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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 48736
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I was wondering if you could assist I am having problems at

Customer Question

I was wondering if you could assist
I am having problems at my workplace where other members of staff are gossiping and spreading rumours about me behind my back
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Please can you provide some background information so that I can advise. Please can you also tell me how long this has been going on for and how long you have worked for? Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
i joined the company 05/05/16
on a four on four off rota 4 hours per day
Full contract
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This has been occurring since I joined the company and is by members of staff not in my direct department
I working within a retirement complex as the chef/cook
I do not rely on other departments and report directly to the duty manager and or the site manager
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

OK, thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will 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. Also, please do not responded to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Many thanks for your patience. This appears to be a case of bullying, which 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. The issue is that you need 2 years service to be able to claim that, which you do not have. So your options are limited to the two mentioned above.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the way you need to raise a formal grievance, 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

Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the information that you have supplied
I was unable to attend my last shift at work due to being questioned by a duty manager over gossip she had heard and had to leave the workplace before my shift started as was in hysterics due to the nature of questioning
When I phoned my workplace saying I was sorry for not attending my shift I was told by the duty manager that the issue was now out of her hands and that the site manager would deal with the situation once they were back from annual leave
Could I be reprimanded for not attending my shift and could it be a sacking offence ?
I have read my handbook and it says that the company do not tolerate bullying and have a procedure for dealing with this kind of thing
But it does not say that if not attending a shift it is classed as gross misconduct or not
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

the problem with being dismissed is similar to not being able to claim constructive dismissal 0 until you have at least 2 years service you are not protected against unfair dismissal. This means that your employer can dismiss you 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 you were trying to assert any of your statutory rights (e.g. requesting maternity/paternity 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, if it was not discriminatory it can b a reason for dismissal even if you were the victim and had done nothing wrong