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Hi Michelle. Please can you tell me whether your daughter had a permanent and ongoing contract?
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The main issue here is that if she has been continuously employed at her place of work for less than 2 years then her employment rights will unfortunately be somewhat limited. Most importantly, she will not be protected against unfair dismissal or constructive dismissal. This means that her employer can dismiss her or force her to leave for more or less any reason, and without following a fair procedure, as long as their decision is not based on discriminatory grounds (i.e. because of gender, race, religion, age, a disability, sexual orientation, etc.) or because she was trying to assert any of her statutory rights (e.g. requesting maternity leave, etc.). In the event that the reason for dismissal fell within these categories, then the dismissal will either be automatically unfair, or there will be a potential discrimination claim. However, so far I do not see any discriminating factors.
In terms of bullying, it 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.
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. However, as mentioned an employee needs 2 years’ service to be eligible to claim for constructive dismissal. In effect what this means is that an employee could be bullied in the first 2 years of employment and as long as it is not related to discrimination, they will have very limited rights on challenging it. She could still pursue the matter internally through a grievance but legally she would not be able to take it further if things do not improve.
I can discuss the grievance procedure with you further if needed.
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