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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 47337
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Can an owner of a small retail business, bring a personal

Customer Question

Can an owner of a small retail business, bring a personal grievance against a bullying employee?
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.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
You have my question. I look forward to an answer.
Thank you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi, Are you there?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Apologies for not getting back to you sooner, I experienced some temporary connection issues and could not get back on the site until now. All appears to be resolved now so I can continue dealing with your query.

Are you the owner in question?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, I'm representing my daughter. (I used to work in recruitment and management.) I have recently written a Business Plan for her. She is the owner of a shop in a London tourist destination. (The shop has been there for 35 years and is well-known.) She lost her business partner about 7 months ago under very difficult circumstances, and it has taken her all this time to grieve and sort things out. She is now on her own trying to keep the business on track.
I know my question is weird, but she has a problem with a part-time member of staff who likes to think she's in charge! This woman is older - in her 50s - and has undermined and bullied my daughter while she was in a fragile state, and on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
Imagine a small retail unit in a shopping mall - this will give you an idea of working cheek by jowl behind a counter with staff. There is no office or staff room. My daughter has one full-time shop manager, and 2 part timers. She does not go into the shop often, as she is dealing with the mail order in premises in Sussex. The environment does not lend itself to giving verbal warnings, and collecting evidence of infractions (which have been numerous.) The staff member knows how to play the system, and basically is becoming a menace and a threat to the business.
This woman is taking up too much of my daughter's time in thinking how to dismiss her. I am wondering if my daughter can bring a grievance against this part-time shop assistant for threatening the stability of the business while it needs to be restructured.
Thank you for your time.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. It is possible for an owner of a business to raise a grievance against another member of staff. Grievances are there for employees to air any concerns about any issues with the workplace so assuming that the owner is also an employee of the business, the grievance route is open to them. What is important though is that a grievance is dealt with fairly as far as possible. The main concern here is who will hear the grievance and make a decision on the outcome. If your daughter is the one who would usually be dealing with such matters and she is now in a position where she has to hear her own grievance, that is obviously going to give rise to calls of likely bias and unfairness. So if at all possible she should try and delegate this matter to the next most senior person in the business. It is still possible for her to hear this herself, but she just needs to ensure that it is dealt with as impartially as possible so that no claims of bias can realistically be raised. Alternatively, she may wish to get an outside party, like an HR consultancy to deal with the grievance, although of course that will incur additional costs.

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

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