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Ask Ben Jones Your Own Question
Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70969
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I need help problem at work .I'm from Northampton, England,

Customer Question

Hi I need help problem at work .I'm from Northampton
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer about this? In which country do you live? If different, which country is your legal question related to?
Customer: England
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: am writing you about an issue at work, as of 24.10.2020 my college Lukasz Zaborskij has been discriminating me, and not letting me do my job, he hasnt been leting me on time for my breaks, and been sending me home for no reason and i am getting anxiety from his attitude towards me.
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No
Submitted: 18 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 18 days ago.

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 18 days ago.

I am sorry to hear of the situation you are in. Please can you tell me what your specific query is in relation to this so that I can best advise?

Customer: replied 18 days ago.
Tim linder
Customer: replied 18 days ago.
Can you call me
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 18 days ago.

Just a quick clarification on phone calls – the pop-up offering you the chance to request one is automatic and I have no control over it. Therefore, if you request a call back there is no guarantee that I, or anyone else, would be available to fulfill it. At present, due to outside commitments, I cannot take calls but your request is open and visible to all other experts. If someone is available, they will accept it and call you, but if no one is free, then it will remain open until it is accepted or you decide to cancel it. In the meantime, you have already paid for a written response and that is the part I will continue helping you with.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 18 days ago.

Please can you tell me what your specific query is in relation to this so that I can best advise?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 18 days ago.

Hello, I was wondering if you have had a chance to consider my query above please? I will need your response before I provide an accurate answer to your situation. Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 17 days ago.

Without the requested information, I can only provide you with the following general response, which will hopefully still answer your query. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues you have experienced in your situation.

You appear to be the victim of bullying at work. Workplace bullying 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 to calmly and professionally resolve the issue informally with the person responsible for the bullying. I do, however, appreciate that this is much easier said than done.

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.

4. There is, however, a requirement for the victim to have at least 2 years’ continuous service with that employer (which does actually mean that those with less than 2 years’ service cannot make a claim and can effectively be bullied out with no recourse). However, the 2-year limit is not required if the grounds for bulling were discriminatory, such as because of gender, age, race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, etc.

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.

You can also refer to this guide by ACAS which deals with unfair treatment at work – the following is a direct download link:

https://www.acas.org.uk/if-youre-treated-unfairly-at-work

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 17 days ago.

I hope that your query has been answered to your satisfaction. I just wanted to take this opportunity to remind you that if you needed any further clarification with this query, you should not hesitate to contact me and I will be happy to help. For now, thank you for using our services.