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MatthewM1117
MatthewM1117,
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 321
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Employee bullying, London UK, spoke to HR but asked that it

Customer Question

employee bullying
JA: Where is the employee? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: London UK
JA: What steps has the employee taken so far?
Customer: spoke to HR but asked that it is confidential. I need advise on whether I have a case and how to proceed based on the specific circumstances
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I have not made a complaint at all
Submitted: 11 days ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  MatthewM1117 replied 11 days ago.

Good afternoon, thank you for contacting Just Answer my name is***** am a solicitor and I will be assisting you today. Can you provide me with some further information in relation to the bullying?

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Hi,
From beginning of lockdown since working remotely, till November 2021 I have had no issues with my equipment, software or quality of the work I deliver, just like in all previous years.Since November 2021 I have had 3 verbal warnings / meetings on the quality of my work, and unreasonable accusations from 2 senior operators passed on to, accepted and addressed by the Manager Mr Bezina, of 'continuous problems' with my equipment where I was asked by the Manager to ship my personal laptop to the office because “IT would be in more control if I use a work laptop”, a request from the Manager to change my work computer password *****(###) ###-#### a formal warning on the quality of my work, and a formal meeting at which I was shown as the slowest team member being twice slower than the fastest.I believe this situation arises at the beginning of lockdown in March 2021 when I asked and was allowed to work remotely from Bulgaria. I came back to the UK as soon as I was requested and as soon as I was fit to fly, in the middle of pandemic. I suffered a serious illness and high levels of anxiety then. During my time in Bulgaria I was not at any point made to believe I am doing anything wrong and I had permission to be there. I did not at any point lower the quality of my work, questioned or disagreed with any requests and demands. However, it seems that something was happening on the background amongst the team and management.I experienced confusion when I found out that the team knew in advance that my access to work will be stopped and I was the only one that did not know. Ms Dora stopped talking to me a week before, then sent me a private email saying ‘some idiots should have told you moths ago that you have to come back’ after I was requested back. I decided to get on with my work and not to question this because I need my job.On 9th November the team leader Mr Moss messaged me for a formal meeting with the manager due to a, quoting: ‘slight issue with a job’. When he called me he said ‘are you enjoying being back to the UK’. I found this hurtful - I had gone through extreme levels of anxiety, a serious illness, and have travelled in the middle of pandemic to be back to my job, leaving my vulnerable parent behind, without complaining or doing anything wrong or against anyone or the company. Then he said ‘let me call you back, as I can’t dial in the manager while I’m on the line with you’.During this meeting called for a ‘slight issue with a job’ the manager Mr Bezzina said that this is a verbal warning, and if there is a next warning it will be in writing. I checked the disciplinary procedure after this meeting and this was the process for a disciplinary procedure.This was a slight issue on a 130 pages job for a banker who the whole team had been working for and emailed two weeks before by the manager saying that this particular banker (***** *****) is complaining about DPT ‘as if she is on a war path’ and that there will be a feedback meeting with the individuals who work on her jobs. I was not among them but I was given an official warning for poor performance that can easily escalate to a disciplinary.Around this time I was reported via email to the manager by the senior operator Ms Dora for not replying to her Slack message for 8 minutes and this was also stressed at the meeting. Considering Ms Dora frequently does not reply to me for as long as 30 minutes, it was very strange she officially reported me for such issue. I did try to say this, but Mr Bezzina interrupted me by saying ‘you and Dora have to get on’. I was made to look like, and spoken to, as if I am the person who makes it difficult to get on which is unfair and untrue. In fact on 21st February Dora was sleeping while ‘working’ overtime when I called her because she had not replied to me on Slack for half hour while I am working. I have always been trying to get on with Dora.Since November 2021 I was also monitored 'occasionally' by a senior operator, Mr Rob Wilson, who does not work weekends but have been logging in to 'check what the workflow is like', and witnessing my 'IT issues'. On 30th Nov after my break from 4pm till 4.30pm, I couldn’t log in to my VM for the first time in 5 months. I emailed Dora at 4.33pm from my Williams Lea email account. At 4.37pm Dora emailed me back acknowledging it. However, at 5pm Mr Rob Willson sent me a message on WhatsApp saying Dora is worried because I am not back from my break. Later that day Dora told me that I should have work laptop instead of my own so that ‘they have better control’.At this occasion my team leader Mr Moss did not message me back, or help me get hold of IT. Instead I received a text message from the manager saying ‘since you have been unsuccessful connecting you have to ship your laptop to the office to be fixed. I called IT myself on Monday morning and my VM was restarted within 9 minutes.
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Hi,
From beginning of lockdown since working remotely, till November 2021 I have had no issues with my equipment, software or quality of the work I deliver, just like in all previous years.Since November 2021 I have had 3 verbal warnings / meetings on the quality of my work, and unreasonable accusations from 2 senior operators passed on to, accepted and addressed by the Manager Mr Bezina, of 'continuous problems' with my equipment where I was asked by the Manager to ship my personal laptop to the office because “IT would be in more control if I use a work laptop”, a request from the Manager to change my work computer password *****(###) ###-#### a formal warning on the quality of my work, and a formal meeting at which I was shown as the slowest team member being twice slower than the fastest.I believe this situation arises at the beginning of lockdown in March 2021 when I asked and was allowed to work remotely from Bulgaria. I came back to the UK as soon as I was requested and as soon as I was fit to fly, in the middle of pandemic. I suffered a serious illness and high levels of anxiety then. During my time in Bulgaria I was not at any point made to believe I am doing anything wrong and I had permission to be there. I did not at any point lower the quality of my work, questioned or disagreed with any requests and demands. However, it seems that something was happening on the background amongst the team and management.I experienced confusion when I found out that the team knew in advance that my access to work will be stopped and I was the only one that did not know. Ms Dora stopped talking to me a week before, then sent me a private email saying ‘some idiots should have told you moths ago that you have to come back’ after I was requested back. I decided to get on with my work and not to question this because I need my job.On 9th November the team leader Mr Moss messaged me for a formal meeting with the manager due to a, quoting: ‘slight issue with a job’. When he called me he said ‘are you enjoying being back to the UK’. I found this hurtful - I had gone through extreme levels of anxiety, a serious illness, and have travelled in the middle of pandemic to be back to my job, leaving my vulnerable parent behind, without complaining or doing anything wrong or against anyone or the company. Then he said ‘let me call you back, as I can’t dial in the manager while I’m on the line with you’.During this meeting called for a ‘slight issue with a job’ the manager Mr Bezzina said that this is a verbal warning, and if there is a next warning it will be in writing. I checked the disciplinary procedure after this meeting and this was the process for a disciplinary procedure.This was a slight issue on a 130 pages job for a banker who the whole team had been working for and emailed two weeks before by the manager saying that this particular banker (***** *****) is complaining about DPT ‘as if she is on a war path’ and that there will be a feedback meeting with the individuals who work on her jobs. I was not among them but I was given an official warning for poor performance that can easily escalate to a disciplinary.Around this time I was reported via email to the manager by the senior operator Ms Dora for not replying to her Slack message for 8 minutes and this was also stressed at the meeting. Considering Ms Dora frequently does not reply to me for as long as 30 minutes, it was very strange she officially reported me for such issue. I did try to say this, but Mr Bezzina interrupted me by saying ‘you and Dora have to get on’. I was made to look like, and spoken to, as if I am the person who makes it difficult to get on which is unfair and untrue. In fact on 21st February Dora was sleeping while ‘working’ overtime when I called her because she had not replied to me on Slack for half hour while I am working. I have always been trying to get on with Dora.Since November 2021 I was also monitored 'occasionally' by a senior operator, Mr Rob Wilson, who does not work weekends but have been logging in to 'check what the workflow is like', and witnessing my 'IT issues'. On 30th Nov after my break from 4pm till 4.30pm, I couldn’t log in to my VM for the first time in 5 months. I emailed Dora at 4.33pm from my Williams Lea email account. At 4.37pm Dora emailed me back acknowledging it. However, at 5pm Mr Rob Willson sent me a message on WhatsApp saying Dora is worried because I am not back from my break. Later that day Dora told me that I should have work laptop instead of my own so that ‘they have better control’.
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Hi, I'm trying to paste the details I've been writing but it isn't sending
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Hi, I'm trying to paste the details I've been writing but it isn't sending - the Send button doesn't seem to work
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
File attached (3LQQ3S2)
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
At this occasion my team leader Mr Moss did not message me back, or help me get hold of IT. Instead I received a text message from the manager saying ‘since you have been unsuccessful connecting you have to ship your laptop to the office to be fixed. I called IT myself on Monday morning and my VM was restarted within 9 minutes. As I say, this was a minor issue happening for the first time in 5 months and no one assisted me to have the VM restarted, instead Dora insisted that Mr Bezzina wants me to use a work laptop and not my laptop, while Mr Bezzina said he did not know I was using a personal laptop. This caused me anxiety.On Sunday 2 May Ms Dora spent 3 hours panicking which happens always when it is busy, ’organising the inbox’, and on the phone trying to find someone to come in and help me on the next day. Instead of summarising instructions in an email, she was typing scattered instructions on Slack about the jobs I have to work on on the next day - bank holiday Monday. I was surprised she did not want to work overtime as she always wants to do bank holiday overtime. She said she had made other plans. However, she was at work on the next day. I thanked her to which she said ‘yes, I came to help you, but will you be there to help me if need be?’ - I found this surprising, unreasonable and very upsetting. I have never refused to help at work, and have always made myself available when needed in all the years I’ve worked in this company.On 12 May I logged into work and asked Mr Wilson for help inserting the add-in which IT did not manage to fix during my weekend shift. I asked him whether to also add the new Upslide add-in. His reply was ‘no, quit while you are ahead’ - this reply did not make sense, caused me anxiety, and I would like to know what it meant.I sent an email to the manager and for the first time I said I was curious if the amount of time spent organising the inbox, and shuffling weekend booking sheets is monitored as Ms Dora indeed spends considerable amount of time doing this as well as on work and personal calls. This resulted in Mr Bezzina calling myself, Ms Dora and the team leader Mr J Moss for a meeting on 14th May. He said he has noticed ‘cracks between myself and Dora’ - the first time I tried to address something. At this meeting Mr Bezzina presented a chart on which I was shown as the slowest team member in the department. I was shaken - how can this be, there are operators who started working here a few months ago. Was the complexity of the jobs taken into account, was the lengthy times it takes having to explain to Ms Dora what job I am on and what I am doing, taken into account as it is considerable?
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
File attached (T1S5PT3)
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Hi, did you get the attached fils (a png and a pdf)?
Expert:  MatthewM1117 replied 11 days ago.

I have received this and I am currently reviewing the infromation provided.

Expert:  MatthewM1117 replied 11 days ago.

Has the attached grievance been sent to the employer or is this just a draft?

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
just a draft. The manager wants to have a 'catch-up' and see if any of my symptoms are at all related to work
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
just a draft. The manager wants to have a 'catch-up' and see if any of my symptoms are at all related to work. I am in a very bad state as I cannot concentrate, can't sleep and worry about work - them picking on me, and me being off sick, and the fact I've not sent or said anything but they are picking on me and I think because it was the Manager's mistake to let me work remotely now he is going along with the people who are reporting me
Expert:  MatthewM1117 replied 11 days ago.

Thank you, ***** ***** encourage you to raise your grievance as soon as possible, it appears that the company should be made aware of this and they should thoroughly investigate this.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
thanks, ***** ***** am not sure who to raise it to as I called HR in confidentiality as my Manager seems to be scared of them . They told me I should address my concerns with my line managers (which I am talking about in the letter) so I am not sure who to raise with - what is your advise on that? There's my manager, his manager, and HR, and I think they covered up the fact I was working from abroad with HR and that it was their mistake.
Expert:  MatthewM1117 replied 11 days ago.

I would raise this with HR in the first instance as they will likely carry out the investigation.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
but these people from the team and the manager are capable of everything, they manipulate information and are all against me
Expert:  MatthewM1117 replied 11 days ago.

I understand your concerns when raising a grievance however if you do not explore this option then it is unlikely that the matter will be resolved.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
can you be my lawyer? I need someone to support and help me with this
Expert:  MatthewM1117 replied 11 days ago.

You have already drafted your grievance, and it is highly unlikely that the employer will allow a third party solicitor to attend the grievance meeting with you. However if they did I could provide a quote for my time.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
grievance meeting with no solicitor for me!? Do you think I have a case? what should I expect? At which point do I ask them if i can have a solicitor and how much roughly will you charge?
Expert:  MatthewM1117 replied 11 days ago.

You will only need a solicitor if you plan to pursue an employment claim to the tribunal or you request assistance in drafting a letter of appeal etc, costs would be dependent on the instructions.

At a grievance meeting you will be given the opportunity to be accompanied by either a colleague or a union representative.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
I've no colleague to come - they are against me. I don't belong to a union.
Expert:  MatthewM1117 replied 11 days ago.

If you are not a member of a union, then you will have to a take a colleague this does not need to be a amanger this can be someone you work alongisde.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
I don't have a colleague who'd get involved, the only one I trusted stopped being in touch, I don't know what they are thinking and I don't think they would be getting involved. They either didn't know I'm working from abroad or the ones who found out later were very jealous - that's why this is happening.
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
what do you think are the chances of getting anywhere by sending the grievance to the manager or the manager's manager instead of HR? because apparently it was their mistake letting me go work from abroad and I have a feeling they covered it up with HR (I have nothing to do with this - I was asking if i can stay longer and my manager was saying OK)
Expert:  MatthewM1117 replied 11 days ago.

If you do not raise the grievance, then the matter cannot be investigated and a resolution will not be found. If you do not wish to raise the grievance to HR by all means send this to a senior manager.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
do I resign in the meantime, and in both cases, how can I work with these people in the meantime (I'm off sick till 30th June but I am getting help so I should be ok by then, I;'m sick because of the anxiety I have from what's going on at work)
Expert:  MatthewM1117 replied 11 days ago.

If you wish to resign that would be your decision, however if you wished to pursue a constructive dismissal claim then it is unlikely you would suceed without first raising a grievance.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
no I don't want to resign so I guess I have to go work with them whilst I've complained about them?
Expert:  MatthewM1117 replied 11 days ago.

You should raise a grievance due to the numerous issues you have raised, this is not a complaint but a concern that you have raised.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
would sending the complain to the manager of my manager asking for settlement without filing grievance with HR be a good idea? If they give me a reference and six months or one year pay I'd be very happy to leave this place!!
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
I'm worried about evidence as I have not collected much and I'm feeling fragile and need support as it seems a massive fight. I just want to leave them but I need a reference and money to get myself together then find another job. That's why I thought sending complaint to the manager but I don't know what to ask for or expect from that and if it isn't a good outcome, can I then raise it with HR?
Expert:  MatthewM1117 replied 11 days ago.

I understand but in the grievance process the employer is obliged to investigate the matter and collect evidence. If you wish to propose a settlement you could include this at the bottom of your grievance.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
well, everything I say is the truth but I have some screenshots of slack messaging only, that's all.. and they are in control of everything - time it's taken me to do jobs, the minor mistakes I made that they gave me warnings for, everything is in their hands
Expert:  MatthewM1117 replied 11 days ago.

This is what you should be included in the grievance.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Thank you. I’m in such fragile state don’t know if I’m ready for this fight and need someone like you to advise me.. I’m not sure how many questions I can ask but thank you so much!!
Expert:  MatthewM1117 replied 11 days ago.

Glad to be off assistance I wish you all the best.