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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50202
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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,im Julie.looking advice about employment law.Im

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hi ,im Julie.looking for some advice about employment law.Im currently working for a health trust in ni,i work in a day care facility,during my supervision with my manager I ask ed if I could enrol in a course (k101 health and social care) it is the first stage in a degree, it is being funded by the union unison. during the supervision she asked me what I intented to do, I told her that I wanted to continue on with the degree and go on to be a social worker.She then told me that if that was the case id better find my self another job.That was inAugust 2014.Im still participating in the course at the moment but I have had to take time off due to partly work related stress and depression ,im still managing the course.I left my sickine into work today and my manager told me that I shouldn't be doing the course because I was of sic.She even went to the extend of phoning my tutiour to see if I have habded in any assignments.I feel as if im being witch hunted.I spoke with my tutor and he told my that he had received a message from my boss on his voicemail but he didn't reply because he thought something suspious was going on he reassured d me that he wouldn't be talking to my boss.She is trying her best to stop my from doing this degree, she kept saying to me its legislation but wouldn't tell what that ment.I have a gut feeling that she is going to sack me.Im also a muliable care, I care for my dad mum and father inlaw and she knows this.My father inlaw did spend time in the day centre where I work but due to having memory problems ,however after a short period of time he was removed to an other centre.Other people in the center don't normally get moved especislly if they have memory problems. I feel that my father inlaw has been delibertly targeted because of me and I feel that im also being targeted
Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked there for?


hi Ben ive ben their for ten yesrs

Ben Jones :

Hi, sorry I was offline by the time you had replied last night. It is not correct by the employer to state that if you are off sick from work you should not be doing the course at the same time. The reasons for your sickness could be work-related or could only prevent you from doing your job, without affecting other activities such as the course. For example, you could be off with stress brought on by work and find it therapeutic to do something else to get your mind off this issue, such as by continuing with the course. I also do not know what legislation she is referring to when she says she can use that to stop you from doing the degree, there is nothing I can think of that would do this so you may wish to ask for more details on that, unless she is just bluffing.

From what you have described I would say that you are likely the victim of bullying, which is unfortunately something that happens all too often in the workplace. The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) defines bullying as “offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, an abuse or misuse of power through means that undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the recipient.” Whatever form it takes, it is unwarranted and unwelcome to the individual subjected to it.

Under law, specifically the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, an employer has a duty to ensure the health, safety and welfare of its employees. In addition, they have the implied contractual duty to provide a safe and suitable working environment. That includes preventing, or at least effectively dealing with bullying behaviour occurring in the workplace.

In terms of what the victim of bullying can do to try and deal with such problems, the following steps are recommended:

  1. First of all, and if appropriate, the employee should try and resolve the issue informally with the person responsible for the bullying.

  2. If the above does not work or is not a viable option, the employee should consider raising a formal grievance with the employer by following the company's grievance policy. This formally brings the bullying issue to the attention of the employer and they will have a duty to investigate and deal with it.

  3. If, following a grievance, the employer fails to take any action or the action they take is inappropriate, the employee would need to seriously consider their next steps. Unfortunately, employment law does not allow employees to make a direct claim about bullying. As such, the most common way of claiming for bullying is by resigning first and then submitting a claim for constructive dismissal in an employment tribunal (subject to having at least 2 years' continuous service with the employer). The reason for resigning would be to claim that by failing to act appropriately, the employer has breached the implied terms of mutual trust and confidence and failed to provide a safe working environment and that there was no other option but to resign. However, this step should only be used as a last resort as it can be risky, after all it will result in the employment being terminated.

In general, a victim should try and gather as much evidence as possible before considering making a formal complaint and certainly before going down the resignation route. As bullying often takes verbal form, the best way is to keep a detailed diary of all bullying occasions so that there is at least some reference in written form that the employer and/or the tribunal can refer to.

I hope this clarifies your position? If you could please quickly let me know that would be great, as it is important for us to keep track of customer satisfaction. Thank you


thank you

Ben Jones :

you are most welcome, all the best

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