How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ben Jones Your Own Question
Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 49851
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Type Your Law Question Here...
Ben Jones is online now

Over the last months I've been bullied at work, this includes

This answer was rated:

Over the last months I've been bullied at work, this includes but it's not limited to: ***** ***** spreading of malicious rumours and being picked on. I also raised some concerns about some bad practices at work and it's negative impact to the business, long story short I've got tens of examples of things which have been done contrary to the company guidelines and ethics.
This comes from an unresolved issue at work which I tried to solve with my manager and my manager's manager, both in person and by email, with no luck to the point that my manager has avoided any contact with me over the last months including the duties specified by the company guidelines such as periodic 1-2-1 or replying to any issue or concern I sent over by email.
The only exception to this was my appraisal where I got a quite negative outlook compared to my work performance and duties. I appealed the appraisal and the HR resolution was that my appraisal has been made wrongly and thus it needs to be repeated. After that I had a meeting with HR to mention all the situation above and provided evidence of it. They told me to start a grievance process but at the time I wasn't physically or mentally ready to take that and spend another month or two in that environment, I mentioned that to HR and handed my notice.
During my notice period, which I handed to HR, no one else in the company, specially my manager, has contacted me to talk about my reasons to leave or anything like that except for a leaving form sent to me by HR. On the other hand my manager just spread to the whole company that I was leaving just minutes after I handed my notice and he was notified by HR.
Since then things have worsen to the point that I've just been given a garden leave. The reasons stated for that by my manager are just lies such as: I'm taking calls for future positions, which I'm not as I'm not looking for a job, or that I'm creating a negative impact in the team when I'm actually delivering all that is expected and pushing to get things done.
The way it happened left me having literally no time to finish my duties, say goodbye to my colleagues or take some personal effects from my laptop and/or workplace. Garden leave is included in my contract details and although they could have asked me to stop contacting my fellow workers or others they didn't specify that. (the contract says "the company may")
That situation caused me not only a lot of stress but also even worse publicity and the inability to regain my honor or leave the place in a "good way".
Based on the above I thought of filing a grievance now that I'm still an employee for the company, what I'm looking to achieve with it is:
- To make the company aware of all this bad practices and it's negative impact to the business so they can take further action if needed. This also includes a good willing for my staying colleagues.
- To get a public apologise from my manager for all the rumours spread and to regain my honor
- To get my bonus paid until my last day of work (it is not paid if you handle your notice before the bonus period) and/or be re-admitted at the work place to continue my duties. The reason for that is that I feel like I'm not leaving the place free willing and thus it should be considered as a breach of contract by my employer as they didn't take any action.
From all the above, my questions are:
- Is there any possibility for anything of the above to end in a good way for me?
- Is there anything else I could/should do?
- Should I rather put my energy an effort in something else to avoid more frustration?
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.
Please can you tell me how long you worked there and whether you had a contract?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I started working there the 5th of May 2015 and I had a full time employment contract.
OK, thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you as soon as I can. 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
Just to clarify - did your contract contain a garden leave clause allowing the employer to place you on garden leave? Also was there a payment in lieu of notice clause?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes to both:Payment in lieu:The Company reserves the right to give written notice to terminate your employment and to make a payment to you in lieu of salary for all or any unexpired part of the notice period. For the avoidance of doubt, any payment in lieu made pursuant to this Clause 12.4, will be subject to normal deductions for tax and NI contributions and will not include any element in relation to:
(a) any bonus or commission payments that might otherwise have been due to you during the period for which the payment in lieu is made; and
(b) any payment in respect of any holiday entitlement that would have accrued during the period for which the payment in lieu is made.Garden leave:
Following notice to terminate your employment being served by either you or the Company under clause 13, the Company may place you on Garden Leave for the period up to termination of your employment.
During any period of Garden Leave:
- the Company may require that you do not attend the Company premises or have contact with other staff or clients or business contacts of the Company;
- the Company may assign alternative duties to you;
- you will continue to be bound by all duties and obligations (whether expressed or implied including fidelity and good faith) owed to the Company;
- you will continue to receive a full pay and benefits excluding any bonus;
- the Company will be under no obligation to provide any work to you or vest any powers in you and you will have no right to perform any duties for the Company or the Group Company;
- you will remain readily contactable and available for work. In the event that you are not available for work having been requested by the Company to do so, you shall, notwithstanding any other provision of this Agreement, forfeit any right to salary and contractual benefits;
- the Company may require you to return any Confidential Information or Documents and upon instruction, delete any Documents or Confidential Information stored on your own computer and you will confirm your compliance with this clause in writing if requested to do so by the Company;
- the Company may require you to take any outstanding holiday entitlement.
Thank you. If you have been continuously employed at your place of work for less than 2 years then your employment rights will unfortunately be somewhat limited. Most importantly, you will not be protected against unfair dismissal or constructive dismissal. This means that your employer can dismiss you or force you to leave for more or less any reason, and without following a fair procedure, as long as their decision is not based on discriminatory grounds (i.e. because of gender, race, religion, age, a disability, sexual orientation, etc.) or because you were trying to assert any of your statutory rights (e.g. requesting maternity/paternity leave, etc.). So you may have been forced to leave in this case but as I do not see any circumstances which would give rise to discrimination or anything else that can allow you take this further. In terms of the specific points you raised:· Making company aware of bad practices – you can do this through the grievance but what they do in response is entirely up to them, in other words you can raise it but you cannot tell them how to resolve it or deal with it· Public apology – this is entirely at the discretion of the company or those who made the comments – no one can force them to apologise, not even a court· Return to work – the employer has the duty to ask you to remain out of work as there is a specific garden leave clause which they have enforced correctly· Bonus – your entitlement will depend on how the bonus clause was drafted, mainly whether the resignation is ‘voluntary’ or ‘involuntary’. In the circumstances this would be the only potential claim you have against them This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the bonus and how you may be able to claim that, 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, there I no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question and if you need me to discuss the next steps in more detail? In the meantime please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts from the top of the page. The question will not close and I can continue with my advice as discussed. Thank you
Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Thank you. So as mentioned you need to check the bonus clause to see if it defines your entitlement based on whether you are leaving voluntarily or are classified as a good or bad leaver. If you could please check and let me know or even better, attach the relevant clause, that would be great