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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 52119
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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My wife is a bid manger for an elearning company. As far as

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Hi, My wife is a bid manger for an elearning company. As far as I'm aware she is a value member of the team that everyone has to go through with their tenders before deadline to be sent to different personnel in both clients and her peers. She works 37.5 hours a week 10 - 16.30 week days. She felt pressured to work from home after her hours. I don't know if she is pressured through her own mind or from the employer I don't know. She was working from the moment our young child goes to bed at 19:00 until early hours in the morning all week. She would even work throughout sunday. This impacted on our married quite badly and was starting to saw affect on our child. She was suffering from depresson however she claims she does not now. To combat this as I felt I had to push her to stop for her own health and relationship with the family to say no more to her boses. I know her boses before her company was bought out they started reckonise her breaking down. After a long battle they decided to employ a second person to help the work load. Unfortunately nothing has changed infact the workload as tripled causing more upset. When she mentioned that this to her peers she was told that if she can't manage the work load then shes not using her time effectively. To make things worse and to our enjoyment we found out that she is expecting our 2nd child by 6 weeks (not had scans or nothing yet). She does not want to tell anyone definitly not her boses until shes 3 month understandably as she had major problems the first couple of time before our first was born. This ofcourse makes me even more worried. She is sat here now in tears as she has so much work on and the deadline tomorrow more and is impossible to complete within her hours. Her commission is being stopped so there is no more assentive. shes has worked until 2 am most of last week effectively another 30 hours on top of her working hour = 60.5 a weekand. Now is expecting to work until 3 - 4am then go to work in the morning. Please help me out by stating the her rights and dangers to her health, obviously factual, to convince her this cannot carry on. I'm afraid of her health, the unborn early stage baby, our family. I just need something that she can present to her peers if or when she cannot go on like this. She does not get overtime or any extra wage or benefits for this.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

How long has she worked there for?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
She joined them in december 2014 then her company was acquisitioned in september 2016
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
sorry but it's better in writting and better she don't hear our conversation which will make her even more anxious
she is aware we are talking about it though

Thank you. Whilst employees can be expected to work additional hours as needed by the business, this does have to be reasonable. For example, it could be occasionally, if the workload increases from time to time, but it should not be applied daily or unreasonably frequently.

In any event, the main rights she has will be in relation to health and safety and stress.

From a legal perspective employers have a duty under The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all their employees. This includes a duty to undertake risk assessments and manage activities to reduce the incidence of stress at work. In addition, under common law an employer owes a duty of care towards its employees, the breach of which can amount to negligence.

As no standalone claim exists for being exposed to unreasonable levels of stress, the affected employee has the following options open to them if they were going to take this matter further:

1. Grievance - this is a formal internal complaint, following which the employer is obliged to investigate the issues and deal with them in an appropriate manner. It should always be the first step in trying to bring the problem to the employer's attention and to try and reach a resolution.

2. Constructive dismissal - this occurs where the employee resigns because they feel they were left with no other option in the circumstances. Further considerations include:

· It must be shown that the employer had acted in breach of the implied terms to provide a safe system of work or through their actions (or inactions) had broken the mutual trust and confidence

· The breach relied on must be sufficiently serious to justify instant resignation

· The employee must accept that breach and resign in response to it

· This claim is only available to employees with at least 2 years' continuous service with their employer and must be made within 3 months of resigning.

3. Personal Injury - this is a claim for negligence against the employer. Further considerations include:

· Some recognised illness must have been suffered. This could include clinical depression, specific trauma stress, a physical injury (e.g. stroke), etc.

· The illness must have been caused directly by the employer's negligence, such as persisting with heavy workload despite complaints it was unreasonable

· The illness must have been reasonably foreseeable - for example if the employee experienced one breakdown, it would have indicated to the employer that there is a problem and that further issues could arise if things were not dealt with appropriately.

· The time limit to claim is 3 years from the time the injury was suffered.

In the first instance, I would advise going down the grievance route first and only considering formal legal action as a last resort, if it is evident that the matter cannot be resolved in any other way.

Does this answer your query?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
If she doesn't try due to fear of dismissal or confrontation as these are the words she uses regularly often followed by tears, Do I have the legal right to confront her peers stating my concerns and to start the greivance process even if it's against her wishes? Further to this would I have the right to declare her pregnacy to her peers in order for them to put better care and resourses into her worklife/load?

No you do not, he has to doot herself as she is employed by them and they only have to listen to their employees, not people outside of the company. Therefore, you need to convince her to do this herself. Of course, there is nothing stopping you from confronting them personally, but that will be a completely unofficial step and not really give her any legal rights. She should also advise them of her pregnancy and once they are aware of it then they will have to ensure they are not discriminating against her and treating her detrimentally because of it, also it would increase their duties in terms of health and safety as pregnant employees will be at greater risk. Does this clarify a bit more?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Thank you I didn't think I had but worth a try. Lastly then I know you mentioned about The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Discrimantion Act with her pregnancy. Hopefully when she goes forth with this do you have a list of UK Legislation Act that she could mention in writing if her peers stand their ground and be unreasonable. Obviously the company and their lawyers should be aware of them however stating that she is aware of them this could prompt them to move forward for her benefit.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
which relates to what you have mentioned to me of course

Yes indeed, that is correct and it will show that she has looked into this and knows her rights. However, just to clarify, there is no Discrimination Act discrimination is covered by the Equality Act 2010

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Customer: replied 3 months ago.
oh ok, thank you for your help I do what I can to pursuade her without causing her more distress.

you are welcome and best of luck