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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48168
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Had an outcome from a formal grievance today. Some elements

Resolved Question:

Had an outcome from a formal grievance today. Some elements upheld but most not due to lack of evidence of intent (relating to harassment, humiliation and undermining behaviour).
I have been given options. 1) to return to my role; 2) go to a lesser role; 3) find another role internally. Options 1/2 are in the same team ultimately reporting to the individuals the grievance related to and not an option. I also mentioned I would consider a compromise agreement but this has only been mentioned in the context that they will do everything to get me back to work. I have the right to appeal the outcome but not sure it would achieve anything other than a delay. I am currently signed off work due to the stress.
I know I have the right to claim constructive dismissal but want to avoid it as the chances of success are so limited. I have no idea how to respond or what my legal rights are now. Can you advise?
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.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

How long have you worked there? Also, what would be your ideal outcome in this situation so that I can advise you of your options?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
9.5 years service. High performance record throughout. I specifically advised I didn't want to return to the role or work in the same team. I said I would accept a role equal to my experience, performance and capability. I also mentioned I would consider a compromise agreement
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

OK, thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you in a short while. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Also, please do not responded to this message as it will just push your questions to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Many thanks for your patience. First of all you can try to appeal and whilst I understand you believe it may not change things, unless you try you will not know that. You could try and remain signed off work whilst the process goes on and if the outcome remains the same then at least you know where you stand with that.

The options after that would be limited to constructive dismissal I’m afraid. Of course a settlement agreement would be the best outcome but you cannot force the employer to agree to one. Instead you will have to resign and the go through the ACAS early conciliation process before you can issue a claim. You would be hoping that ACAS can use their negotiating skills to try and get you some sort of settlement from them. It is their aim to facilitate that so at east you will have some professional help to try and get a settlement agreement. If that does not work either, then you will only be able to go through to the tribunal claim process and then you will need to think carefully about whether you wish to go that far.

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.
Thank you. One of my main concerns is that the "options" so far are not really viable. There are no other suitable vacancies currently posted across the business. This leaves me having to respond that none of the three options are suitable. If I respond in this way can they argue that they believe there are reasonable and suitable options and dismiss me for refusing to work for the individuals that caused me distress and currently 12 weeks absence. Although my grievance was not upheld in some respect, there has been admittance of many of the elements albeit no admittance of intent to cause me distress. This is my major worry as to how far I can dispute the reasonable and viable options for an alternative. Thanks
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Sometime the proposals offered by the employer may not go to resolve the issues at hand. Not always will there be a satisfactory resolution to a workplace dispute. Whether the proposals are suitable will really depend on the circumstances and not just on what the employer believes is suitable but also what is suitable for your own personal circumstances. If they dismiss you then in way that would be better for you as then you would at least be claiming unfair dismissal, which generally is considered easier than constructive dismissal so they may be doing you a favour in that respect.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks. So is there any burden on the employer to demonstrate suitability of alternatives or would this be at a tribunal, if it came to that? I was shocked that two of the options were even mentioned as I'd made it clear in advance of the outcome meeting these were not options in my mind. Why put these on the table when it was made clear they were not suitable to me? It doesn't seem reasonable or ethical.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

they are not legally required to justify the suitability at this stage, the reasonableness will only be scrutinised formally at tribunal. If your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page - it only takes a second to do and is an important part of our process. I can still answer follow up questions afterwards if needed. Thank you

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