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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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Can I take my manager down the bullying route? I have been

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Can I take my manager down the bullying route? I have been asking my manager for over a year if I could be considered for any jobs upstairs in the hotel I work in. I currently work downstairs in the restaurant. She said if any became available she would let me know. Last year a receptionist job became available and she came downstairs and said she would give me the heads up when the application forms were due to be accepted. Then she said I couldnt apply because position was only part time!!!! A bar job came up and again I was told I couldnt apply. A general assistant job came up last week and her 17yr old daughter has walked straight into the job.....without it being advertised. She said i couldnt have it as it had to be somebody new!!!!! Despite it saying in the code of conduct book that all employees are entitled to be made aware of any jobs going and are allowed to apply. And she told me that she was cutting down one receptionists hours and that there would be an opening for me then. Instead she has given the extra hours to another receptionist.
All this has caused me emotional distress.....ive been depressed and its affected my self esteem and confidence. She took her daughter on despite myself and another colleague telling her the union said she was in breach of the companys code of conduct. It was a deliberate and defiant act. Its almos5 like she goads me by saying oh theres a job but you cant have it. Ive been upset and humilated as I have to walk past the new people who are doing the jobs I wasnt even allowed to apply for.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked there for?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

13 years....

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
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.
I hope this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating, or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi......I spoke with my manager and one of her reasons for me not being allowed to apply for other jobs is that there would be nobody to replace me in my job. Surely that is her problem not mine. You cant keep somebody in a job just because they would have to advertise that persons job for a replacement!!!! From my question and what I have told you, are there elements of bullying in my problem? Its making me want to go off sick and on antidepressants at the moment.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Do you think this is all down the manager in question, that she is responsible for all this?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes it is her decision.....she is general manager and she has waltzed her

daughter into a job that both me and another colleague asked if we could have. And its not the first time. You havent answered my question directly in that I asked if there were elements of bullying in my problem.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
There are indeed signs of bullying, especially if she is actually using her status to deliberately prevent you from getting any other jobs. If you look at the definition of bullying I discussed earlier then you can see it could amount to it - "an abuse or misuse of power through means that undermine...or...injure the recipient.” If your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer - it only takes a second to do and is an important part of our process. I can still answer follow up questions afterwards if needed. Thank you
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