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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Does this sound like work place bullying? My wife works for

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Does this sound like work place bullying? My wife works for a high street bank in a very large credit card centre where she has been for the past 16 years. She is currently off work on long term disability with clinical trial Rheumatoid Arthritis medication with many and varied side effects. She sleeps many hours a day and is in pain. She is also Asthmatic and had negotiated special workplace adjustments to compensate prior to diagnosed with RA as well. This was fought against by management who disagree with HR assessment. Whist off she receives many and very frequent calls from her boss. Waking her to ask how she is and will not speak with her husband or take a call back when awake. During certificated absence she was placed on disciplinary action for breaching an absence trigger. We appealed and it was overturned. Next there is a barrage ( I printed 67) of social medial entries from her boss with messages like '' the next time someone gets one over me they're going to F******* get it". Complaining is not productive five complaints have been rejected from five other team colleagues who have all been placed on discipline and have since resigned. Senior Management support such action as cost cutting appears to be the priority and older colleagues are most costly. The management share social media and like each others entries many of which are aimed at vulnerable staff and these items are littered with expletives of the absolute worst foul language, men but mostly women post these. To go back into that working environment when the management have made it clear that weakness will be targeted is going to be hard. The Union have pursued this at length without success. What can be done? My wife want to go back to work but senior management will not intervene and discipline such behaviour from middle management. She cannot be 'managed out' and lose benefits of 16 years.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  taratill replied 1 year ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I am happy to help you today. Yes it does and I would suggest it also most likely amounts to disability discrimination. She can start a workplace conciliation procedure via ACAS, you will find a the details at www.acas.org.uk and potentially bringa discrimination claim. Please let me know if you have any further questions. If I have answered your question I would be grateful if you would take the time to rate my answer. Thank you and all the best.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We know this as the Union have take a disability and discrimination case and lost. Is it Bullying is the question and what about the extreme use of the work swearing on social media aimed at staff?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello I will assist with your question. This may indeed amount to bullying and/or harassment. 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. Harassment is also an option, which could be both a civil matter and a criminal one. The law states that a person must not pursue a course of conduct which amounts to harassment of another and which he or she knows or ought to know amounts to harassment. Although there is no definition of what specifically amounts to harassment, it would usually include alarming a person or causing them distress and must have occurred on at least two occasions. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the option she has for taking the matter further, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there I no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48175
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. 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.