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I have been suffering severe harrasment at work.


I am the only female salesperson on an all male sales team.


Over the last 14 months i have subjected to a list of problems that all came to a head in Mid-May of this year. I left the office in tears after yet another bust up with my line manager, and called the compnay HR to tell them of my problems.


HR were very caring at first and arranged a meeting six days later for an informal chat. I turned up for this and although i was led to beleive my husband could be present, HR would not allow him to sit in.


I told HR of all the problems I had been suffering from, and she promised to investigate them. During the process she took lots of notes.


After i had left my husband expressed real concern that the compnay were proceeding in the correct fashion and should have started formal proceedings.


My allegations were centered on Sexual Discrimination, Bullying, Sexual harrasment and Vicitmisation


They promised to call me by the 25th May, but did'nt do so


He contaced a lawyer who then contacted HR to enquire why the 'informal' process was taking so long and if they had suspended the people concern to protect the ingegrity of the evidence.


They replied that it was being conducted according to comapny procedures, and he requested copies of this, which they then refused to supply.


During this process the HR deprtment took ages to reply to emails from myself and the lawyer and still did not supply the procedures.


I eventually got a meeting with them on the 22nd June to hear the results. They say they sent letters to my previous address by mistake, and i had very little time to arrange a witness to be there with me.


I did get a member of staff to agree but when he approached his manager he was told that he could not leave the building to attend. I asked to tape the meeting and they refused, i asked HR to sign my notes, and they refused.


I still attened and found that they had substantiated two of my allegations and dismissed the others. these were the two most minor ones (surprise). I also found out that HR had visited twice and interviewd six staff directly involved and none of the other staff who could support my claims.


They called this an 'Extensive' investigation in all the minutes and paperwork.


I also got copies of the minutes from my first informal chat and found this to be full of inaccurate statements and mistakes. HR were dismissive and farnkly rude that i was not happy with the result or the manner in which they had conducted the entire affair.


During this whold process i have been of ill due to Stress (work realted)


It had now taken over five weeks to get to this point.


The compnay now refuse to tell me what action they are taking on the two claims they upheld or what action they are putting into place to ensure that they never happen again, despite repeated requests to do so.


At this point i requested the companies procudures again and threated to refer the matter to ACAS and legal action. despite them being available on the compnay intranet to took a futher five days for an incomplete set to arrive. I had to request the missing sections again (these dealt with bullying and harrasment, and absence)


Shortly after i found out that the company (despite having a discretionary waiver policy) had put me on SSP.


I lodged a full formal complaint on noting all the earlier allegations as well as the HR departments lack of application in relation to the matter.


I had become aware at this point that a senior manager had sat in on the entire process, i found this unacceptable as he had been one of the parties i had problems with.


He was aware of the harrasment and either was complict or unable to recognise what was happening. I had also become aware of the fact that he had spoken informally to two other members of staff that had supported my claims but no mention of this was made at the reports from the informal investigation.


He either did not pass the information to HR, or they decided to ignore this witness.


I lodegd a full formal greivience and was told that this same senior manager would dela with it. I told this was unacceptable and they agreed to change it to a director at head office.


At this point the company told me that due to holidays they would not deal with this matter until the 20th June. The staff involed would be left in place.


I requested again details of the claims upheld and they refused, i contacted ACAS and the compnay still refused.


I requested all the notes from the infromal process and was told that i could have them , they have now told me i can't have unless the staff involved agree (fat chance)


My problem is that i fully expect them to come back and tell me that the formal hearing will now be even later in the month and if the informal was anything to go by will take several weeks. then there would be an appeal to hear


This will time bar me from making an application to the tribunal. I understand that the tribunal take a dim view of the placing of application prior to all other avenues being exhausted.


One avenue they were atempting was sending me to an Occupational therapist to check i was fit to return to work. He has told them i am not fit to return and it will take months at the very least before i can can consider returning


Any kindred spirits out there?, words of advice?


I feel very alone and completely mistified by the whole process.


Do i see the formal through?, what's the difference between applying for pre April or Post-April?



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Hi roddy, can;t help, but I can follow your thread with interest, because I am in the same situation and have been for 10 weeks now - bloody SSP! My circumstances arent as serious as yours appear to be, and it is only now that my employer is sitting down with the union and an Occuptions health Worker to sort something out. I'm hoping not to return actually, but we'll see what they come up with.


I have a sneaking feeling I shall have a good case for constructive dismissal, but I have yet to meet with the Union solicitors and I know it is notoriously hard to prove.


So, shall we both keep our chins up and try and enjoy all this time off? Cos sitting around moping doesn't help.


Lets see what advice you get.

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I am sorry to read about your predicament,unfortunately the employment law is designed to favour the employer.


Dont be deluded by the fact that HR are there to protect the worker the main objective of the HR [Human remains] is to protect the company and not you.


Once they

have extracted all your concerns they will fight tooth and nail to coverup any wrong doing on their part because at the end of the day it is they who will face the music if you were to sue them and not the individual employee.


My advice to you is get out [constructive dismissal] or they will not only dismiss you on a fabricated charge of gross misconduct [which is very easy to do]


Once you are dismissed ,and make no mistake that they will, your case will be that much harder to win.


They will also dismiss anyone brave enough to represent you during the investigation.[which will be no more than a cover up.


You are now being percieved by the company in question as not only a present and future threat to the organisation but also a liability which they do not need on their records.



Feel free to PM me at any time if you need any assistance.


Good luck

Edited by madari
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i think it's best at the moment to allow the compnay to keep making procedural errors.


I am the compliant and as such they are ones doing all the running.


At this moment i am off sick and i can't see how the company could dismiss or under what grounds

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Very easy to dismiss you or anyone else for that matter[you will be surprised what they already have on you].



All an employer has to show to an employmnt tribunal is a` reasonable belief`.to dismiss on acharge of `Gross misconduct'.


And it is very easy for them to persuade workers to make counter allegations against you, especially from those that are already agrieved by your complaints of them.


I am not trying to frighten you in any way[i am on your side].


My advice to you is for you to serve on them a discrimination questionnaire soon.


Be on your guard whilst off work and remember that they can suspend you from work whilst you are on sick leave


like i said PM me if you like.

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