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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50165
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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Madam, years now a former employer of mine

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Dear Sir/Madam,
For two years now a former employer of mine has been trying to covertly coerce and manipulate me into working for them or their collaborator companies. About a year ago I had been asked by a recruiter who claimed to represent them if I wanted to work for them again. I refused. Prior to that and subsequent to that, I have been forwarded job positions of every collaborator of this company. At the same time if any other prospective employer calls them for a security check they slander me. They are offering a larger than usual fee to recruiters, if I am hired into an organisation they prescribe. As a result recruiters are less likely to forward me jobs from other employers.
I left this employer four years ago because of abusive and degrading treatment. I was not the only one to leave. My own line manager and colleagues left soon after me. Their behaviour is intentionally coercive and harassing. This is not new and working for them was a similar experience. I suspect the reason they are doing this is because important research I was doing for them was left unfinished when I left.
Is what they are trying legal ? How can I protect myself from them ? No matter what they offer I do not want to associate with them or any collaborator. Are there organisations that can help me ?
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Has the police actually offered to try and deal with this on your behalf?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No, the police officers have not offered me any concrete solution. The office who said, that it can be construed as harrasment asked me to keep a log and save the emails (which i have done for two years). She also said I can come back later if it continues and they would look into it. I had spoken to her late last year. A couple of months ago I spoke to another police officer and he said he did not see any crime being committed and so could not intervene. A couple of weeks ago I called 101 and requested to file a harrasment complaint. They said that they can not help me but did give me a case number. Curiously the officer at 101 asked me who from my former employer, do I think, would be doing this. I said I presume it would be the HR manager who deals with recruiters. The officer then emphatically responded saying it was not the HR manager but said nothing more. I am quite sure that there are two particular recruitment agencies that are involved. One has themselves acknowledged that my former employer is their client. The other perists in trying to contact me despite being told I do not need their services and despite ignoring their calls. This second recruiter seems to hear about it any time if I apply to a job with other recruiters. The call me promplty after that. This happend a couple of weeks ago which prompted me to call 101. They even seem to know the type and location of jobs I am applying to.This may or may not be relavent but my former employer is a small company that does have political ties and do obtain large government grants for Research and Development projects. This harrasmented started two years ago, in the very same week when it was announced that my former employer had recived a 1 million GBP grant to develop a new technology along with a large semi-public company. Just about that time I was contacted by a recruiter (that I had never heard of before) with a job opportunity at that semi-public company.I am not trying to barter any deal with my former employer. I just want to be left alone and not be coerced, villified and my career damaged.
What you have been told is correct in that the most likely offence here is of potential harassment. The relevant legislation that deals with harassment is The Protection from Harassment Act 1997 in civil cases and The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 in criminal cases. The law states that a person must not pursue a course of conduct which amounts to harassment of another and which he or she knows or ought to know amounts to harassment. Although there is no definition of what specifically amounts to harassment, it would usually include alarming a person or causing them distress and must have occurred on at least two occasions.
Under criminal law, and if this is reported to the police who then take action, the punishment for harassment can be imprisonment and/or a fine. A court may also impose a restraining order for the purpose of protecting the victim.
In addition to criminal action, a civil claim can also be brought against a person who is alleged to be guilty of causing harassment. The courts would award compensation to the victim, something that is unlikely to happen if this is pursued as a criminal issue.
So in the first instance the police can be contacted and this matter reported to them as harassment. However, they will not often get involved in trivial disputes so if they believe that this is not serious enough they could refuse to help and advise you that this is a civil matter. In such circumstances, the victim can warn the harasser that their actions are being treated as harassment and that unless they refrain from such behaviour in the future they will be reported to the police and legal action under harassment legislation taken against them.
I trust this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page). If for any reason you are unhappy with my response or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for you response. I would be most grateful for the following clarifications.1) Since I have already spoken to the police and they have already informed me that they can not help. Does this imply this is a civil matter and not a criminal one or is it just that they do not think it is serious.2)Since the police are not going to investigate this I can only provide indirect evidence to support my claim that my former empolyer is trying to coerce my employment. Without the authority of the police I can not obtain the truth from the recruiting agencies involved. How and on what basis can I file a court case then.3) I have considered trying to contact my former employer but hesitated for two reasons a) I have no certain proof b) I see them as bullies who will harras me more, the moment they realise their actions are harrasing. Without the help of a police or court this will be a devastating consequence. So is it necessary to contact them prior to taking any legal action against them.
Thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and will get back to you as soon as possible. Please do not respond to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you
Many thanks for your patience. The matter could be a criminal and a civil one at the same time but if the police are not willing to help then it means that they do not believe it warrants their involvement and is not serious enough to pursue that way. So you still have the option of the civil route if needed.
You can file a court claim regardless of what evidence you have – it could just be your word against theirs but your own evidence can be used in that. It does not have to be documentary evidence and it can be your own verbal evidence, put down in written form. When you use any evidence in court you would certify that it is truthful so the court would consider it on that assumption and it would be for the other parties to try and show that this was not the case.
It is not necessary to contact them before you go to the police or court. It is recommended in order to try and resolve things amicably and to avoid the need for legal action but there are circumstances when this is impossible and court may be the only way to try and deal with this, in which case you could proceed without any prior contact with them.
If your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page - it only takes a second to do and is an important part of our process. I can still answer follow up questions afterwards if needed. Thank you
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