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Ask taratill Your Own Question
taratill, Solicitor
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 6466
Experience:  15 years experience of advising on employment law matters
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Hello, I am in the management team in a public organisation.

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Hello, I am in the management team in a public organisation. I feel that there has been a lack of equal opportunity and no equity for me in comparison to other management team members who are Caucasian colleagues. I have been signed off work with 'stress related illness' since February. I believe over the 5 years service I have been bullied, victimised and harassed due to indirect and at times direct discrimination. The matter got a lot worse when a colleague who I believe instigated bullying tactics when she became my senior in her role. I had written an informal letter to my boss highlighting the lack of equity and the sabotaging of my work by these ladies. Instead what was supposed to be 'private and confidential' she shared the letter with staff in particular those who have been bullying. When I returned in my 'back to work' meeting in February this year, the meeting became a performance review and my boss threatened to get collective statements from people to complain about me. Nothing on my performance has been mentioned in the past. My boss used my personal issues against me, she started taking what I did have away from me and said she is going to change my job description. I approached the Unions I am a member of, I believe there is a conflict of interest as they prolonged the process so I now only have less than two weeks to lodge for tribunal, also they admit there may have been some discrimination they do not feel that that there is sufficient evidence from my last meeting. They contradicted themselves also they never addressed the collective bullying or victimisation. I am trying to find a solicitor to take the case, however do not know if I have a case. I have had two breakdowns, I am getting counselling and I am on medication due to the trauma both my work and Unions have put me through. I do not know what to do?

taratill :

Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I am happy to help you today. I assume your employment has now ended from reading your question?

Customer: No I am off sick.
taratill :

Ok so why is it that you think you only have 2 weeks to raise a claim?

Customer: Because I cannot return to a hostile environment and the last act for discrimination was 25th February
taratill :

Have you raised a formal grievance to your employer about your treatment?

Customer: I raised it to the unions and I sent them the draft which they did not forward to the organisation. I am currently at a crossroad because ACAS say it's too late for a formal grievance with the tribunal ref deadline. They suggested conciliation if I do lodge a complaint. The unions really messed me about.
taratill :

Why did the union not forward the grievance?

Customer: That's my problem they kept delaying responding to me and finally I complained to the general secretary and they responded a fortnight ago saying their solicitor has to gather information and on Friday I was told their legal dept is not going to give me legal representation also they patronised me when I mentioned raising a formal grievance. I'm so confused at what their role has been it really has caused my health to deteriorate furter
taratill :

Ok in the first place you should put the union on notice that you feel that they have failed in their duty to protect your position as a paying member and state that if you cannot get a remedy from the employment tribunal then you will consider bringing a professional negligence claim. If you have a grievance against the employer they should have forwarded it before now.

taratill :

I do not know the reason why the union do not think you have a good case but they should have allowed your employer to hear your grievance.

taratill :

I would suggest you submit a claim within the deadline to the employment tribunal to protect your position and also submit your grievance to the employer.

taratill :

You should write on both documents that you had been seeking advice from your union which was not forthcoming which has lead to the late grievance.

taratill :

The tribunal might agree to stay proceeding until your grievance can be heard.

Customer: I will do that, but should I send the letter myself as I have compared their breach of duty of care to me to acts policies and procedures they have failed. ACAS suggest conciliation should I go through them? Have a conciliation as that's optional.
taratill :

Yes I think concilliation is a good idea in the circumstances.

Customer: Oh one more thing the union say I always portrayed good relations with my boss so how can I say she is now discriminating. I haven't clarified it to them as I received a letter from them on Friday but I am not the one who has been hostile and it is my boss who has allowed for the bullying and victimisation to continue.
taratill :

You should answer the question that you have been asked and clarfiy the situation for them.

Customer: If it does not get resolved and it goes to tribunal will the unions have to represent me
taratill :

No they can refuse to represent you and you can equally say you do not want them to represent you. If they refuse though they will need to show they have good grounds.

Customer: So who will represent me? Will I have to get a private lawyer?
taratill :

You can represent yourself or engage a lawyer.

Customer: Thank you
taratill :

No problem and all the best with it. I would be grateful if you would take the time to rate my answer and do come back to me if you have further questions in the future.

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