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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70919
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I have ongoing abusive issues in work that has caused me to

Customer Question

I have ongoing abusive issues in work that has caused me to become ill, I don't know where I can go for help, I want to raise a grevience against the managers are you able to help thank you
JA: Was this discussed with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: No the managers and HR are not on my side and I can't afford a lawyer
JA: Does the workplace operate with employees, freelancers, consultants, contractors or with unionised employees?
Customer: I am a member of Unit the union but the response I get from them is that I don't have enough evidence etc
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I'm pretty desperate for help thank you for taking time to read
Submitted: 14 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 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 14 days ago.

I am sorry to hear of the situation you are in. Please can you explain the circumstances in more detail, and please also tell me how long you have worked for this employer?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 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.

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Thank you for getting back to me, I'm overwhelmed by it all, I've worked for the company for 8 years and always carried out my work in s loyal and satisfactory way, however since new managers have arrived at our depot and also many new drivers, I have been subjected to much humiliation,verbal abuse, threatening behaviour, discrimination , all of which seems to be in order to make trouble for me and make me look as if I'm not doing my job properly, I feel wretched and frightened about the whole situation, it's like as if I'm being pushed out to make way for younger employees, there is a lot more to it but I'm not sure how much your are able to take in, I appreciate your concern and I thank you for taking the time to read this, regards ***** *****
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.

Thank you very much for clarifying. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues you have experienced in your situation.

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.

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 13 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.