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False accusations after complaining - ** WON **

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Hi there,

I am new to this....Stumbled upon this site whilst searching for help!

 

I have been having problems at work since mid November. Our MD brought someone in as a "consultant" and this individual took over, rubbished everything that we did, insisted we changed things to the way she wanted them etc. I raised some issues with my manager who took them to the MD. The MD said that this individual was fantastic and had so much knowledge to impart and to try and work with them.

My manager went off sick due to stress as they felt pushed out, the "consultant" appeared to be taking over as manager and this increased when my manager was off.

After meeting with the MD my manager returned to work and things were ok for a week.

Last Monday my manager was unwell and reported to the MD to inform him she was unable to attend work, she then rang the office and out of courtesy informed the "consultant" that she was ill. She was told that she had better call back at 3.45pm to say if she would be back the following day!

This individual was on my back the whole day, everything I did was wrong, she was meddling in my work, changing things as I was doing them.

At 4pm she rang my Manager and was really quite nasty to her and hung up on her.

The following day my manager and I arrived at work and before we had taken our coats off this individual jumped out of her seat and demanded to speak to my manager who declined. She then got quite aggressive and was in my Managers face and waving her hands about, my manager asked her to stop but she continued and began shouting at me too!

My manager left the room, phoned the MD and informed him but he was not interested. I had to go to an appointment so left as did my manager as she felt too shaken to stay with this person.(She informed the MD)

After my appointment, I felt unable to return to work after the earlier incident. My partner rang the MD and informed him of this and I followed it up in an email later that day.

I recieved an email back that did not aknowledge the reason for my absence but addressed an issue to do with something unrelated. I was alarmed by this as it was to do with my wages. I saught advice from Acas and CAB and replied with the advice they gave. Another email followed, this time hinting at an accusation. I did not reply as I wanted to take further advice.

The following day I received another email stating that I should have attended a disciplinary hearing that same morning! It went on to inform me that I had been awol since Monday, failed to attend a disciplinary and that I had singed for mail and not passed it to the relevant person (the MD). It also stated that I had admitted to this on the previous Friday.....I had not.

I was told to attend a hearing on the 23rd but my GP has signed me off with work related stress for 4 weeks and also this would not have given me the required notice. I replied stating this. Another email arrived today with a new date for when my sick line runs out.

My Manager has now informed me that she has had similar letters and one today accusing her of the same thing as me. He has enclosed copies of our signatures and claims this is his proof.

I had another email telling me that due not returning company property I would be paid by cheque this month (Xmas eve) instead of BACS as I normally do. I emailed back stating that I was not withholding the items and would return the before 5pm today, got a prely saying thanks and my wages would be paid by BACS! Went to hand in the stuff but the office was closed early!

 

I am at my wits end and feel completely desperate. I have worked for this company for two and a half years, gave 100%, never been in trouble etc and cannot believe this has happened.

 

I would be grateful for any advice.

 

Many thanks.

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Keep copies of all correspondence.

 

Raise a formal grievance of bullying and/or harassment by this consultant (this goes for your manager too)

 

Get hold of all relevant policies and make yourself familiar with it.

 

Note the date of last incident of bullying/ harassment - if you have any grounds for an ET claim, you must lodge it within three months (less 1 day) of this date. However, if a new incident occurs, the clock is set back to day 0 of course.

 

Keep calm and start writing a diary , include significant external details so in the future your diary could be verified as being contemporaneous, i.e. written at the time of incident and not falsified later. Include in the fiary how you felt and why -humiliated etc.

 

Wait and see what develops.


I am not a lawyer, so all my advice is provided on the basis that you will check them with a trained legal professional with legal insurance.:(

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Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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The situation that I am in looks like it is going to keep getting worse, my wages were paid on Thursday but were short by £300 at least (no payslip yet). My Manager is being accused of more things that are complete lies and it is getting worrying now, we don't know where this will all end.

We both want to resign as the stress is just too much. I have not had a full nights sleep for almost a fortnight and feel like I am going insane!

Could we take this any further if we resign. The worry is that with the accusations, we will struggle to get another job.

 

Many thanks for reading.

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unfair constructive dismissal is extremely difficult to prove. Both my solicitor and basrrister who have been in the business for well over 15 years each have said that they have never advised anyone to resign and try for constructive dismissal, neither have they heard any legal professional advising anyone else. So my advice is to stick it out, and collect relevant evidence, no matter what. If they do dismiss you, you'll have an easier time to prove that the dismissal was unfair. This is because if they dismiss you, you merely have to provide some evidence that shows that they have a case to answer, then they have to PROVE the dismissal was for fair reasons.

 

You are also correct in that mud does stick and both of you will struggle to find another job, especially if you dont succeed in an unfair constructive dismissal.


I am not a lawyer, so all my advice is provided on the basis that you will check them with a trained legal professional with legal insurance.:(

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Can anyone advise if a disciplinary hearing can be conducted by telephone? MD has stated that either this or holding the hearing in my absence may have to be done as I am still off sick.

GP sicklines have been submitted but I feel that I am being harassed. I am off with work related stress and have had lots of letters and emails from him in the past few weeks. I dread the sound of the mail being delivered and am reluctant to check my email!

 

Thanks for any info.

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What!??!:eek: If you've been signed off by your GP with work related stress there is absolutely no question of there being a disciplinary hearing until if or when you're fit and well enough to attend!

Anyone who had even the most basic knowledge of contemporary HR practice would understand that.

This man is subjecting you to harassment. Pure and simple.

Write him a letter. State that if he contacts you again regarding this matter before you notify your employer that you will be returning to work, you will make a complaint to the police and instruct a solicitor to seek injunctive relief against him.

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Thanks for that, elpulpo! I am seeing a solicitor this week to get some advice but this has been bothering me all day and I hoped that one of you guys may be able to help!

 

Thanks again.

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Can I ask, do you have a history of stress related illness?

(sorry, a bit personal, I know)

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Is this a small business?

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Hello Ms J. I'm very sorry you're going through this, but you have Elpulpo on your side now. :) And me, for what it's worth.

 

Do you know about the ACAS website and helpline? They advise on work-related problems and procedures. I found them helpful.


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Elpulpo -I have suffered from depression in the past, not required treatment for it since 2006 though and it has never impacted on my current job.

The company are part of a large franchise. Our MD is a cowboy, thinks he can get away with anything and has had to settle out of court a number of times due to various different things.

 

Honeybee -Thank you! I have checked out the ACAS website and phoned them a few times about different things.

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Another twist to this sorry tail.

I have applied for a few jobs and been offered two subject to references. I did explain that I was having probs and was off sick at the moment, both places were fine about this and not surprised as they have heard similar stories.

I have received an email today from MD stating that he has received a ref request and he wants me to call him about it.

I am at the end of my tether with this situation and I certainly do not wish to have any phone conversations with this person. I am unsure as to what to do.

 

Any help greatly appreciated.

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I'd suggest you email him back and say 'Ok, what do you want to talk about?'.

Email is good, provides proof. I'd be very wary of verbal conversations with this guy. He's obviously a nasty piece of work.

You're on the sick because of him, you shouldn't have to speak to him.

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That is what I thought. I will reply to the email and see what happens. I have a feeling that things are going to get worse!!

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I would speculate that he's going to say something like, "How come you're looking for a job whilst you're signed of sick?"

Simple. You've essentially been forced out of your job by his behaviour.

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Snap! I would also say that I have applied for a variety of jobs since the situation began, back in Nov. The ref request doesn't specify that I have been interviewed.

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Hi again Ms J. Is it worth asking ACAS about this? Don't give up.


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Hi Honeybee. I will try ACAS and see what they say. I knew that things had been too quiet from his side!

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I hate bullies. Best of luck Ms J - go as far as you can this bully deserves it.

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Thank you, Philip. I am hoping to persevere and go as far as I can but it is going to be difficult!!

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He'd be a stupid chap indeed if he were to give you a 'bad' reference.

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All he needs to give is the dates employed from & to. I think he might tell me that he will have to tell them that I am due to be disciplined and the reasons for this etc. He will not like the fact that I have applied to companies that he is in competition with, but it cannot be helped, it is my chosen line of work!

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I know you posted on another thread about 'restrictive covenants', Ms J.

Are there any in your contract regarding working for competitors?

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None that I am aware of. I do not have a copy of my initial contract so can't be 100% sure.The sector that I work in has a high turnover rate and people seem to hop from company to company without any difficulties.

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