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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 60510
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I have had some problems with a colleague at work who has

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Good morning,
JA: Hi. How can I help?
Customer: I have had some problems with a colleague at work who has made complaints about me in a care industry environment. My manager has already said that this has been thrown out of investigation in respect that thtis seems a personal attack. I have now been diagnosed with depression, anxiety and insomnia. I was advised to take some time off work for a week pending mediation. This was 6 weeks ago. I am also a registered foster carer and even tho this has been dropped the accusations have been written down and I have had to have 1:1 meetings with both my team lead and manager. The person who raised the accusations is now wanting to drop it and forget all about it. I'm now in a very dark place and feel as if I've been physically attacked.
JA: Have you discussed the accusation with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: With my managers, Doctor (but not in detail for confidential reasons) and team lead yes.
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: Employee and not union
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I have been working with various disabilities including autism for 4 years. I have a 19 year old nephew who is on the autistic spectrum and have been fostering my wifes nephew for 5 years now. If this had gone any further we may have had our nephew moved away

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

Customer: replied 5 days ago.
Thankyou

Have you worked continuously for 4 years?

Customer: replied 5 days ago.
I've been with a company called united response for 2 years and worked for Devon and Cornwall Autistic society (Spectrumasd) for 2 years prior.

Thank you. I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can, which will be at some point today. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Many thanks for your patience. You are clearly the victim of bullying in the workplace. This is unfortunately a rather common problem, which occurs more often than it should. What makes it even more difficult is that there is no specific legislation that deals with it, meaning there are limited options for the victims of bullying to take things further legally.

 

Although there is no legal definition of bullying, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) defines it as “offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, an abuse or misuse of power through means that undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the recipient.” Examples given are: spreading malicious rumours, or insulting someone by word or behaviour; exclusion or victimisation; unfair treatment; overbearing supervision or other misuse of power or position; making threats or comments about job security without foundation; deliberately undermining a competent worker by overloading and constant criticism; preventing individuals progressing by intentionally blocking promotion or training opportunities.

 

Under law, specifically the Health and Safety at Work 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:

 

  1. First of all, and if appropriate, the victim should try and calmly and professionally 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 victim should consider raising a formal grievance with the employer by following the company's own grievance policy, or sending a complaint in writing to their line manager. 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 adequately deal with the bullying issues, the victim would need to seriously consider their next steps. Unfortunately, employment law does not allow employees to make a direct claim for bullying. As such, the most common way of claiming is by resigning and making a claim for constructive dismissal in an employment tribunal. 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.

 

As a final pointer, the 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 is often verbal or through actions, 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.

 

Does this answer your query?

Customer: replied 5 days ago.
Yes Thankyou for your help Ben

All the best

 

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