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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 46794
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Following an argument with my boss 3 weeks ago I received a

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Following an argument with my boss 3 weeks ago I received a call from the HR team located in New York at 4PM on Friday 3rd to ask me what has been going on and if we should be talking about an exit plan! This call came out of the blue although I was suspecting something was going on as my boss cancelled all meetings with me and the atmosphere was awful. I was told to leave the office on Friday and take today off. The HR team have scheduled a call for today at 1PM.
Shouldn’t my boss given me a heads up as to what is going on?
The argument came about in a weekly catch up that is normally scheduled for 10am on a Friday morning. On this occasion my boss didn’t ask to re schedule the meeting nor did he cancel it, he didn’t show up which happens regularly. I went out for lunch with clients and a colleague and when I got back to the office he scheduled a meeting at 4.30PM to ask me where I had been and who with, why I hadn’t answered my phone and that work needed to be done for a particular campaign (which I had done most of and the rest of the work was in progress). He didn’t ask me about the status of what needed to be done he just proceeded to be aggressive in his nature of questioning and dismiss my answers. He y stated that he ‘was going to have a go at me’ – this is when the conversation broke down, I got very upset and left the meeting. Since then I have been fearful of the repercussions but as my boss was on holiday the following week I had some time to focus and get on with my work. Since his return from holiday two weeks ago, he hasn’t really spoken to me, meetings have been cancelled and this is where I find myself.
My boss is generally abusive and critical towards me in front of other team members (once swearing at me in front of new members of staff telling me ‘not to get shitty with him’ and is continually rude and intimidating. My peers and less senior members of the team have commented on it and I’ve even been asked ‘if we have history together’ e.g. has something happened in the past for the relationship to be so bad! Another member of the management team has commented on his behavior towards me to stating he is rude, that it’s not constructive and is childish. There are other people who have commented too – we are a small office of 30 people so his behavior hasn’t gone unnoticed. He is overly nice to everyone else on the desk of 6 (all of which are women or his ‘harem’), and plain rude to me.
Despite the fact that I am working harder then ever and achieving a considerable amount of new business I believe he is trying to push me out of the business by putting more and more pressure on me – I never received praise from him however the MD told me a couple of weeks ago that I was on fire and doing a great job. My boss however is intent on making life for me as uncomfortable as possible – I have been refused time off (for my son’s birthday and his first day back to school) and despite being able to work from home since I joined the company I was told in mid August that I am no longer allowed to work from and I cannot take any holiday whilst other members of the team who report into him are allowed to work from home regularly (on a weekly basis), they are both female and have children like myself.
I have received aggressive emails and text messages on many occasions as well as one particularly abusive email that really upset me (most of which I still have, I am in the process of retrieving old text messages). I have felt fearful about losing my job (not because I’m not doing my job) but because of the consistent bullying and obvious distain my boss shows towards me! I have felt that my position is untenable for some time and have been fearful to raise this internally as I would be told to leave. I am a mother of 2 children, have always worked and care deeply about my career which is about to be shattered!
I would like some legal advice on how to manage the call with HR this afternoon and what looks set to be my exit from this company…?
Thanks in advance
Angela
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. How long have you worked there for?

Customer:

Hi Ben

Customer:

I have worked with the company for 17 months

Ben Jones :

What are you hoping to achieve in this situation?

Customer:

It doesn't seem like I have a choice to keep my job - so I have to leave. I would like 12 month pay.

Customer:

What are your thoughts?

Ben Jones :

What is your contractual notice period?

Customer:

1 month

Ben Jones :

Sadly you cannot legally expect 12 months' pay from the employer. It does not mean they will not agree to pay you anything extra but legally you can only expect a month's pay and any accrued holidays. You do not have a legal legal to stand on to demand anything more than that. Because you do not have at least 2 years' service with the employer you are not protected against unfair dismissal. This means that you can be dismissed for more or less any reason and without a fair procedure. It could be due to a personal dislike, because they think you do not fit into the employer's culture, or anything else, subject to some limited exceptions on grounds of discrimination, which I can see no evidence of here. So if they felt that it was time to remove you from the company they could easily and legally do this just by giving you the month's notice required under contract. They do not have to pay you anything extra and neither can you force them to. As mentioned they could agree to pay you something on top of that as a goodwill gesture but that is entirely in their hands and it really depends on whether they feel like doing so. You have nothing to lose by asking them for extra but remember that if they refuse you will have to accept just the month's notice

Ben Jones :

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

Customer:

This wasn't the response I was expecting to be honest, being bullied by your manager and being pushed out of my job surely isn't justifiable regardless of how long I've been with the company?

Ben Jones :

I am afraid it is the legal position though, in effect UK employment does not give employees protection against bullying in the first two years in employment, I know that morally it appears wrong but legally it is possible and happens quite a lot

Customer:

I am very surprised. Thank you for feedback. Can you confirm I won't be charged twice for your response please?

Ben Jones :

I have already sent a request to customer services to issue a refund in case you paid for the follow up query so it will be just this this one for which you are charged

Customer:

OK, thank you for confirming.

Ben Jones :

you are welcome, all the best

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 46794
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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