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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48173
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Recently my boss appears to be witch hunting me doings.

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Recently my boss appears to be witch hunting me for wrong doings. Any chance gets he would use. He refused my leased car to be renewed saying that he does not think I would cover much requiring travelling anymore, when the case is opposite. I had a fall at work in a training room when i accidentally tripped over electrical cables all over the floor in front of everyone. Shortly after I had an emergency with my son having to attend hospital and took time off. He made a referal to the occupational health for an assessment of my disability and personal issues on my work and my fitness for work. He spoke to me off the record as he puts it to consider another job and he would give me reference. He also asked if I could consider early retirement on health grounds. He has stopped me attending my weekly physio to strengthen my right side becaus he expects me to be at work like everyone else. He would not consider any application from me to take advantage of alternative work pattern policy in the organisation. yet many people work other pattern just to fit in their domestic responsibility. I have not been allowed any formal arrangement to take account of my disability. I do not want to fall out.
The occpational physician has now writen to my employer to repind them that I am covered by the equaility act. and that I am fit for work with limitations
What does this mean in practical terms? eg adjustments to working?
please respond quickly
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked there for?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

18 years

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
If you are classified as disabled under the Equality Act then the employer ould have a duty to make reasonable adjustments and also not to treat you detrimentally because of your disability.
What amounts to ‘reasonable adjustments’ can have a wide interpretation and often depends on the individual circumstances of the employer, their business, the potential impact on other employees, the available resources, etc. Whilst legislation does not currently provide specific examples of what adjustments can be made, the following are examples that have been considered reasonable in case law over time:
• making adjustments to work premises;
• allocating some of the employee’s duties to others;
• transferring the employee to fill an existing suitable vacancy;
• altering the employee’s hours of work;
• allowing the employee to be absent during working hours for rehabilitation, assessment or treatment connected to their disability;
• acquiring or modifying specialist equipment;
• providing supervision or other support.
Apart from discrimination, it could be that you are the victim of bullying. Bullying is unfortunately something that happens all too often in the workplace. The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) defines bullying as “offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, an abuse or misuse of power through means that undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the recipient.” Whatever form it takes, it is unwarranted and unwelcome to the individual subjected to it.
Under law, specifically the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, an employer has a duty to ensure the health, safety and welfare of its employees. In addition, they have the implied contractual duty to provide a safe and suitable working environment. That includes preventing, or at least effectively dealing with bullying behaviour occurring in the workplace.
In terms of what the victim of bullying can do to try and deal with such problems, the following steps are recommended:
1. First of all, and if appropriate, the employee should try and resolve the issue informally with the person responsible for the bullying.
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. This formally brings the bullying issue to the attention of the employer and they will have a duty to investigate and deal with it.
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 terms of mutual trust and confidence and failed to provide a safe working environment and that there was no other option but to resign. However, this step should only be used as a last resort as it can be risky, after all it will result in the employment being terminated.
In general, a victim should try and gather as much evidence as possible before considering making a formal complaint and certainly before going down the resignation route. As bullying often takes verbal form, the best way is to keep a detailed diary of all bullying occasions so that there is at least some reference in written form that the employer and/or the tribunal can refer to.
I hope this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating, or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
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 you need further help or if I can close the question? Thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Many thank for this insight. I was considering all the points against my experiences, hence delay in coming back to you for more information so I can take practical steps.

One more request please. I am in the union. A colleague at work who is aware of what's going on feels its bullying and i should involve the union. I have never done this before as i just try to cope with any challenges. I want to ask for a formal adjustment to my working time and request that i should be allowed to attend medical appointments that are difficult to arrange outside of working time and to be allowed to make up time lost later. Are these reasonable requests? My weekly clinic runs once a week and in the morning. I have been refused to attend citing my contract of employment and business needs require me to be at work everyday. Yet I see others without any visible disability taking time off or claiming to be work at home at least one day a week!

Should I involve the union? And how should I engage them in looking at reasonable adjustment for me? I feel uncomfortable attending any medical appointment and tend to cancel until the surgery receives a letter from hospital that I had not been attending my appointments. My boss so far is against any formal adjustment those the company has alternative working policy. The po;icy states that it must be agreed by the line manager first before an application could be made. So it is difficul to make one. Please advice.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, yes these can indeed be reasonable requests and I have seen them applied in various forms in different situations so they can work, although it would depend on the business needs, availability of cover, etc. But if others are being allowed similar adjustments then I do not see why it would not be reasonable in your case too.
You have nothing to lose by involving the union – they are there to help you with workplace issues so you may as well use them. There is no formal way of approaching them, just contact your union rep and raise the issues you have and the help you need, they should tell you what needs to be done further to use them or they will just arrange things with you. And if the manager is denying you the chance to even make an application then you could use the union to try and fight that or you could also raise a formal grievance to have the matter looked at formally from higher up.
If your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer - it only takes a second to do and is an important part of our process. I can still answer follow up questions afterwards if needed. Thank you
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