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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50202
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I'm a new employee (4weeks) at a medium size business. I report to a sales mana

Customer Question

Hi, I'm a new employee (4weeks) at a medium size business.
I report to a sales manager, but also deal several times daily with another senior administration manager. During the four weeks I've been with the company, the administration manager has three times grabbed my nipples and performed a aggressive 'nipple twist' and once rugby tackled me into a filing cabinet. Although not injured these incidents were embarrassing. Recently the manager has also sworn at me in front of other staff members over a piece of work i completed. I'm obviously not happy with this behavior, but at the same time I've seen the manager do the same thing to other members of staff and its passed off as horse play. There were witnesses to each event, but until I report this i'm not sure if they would confirm this as the manager in question is quite a vocal character withing the business. I also have the issue that I have to deal with this manager everyday as part of my work. Any advice???
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. I presume you are male and not female?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi, Yes sorry, I should have said that!

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Whilst you can certainly complain about this behaviour, your rights will be somewhat limited due to your very short length of service.
In some ways this behaviour could amount to bullying, even if it is dressed up as horse play or general office mess around. 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. The issue, as mentioned, is your length of service because you cannot make such a claim unless you have at least 2 years’ service. It does mean that someone could be bu8llied and forced to leave but not be able to challenge this due to not having the required length of service. Similarly, you are not protected against unfair dismissal so you could also be dismissed for complaining about this so be careful how much noise you make over this as they could easily remove you as a result. There is no issue of discrimination or sexual harassment here because it is not a case of a man nipple-punching a woman which could be a completely different story.
In general, a victim should try and gather as much evidence as possible before considering making a formal complaint. 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 can refer to. Also consider your general employment rights as described above when you take this further as they are rather precarious at this early stage of your career with this company.
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
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? If your query has been dealt with please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts from the top of the page. If you need further help please get back to me on here and I will assist as best as I can. Thank you.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, do you need any further assistance or are you happy with the above response? Look forward to hearing from you.