. Constructive dismissal - this occurs where the employee resigns because they feel they were left with no other option in the circumstances. Further considerations include:



  • It must be shown that the employer had acted in breach of the implied terms to provide a safe system of work or through their actions (or inactions) had broken the mutual trust and confidence

  • The breach relied on must be sufficiently serious to justify instant resignation

  • This claim is only available to those with at least 2 years' continuous service with their employer and must be made within 3 months of resigning.


 


In the first instance, I would advise going down the grievance route first and only consider pursuing legal action or the constructive dismissal route as a last resort if it is evident that the matter cannot be resolved in any other way.


 

Ben Jones :

Hello, 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? I just need to know whether to close the question or not? Thanks

Customer:

Hi Ben,

Customer:

Thank you for your reply. It would seem the burden of proof lies with me. How would I go about making an official grievance? Should I consult my employment contract? HR's role in my company seems to be to keep my employer dafe from people who lodge official complaints so I'm not sure how to proceed? Thoughts?

Ben Jones :

You should check the contract to see if there is a specific procedure but in the absence of one you simply need to submit your complaint in writing to your line manager and state you wish this to be treated as a grievance

Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you