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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 45315
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Hi, I work for a family business and my uncle has been bullying

Resolved Question:

Hi,
I work for a family business and my uncle has been bullying me at work for 3 years now on and off - I wrote a formal grievence against him and he refuses to read it or go on any courses to help with his bullying anger and self control... my grievence has literally been dumped what can I do? he has told our HR manager who was on to this grievence that he wants nothing to do with this grievence and if I stay out of his way and him out of my way then that's fine, but its not I feel cheated and stuck as what to do next. he was aggressive and horrid towards me a month or 2 back reason for my initial grievence.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

How long have you worked there for?

Customer:

thankyou

Customer:

I have worked here for 3 years this summer coming, its a family run business my dad is the main owner

Customer:

thankyou







I have worked here for 3 years this summer coming, its a family run business my dad is the main owner



Ben Jones :

thanks, XXXXX XXXXX get my response ready please

Ben Jones :

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.


 

Customer:

okay, I have noted for over a year all the incidents he has caused of humiliation toward me in front of other work colleagues and other staff members, and this is all in my formal grievance that I have submitted - its been six weeks - and the HR man at work came into my office and told me that unfortunately the man who I have Grieved against is not accepting the grievence and because he is a manager at this company he cannot push it any further but if he insists to bullies or makes another scene he will be in trouble then, but that has been said before - so my whole point of writing and submitting a grievence seems as though it has been a waste of my time and I am still in the same situation of feeling under threat and unhappy at work - is there anything in the grievence proceedures that even though he is an employer he doesn't have to accept a grievence and just refuse plainly?

Customer:

sorry to ask in depth its just very confusing and also complicated as he is a family member but has caused so much stress in my life and work life that I don't know what to do anymore, and it seems unfair and not right that just because he is an employer he cannot become into trouble for what he has done- he shouldn't be the one deciding that right? Our HR man seems scared of him and doesn't want to push it further with him, my uncle who the grievence is about he has also bullied others including his own son, and other women in the work place. and is making it very unhappy here

Ben Jones :

The employer ha a duty to deal with a grievance fairly and by following the ACAS Code of Conduct. It does not matter if the alleged bully is the manager or the highest person in the company - a fair grievance procedure still has to be followed. If the employer fails to follow it then any compensation you are entitled to if you were to claim can be increased by up to 25%

Ben Jones :

Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? Thanks

Ben Jones :

Hello, I see you have accessed and read my answer to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this?

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 45315
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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