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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10401
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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My wife and I are in dispute with a care home over asking

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My wife and I are in dispute with a care home over asking staff questions about our 96 year old mother/mother in law. We have been told that she has been using racially motivated comments! We have been told not to talk to staff about it and that that "order" is a valid request. Where do we stand?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The "order" came from the registered manager of the care home, and is supported by the organisation which runs the home
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Later...this order is also being described as injunction...I thought that was something that courts doled out.

Could you explain what exactly the home has done?

Can you also explain exactly what your mother-in-law has done?

Does your mother-in-law have full mental capacity?

What do you want to achieve?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for replying. The whole story is very very (years) long. I will try and stick to this one matter! I was told in front of my 96 year old mother-in-law (Joan) in a public room that she had made comments of a racial nature. (The staff in the home must be nearly 50% ethnic.). There was a bit of "flesh" added to this but I was not allowed to see any of the "documented evidence" or names so that I could find out a bit more of what had happened. This would have assisted my wife and I in communicating " the gravity of her behaviour" to her. There were some misunderstandings and we then received a letter from the senior management in Eastbourne (the home is in Wales). Among other things, we were told that we had been told not to speak to the staff about this. I did not take this in, perhaps did not hear it but I think there is little doubt that it was said. Tempers were frayed. Any way it seems that I have " targeted" ethnics" and "interrogated" them! I have, indeed, talked to some and I think am well on the way to finding out that Joan gives everyone an equally hard time but the "ethnics" find it more difficult to absorb. ie my wife and I are trying to help solve the problem. My question is this. Is it correct "that even a cursory knowledge of current employment law would have indicated that this (the direction not talk to the staff) was a valid request" and that this can also be called an injunction.
My mother in law has not lost all mental capacity but short term memory has gone completely. All I want to do is to be able to respond fairly to a letter, which is aggressive (amazing language for events in a care home), and threatens to remove Joan, it seems more for our "Behaviour" than hers!. I will not go on...look forward to hearing from you.
Mike *******

I hear what you say when you are saying that she treats everybody badly (not unusual with elderly people I understand) and does not single out any ethnic minorities but they feel singled out.

However I’m not certain who has been told not to speak to staff. You or your mother-in-law?

You are free to speak to who you like!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We were told, by the manageress, not to speak to the staff about the racist comments made by Joan( ie not to delve deeper into the affair) after we had been told about those racist comments by the manageress. We are suspicious that the manageress is out to "fix us", and despite being told not to speak, I did not see why we should not, considering that we get on well with the staff and they seemed quite willing to talk!! We stand accused of breaking employment law as a result of this, because it was a valid request. It may have been rude of me to ignore her request, but have we broken any part of employment law. Also can the "valid request", be described as an injunction, for which I would need higher authority approval to by-pass! Thank you for your time
Mike L

I find the allegation of the manageress somewhat bizarre. As I said earlier, you are entitled to speak to who you like. You don’t break any employment law.

If the employer feels that their staff are being bullied by you, the employer is in breach of its duty to prevent bullying but that is an issue for the manager not for you.

Apart from harassment or banning you from the premises (very difficult to do if your mother-in-law is in residence) I cannot see what actions they can bring against you except to allege that you are harassing the staff but then, the action would be by the staff against you by the management against you.

F E Smith and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Many thanks...most useful!
Mike |L