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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 49862
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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My employer failed to provide a safe working environment for

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My employer failed to provide a safe working environment for over 15 months. I advised local authority who issued a letter under Reg 5 of Health & Safety Act. Thereafter works commenced to repair damage. I worked for this period of time in a damp, very mouldy and noxious environment. A mould test was carried out by staff which proved positive for black toxic mould. I have COPD and was subsequently signed off by doctor. I raised a grievance about the conditions and then received a letter to say that I was to be disclipined. I had to wait for 3 days after asking for grievance procedure in whichtime they issued letter advising me of disclipinary. Can you tell me whether I can take matters to a tribunal or do I have to raise a civil action.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Have employer broken breach of trust and confidence?
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified solicitor and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked there for and what were you disciplined for?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
15 years and was disciplined for an incident where I allegedly bangrf drawers/doors and raised my voice to a partner. There was no one else in the room. They are using a witness statement from someone who "had removed himself from the vicinity". There was only myself and partner in the room. I was sitting down, stood up and certainly did not bang doors etc. I am naturally loud voiced
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I did not initiate the conversation which led to the alleged incident. The partner came into the room and did this. I was require to answer back.
Do you think the disciplinary was linked to your complaint?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The alleged incident took place on 1st October (when I was signed off by my doctor); On 12th October, 2015 I requested firm's grievance procedure and the partner to whom I spoke said "I will see what I can come up with. Will I email it to you? Yes and provided email address. Requested that it be posted if not. On 14th October at 4.45 pm I had to phone another partner and request grievance procedure and was then advised it was per ACAS rules. On 16th Oct I received a letter dated 14th October, which had been posted second class, advising that they wished to hold an investigatory meeting regarding my Fit Note and the alleged incident. Once the staff had carried out the mould test arrangements were made the following day ie 1st October for the staff to relocate to another office 12 miles away. I advised employers that this was inconvenient for me as I have a disabled husband. The problem to the office was caused by water ingress and during the 15 month period nothing was done to rectify the problem and it only got worse with fungi growing on the walls and ceilings, an electric strip light fell off the ceiling in one of the offices on the top floor and every time it rained heavily water poured along the floor. The carpet had to be removed. We were moved to another room but still expected to go into the top floor room, where the light fitting had fallen down, to use the photocopier. The water obviously went down to the room below and the person in there had to vacate it. After that it went down to into the access close when we had to get the electrician out to see why the light was not working - it was full of water. (Sorry getting carried away here.) My employers claim that their investigation had been initiated before my grievance was handed in but I think it was a kneejerk reaction to my asking for the grievance procedure.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
In my grievance I alleged bullying and agressive behaviour against one partner and passive bullying against another as well as the health and safety concerns,(fungal and mould growth, water ingress, loose and crumbling plaster on ceilings and walls, no handrails, no annual electric checks and overdue periodic inspection; no first aid box checks, no H & Safety poster, failure of duty of care, no employers' liability insurance certificate, out of date PAT testing, no Contract). I do know that when the council officer inspected the building that one of the partners was absolutely furious at me for having allowed him entry.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Should have added that I was signed off work from 1st October until 14th December. I am now using up holidays and due to return on 13th Jan or thereabouts. I have not resigned.
If you were considering taking a claim to tribunal you only have a couple of options:· One is to resign claiming constructive dismissal. This occurs when the following two elements are present: serious breach of contract by the employer; and an acceptance of that breach by the employee, who in turn treats the contract of employment as at an end. The employee must act in response to the breach and must not delay any action too long. A common breach by the employer occurs when it, or its employees, have broken the implied contractual term of trust and confidence. The conduct relied on could be a single act, or a series of less serious acts over a period of time, which together could be treated as serious enough (usually culminating in the 'last straw' scenario).· You could also try and claim detrimental treatment as a result of making a protected disclosure. This is basically a claim that you have blown the whistle, and as a result you were treated unfairly. The protected disclosure here would be the complaint you made about the unsafe working conditions. You do not need to resign to make such a claim but it won’t be easy as you have to show you have made a protected disclosure and that you were treated detrimentally as a result. Nevertheless the option is there should you decide to use it. I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. 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
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