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contract means nothing??

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i recently took my former employer to an employment tribunal over a breach of contract. i was the manager of a small supermarket in a chain. my assistant manager was already in the job when i took over and was a problem from day one. one day after having to have words with my assistant manager for not turning into work the previous day, the assistant manager left the store and returned 5 minutes later with 2 family members, they then attacked me in the store. i phoned the police and they were arrested, the whole thing recorded on cctv. i obviously put in a grievance to the company, which they subsequently upheld, yet because my assistant managers father is a good friend of the the managing director of my employer (a point proven when the managing director phoned me personally and ordered me to drop all charges against the family) the company took no action against my assistant manager and therefore failed to protect me from it happening again, something which i had been threatened with several times during the grievance procedure. my contract states that if i raise a grievance and the grievance is upheld, the company must take immediate action to resolve the situation and prevent any repetition of the behaviour. despite the company not taking any action, immediate or not, and the fact that they did not even dispute this at the tribunal, the tribunal ruled that there was no breach of contract and that just because my contract says they must act immediately, they dont necessarily have to.

now is it just me but isnt that the whole point of a contract? that you both parties have to adhere to what it says? surely this is as blatant a breach of contract as there can possibly be. despite which, they also didnt pay me holiday pay which is a breach of contract, they admitted this in the tribunal hearing too.

i am intending to appeal but i would like to hear if anyone has any views on this, either legally or just your opinion. thanks :)

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More than a breach of contract, your employer's actions (or lack of) may constitute a breach of their duty of care, potentially contrary to the Health & Safety at Work Act. Their failure to pay you adequate holiday pay would also be a breach of the Working Time Regulations.


Personally, if the Assistant Manager's family are continuing to harass you, I would consider this a matter for the Police rather than a Tribunal and you could explore the possibility of an injunction.


Not really much to add to that, but you have my sympathy for what is obviously a very difficult situation.

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thanks for the sympathy. since leaving the company, thus having no one telling me i cant press charges, i have pursued it through the police and the family have since been charged and are not allowed within a certain distance from me. i brought up that their failure to act put me back into a potentially dangerous situation and that this would constitute a breach of health and safety, the tribunal ignored it.

i represented myself in the tribunal and proved all 3 of their witnesses to have lied in their statements, yet the tribunal stated at the end that they preferred their evidence to mine!? it just seems a load of rubbish tbh. will see what happens with the appeal :)

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