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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 44920
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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my son has received via his works email and from 2 of his line

Customer Question

my son has received via his works email and from 2 of his line managers threatening and abusive emails. One email threatens to kill him. These were exchanged between the two line mangers and not sent directly to my son. But he has access to one of the line managers emails for work reasons and he has copies of them. He has raised a grievance at work and the company has offered him 3 months’ salary with 1 months notice as a compromise agreement as he feels he cannot any longer work for the company. He works in a small office where he is one of 4 people including the two line managers

what compensation for loss of office due to no faulty of his own can he claim
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long has he worked there for?

JACUSTOMER-e6la5c81- :

15 months

JACUSTOMER-e6la5c81- :

He had a glowing appraisal only 4 weeks back and now it’s gone to this. This all kicked off recently as he went sick for 7 days and had a doctor’s note but because he didn’t phone in every day he was off they have given him a final written notice (he did phone in the first 2 days of sick leave)

Ben Jones :

is this incident the only one or have there been a series of incidents?

JACUSTOMER-e6la5c81- :

no just one these 6 or so emails, well the ones he is aware of. There maybe other emails that he hasnt seen

Ben Jones :

This could actually amount to bullying. Bullying is unfortunately something that is not uncommon in workplaces. 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.

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. That includes preventing bullying behaviour occurring in the workplace and effectively dealing with any complaints that have arisen as a result of bullying.

In terms of what an employee who is the victim of bullying can do to try and deal with such problems, the following steps are recommended:

  1. First of all, and if possible, 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.
  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 term of mutual trust and confidence and that there was no other option but to resign. However, that is not an easy claim to win and there has to be a reasonable degree of certainty that continuing to work for the employer in the circumstances is no longer possible.

If he is being offered a compromise agreement then that would prevent him from claiming against the employer in the future and it will be a clean break between them.

If he refuses to accept the agreement and leaves claiming constructive dismissal then he would only be entitled to compensation for any loss of earnings incurred as a result of being forced to leave. He will have a duty to try and look for a new job immediately and if he is successful and it pays more or less the same or more then he would have suffered minimal losses and his compensation will be very low. On the other hand if he is out of a job for a prolonged period of time he could potentially seek to recover a larger sum to cover that period. Of course that would depend on him actually being successful and there is no guarantee of that, as with any legal claim.

JACUSTOMER-e6la5c81- :

he has gone through the grievance procedure and they have offered him 3 months’ salary and 1 months notice but can he claim more as it may take him 9 months to find another job

JACUSTOMER-e6la5c81- :

They must know he has a case else why offer this compensation

Ben Jones :

that will not necessarily be the reason for their offer, for them it would make sense to pay him off and give him something, even if they do not believe he has a case rather than get involved in tribunal proceedings where they may spend a lot more time and money on legal fees and preparation.

Whether he is entitled to more will depend on many factors, such as what attempts he has made to find a job, whether the market is indeed such that it would make finding a new job that difficult, and of course on him actually proving that he has a valid constructive dismissal case and the tribunal finding in his favour. No one can predict what a tribunal may award in such circumstances

JACUSTOMER-e6la5c81- :

in your view could he counter offer and ask for 9 months money

JACUSTOMER-e6la5c81- :

unfair dismissal is upto £75K isnt it?

Ben Jones :

there is nothing stopping him from doing so but I am not sure the employer would agree to that, I think they may increase the offer slightly, maybe an extra month or two but maybe not more than that. The maximum award is indeed just under £75k

JACUSTOMER-e6la5c81- :

he is on £19.5K per annum, could he claim £15K to £20K for loss of office stress etc

Ben Jones :

no award for stress, just actual loss of earnings and as mentioned that would depend on a number of factors regarding attempts at finding a new job, state of the industry, etc

JACUSTOMER-e6la5c81- :

as the emails are threatening can he get the Police involved ie Kill him and drop all his things from top of a tall building and hope he gets hurt

Ben Jones :

yes but they may view this as an incident that they will not get involved in because the threats were not made to him directly. That is unless there is a degree of seriousness in them rather than just someone's rambling thoughts

Ben Jones :

again, there is nothing stopping him from contacting them

Ben Jones :

Do you need any further help with your query?

Ben Jones :

I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating - your question will not close and I can continue providing further advice if necessary. Thank you

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