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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50191
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I have another question regarding the continuing problem my

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I have another question regarding the continuing problem my wife is having with a work colleague.
The situation is getting so bad now that she is seeing a doctor with stress and depression which is causing her to cry throughout the day and have sleepless nights, which is not good for her work with elderly and mentally ill patients.
She will be having a meeting with the manager of the care home to register a grievance sometime this week.
What advise can you give me to help her when confronting the manager about this situation. She has been working at the care home for nearly 15 months.
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Does the employer know about these issues yet?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes but so far there has been no resolution

When she meets the manager to raise a grievance she will need to provide details of what has been happening so far and the issue she has been experiencing. She may have already advised the employer of this but this is now going to a formal grievance and they will have to take this more seriously and deal with it formally. She will be asked to attend a grievance hearing where she can air her concerns and provide examples of what she has been subjected to by her colleague.
It appears that he is being bullied so she needs to make that clear to the employer. Bullying 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.
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 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 your very useful reply, I have one more question.

I attended the doctor this morning with my wife where upon the doctor observed the state of stress and anxiety my wife was experiencing, she told her that for own and the patients health and safety she was to stop work immediately. She was signed off for one week and told to contact her employer as you suggested to raise a grievance.

I will be going in to the care home later today to inform the manager of the current situation and that as soon as my wife feels up to it she will phone to make an appointment to see him.

Am I doing the right thing?

yes, you need to advise the employer ASAP that she has been signed off and that she will not be coming into work. It is up to you to decide how much detail you want to go into in relation to the other issues at this stage. There is no need to tell them she will be making a complaint so if you want you can not mention anything about that and just let the employer find out once the formal grievance has been submitted.
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