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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48736
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I have been working in a very negative, bullying environment

Resolved Question:

I have been working in a very negative, bullying environment at work. I explained to management that it was making me ill. My health was effected & I had to take time of work. Then I went back but nothing had changed & I did my best to continue on with my work. Now I have had to take time out again because my health I felt was getting worse& am out of work & feel I cannot return to the same environment. What rights do I have in this situation?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked there for?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
In this particular office of the civil service since august 2014.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The intimidating treatment was happening before I started & a select few people in the office are doing this on an ongoing daily basis with one of them stating that she was a troublemaker & laughing. Just a very negative environment& because there is no end to it this has impacted on my health mentally& I felt physically unwell for past 2months.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
(Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I do not need a phone call. I am happy with a response online. Many thanks.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thank you and do you have continuous service with this employer further back than 2014?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have witnessed threatening behaviour the shaking of fists at a colleague, ongoing harassment towards myself in the form of exclusion which after a while really annoyed me& I would get a really sore painful headache after this. Condescending language directed to myself the first week I started the job. There is a fear & anxiety & unsafe feeling in the office environment and this is the way it has been since I started it.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thank you but can you please clarify - do you have continuous service with this employer further back than 2014?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes I have been in the civil service for past 10 years.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. It does appear that you are in parts the victim of bullying yourself. 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. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. 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
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for this information. I do have a record of incidents etc written down. Is it possible to make a claim for the stress caused to me?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
You cannot just claim for stress. You will have to show it amounted to a personal injury so you need to prove that it has had such a serious effect that it has caused personal injury in the form of a psychiatric disorder. Hope this clarifies?
Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your advice. It has been very helpful.Best wishes
Karen
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
You are welcome, all the best