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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50161
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I raised a grievance with my employers after I had major

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I raised a grievance with my employers after I had major 'female' surgery at the beginning of the year and my male manager told me 10 days prior to the surgery (when I had given 3 months notice of that surgery) that I would face 30 days consultation upon my return to work. I had my grievance meetings which were nothing less than an ambush by the manager in question and senior officers, where the manager in question blamed others or lied about what he had said. Part of my complaint was that he had not allowed a 3rd party present in the meetings nor had followed these up in writing - so he was able to de deliberately evasive and was fully supported by his peers. However there are documents which strongly imply such discussion about restructuring my role had taken place. He blamed my team leader for poor management of my absence, however she was untrained in the mandatory absence management in the organisation as it was under consultation prior to my sick leave and the training was not offered to her until 7 months after my surgery, so she was left unsupervised and untrained. I also advisedHR that I would not discuss my wellbeing with that team leader after my grievance and no measures were put in place to support me. I ended up being signed off with stress and having counselling as a result of my treatment, after the counsellor said I was psychologically damaged I decided that no job was worth this and resigned. I have escalated my complaint again and it is being managed by a different manager, I have also requested via Freedom of information emails between services during this time. I have had this request for FOI acknowledged but the new manager in charge of my grievance has requested a copy of the email requesting the FOI. Can she do this? I am unsure of the legislation and what she can and can not ask for and whether this then influences what she does. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

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

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you Ben.

No problem at all. What reason has she provided for requesting a copy of the email? Also, based on what you have described, what would be the ideal outcome for you, so that I can advise? Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There was no reason, I have had an email from the FOI information advising that the Officer in charge of my grievance would like to see a copy of the FOI request and did I give my permission for this. This just makes me nervous, as surely this should be between myself and the FOI officer and once I get the information I request in 40 days time, I decide who sees what and why surely? At the moment, the organisation have impacted my health and I have had to sacrifice my career in a job that I enjoyed and added value to. I did not want to be in this position when I felt they had a duty of care to be when I faced major surgery. As far as outcomes are concerned, they need to acknowledge their failings and be accountable for such.

OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am in court today for the rest of today so will prepare my advice in a while 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.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
many thanks, ***** ***** this.

No problem at all.

Thanks for your patience. Just before I finalise my response can I check if you are considering making an employment tribunal claim against them and if so, when did you resign?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Dear Ben, I have not had full legal advice as yet or had a solicitor look through all my evidence, I would rather pursue an employment tribunal case against them if a professional advises based on the evidence I have what the chances of a favourable outcome is for me and ultimately the solicitor. I was hoping unison would have forwarded me for such advice but they are not responding to my emails - I am requesting another case officer. My last day of employment was on 25th September 2016. I had been employed for 4 years.

Thank you. So you have 3 months from date of termination to make a claim. Therefore time runs out on Christmas Eve.

Your claim would be for constructive dismissal, which 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 in turn treats the contract of employment as at an end. The employee must act in response to the breach and must not delay any action too long.

A common breach by the employer occurs when it, or its employees, have broken the implied contractual term of trust and confidence. The conduct relied on could be a 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).

A new feature in the employment tribunal’s claims process is mandatory early conciliation with ACAS. This requires prospective claimants to notify ACAS and provide details of their intended claim and they would then try to negotiate between the claimant and respondent to seek out of court settlement in order to avoid having to take the claim to the tribunal. It is possible for the parties to refuse to engage in these negotiations, or that they are unsuccessful, in which case they would get permission to proceed with making the claim in the tribunal.

If negotiations are initiated and settlement is reached, then the claimant would agree not to proceed with the claim in return for the agreed financial settlement.

The conciliation procedure and the form to fill in can be found here:

In terms of the time limits within which a claim must be presented, the early conciliation process places a ‘stop’ on that and the time between notifying ACAS and them issuing permission to proceed with the claim would not count for the purposes of these time limits.

In terms of the FOI request, there is nothing stopping the new manger requesting a copy of the request but you do not have to give your consent to release that. Even if she does see it, it should not affect the impartiality of considering the complaint.

I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars - 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 get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you

Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Dear Ben, thank you for this information and the helpful link to Acas. My response to my next stage grievance should be back to me in 10 days so I may wait until their response before speaking to Acas and triggering any early conciliation. In the meantime I do not think I will give my permission for the FOI request to be looked at as I am not confident of their impartiality due to my previous experience with them. Thanks for your help and advice, it is appreciated.

You are most welcome and best of luck - if you need further assistance you know where to find me