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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 47363
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Hi, my name is***** been workig for one company as a

Resolved Question:

Hi, my name is***** been workig for one company as a office manager for 8 years. I was abused by the owner by shouting and discriminating for a long time. I had to work for even 72 hours straight to make them satisfied and be able to finish all jobs they were expecting me to finish, if i didnt they were shouting at me in front of oter emlployees. At the moment i am not working and I am not able to start any job as I am very depressed and since june 2013 I am under hospital treatment after few suecide attempts. I am willing to sue them but dont really know where to start and cant afford expencive solicitors. I have been trying to book an apointment with a solicitor through citiens adice bearou but still without success. Please give me adice where can I seek help.
Kind regards *****
my telephone number: ***********
email: *****@******.***
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Are you still employed by this company?

Customer:

Yes... i mean since june 2013 I just give them sick notes from my gp or hospital but im not receiving any money

Customer:

My husband is employed in same company and im worried that he will loose his job if i will go to court against them

Ben Jones :

You said you have been discriminated by them - on what grounds?

Customer:

Basically i was doing everything in the company, writing emails, payroll for about 100 people employed by the company, paying invoices and whenever the owner was in the office with me she was shouting at me if something wasnt done. On one occasion she called me an idiot in front of other lady. Whenever there was mistake done by someone they straight away blamed me for this. Im from poland and my english is not perfect. Even though they have made me work for 5 people. Since im sick they employed 5 other people on my place and i used to do all that job myself.

Ben Jones :

so do you think that you were discriminated because you were Polish?

Customer:

No, maybe not discriminated, maybe i used wrong word. They didnt treat me well. They ruined my mental health. Im not able to go back to work and i have financial problems as well.

Customer:

Probably "bullied" is more correct

Customer:

sir... for the last 2-3 years of my carrier in that company i was working from 5am till 5-6pm and from 5am on fridays till late evening on sunday or sometimes i was coming back home on monday

Customer:

Still i was scared to face my boss (especially the lady) because i knew she will not be happy anyway

Customer:

Can you please tell me if i have any chances to win compensation in court?

Ben Jones :

ok it may not be discrimination because that only happens if you are treated unfairly due to your gender, age, race , religion or nationality and if these did not apply then it will not be discrimination.

It looks like your only claim would be for constructive dismissal, which occurs when the following two elements are present:



  • Serious breach of contract by the employer; and

  • An acceptance of that breach by the employee, who in turn treats the contract of employment as at an end. The employee must act in response to the breach and must not delay any action too long.


A common breach by the employer occurs when it, or its employees, have broken the implied contractual term of trust and confidence. The conduct relied on could be a single act, or a series of less serious acts over a period of time, which together could be treated as serious enough (usually culminating in the 'last straw' scenario).

The affected employee would initially be expected to raise a formal grievance in order to officially bring their concerns to the employer's attention and give them an opportunity to try and resolve them. If the issues are so bad that the employee can't even face raising a grievance and going through the process, or if a grievance has been raised but has been unsuccessful, then they can consider resigning straight away.

If resignation appears to be the only option, it must be done without unreasonable delay so as not to give an impression that the employer's breach had been accepted. Any resignation would normally be with immediate effect and without providing any notice period. It is advisable to resign in writing, stating the reasons for the resignation and that this is being treated as constructive dismissal.

Following the resignation, the option of pursuing a claim for constructive dismissal exists. This is only available to employees who have at least 2 years' continuous service. There is a time limit of 3 months from the date of resignation to submit a claim in the employment tribunal.

An alternative way out is to approach the employer on a 'without prejudice' basis (i.e. off the record) to try and discuss the possibility of leaving under a settlement agreement. Under a settlement agreement, the employee gets compensated for leaving the company and in return promises not to make any claims against the employer in the future. It is essentially a clean break, although the employer does not have to agree to it so it will be subject to negotiation. In any event, there is nothing to lose by raising this possibility with them because you cannot be treated detrimentally for suggesting it and it would not be used against you.

Just to make a final, yet important point, that constructive dismissal can be a difficult claim to win as the burden of proof is entirely on the employee to show the required elements of a claim were present. Therefore, it should only be used as a last resort.

Ben Jones :

Hope this clarifies your position? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you

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