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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 48159
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I am a Teacher and have been bullied by my Line Manager for

Resolved Question:

I am a Teacher and have been bullied by my Line Manager for the past seven months, I have informed Senior Management and presented evidence, however it has been ignored and blamed on 'lack of communication', I have clear evidence in writing that I was feeling extremely threatened and unsafe and communicated this in writing but not until the 2nd May when the last incident took place and I was signed off with stress, HR has taken matters on hand, they have given me Leave of Absence 'to recuperate and feel better' but the bully has not been made accountable. The HR recognised that I wasn't supported adequately and not managed properly verbally but I am too weak and my self-esteem has been crushed and I don't feel strong enough to take this further. Could you please advise me? Thanks and regards
Silvia
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. can you tell me are your HR department taking no further action against the line manager or are investigations still being made.

Ben Jones :

Also how long have you worked there for?

Customer:

No, he has not been challenged or made accountable, their solution was to offer me to be on Leave of Absence to get better. This is my second year in this school, I presented my case to the NUT and the rep told me I had a case but discouraged me to take it further as it is a very stressful process and because I am leaving and my Head of Department is leaving, the school will not do anything about it, or basically nothing will happen. Thank you

Ben Jones :

When exactly did you start working there as that would be relevant?

Customer:

I started working in this school on 1st September 2012

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. The issue is that you need at least 2 years’ service with the employer to do this and in your case you do not me the necessary criteria so you cannot pursue a claim. That means you may be forced to resign as a result without being able to take the matter further. It is unfortunately a loophole in the law but you may still go down the grievance route if necessary.

Customer:

Is there any consideration taken for school years? I have already taken step 2 and written a grievance with the necessary evidence, as well as resigned, clearly mentioning to the Head Teacher that I was doing so because of this issue. But from what you tell me, there is no use to send the grievance as nothing will happen as I was originally advised?

Ben Jones :

what do you mean by school years?

Customer:

School year is September to July, meaning that I would have completed two school years this July and my employment with the school ends in August this year, in my resignation I have stated that my employment ends on the 31st August, however my first year I worked on a one year contract from 1 Sept 2012 to August 2013 and then I was given a permanent contract from 1 Sept 2013 to 31 August 2014

Ben Jones :

No, it is calendar years, not school years so you only get the constructive dismissal rights in Sept 2014. So you can go through the grievance if you wish but f that is unsuccessful and your appeal also gets you nowhere, then you have to make a decision on whether to stay there or leave, remembering that if you leave you cannot make a claim at this stage

Customer:

I have already resigned?

Ben Jones :

ok sorry you did not mention that in your original question, if that is the case it would be the end of the matter unfortunately because you do not meet the minimum criteria to make a claim to take t further

Customer:

Ok, thank you very much for your answers and time

Ben Jones :

you are most welcome and sorry it was not better news

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