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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 44924
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have worked at this place for 14 years responsible for

Customer Question

I have worked at this place for 14 years responsible for accounts/admin.
There are 2 directors and six employees.
Myself, the other director and three other members of staff witnessed this out burst.
A director and employee was present in my room when the incident took place, I believe if they were not there the director would have been shouting in my face.
About 4 hours after the incident the email below was sent by one director to both myself and the second director.
Linda, C.......,
My outburst earlier today is not characteristic and I can say in all my adult life I haven’t ever felt as frustrated with losing my temper as displayed in front of my colleagues earlier. Although totally inexcusable I would say it’s how work and unresolved issues at work are making me feel.  This will need to be addressed in order to maintain a continued professional manor.
I have a problem insomuch that I discovered back in July that our accountant didn’t think you had the skill or ability to do the job – C..... also took me aside to share similar concerns , so essentially I have someone looking after my future and half of my business but doesn’t have the skill to carry out the tasks.
Other accounting mistakes became apparent to me:
Over paying staff, underpaying staff, giving incorrect holiday entitlement, doubling up on paying suppliers. The spin offs from those mistakes alone has cause me no end of stress and hassle.
C....... recently ran through the trial balance and it appeared that large amounts of captured data was incorrect, VAT, Nett Pay, TAX – figures posted didn’t match amounts leaving the bank, payments from and to suppliers also lacked accuracy . Bank and petty cash not being reconciled regularly caused another problem recently.
In basic terms it’s like you’ve “given it a go “for the last decade – but commercially this does not work for me. Mistakes go unchallenged and undetected but now it would seem that information is getting through and there is no way we can tolerate or sustain that level of workmanship.
I’ve mentioned to C..... since February that there is something not quite right with Linda – I didn’t want to overload him or give him the stress, but then why should I walk around under the cloud.
I would say it is fair to say 90% of staff  past and present has spoken to me about you personally,  feeling that you have been awkward to deal with, bullying behaviour and aggressive just some of the traits I and other members of staff have experienced.
After speaking with Mentor purely based on the workmanship issues, they suggested that you need to be managed and monitored or if you are happy to discuss a settlement figure to end your employment with L........ T.........,  then this can also be undertaken.
Regardless which route you take and while I’m still a 50% shareholder and your director, I want to personally make sure that the managed and monitored part is put in place to ensure that the mentoring is done correctly and there is a plan of action so that I or any other member of my staff don’t feel that you are over stepping the mark.
·         I do want to see accounts upstairs – enabling you to be managed properly and also bring the team together.
I do feel that no other member of staff would be given such free reign and at times I felt that C....... didn’t back me up when action was required. I partly put this down to family ties and like everyone else, we want an easy life.
I will be back in the office tomorrow – and I hope that my ranting earlier didn’t upset you and the staff – I apologise to those who felt uneasy. I didn’t direct my anger to anyone specific but rather generalised my feelings at that given time.
I do feel that I need to speak to the accountant to pursue dissolving the business partnership and other matters that I have allowed to go on would perhaps not cause me such anguish, I would add these are not personal to you C...... whatsoever, but perhaps some of the business decisions and financial decision you make wouldn’t necessarily be the ones I would make.
Nearly 20 years of working life are still in front of me so depending on what they value my half of the business will determine whether I go or stay. I  don’t want to sound undecided but if the figure from the accountant does allows me to make a fresh start then that’s the direction I will opt for.
Submitted: 22 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 22 days ago.

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

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 22 days ago.

Based on this incident, please can you tell me what your specific question is? Thank you

Customer: replied 22 days ago.
is this bullying and harassment, other behaviour towards me has taken place.
Customer: replied 22 days ago.
I just want a bit of information has to where I stand I have felt for a while now that they have be trying to force me to resign.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 22 days ago.

OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am in court today so will prepare my advice during the day 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 22 days ago.

Many thanks for your patience. This could amount to 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 (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.

Please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars. I can continue answering follow up questions and in particular can also discuss the constructive dismissal option and how it can apply to you here. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can still continue this discussion. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 21 days ago.

Hello, my response should be visible on this page. Please let me know if this has answered your original question and if you need me to discuss the next steps in more detail? In the meantime please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts from the top of the page. The question will not close and I can continue with my advice as discussed. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 19 days ago.

Hello, do you need any further assistance or are you happy with the above response? Look forward to hearing from you.

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