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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46792
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I am currently off work with stress, I am due to go down to

Resolved Question:

I am currently off work with stress, I am due to go down to half pay very soon. Yesterday I had a stress risk assessment with my employer who has given me a return date for work, I am not due to see my doctor for another two weeks but my employer has already decided that I am fit for work. A recent occupational health assessment did not judge me fit for work until managerial issues were resolved. One of the issues is that I was publicly humiliated by my line manager on a staff night out, the humiliation was a verbal sexual insult, witnessed by other members of staff and the general public, and the manner in which it was done was exceeding inappropriate. I have had a few meetings now with my employer, with union representation. I have raised this important issue at each meeting but it is always ignored (like the elephant in the room). In particular I drafted a letter with all my issues in writing, I sent it by email, two days prior to the most recent meeting and delivered a paper copy by hand at the meeting, neither parties spoke about or addressed any issues in the letter and sidelined any request to refer to it. I have also previously asked my union rep to take a grievance out on my employer and particularly my line manager; however they just change the subject. I told my union rep that I was wanting to seek legal advice and since that point have found my them unhelpful to the extent that they were answering questions put directly to my employer, thus undermining me in meetings. My company is large enough for me to be transferred to another venue, which is what they have done, my name has also been blackened, but no action has been taken to address the disgraceful way I have been treated by my line manager, who has now boasted to other members of staff that he has got rid of me. I understand the proof of the insult is dependent on other staff backing up the claim. Even so my claim is in black and white and no attempt of an investigation has been carried out to determine the truth: This is in spite of the fact that a staff member, present on the night out, who was also at one of the meetings, did make the comment that "it was just a joke". Since then NO ONE has mentioned this incident and it does not appear on any meeting minutes. Your advice on how to proceed would be helpful.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Ben Jones : Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked there for? Please noteninam
Ben Jones : Sorry ... Note I am in and out of meetings today so may not be able to respond immediately but will do so this afternoon. Thanks
Customer:

I have worked for my employer for 12 years

Ben Jones :

Thank you. Whilst you do have certain rights in this situation, you cannot force the employer to deal with the specific issue. You can raise a grievance, as you have done, and pursue the employer for an answer but if they still continue to ignore the subject then you cannot actually guarantee a response or a resolution. So in these circumstances you will have to consider your position and how to take this further. Once it has become apparent that the grievance procedure will be of no use and you have exhausted the internal complaints steps, your only option left is to resign and claim constructive dismissal. You would be claiming that your employer’s conduct was so bad that you can no longer continue working there as a result and were forced to leave. It is a risky claim as you will be giving up your job but you will need to decide whether you would be better off staying there and facing a brick wall in relation to this matter or leaving.

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.

I hope this clarifies your position? If you could please quickly let me know that would be great, as it is important for us to keep track of customer satisfaction. Thank you

Customer:

Thank you for your detailed answer, this gives me food for thought. Would going to the press be an option, this manager has his fingers in many pies and could be deeply embarrassed if his behaviour were to become public? Alternately would it be too late to take a grievance out without the union input?

Ben Jones :

you have to be careful with going to the press - it could be a breach of confidentiality depending on hat is discussed and also you cannot guarantee what they will say so they could publish something which puts the employer in a bad light and they could blame you for that, so try and keep this internal if you can. As to raising a grievance without union input if you have an ongoing grievance now then you can request that the union is no longer involved - they do not have to take part, they are there to help you if needed but if you do not want their input then you do not have to have it

Ben Jones :

Hope this clarifies things for you a bit more?

Customer:

Thanky

Customer:

Thank you for your input.

Ben Jones :

you are welcome, all the best

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46792
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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