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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50178
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I have been off work with stress for 4 weeks due to being bullied

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I have been off work with stress for 4 weeks due to being bullied by my boss. On returning today, i found out my boss and her boss have told the outsourced accountants that i was off with stress. Is this wrong? I thought this was confidential?

Ben Jones : Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked there for?

Hi. I have worked there for 6 years in july

Ben Jones : Idea
Ben Jones : Sorry ignore that
Ben Jones : ideally the employer should keep the reasons for your absence confidential. They can state you are off work, they can generally say you are off sick, but without going into details. They owe you that under the implied term of trust and confidence that every employer owes its employees.
Ben Jones : You can use this as a reason to raise a complaint with the employer if necessary
Ben Jones : It could even be that this is part of the bullying, by going out of his way to make things uncomfortable and difficult for you, so something further to consider

you said 'ideally' in your first answer. So this is flexible?

Ben Jones : Well it is not a strict obligation, for example they could share this with certain members of staff to keep them updated or facilitate your return but this should only be done when it is necessary. You have to think how going into details was necessary in this case - it would have been just as good to say you are unavailable at present, no need to go into details as to the reasons behind it

they were in a meeting with the outsourced accountants as I work in accounts. They were deciding if they needed the outsourced accountants to step in and cover some of my role in my absence. Still I don't think they needed to say why i was off?

Ben Jones : No I agree, just being off, even mentioning you were off sick would have been sufficient, without the actual reasons for it

if i choose to put a grievance in about the bullying, can I include this then?

Ben Jones : Yes you can if you believe it was part of it

thank you. that helped.

Ben Jones : You are most welcome, all the best
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