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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50178
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I recently filed a formal complaint of bullying against

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Hi - I recently filed a formal complaint of bullying against my boss - the complaint was upheld but the firm has suggested mediation - what are my rights here? I have said mediation is not an option, I do not want any further direct contact with my boss. I am a UK citizen.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Why have you refused mediation?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Jo - according to my firm's personnel department, if you have issues with anyone, you should follow procedures as below:
1 - informal chat with person to try and resolve
2 - if the above doesn't work, mediation between the 2 individuals
3 - if mediation fails, a formal grievanceI have gone down the grievance route and my complaint of bullying was fully upheld by the independent partner who looked into the claim - one of the suggestions was for mediation - given the route I have already taken and the fact that my life has been made a misery for the last 6-9 months, this is not acceptable to me - I want to be moved away from her. She has had a detrimental effect on my mental and emotional well being, my doctor has also expressed concerns and suggested I move away from her.
Hello, my name is ***** ***** my colleague has asked me to assist with your query as it is more my area of law. You cannot be forced to enter into mediation to try and resolve this – mediation, whilst an option, is a voluntary exercise so only those parties which agree to it can take part. Therefore, if you are unwilling to participate in mediation you cannot be required to. However, at the same time you cannot force the employer to resolve this in the way you see is most appropriate. For example, you have mentioned that you want to be moved away from this person, but you cannot force the employer to do this. Ideally they should try and resolve this in a way which impacts everyone the least and also provides a satisfactory outcome but not every employer is ideal so it depends on what they see as a reasonable solution. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of other options you may have if you are subject to bullying, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50178
Experience: Qualified Solicitor
Ben Jones and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Thank you. 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.
In terms of what the victim of bullying can do to try and deal with such problems, the following steps are recommended (I understand you may have already gone through some of these but it is best if I cover them anyway just so you know what your position is):
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.