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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 47340
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have been harassed and bullied at work. Unrelenting.

Resolved Question:

I have been harassed and bullied at work. Unrelenting. Emails sent after midnight and when my out of office was on etc. The only way to end it was by my removing myself from the office and later that day resigning. This falls into the constructive dismissal category. Not sure where I go from here.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today. How long did you work there for and when did you resign?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I started with the firm in Feb 2010. I resigned on 4 August 2016.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.

what was the nature of the emails?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
He had some work that needed doing. Non critical. His support was out. I picked it up to help. Tried to reach him to ask detail of assistance required. He was out and didn't respond to IMs I sent him. I checked with our records dept. to ensure client care would not be compromised. It wouldn't. It was an internal deadline only. Then later after working hours he sent emails asking for an explanation. I had a call with him. Explained the scenario. I thought it had been out to bed. He sent an email thanking me for my time. No response from me was required I thought. Then more emails asking why I hadnt replied to his thank you email. I was out if office went that was sent. He sent another two hours after that saying he expected a response. To what? He had closed the initial thank you email with "see you soon". Plus my out if office was on indicating my absence. I responded when I was back in the next day saying I thought "see you soon" meant no response required. Then he came back again saying I still hadn't answered his question. There was no question in any of his emails.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I realised then it was never going to stop other than by me are moving myself.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Removing*
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
The period in question was over 4 days from picking up the request for assistance to my leaving the premises. Every day therevwerevemaiks concerning the matter.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.

ok so this was the only incident (albeit over a period of 4 days) which led to your resignation?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
No one be it the CEO/Line Manager/HR stepped in. I had no other alternative. He owns the company, so no one was prepared to say enough is enough.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I couldn't do my job because he was harassing me so much!
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.

Ok thanks, ***** ***** may indeed consider constructive dismissal, I am not quite sue this will be enough to go by. To be able to claim this you need to show that the employer had acted in serious breach of contract, so serious that it makes the performance of your contract impossible and leaves you with no other option but to resign. I see that there were exchanges here which you felt were harassment and bullying, but in the eyes of the law they may not be seen as serious enough – there was obviously some misunderstanding there, he expected a response to something, you were unsure of what exactly and the exchanges continued until you resigned. Was the incident serious enough to mean that you can no longer continue working there? Unlikely from a legal perspective. This should have been resolved through direct communication at first or by raising a formal grievance. If that had not worked, then you may have had to leave things to settle down a bit before making a decision. But the resignation has happened now so you are only left with the option of claiming constructive dismissal, which as mentioned will be difficult here but there is of course nothing stopping you from proceeding down that route if you wanted to.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you need to follow to take this 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 is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for the confirmation of my position. He has done this before to others. I'm not the first and I won't be the last. That's why these guys are able to continue. I will have to bite the bullet and move on. Thanks again.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.

Thank you. To be honest there is nothing stopping you from starting the first part of the process, which is free. A new feature in the employment tribunal’s claims process is mandatory early conciliation with ACAS. This requires prospective claimants to notify ACAS and provide details of their intended claim and they would then try to negotiate between the claimant and respondent to seek out of court settlement in order to avoid having to take the claim to the tribunal. It is possible for the parties to refuse to engage in these negotiations, or that they are unsuccessful, in which case they would get permission to proceed with making the claim in the tribunal.

If negotiations are initiated and settlement is reached, then the claimant would agree not to proceed with the claim in return for the agreed financial settlement.

The conciliation procedure and the form to fill in can be found here:

https://ec.acas.org.uk/Submission/SingleClaimantPage