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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50138
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I’ve been working for a small family business for almost 6

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I’ve been working for a small family business for almost 6 years now and had enough of being treated as the lowest type of life. I am discriminated in so many ways that I don’t even know where to start. But the most recent actions that made me just finally to have enough of my boss is the fact she’s installed cctv cameras everywhere on the premises including in the area where myself and my colleagues have lunch which is the workroom I work in all day and the fact that I couldn’t make it to work one day due to the snow and although I followed the protocol of letting my boss know I can not make and asking for that day to be taken off my holidays....she hasn’t. On top of that when asked why she hasn’t done that she said that she couldn’t pay my wages as she had to pay invoices for the business and said I can make up my hours by doing extra time before Xmas although within the rest of the conversation she never offered me any other extra hours. I already work full time for her business. She rarely pays wages on time, every time coming up with a different excuse similar to the above which is none of the employees concern.

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

What would you like to know about this please?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hello Ben
I would like to leave this job but need to know i have a legal back up if she's horrible with me again... didn't quite have enough space to list all the times I've been talked to as i was hers and her partner's slave just because she pays me a wage.... I've been earning only £8/h until last year although I've been told ( verbally and in writing ) that i will get a pay rise numerous times. I do the same job as my boss really and I'm paid the same she pays the her cleaner and i have one more colleague who only answers few phone calls and gets paid £10/h.... and so many other things
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
It's fine typing as i can really afford to pay that much

when you say legal back up, what are you expecting, what are you hoping you will be able to do?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Worst case scenario to sue her for recording me while in my lunch break, discrimination and verbally and mentally "assaulting " me

on what grounds are you discriminated (bearing in mind discrimination only occurs because of race, gender, religion, age, disability?)

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I trully belive I'm discriminated because I'm the only foreigner because I'm the only one asked to do all the low duties like toilet cleaning and all housekeeping etc on top of my other duties

Your protection will mainly be in terms of making a claim against the employer for being forced to leave and the potential discrimination. It is the inly way you can assert your rights formally.

In general, this could likely amount to 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 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).

If resignation appears to be the only option going forward, it must be done in response to the alleged breaches (i.e. without unreasonable delay after they have occurred). Whilst not legally required, a resignation would normally be with immediate effect and without serving any notice period. It is also advisable to resign in writing, stating the reasons for the resignation and that this is being treated as constructive dismissal.

Following the resignation, the option of pursuing a claim for constructive dismissal exists. This is only available to employees who have at least 2 years' continuous service with the employer. There is a time limit of 3 months from the date of termination of employment to submit a claim in the employment tribunal. You can make a discriminaiotn claim at the same time.

It is worth mentioning that there is a possible alternative solution, where the employer is approached on a 'without prejudice' basis (i.e. off the record) to try and discuss the possibility of leaving under a settlement agreement. Under such an agreement, the employee gets compensated for leaving the company with no fuss and in return promises not to make any claims against the employer in the future. It is essentially a clean break, where both parties move on without the need for going to tribunal. However, it is an entirely voluntary process and the employer does not have to participate in such negotiations or agree to anything. It just means that these discussions cannot be brought up in any subsequent tribunal claim and prejudice either party. So there is nothing to lose by raising this possibility with them as the worst outcome is they say no, whereas if successful it can mean being allowed to leave in accordance with any pre-agreed terms, such as with compensation and an agreed reference.

Please take a quick second to leave a positive rating for the service so far by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars above. I can continue answering follow up questions and in particular can also discuss the steps you need to follow to take this further. There is no extra cost for this - leaving your rating now will not close the question and means we can still continue this discussion. Thank you

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
i have read about the constructive dismissal on the government website. I looked into it because of the cctv in our lunch room without any warning from the employer. With regards ***** ***** agreements with my boss is out of discussion as thereis no discussion as such but a monologue held by her and whatever you say you are an idiot. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a mean person and i am very hardworking and just held my head down every time but i feel that my kindness passes as idiocy to her. She never praises me although she does say to other members of staff how good etc i am at whatever she gives me to do but never to me, don't feel appreciated whatever i say or do.

You have nothing to lose by at least trying though and perhaps even saying you will go further with this if necessary. But obviously you cannot force her to negotiate and you may just have to go towards making a claim - it is free after all so the risks are relatively low

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Do i need to gather any evidence against her or anything? Thank you so much for your help

ideally yes, but it may be difficult depending on what has happened., If you have any emails, letters, texts, or anything in writing - keep these. If not, it is a good idea to keep a diary of events to refer to

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