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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 44882
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I work money transfer, but I do not use the services

Customer Question

I work for a money transfer, but I do not use the services of my employer. Instead I used a competitor company that is owned by a shareholder of my employer. Unfortunately the services in the competitor didn't work fine I had to complain and somehow the owner of the company I used to send money to my country shared my details to my employer and I was summoned to the head office to have an informal conversation with my managers and HR.
In the conversation they exposed that the shareholder owner of the competitor company was concerned that I might have used his services to give bad feedback, one of the managers said that even if he was very tight with his money or going hungry he would not do what I did.
I feel embarrassed and upset. I felt the need to quit my job immediately as soon as I had another offer because the atmosphere isn't good.
Can you help me with that?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked there for and what do you specifically do you want to know about this?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hello Ben,

I feel that my employer invaded my privacy by asking about my transactions with another company, they compared me with them saying that they would have not used another company and complained. they put me in an embarrassing situation.

Is there anything I can do? Can I sue them for bullying?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I work for my employer since 2008, I would like to know if I can sue them for bullying.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
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.
So you can potentially take legal action but it would require you to leave your employment and consider the constructive dismissal route.
I trust this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page). If for any reason you are unhappy with my response or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you

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