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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 47903
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I think my husband is being bullied and harassed by his new

Resolved Question:

I think my husband is being bullied and harassed by his new boss, is there anything he can do? He is being asked to do tasks that was previously not in his remit and was carried out by somebody else in a specific role. The role has now been disposed of. He is happy to take on additional tasks but is not been given training to do them and is told that he should be able to do these things as he is a manager. His boss hid the same job as him in Germany and has recently been promoted to his boss and says that he did all these tasks with less staff in Germany. Is there anything he can do about this?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones : Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long has he worked there?
Customer:

Hi Ben27 years with the MOD, then TUPED over in October 2009

Ben Jones :

Hi, sorry I was offline by the time you had replied last night. 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:

Hi Ben

Customer:

Thanks for this information. We also wondered if the Disability Disabled Act (think that's what it is) would apply to my husband. He was diagnosed with cancer (non-hodgkins lymphona) 6 years ago although he is in remission now, however it is expected to come back at some point in the future. He also suffers from arthritis.

Ben Jones :

It is the Equality Act 2010. Do you think he is being picked on because of his medical condition?

Customer:

No, his medical condition hasn't been brought up. But his boss thinks he is stressed and not coping with the changes and the additional work load and has asked him to contact HR to let them know he is stressed and to have a meeting with him, his boss and HR. As I mentioned before they are putting more and more work on him (stuff he hasn't done previously) but no training or guidance is forthcoming.

Ben Jones :

The Equality Act will only protect him to an extent if he is being treated less favourably because of his condition, or the employer has implemented some practices that place him at a disadvantage because of his condition.

Ben Jones :

If these do not apply, then he would not get additional protection and the original advice would still be the one that applies most

Customer:

That's great thanks for your help Ben. Has helped clarify his situation.

Ben Jones :

You are most welcome. Please take a second to leave a positive rating for the advice I have provided as that is an important part of our process. Thank you and feel free to bookmark my profile for future help:



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