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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46763
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Acas have advised me to seek legal advice. I have raised a

Resolved Question:

Acas have advised me to seek legal advice. I have raised a Grievance at work regarding a number of accusations that have been made about my work and my conduct. I fear that my position has been made impossible for me to continue with under the circumstances. I have raised concerns with my manager about our working practice and asked for advice. I believe that this may have led to the tactics now being used to intimidate me into resigning.
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. How long have you worked there for?

Customer:

14 yrs

Ben Jones :

And what would you specifically like to know about this?

Customer:

my options, what to do next?

Ben Jones :

Has the grievance been heard?


 

Customer:

No i just raised it yesterday

Ben Jones :

what would you ideally like to achieve?

Customer:

to refute their accusations and clear my name

Ben Jones :

Do you have any evidence to support that?

Customer:

i have given them my response to their accusations. i have evidence of raising concerns about practice.

Ben Jones :

Ok well in these situations there is no right or wrong way to go about this and as I do not have details of the allegations or the full background it is impossible to advise on what you should say specifically to successfully clear your name. Only you know what has happened, the truth behind any allegations and what you can do to show that what you have been accused for is untrue. You would use this evidence to defend any allegations made and also I support of your complaint, which you have now raised in the form of a grievance.


 


In terms of your legal rights and what you can do in this situation, eventually this could potentially amount to constructive dismissal, which occurs when the following two elements are present:



  • Serious breach of contract by the employer; and

  • An acceptance of that breach by the employee, who in turn treats the contract of employment as at an end. The employee must act in response to the breach and must not delay any action too long.


 


A common breach by the employer occurs when it, or its employees, have broken the implied contractual term of trust and confidence. The conduct relied on could be a single act, or a series of less serious acts over a period of time, which together could be treated as serious enough (usually culminating in the 'last straw' scenario).


 


The affected employee would initially be expected to raise a formal grievance in order to officially bring their concerns to the employer's attention and give them an opportunity to try and resolve them. If the issues are so bad that the employee can't even face raising a grievance and going through the process, or if a grievance has been raised but has been unsuccessful, then they can consider resigning straight away.


 


If resignation appears to be the only option, it must be done without unreasonable delay so as not to give an impression that the employer's breach had been accepted. Any resignation would normally be with immediate effect and without providing any notice period. It is advisable to resign in writing, stating the reasons for the resignation and that this is being treated as constructive dismissal.


 


Following the resignation, the option of pursuing a claim for constructive dismissal exists. This is only available to employees who have at least 2 years' continuous service. There is a time limit of 3 months from the date of resignation to submit a claim in the employment tribunal.


 


An alternative way out is to approach the employer on a 'without prejudice' basis (i.e. off the record) to try and discuss the possibility of leaving under a settlement agreement. Under a settlement agreement, the employee gets compensated for leaving the company and in return promises not to make any claims against the employer in the future. It is essentially a clean break, although the employer does not have to agree to it so it will be subject to negotiation. In any event, there is nothing to lose by raising this possibility with them because you cannot be treated detrimentally for suggesting it and it would not be used against you.


 


Just to make a final, yet important point, that constructive dismissal can be a difficult claim to win as the burden of proof is entirely on the employee to show the required elements of a claim were present. Therefore, it should only be used as a last resort.


 

Ben Jones :

you can still repsond here, ignore any messages about time running out

Customer:

The man at Acas said just that. He also suggested that i could be protected because of the concerns i raised regarding practice. it is difficult for me to prove against some accusations because that would involve me calling them liars. i was prepared to resign today because i felt that i had no choice but i do not want to jeapordise the chance to refute their claims. You indicate that if resignation is the only option it must be done without delay? i just do not know what to do for the best.

Ben Jones :

well it does not mean you need to resign today, but at least go through the grievance and see what happens with that and if the outcome is unsatisfactory then you need to start considering whether it is something you cannot continue with and must leave as a result of, or if you can still try and continue working there even with what has happened

Customer:

i think that i can go through with the grievance but i do not think i can carry on with my work for the time it takes to happen. what can be agreed in the mean time. could i take an absence of unpaid leave?

Ben Jones :

with the employer's consent, yes. Or maybe get signed off work with stress

Ben Jones :

I am due in some meetings within 5 minutes so happy to answer any further queries you have at this stage but just letting you know I may not be available for immediate responses after that

Ben Jones :

That is if you need any further help of course?

Ben Jones :

Hi are you still there?

Customer:

Thanks Ben

Ben Jones : Most welcome
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46763
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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