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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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My employer spoke to my husband while I was off sick on

Resolved Question:

My employer spoke to my husband while I was off sick on Friday and told him that he would be issuing me with a verbal warning for something that happened the previous week, he also told him I would be required to sign to say I had received this and then it would be put in a drawer and forgotten about. He also told my husband his plans for outsourcing some of my workload and his plans to get an Occupational Therapist in to look at my working environment due to an issue I have with trapped nerves in my neck. I have not yet seen my employer but I am anticipating the warning etc will happen on Monday so I would like some advice on how to handle it and the fact I feel my privacy and confidentiality has been invaded by my employer speaking to my husband and then asking my husband not to tell me. I would also like to know what to do incase my employer denies speaking to my husband. I look forward to your reply. Kind regards. Emma Pearce.
Submitted: 30 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 30 days ago.

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

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 30 days ago.

How long have you worked there for?

Customer: replied 30 days ago.
4 years and 4 months
Customer: replied 30 days ago.
I would prefer to keep this typed rather than over the phone please.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 30 days ago.

What the employer did could indeed amount to reach of trust and confidence. The issue is what you can do about it. Whilst you can of course raise a formal grievance to complain internally, this still leaves the matter in the hands of the employer and the outcome depends on them. If you wanted to take it outside of work, then there is no direct claim you can make about it and the only way to challenge them is to resign and make a claim for constructive dismissal.

This 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 resigns in response to it.

Whilst the alleged breach could be a breach of a specific contractual term, it is also common for a breach to occur when the implied term of trust and confidence has been broken. The conduct relied on could be a serious 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).

Of course, constructive dismissal is a last option resort because you will be giving up your job to take it further but it is there if you consider this has resulted in you being unable to continue working there any further.

If the employer says they did not speak to your husband then that would just serve to aggravate the breach of trust but it won’t really do much else, it does not give you new grounds to make a claim for example.

I trust this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars above - this is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you still need me to clarify anything else, please reply on here and I will assist as best as I can. Thank you

Customer: replied 30 days ago.
Thank you Sir,
Just one more question, to clarify, I am within my rights to verbally raise my discomfort and express that I feel there has been a breach of trust? If I am satisfied with any outcome from that I can then drop the matter, if I am not satisfied with the outcome of the discussion I can then raise a formal grievance internally? If I am satisfied with that then again the matter can be finished, but if I feel the outcome of the grievance is again not acceptable I can then leave my job and attempt a claim for constructive dismissal? Whilst I am really hoping for the best case scenario of a good outcome from a conversation I just want to be sure I am on the right side of my own rights before I even start that conversation ball rolling.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 30 days ago.

Yes certainly you can do that. So basically you can do the informal complaint first, the escalate it to a grievance, then finally to constructive dismissal. That is indeed a sensible approach as you are slowly taking it further and giving them opportunities ti sort it out without the need for further action. Hope this clarifies?

Customer: replied 30 days ago.
Wonderful, thank you Sir for your time and the clear information, I really appreciate it.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 30 days ago.

You are most welcome

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