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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 74453
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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Hope you’re well. I am looking to seek legal advice for

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Hi there! Hope you’re well. I am looking to seek legal advice for discrimination and workplace bullying.
JA: Was this discrimination issue discussed with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: It was discussed numerous time’s with my manager and board director in meetings we held. There was nothing that was done
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: I had to resign as of last week but I was Full time employed
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: They are requesting me to pay back furlough pay which the government has paid on their behalf, is this legal?

Hello, I’m Ben, a UK lawyer and will be dealing with your case today. I may also need to ask some questions to determine the legal position.

Please provide some more details about your situation Please note this is not always an instant service so I may not be able to reply immediately. Rest assured that I am dealing with your query and will get back to you the same day. Thanks

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ben,Thank you for taking time to look into this for me.I worked for an estate agent called Dexters from January 2019. As of November 2019 my Director in the office had left which meant that my current manager will now be in control on the office.The office consists of 2 men (my manager and my colleague) and an admin.Every morning without fail I would get told to lift up my top as my cleavage was on show and it makes men uncomfortable. My cleavage was at a bare minimum and had to result in wearing square neck/ high neck attire.I was constantly undermined and micro managed to a point where I could not get any piece of work completed without having my manager change it to fit his liking.I was constantly pulled out for meetings for speaking my mind in the office and for refusing to lie to customers. For example, an incident where a landlord has carpet moths and traps everywhere I was told to lie to the renter and say it is synthetic carpet. When I refused I was berated.I had issues with my hormonal balance which I had to take medication for. My manager knew this and persisted to push my buttons before saying “I do not give a f**** about your hormones” in front of my colleagues who had to step in.When I brought forth an offer to my manager, he always insinuated that I had either practiced in oral sex to achieve this, or had to have some sort of sexual contact.When it was time to search everyone’s desk, it was only mine that was searched tip to toe and everyone’s was left as is.There is a lot more but I raised a complaint numerous times and finally the last time was in March where I made a serious complaint and requested a change in office (which I requested many time’s in the past) and got told to resign. When I refused they put me on early furlough.Now they are saying I owe £1800 furlough pay which is beyond me.Attached you will find the last email I had sent out which I have not yet recieved a response to.

Thank you. First of all you would certainly not be required to pay back the furlough pay you received. This is a grant by the Government and they will not expect the employer to pay it back, so there is absolutely no reason for the employer to ask you o repay it either. It is also not part of the scheme rules for employers to do that ad no law allows it.

In terms of the employment situation you experienced, there is likely sex discrimination there and also constructive dismissal on automatically unfair grounds due to being forced to leave as a result of the discrimination you experienced.

At this stage you have the option of considering a claim for these in the Employment Tribunal.

Before a person can make a claim in the employment tribunal, they would be required to participate in mandatory early conciliation through the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS).

The purpose of this process is to allow ACAS to mediate between the claimant and respondent to agree on an out of court settlement in order to avoid the need for legal action in tribunal. The respondent does not have to engage in these discussions, or if they do and the talks are unsuccessful, the claimant will be issued with a certificate allowing them to make a claim.

However, if a settlement is reached, the claimant would agree not to proceed with the claim in return for the agreed financial settlement. Other terms can also be agreed as part of the settlement, such as an agreed reference.

To initiate the conciliation procedure ACAS can be contacted online by filling in the following form (https://ec.acas.org.uk/Submission/SingleClaimantPage), or by phone on 0300(###) ###-####

If the conciliation process was not successful and you then wanted to make a formal claim in tribunal, you can do so here:

https://www.employmenttribunals.service.gov.uk/apply

Does this answer your query?

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Could you please let me know if it has answered your original question? You can simply reply on here with a quick ‘Yes, thanks’ and I won’t bother you again. Thank you

Hello, not sure if you are having trouble seeing my posts? I have not heard back from you since posting my answer and just need to know if your query has been resolved. If you could please post a quick reply to confirm I would be very grateful. Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ben, I apologise for the delayed response on my end. This has helped me a lot, Do you think it is a good idea to email them one last time in response to my last email then start the process if I do not get a response ? Or do you think it is best to start the process now.Many thanks!

Hi, you have nothing to lose by trying one last time, but at the same time you do not have to – I probably would do it, but tell myself it is the final opportunity to try.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Perfect, will do so. Thank you very much for your help!

All the best

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