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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 44389
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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My Daughter started work at Golf club in 2011 as a waitress

Customer Question

My Daughter started work at Nelson Golf club in 2011 as a waitress employed by the new caterer ndrew Duxbury
his wife was employed by the golf club as the bar manager . It was her responsibility to supply the catering facility . She gave the franchise / facility to her husband for this. (I do understand that the caterer also gets a retainer from the club but I am not totally sure about this)
In 2012 apparently this man was given a written final warning from the Business manager of the club for a sexual harassment complaint by another club employee. His wife , his boss , was not informed of this and neither was I as the child protection officer of the club at the time, even though the caterer was employing 2 under age waitresses at the time, who regularly worked on their own in the kitchen with him.
Between 2013 and 2014 his comments and actions became increasingly lewd causing my daughter growing distress , whereby in 2014 she finally refused to go to work siting the man concearned was weird. Eventually telling me the full situation.
The same day we visited the Business manager to tell him of the situation. That day the caterer was sent home by the business manager and a meeting was held between the business manager , myself , my daughter and another member of the caterers staff who after speaking to her , had also been a victim of the same treatment from him.
After this the caterer was then given the evidence and allowed to resign with immediate effect.
We were told by the business that as his wife had not done anything wrong that they would be retaining her services. WE accepted this , although this has massively added to the distress caused over the last couple of years since to the family as we are all members and have been for 25 years. At this time we asked what the situation with her husband coming to the club if his wife still worked there, At the time we were assured this would not happen.
However recently he has been to the club on 2 separate occasions. I spoke to the Captain who thought this understandably was unacceptable, however when taking this up with the business manager directly I was told he had discussed with the President and they had decided this was acceptable.
I tried to discuss the totally unacceptable situation with the business manager who denied saying that the caterer was not permitted at the club and that our situation had been dealt with legally and fully at the time and he was not under any obligation to do anything further..
My daughter understandably was extremely upset with this decision . She tried to discuss this herself with him, who then added that the caterer had not admitted all allegations , this has insinuated that she had not told the truth. This has had a huge effect on herand has caused us yet another very stressful week in knowing how to handle this situation.
At the time of the offences came to light we did contact the police. The officer concerned was PC2476 Lisa Hodgkinson and the case number ***** ***** the caterer was called in to the police station for questioning. At the time he admitted all allegations and was told at the time his actions were criminal. At the time he asked the officer if he should contact us to apologise for his actions . he was told under no circumstances to contact us and stay away and the only reason he was not being prosecuted had been our decision.
The only reason that we did not prosecute at the time was due to my daughters age , the fact she had already suffered an huge amount of distress in explain the situation in 3 meetings with club officials and again to the police along with being in the middle of her exams.
I have spoken to the police officer again this week to see if we can actually follow this prosecution through, however this may not be an option as the case was then put on a police closure, That said Lisa is going to double check this as a possibility with her boss
At the very least the police are going to speak to the caterer to say it is not in his best interests to visit the golf club premises ,they are also looking into why the Brewery of the Pub, that they run , did not do a background check on him , this issue would have shown up.
my daughter has worked for the 2 caterer’s that have been in place since this incident with no issue , and still works at the club in direct employment with the Caterer.
I would like to know what we could expect to gain as ideally we would like to get the following out of the current situation
The club needs to be held account for their actions in this
They need to ensure that they follow full employment laws to ensure that this never happens to another young person, or anyone else for that matter.
Is there a way of getting the club to agree to the costs of doing this, are actually breaking the law ?
Could my daughter gain some small compensation to show she has been a victim and that the club was in some way at fault?
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Hi the full details are in the information i have sent
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
How do i actually receive a response please
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 months ago.

Do you intend to prosecute or are you ideally seeking to recover costs / compensation?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
from the golf club costs and small amount of compensation as the attitude has been that they had no responsibility, i guess it isnt possible to prosecute on a no win no fee ??
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 months ago.

OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am in court for the rest of today so will prepare my advice in a while and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 months ago.

Many thanks for your patience. Whilst I completely understand your reasons for wishing to take this further, making a claim and getting compensation is not going to be that easy.

To be able to claim in these circumstances she has only two viable options – one for personal injury and one for constructive dismissal. To be able to claim for personal injury she must be able to show that she had suffered some form of recognised psychiatric illness as a result of the employer’s negligence. So whilst things like clinical depression can qualify, there must be some formal diagnosis so you will need the help of medical professionals to be able to show that you are claiming for something which can qualify as a personal injury. What compensation she may get will depend on the seriousness of the injuries claimed. This is something which you can potentially pursue as a no win no fee claim and you will also likely brb le to have a quick free meeting with a personal injury solicitor who can look into this for you to see if you have a decent enough case to make it worthy of taking forward.

The other option is 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.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps she needs to follow if she is to pursue either of these options, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
my other thoughts were surely the club have a duty of care certainly to minors working on their premises. my daughter was only 15 /16 at the time. i was also the child protection officer for the club. although he had already had a complaint no steps at all were put in place to protect the waitresses under his charge
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 months ago.

Yes but you cannot just claim compensation for that, it is not how the law works. You can of course report them to the relevant safeguarding authorities and if they find it necessary they can penalise them but it does not entitle you to compensation as a result, and to do this you will still only have the two options I referred to earlier.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Who would i report them too ? do you think this is the right route to ensure that they are dealt with to ensure they comply and ensure that they put this protection in place. to be honest this is our biggest worry . They have never accepted any responsibility even though this happened on their premises
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 months ago.

In the circumstances it can initially be any regulatory body overseeing the sport, they can deal with safeguarding issues, I do not know which body deals with that n gold specifically so you would be better placed to find out. Otherwise, in terms of Government options, it would be the Disclosure and Barring Service, you can contact the on *****@******.***

Hope this clarifies?

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