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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71421
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I’m just looking for some advice, I’ve been getting bullied

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Hi, I’m just looking for some advice, I’ve been getting bullied by a senior employee at work and I put in a grievance over two months ago and nothing has been done about it and it’s still happening and I’m still put on shift with said employee and it has got to a point now where I’ve had to take time off work because of stress about the whole situation
JA: Have you discussed this with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: Hr are aware and as yet nothing has still been done
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: Employee
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no

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.

How long have you worked there for? Please note this is not always an instant service so I may not be able to reply immediately. Rest assured that I am dealing with your query and will get back to you the same day. Thanks

Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 18 days ago.
Thank you Ben, I have been with the company for 4 years
Customer: replied 18 days ago.
I didn’t realise the call would cost, I’m happy to just continue emailing
Customer: replied 18 days ago.
You have put wrong phone number in
Customer: replied 18 days ago.
My number is +447908177434

Many thanks for your patience, I am pleased to be able to continue assisting with your query now. 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 grievance is the first step, which you have already followed. However, the employer does not appear to be taking this seriously and dealing with it in a reasonable manner.

If 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.