Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

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  1. #1
    Basic Account Holder Westbromfan Novitiate

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    Default Work Related Stress/constructive dismissal

    Hi everyone, just discovered this excellent site. I have been off sick for 8 weeks with work related stress (yes I've gone through grievanceicon process which was waste of time). Have been continously undermined by my manager for sometime and cannot put up with much more.

    Have just received a letter requesting I meet with him to discuss my sickness so that occupational health forms can be sent off. Bearing in mind he is the cause of my stress, the thought of meeting with him has made me go to pieces. I have no problem with meeting with occupational health, but do I have to meet with my boss first?

    Do I also have to give OH permission to access my full medical records as I obviously have personal stuff which I which to remain private?

    Many thanks

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Work Related Stress

    You will need to sign a form before OH or anyone else can request medical information from your doctor, you do not have to sign this form if you don't want to give your consent. You can also specify what can be discussed with them ie only your recent illness.

    Most likely they will want a report from your doctor and you can request to see this report before it goes to your employer, you can even stop it going to them at this stage if you are not happy with it.

    I am in a very similar situation to you and I know exactly how you feel.

    Regarding the meeting with the cause of your stress, you could ask to have this meeting conducted in a modified form ie entirely in writing because you simply cannot cope with a face to face meeting.

    I'm not an expert and only speak from my own experience in this situation.


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    Default Re: Work Related Stress

    Quote Originally Posted by Westbromfan View Post
    Have just received a letter requesting I meet with him to discuss my sickness so that occupational health forms can be sent off. Bearing in mind he is the cause of my stress, the thought of meeting with him has made me go to pieces. I have no problem with meeting with occupational health, but do I have to meet with my boss first?
    Zazen is spot on re the med report.

    You absolutley are under no obligation to meet with OH and your boss. You need to write or e-mail them explaining your happy to meet OH w/o the boss being there.

    Moving forward, absence from work as you describe can be the basis of a fair dismissalicon, as it can make the employee incapable of doing the job. Why not allow the med report as my understanding is that even when produced it should be sent to you first and even at this stage you can object to disclosure to your company.

    Then if the report is good for you alllow the disclosure, if bad do not. They will only make a decision on no report at all otherwise.

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    Default Re: Work Related Stress

    Forgot to say your employer will be charged a fee for the report, no idea how much this will be; (anyone know the going rate?) this alone may put them off pursuing it.

    I signed the consent form feeling I had nothing to lose as my doctor backed me fully.

    My employers (having chosen to ignore the recomendations of OH and their own company doctor - this was advised to me in precisely these words when I tried to return to work!) never in fact contacted my own doctor.

    Unfortunately having been made ill by your employer you will now find yourself being attacked in many underhand ways. Expect acusations regarding your previous conduct and performance.

    I was left wondering why, if I was such a poor worker, I was employed by them for so many years before they stressed me out of the place.

    Best of luck with this, unfortunately the only real solution is to cut your losses and get the hell out!


  5. #5
    Basic Account Holder Westbromfan Novitiate

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    Default Re: Work Related Stress

    Just want to say thanks guys for all your help and support. I used to love my job but know that for the sake of my health and that of my wife and family that I cannot return to work for someone who has constantly undermined me, held me back career wise and more to the point lied alongside his own line manager.

    Did contact the union when I first when sick to see if I have a case of unfair dismissalicon but despite constant phone callsicon to them whereby I'm promised a call back, am still waiting. I was told by someone at the Unison Head Office that I should complain, but feel too worn down to do so.

    Again thanks and I'll keep you updated.


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    Default Re: Work Related Stress

    Ahh Unison, same union as me, I think I'll refrain from comment


  7. #7
    Basic Account Holder Westbromfan Novitiate

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    Default Re: Work Related Stress

    Well have just got off the phone yet again to my union office. This time started to really rant which I regretted as it wasn't the person's fault in the office that no one ever gets back to me. She said constructive dismissalicon cases are very difficult to prove so they don't normally take them on then. What on earth is the point of a union?

    To me this is outrageous - although I have witnesses to my manager's behaviour as she has also put me down/ridiculed me in staff meetings, these staff are not going to put their jobs on the line by going to a tribunal and to be honest I wouldn't blame them.

    This seems to mean that unless there is written evidence to prove it, employers can get away with whatever they want and the union won't offer support either.


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    Default Re: Work Related Stress

    Okay, well my entirely personal advice to you is this: continue to be signed off while you look for another job.

    Be extremely polite to your employer no matter what carp they throw at you - and they will - insist everything be conducted in writing because you are simply not well enough to attend meetings in person (mention duty of care).

    Keep copies of everything.

    Don't resign!


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    Default Re: Work Related Stress

    Quote Originally Posted by Westbromfan View Post
    She said constructive dismissalicon cases are very difficult to prove so they don't normally take them on then. What on earth is the point of a union?
    If indeed facts are as you describe, then that is very disappointing, I hope a Unison rep reads this thread.

    NO-ONE apart from someone legally trained should assess your case. It is one of the union legal advisers (solicitor etc) who should examine your case to ascertain your chances of sucess.

    Whilst I agree that CD cases are hard to prove, how can they know anything about your case w/o speaking to you properly, examining docs etc??

    Shame on you Unison

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    Default Re: Work Related Stress

    First off, you are under no obligation to attend Occupational Health, it is entirely voluntary but I must stress that if your employer requests it, it's in your interests to accept because if you don't they can and will use your refusal against you.

    Occupational Health can only request information from your GP that is relevant to your case, in some cases they do not contact your GP at all. In most cases, your GP will not give them the actual notes but write a letter about the illness you are being assessed on and the effects it has on you, and any treatment you recieve for it.

    An occupational health appointment normally consists of an informal chat where they will ask you questions regarding your illness, take into account any GP statements and send a written report to your employer (which you have a right to have a copy of) detailing any reasonable adjustments that the employer should make in order to make your job fit in with your illness.

    I have been through OH on a few occasions and it wasn't what I expected at all, they actually helped me, and did not side with my employer at all. In fact, the person I saw gave my management food for thought!

    Regrding meeting with your manager. This will probably involve just going through the forms with you, he'll ask you questions to complete the papers, write a report which you have to sign. do not signicon the report if you do not agree with it. If you feel your manager is not the appropriate person to deal with the completion of the forms, ask if there is another manager/senior member of staff who can go through the forms with you. You also have the right to take a colleague with you if you aren't having any joy getting a union rep to go with you to the meeting with your manger.

    Good luck with it all.


  11. #11
    Basic Account Holder Westbromfan Novitiate

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    Default Resignation Letter - constructive dismissal

    Well still signed off with work related stress. Drove past my work place the other day and ended up having to pull into Morrisson's car park with a panic attack - not good at all.

    I was signed off for a further 6 weeks on the 26th August and just know I can't go back working for a boss who is making me feel so ill. I would like advice on how to word my resignation letter. I did start a grievanceicon procedure at the beginning of the year and I have still not had any written notes of the meetings held. I feel I have a case for constructive decision and keep asking Unison for help but have now given up with them.

    Any help in what is the best wording to use would be appreciated. Bearing in mind I have unused holidayicon entitlement, do I give my notice in four weeks before the sick note ends?

    By the way, I think I now go down to half pay, so cannot financially afford to be signed off any longer. If need be I'd have to get a job stacking shelves in my nearby supermarket in order to support my family.

    Many thanks


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    Default Re: Work Related Stress/constructive dismissal

    Welcome to the site-2 threads merged.

    Have a happy and prosperous 2013 by avoiiding Payday loans. If you are sent a private message directing you for advice or support with your issues to another website,this is your choice.Before you decide,consider the users here who have already offered help and support.
    Advice offered by Martin3030 is not supported by any legal training or qualification.Members are advised to use the services of fully insured legal professionals when needed.






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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Work Related Stress/constructive dismissal

    Hi WBA fan,
    Norwich fan here......
    I resigned (citing unfair constructive dismissalicon) after being off for 12 months with work related stress and anxiety. This is also how long my employers took to hear my grievances! (complete waste of time).
    My personal view would be to only resign as a last resort, especially if you are still being paid.
    I have financed an employment solicitor through insurance policies. My advice would be too check all your policies for 'legal assistance'. If you have this give the number a ring and explain your situation. You will get good advice from their helplines.
    If you have no legal cover get an appointment at the CAB.
    Finally, whatever you do get legal advice first.
    Hope this helps.


  14. #14
    Basic Account Holder Westbromfan Novitiate

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    Default Re: Work Related Stress/constructive dismissal

    I just can't afford to be on half pay which will only last another four weeks. I did assume that Unison would give me access to legal help, but this seems to be like getting blood out of a stone.

    I couldn't survive on benefits so feel I'm in a catch 22 situation.

    Would the fact that I never had a written conclusion to my grievanceicon in itself be a breach of contract?


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Work Related Stress/constructive dismissal

    In short, yes; your employers MUST process your grievances correctly.
    I too was a member of UNISON, and they were appalling! Ignored emails, letters, voicemails etc. Thus i ditched them and got legal advice (best thing i ever did). My solicitor is going after them after my employment tribunal.
    It does sound to me like you are being treated badly.
    Where are you in the grievanceicon process (stage 1 - written submission of grievances, stage 2 - meeting to discuss grievances and stage 3 - appeal against decision if/when they reject the grievances)? These are statutory procedures and employment tribunals take a very dim view of employers not following the process. ETs can uplift any possible award if the employer has not followed these steps.
    Has your work related stress & anxiety lasted long. i.e. would you fall under the protection of the Disability Discrimination Act? If so you can argue that continuing to pay you (full) whilst off work AND awaiting the grievance process to end is a 'reasonable adjustment'.
    There is a wealth of information on the web for bullying in the workplace. Google it & see.
    After alls said & done I do strongly urge you to seek legal advice, especially if this has been going on for a while.

    Hope this helps.


  16. #16
    Basic Account Holder Westbromfan Novitiate

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    Default Re: Work Related Stress/constructive dismissal

    Well I think I only got as far as Stage 2. Had first meeting with my manager's line manager, personnel and union rep who only briefed himself fully about my problems en-route to meeting. Had a second meeting whereby they tried to persuade me to invite my manager (was frightened of my manager so hoped by involving her manager he could deal with matter accordingly) and then final meeting when my manager was also present. He invited another manager along as back up so I felt it was like a kangaroo court with two managers who happened to be best friends and their manager one side and me the other!

    Was told there would be another meeting but this never materialised despite my e-mails asking when it would happen. Instead my manager and his manager tried to have private meetings with me to discuss my role at work. Never had any notes from the first three meetings and cannot tell you what the conclusion of the grievanceicon was because it wasn't concluded.

    Wish I could afford legal advise but can't.

    I think if they offered me a million pounds to go into work I wouldn't, not all the while I'd have to work for the same supervisors who are as corrupt as anything. Also think that if I did go back, they would be lying in wait hoping I'd make a mistake and then try to get me out on a discipline charge.

    Let's hope I get a lottery win tonight. If I was single and didn't have a wife and kids to consider I wouldn't mind as much.

    Really do appreciate all the help this site offers.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Work Related Stress/constructive dismissal

    Mate, i am popping out so will send you my suggestions later tonight.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Work Related Stress/constructive dismissal

    Hi again,
    It sounds as though you will never go back. If this is the case before you do anything else please please check all your insurance policies, i.e. contents, buildings, car, credit cards etc. etc. If any of them say they provide you with legal aid/assistance (most do) then you should give them a call on Monday. I never knew I had this cover until I checked.

    I was in a very similar situation with 2 managers, and it was hell. I too felt that they had made it impossible for me to return.

    If you have no legal cover then look for another job, and at the same time get an appointment with the CAB.
    Remember there are laws in place to protect employees. You do not have to put up with their behaviour
    & another good tactic (especially if you never intend to return) is to get all your grievances down in another email to your HR manager/director. In fact most grievanceicon policies state that you should complain to HR directors if the grievance process isn't working. I was very, very glad I had complained through emails because they are worth their weight in gold if you do decide to take this further.

    Best of luck, and throw any questions to me if you like.


  19. #19
    Basic Account Holder Westbromfan Novitiate

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    Default Re: Work Related Stress/constructive dismissal

    No I won't go back. As I've always been the type who can sort out my legal affairs without help, never bothered with taking out legal help option on my insurances. Regret this now! Even took Tescos to small clailms court and they settled out of court!

    Luckily as I can access my work pc remotely, on my first day of sickness I printed off as many relevant e-mails as possible. Unfortunately my boss was the type of person who would be a pig to my face but say thank you in e-mails.

    I have used CAB in the past but have ended up knowing more than them. The last time I saw them they actually asked if they take copies of my correspondence to use in their folder as they said they were better than their own!

    I know I could go along for a fixed fee appointment with my solicitor but it would be impossible to cover everything in 30 minutes and my money is running out fast!

    Do have a business idea for self-employment which I'm running with at the moment so am doing as much research as possible reference this.


  20. #20
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    Default Work Related Stress/constructive dismissal

    Please can someone help me!

    I Don`t know where to begin, but I will try......

    I work for a large company and have done for the past three years.
    The company announceda number of redundanciesdue the the credit crunch. As teams would be smaller I would be working under another manager. This manager has made my life and my familys life hell for the past three months. I did report him to his manager off the record, but has since been targeted by both of them. I have left work on the sick due to stress and will never never go back! I have made a grievanceicon complaint to HR and have had my first meeting with them along with my manager`s manager who happens to like this person! I have recieved my minutes from the meeting and found that 39 of my comments were not added, I have requested them to be added.

    Since being off work I have found another job and just want to move on with my life, but do not want them to get away with this!!! This manager has done this before and the company had settled out of court only last year. I have also sent a covering letter to the MD to make sure he is aware of the cover up his managers are doing. Below is my letter to the MD....


    Dear Mr.......(MD),

    I would like to bring to your attention concerns I feel you may not be aware of and are being kept on the sales floor.

    I have raised a grievance against my Manager...... This action is being considered with regards to being “Bullied and Victimised”. I had made an informal complaint to ......(his manager) on the 22nd September 2008 . He was told to “back off” by his manager, but has since continued to victimise me. I have requested on a number of occasion to return to my local office where I was happy working. I feel let down by the company as my manager has, I understand, also been accused of bullying other members of staff that have since left the company.

    I left work on Wednesday 14th November in tears. I have since spoken to my GP who has confirmed I am a victim of Psychological Stress and to remain off work until further notice. I was employed by the company almost three years ago and have enjoyed working on the team along with my past manager of whom I hold in high regard.

    My concerns are that I feel I’m being set up to fail by mangers who are now closing ranks to protect themselves. Accounts are being taken from members of staff and given to more favored staff, leaving accounts to look under achieved but remain highly targeted. This allows the Sales Representatives to fail and for the Company to give disciplinary action leading to the resignation of representatives. Up until July 2008, my department had six fully skilled members of staff, of which only one is still employed. Surely someone should ask why retention rates are so poor? Morale on the sales floor is at its lowest, with many sales staff looking for positions within other companies.

    I feel with great sadness that it appears I will be forced to leave a company and a role that I have otherwise enjoyed highly and in which have shown a degree of personal sales success. I have grown up since a youngster surrounded by the newspaper and was very proud to be working for the Company. My position was advertised, I was placed on a two week induction course, given a company car and received three years business support from my trainner. I have a very good relationship with my clients, namely.......and the local Councils etc.

    I sadly resigned from the forum at Head Office because I was taken into two meetings, without notice, to see the assistant director for speaking out at the forum for ideas that I genuinely believed would bring in much needed revenue for the business. I also felt very unhappy that my manager was taking minutes, when I only reported him two weeks earlier. My manager enjoyed this meeting and has since abused his power as a Manger in the following ways….


    • <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt; TEXT-ALIGN: justify">Bullying <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt; TEXT-ALIGN: justify">Victimisation <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt; TEXT-ALIGN: justify">Persistently wearing me down <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt; TEXT-ALIGN: justify">Offensive & Abusive behavior <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt; TEXT-ALIGN: justify">Intimidating attitude towards me <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt; TEXT-ALIGN: justify">Malicious behavior <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt; TEXT-ALIGN: justify">Insulting behavior <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt; TEXT-ALIGN: justify">Abuse of power <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt; TEXT-ALIGN: justify">Unfair penal sanctions <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt; TEXT-ALIGN: justify">Humiliation <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt; TEXT-ALIGN: justify">Making me feel unduly vulnerable <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt; TEXT-ALIGN: justify">Undermining my role and ideas <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt; TEXT-ALIGN: justify">Causing me undue stress <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt; TEXT-ALIGN: justify">Ridiculing me (including, on occasion, in front of other members of staff) <LI class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt; TEXT-ALIGN: justify">Excessively supervising and monitoring me
    • Setting unreasonable and impossible targets so I’m set to fail


    I`m off work with no pay due to this sickness taking my level high. Again, I feel I’m being punished for being sick when my manager put me here. I have two young children that will suffer this Christmas as I will not receive a salary.

    Finally, I would like to point out that I am not a serial complainer and my work ethic has always been one to protect my Manager and keep challenges at a local level, but I simply cannot carry on in the emotional state I have been placed in by my manager. I ask only one question, “If your wife was continually crying and your children were not looking forward to Christmas, how would you feel?”. It’s breaking my heart.

    Please find attached my first informal complaint. I have set a meeting with HR.

    My Lawyers and Union Representative acting on my behalf are….....


    Yours sincerely.



    Please can you advise me on if I have enough to take this to court, and can I still go to court if I resign before HR has got back to me on the grounds of Constructive Dismissal. I need to resign in order to start my new job.

    Do I also need to inform my new company that I am looking to take my old company to court, I don`t want to! This manager has swore at me, talked about my sickness in front of other members of staff and had been looking into the transfer of wages into my bank account.

    Regards,

    Tottydude x







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