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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46182
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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My wife has been picked on by her immediate manager at work

Customer Question

my wife has been picked on by her immediate manager at work to the point of she is now being taken formal meeting within the next 2 days
Assistant: Thank you. Can you provide any more details to help us find you the right Expert?
Customer: by HR department over the last 3 months the manager has been on my wifes case where she has taken her to HR to act as her back up over small issues
Assistant: Brilliant. Thank you. I'll now take you to a secure page to place your deposit with JustAnswer. Once the deposit is received, we'll continue helping you with your question.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 8 months ago.

How long has she worked there?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
8 years a as an admin assistant/customer service agent
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
she has to deal with customers regarding transfers of monies to and from various account
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
over the last 3 months the manager spoken to my wife about toipics from work with HR present today she was informed that my wife will have a formal hearing within the next 2 days regarding issues arisen from her questioning the last meeting
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
i'm not sure what more you want me to put as I am just seeking advise on what my wife can do as she has seen her manager use the same tactics to remove at least 2 people from the department in the same way
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
my wife was taken into a meeting on the 12th may where she was told that they are giving her a verbal warning for time keeping and errors made during work and we were on a flight out of Gatwick on the morning 6.20am she had 2 weeks off annual leave and when she came back distraught about what her manager was doing to her she wrote a formal letter of grieviance regarding the actions on the 12th may and the previous weeks
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
i'm not really sure what you want me too keep adding can you please reply with a question
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
do you want me to pay £38 more untop of the £25 deposit I have paid for you to call me ?????
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I feel asking for more money at this stage is slightly rude as I have already paid a deposit you have my e mail address if you wish to contact please do so via that method as I am not sure I want to pay more for a service that I have just typed in a screen.
if you can contact me and I feel confident that I am getting help I will gladly pay for the service as my wife works during the day evenings after 7 pm is the only time she will be around
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I have your e mails and they are asking me for the same thing I have done already I have given you a brief outline or whats been happening
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 months ago.

Hello i have been asked to look into this for you. No need to reply again, i will privide my response later this eve. Thanks

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 months ago.

Hi there, thanks for your patience. Before I proceed it is probably best to explain how our service works in case you were confused earlier. The initial deposit you paid is for the written response. This may mot always be forthcoming straight away because we are all practising lawyers and often have other engagements so we can only answer on her when we are free. This is why you get to pay so little for speaking to a lawyer. At times the system automatically offers you the chance to request a phone call – that is a premium service and it is charged extra. It is entirely up to you if you wanted to pay more and if you did mot want to then you simply proceed with the written exchange.

So going back to your query, it appears that your wife is 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.
This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the constructive dismissal option and how it can apply here, 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 is 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: 46182
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 months ago.

Thank you. As mentioned, this could potentially amount to constructive dismissal, which occurs when the following two elements are present:

· Serious breach of contract by the employer; and

· An acceptance of that breach by the employee, who in turn treats the contract of employment as at an end. The employee must act in response to the breach and must not delay any action too long.

A common breach by the employer occurs when it, or its employees, have broken the implied contractual term of trust and confidence. The conduct relied on could be a single act, or a series of less serious acts over a period of time, which together could be treated as serious enough (usually culminating in the 'last straw' scenario).

The affected employee would initially be expected to raise a formal grievance in order to officially bring their concerns to the employer's attention and give them an opportunity to try and resolve them. If the issues are so bad that the employee can't even face raising a grievance and going through the process, or if a grievance has been raised but has been unsuccessful, then they can consider resigning straight away.

If resignation appears to be the only option, it must be done without unreasonable delay so as not to give an impression that the employer's breach had been accepted. Any resignation would normally be with immediate effect and without providing any notice period. It is advisable to resign in writing, stating the reasons for the resignation and that this is being treated as constructive dismissal.

Following the resignation, the option of pursuing a claim for constructive dismissal exists. This is only available to employees who have at least 2 years' continuous service. There is a time limit of 3 months from the date of resignation to submit a claim in the employment tribunal.

An alternative way out is to approach the employer on a 'without prejudice' basis (i.e. off the record) to try and discuss the possibility of leaving under a settlement agreement. Under a settlement agreement, the employee gets compensated for leaving the company and in return promises not to make any claims against the employer in the future. It is essentially a clean break, although the employer does not have to agree to it so it will be subject to negotiation. In any event, there is nothing to lose by raising this possibility with them because you cannot be treated detrimentally for suggesting it and it would not be used against you.

Just to make a final, yet important point, that constructive dismissal can be a difficult claim to win as the burden of proof is entirely on the employee to show the required elements of a claim were present. Therefore, it should only be used as a last resort.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Hello Ben..
Thank you for your reply to the issues that's we have pointed out we are aware of some of the actions that we could take however the company have raised a formal meeting with my wife under the grievance rules laid down by the company.
My feel;s that's she want this to be on her record of employment and feels that what ever they say at this meeting will have already been decided on from before when all this started 12th May 2016.She feels that she should go in tomorrow 14th May 2016 and hand her resignation stating that she feels that they have not taken her complaint which she raised in June seriously and made any attempt to change the outcome which was always going to be the formal route which will in the end lead to her being dismissed as what ever task they set her she has to complete this under the manager that is wealding her power to get rid of my wife using the company rules.Can my wife go in and hand her notice in with out going to the formal hearing and still take actions against the company for constructive disimissal
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 months ago.

Hi there, the issue with constructive dismissal is that it is usually a lot harder to win than unfair dismissal. That is because it is for the employee to prove that there was a serious breach of contract by the employer and it was serious enough to allow them to resign and claim constructive dismissal On the other hand, in an unfair dismissal claim it is for the employer to prove that they had a fair reason for the dismissal and had followed a fair procedure. So the burden of proof shifts to the employer and it makes the employee’s case that little bit easier. Therefore, if it is likely that they may be looking at dismissal anyway, she may as well ‘allow’ them to do that and dismiss her, in which case she can then look at an unfair dismissal claim, rather than having to pursue the ore difficult constructive dismissal claim. But of course if she feels she cannot continue working there any more then she is free to resign at any time.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
My wife has decided that's she cannot live with the stress that the job is causing her and will resign in the morning as soon as HR can see her she feels what ever they do at the formal hearing in the afternoon will not be in her favour as it will be impossible to meet their needs so in the end they will revert to a dismissal meeting when the time span for improvement has been reached as this is exactly what that have done from the previous meeting which thus triggered the formal hearing tomorrow.Thank you for your help in this matter ... Sadly she cannot take this type of treatment any longer as its causing her stress and fear
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 months ago.

I completely understand and it is a decision only she can make in the end. If you need assistance with the next steps then i am happy to take that on as a new matter for you so if you wish to get further assistance please post a query for my attention and I will gladly assist further. All the best for now

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