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Do I have a case for CD? I really need advice


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Hello

Please would it be possible for some advice as I am at a lose end and don't really know what to do or where to turn :(

I have worked for my employer for 2 and a half years, for those years I have been bullied by two colleagues, people have left their jobs due to these two bullies, I was advised to raise a grievence by my manager, I did so and it was upheld, whilst the grievence was taking place I was allowed to work in another office which was great and for the first time of being at this organisation I was left alone to get on with my work.

After the grievence was upheld I was told that I would have to go back in the room where the bullies were, I was told by my manager that it would be safe to do so and they had both been disciplined, I went back into the room and I was bullied again not only by one of the original perpetrators but by someone else! I told my manager that for my own mental health I was not willing to go back in there and then my managerbrought up my work performance?! Even though this has never been an issue, so for the past month I have been sick with work related stress, now they want me to go into work for a meeting, they have sent me a letter stating that I can't bring a legal representative but I can bring a union rep or a work colleague, where do I stand with this? I feel panicy even thinking about going there for a meeting, please help. Many thanks

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What sort of a meeting?

 

Have you raised a fresh grievance?

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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Is it not the fact that you are being victimised for making the complaint. By the way I am off sick with workplace stress, and have said I will never go back to that office, and I have brought a grievance, but it is a very slow moving procedure. Do you belong to a union? You shouldn't have to be in the same office, another office should be found for you.

LilythePink

If you liked what I said, and if it helped in any way, please tip my scales..... thank you:)

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Is it not the fact that you are being victimised for making the complaint. By the way I am off sick with workplace stress, and have said I will never go back to that office, and I have brought a grievance, but it is a very slow moving procedure. Do you belong to a union? You shouldn't have to be in the same office, another office should be found for you.

 

Hi there

Yes I do feel victimised for making a complaint, as now they are trying to say that my work performance is not up to scratch, i have asked why this is and they wont tell me! I have only just had a shining annual appraisal and the same manager who said this said in my supervision meeting with her that I have slot of potential and I am in line for a promotion when one arises!?!

The meeting is a meeting to discuss what they can do so I can return to work even though they have already said that they can't move me out of the office away from the bullies, my doctor has signed me off with work related stress, so am I still permitted to go to this meeting? My manager said that they were going to do a home visit but now all of a sudden it has turned in to a meeting based at the office?

I have not raised a grievence yet regarding my manager and how I have been made to feel raising my complaints, I have been unsure about doing this just yet in case I then have to escalate it into a CD claim which would then mean that I can't claim any sick pay as I would have to resign, I can't afford to do this at the moment but at the same time I can't return back to work either as it is effecting my mental health.

I was told by the HR manager that he thinks the bullies have a form of autism which effects how they are with people, the bullies havnt admitted this they think they have done nothing wrong!? So my argument is, if they have autism then they won't be able to see the error of their ways so why are you still putting me into a position where I have to work in the same room as them?

Unison have just about been as usefull as a chocolate teapot... My representative is best friends with my manager and any advice I have received has been a conflict of interest so I cancelled my subscription with them as she wasn't helping me at all.

Apparently my manager has a very good business case for keeping me in that room i.e. Working alongside the bullies and transferring of telephone calls, but I was in a different room for 5 months and there were no problems! Also one of the bullies caused such a problem for staff that they actually moved her into an office on her own for three years! Until they needed the space and then they decided to put her back in the same room as the other staff members that's when the bullying got worse and my colleague left and then it happened to me, previously to this another woman had to leave because the bullying caused her mental breakdown, this is a historical problem and bad management.

I have a 30 page diary of all the incidents that have happened and could get witnesses, do you think I have a good case, what steps do you think I should take next?

Would you believe this is actually a children's charity! You don't even want to know about how they treat the children!!

Many thanks for your comments, and I am sorry to gear that you are going through the same thing, it's a terrible situation to have to be in especially with the way the job Market is at the moment x

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Jess, could you answer my questions please?

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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I can only say "take it to the courts" or to your local MP, and that will shake them up. Or to your local media, to do an investigation on bullying at work, I think you have a very good case, especaillly against your manager. My grievance is against my line mangers and their managers. I will not let the bullies win..... join another union,, acas, or join another union..... Will try and dif a few documents out tomorrow, and email the links, but if you look under employment law, Health and safety at work, there is a lot of information out there, that will boost your claim.....

LilythePink

If you liked what I said, and if it helped in any way, please tip my scales..... thank you:)

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Then start with new grievance saying things have not got better. Really you should not be in the same work environment with them!

 

Is the meeting about your performance? What documentation have you been sent relating to the meeting?

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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Then start with new grievance saying things have not got better. Really you should not be in the same work environment with them!

 

Is the meeting about your performance? What documentation have you been sent relating to the meeting?

 

All I have been sent is a letter saying they want to hold a meeting about my absence from work and what they can do to help, i can bring a unison representative but I can't bring a legal representative, normally they would do a home visit but for some reason they have chosen not to. My manager rang me two weeks ago to say that they will need to do a home visit and then I asked her about my work performance but she wouldn't tell me what I had done wrong, she said she would explain at the meeting, but in the letter it doesn't state anything about my work performance just a meeting to discuss my sickness absence, I really do not want to attend this meeting...

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Hi jess

 

There a couple of things you must decide. Do you value your health over your job?

 

Do you have the capacity and strength to take this matter ultimately to the Employment Tribunal?

 

You are talking about CD which I take as Constructive Dismissal. The general consensus is that CD is the last possible route to take especially if you are still in employment. It also suggests that you will want to take to a TRibunal but then it would have to be on your own as you have cancelled union membership (which probably wasn't wrong as IMO unions are useless anyway). However check to see if you have legal protection insurance for employment disputes in your home contents insurance. If you have then the situation is better for you as you can get legal advice. If not then again you have to decide if you want to take it all the way.

 

If you do you need to ensure you have written down everything for evidence. Dates times events incidents action emails memos anything and everything should be secured now. Your diary will be excellent for this but anything else will also help. At some point you will need to prove it in court and in any event you may have to tell the insurer what happened and any solicitor appointed.

 

To be clear you should not resign. At all. Never.

 

You should submit a new grievance. You should raise the possibility of discrimination failing to make reasonable adjustments and victimisation. Mental illness, anxiety, depression, panic attacks can be covered under the Equality Act. The condition should have lasted, or is likely to last 12 months for it to be included. The condition has to affect your activities of daily living. Work is such an activity. So the only question is how long have you suffered this? When did you report FIRST time to you GP? Medication prescribed? You will have to have a doctors expert statement for a Tribunal in due course.

 

You can ask for a reasonable adjustment to the meeting, eg a specific person to assist you, (a lawyer could also be a friend) or the location to be changed. The victimisation is having raised the first grievance and won it and they moved you, they then moved you back, started to question your work capability. You have to name names for the discrimination and victimisation.

 

Finally don't resign... did I say that already oh well DON'T RESIGN.

 

 

Hope that is clear. !!!

 

Oh and I do want to hear what they are doing to the children. Whistle blowing is also a route you can go. If you are to go go with a bang!!

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Thank you for your reply, I will start my grievence letter now and say something around the lines of 'due to this I will not be attending any meetings without a legal representative or support due to the stress I am experiencing...' I do not want to meet with them until they have acknowledged the grievance otherwise it will just be counter productive.

There are so many things I have to raise I don't know where to start!

From experiance the charity itself normally settles out of court, the word 'tribunal' normally scares the living day lights out of them! Even if there were to make reasonable adjustments for me to move out of that office I still wouldn't want to go back I won't be resigning though, I trust in your advice and will not resign. I have never been through anything like this before so I am unsure of the procedures to take and what I should be aiming for all I know is what they have done isn't right!

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Thank you for your reply, I will start my grievence letter now and say something around the lines of 'due to this I will not be attending any meetings without a legal representative or support due to the stress I am experiencing...' I do not want to meet with them until they have acknowledged the grievance otherwise it will just be counter productive.

There are so many things I have to raise I don't know where to start!

From experiance the charity itself normally settles out of court, the word 'tribunal' normally scares the living day lights out of them! Even if there were to make reasonable adjustments for me to move out of that office I still wouldn't want to go back I won't be resigning though, I trust in your advice and will not resign. I have never been through anything like this before so I am unsure of the procedures to take and what I should be aiming for all I know is what they have done isn't right!

 

Try and answer all the questions that are asked of you.

 

Cagger's will be with all the way, new caggers will enter the fray and assist you. The only way to win this fight is to face up to the management who condone the bullying. Expect to lose the grievances but win when you go to the ET.

 

There are time limits so you need to buckle down and get on with it. It may be very traumatic and expect lies and knives in the back from people that you think are friends. You are on your own.

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Thank you for all your help, so I raise a grievence which will probably not be upheld, do I appeal then? Or just take it straight to a tribunal? Can I take it to a tribunal on my own? Or will I need a solicitor there too? Sorry for all the questions. Also will I have to resign in order to take it to a tribunal? Many thanks for all your help I really appreciate it :)

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Read post 10 above.

 

Time limits are 3 months from date of the 'offence' but with discrimination matters there can be continous offences. The point is that you exhaust internal systems and then go to the ET but if the time limits are nearing get the ET 1 in before the time limit goes. It's better having a solicitor but you can do it yourself if you can't afford one. Don't be afraid.... you have nothing to lose... you have already lost it !!

 

Never resign... stay off sick... let them do the dirty deed ie dismiss you on capability grounds... that would be a final act of victimisation.

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Brilliant! Thank you I have a better understanding now, it's been a month so far so I will send my grievence letter in tomorrow and see what happens, I will let you know what the outcome is, thank you so much for your time and help it's really appreciated :)

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This wonderful appraisal that you had, did you get a copy of the notes from it? Normally with these things its usual for both employer and employee to sign it to says its been agreed. Thats a very good peice of evidence if you have it. They can't have it both ways can they?

 

Good luck, don't you give in to them. papasmurf is right, its not easy, . you are on your own and you have to develop the hide of a rhino over the mud the employer will sling at you. But, if you can do all that, you can get even with them. It'll be goodbye definitely to the job, but do you want to work for such people anyway?

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with you all the way Jess, I put a note on my HR file, when I was really ill, and stressed out, and they put a note on it saying when I had put in my grievance. I am scared as well, terrified, but they have destroyed me and most of my family. Can you not ask for legal advice, our union has a solicitor here, and I have won a case with them, as it was a lot of paperwork, and statements, and summonses, but they settled on the day of the court. I work with the court service, so I know how horrible it can be, but if that's they way they want to do it. And as the last post said, you think people are your friends, until something like this happens. But when you have paper proof, and the equalities commission here take it to court for you, if that applies. Keep your chin up, and I know if I don't do it, I will feel worse......

LilythePink

If you liked what I said, and if it helped in any way, please tip my scales..... thank you:)

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Hi,

 

Constructive dismissal is extremely had to prove to a tribunal, the fact you are still working there leads me to believe that you may not have a case and CD needs to be so bad that you have no choice but to resign. Any delay to that means that you accept the employers actions.

 

But, that doesn't stop you from taking this further, as you seem to be suffering from depression, which is covered by the Equality Act 2010, depending on if you qualify for the meaning of "disabled".

 

You need to think of what you want to achieve and the means you are prepared to go to achieve those aims.

I am not a legal professional or adviser, I am however a Law Student and very well versed areas of Employment Law. Anything I write here is purely from my own experiences! If I help, then click the star to add to my reputation :)

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The focus of an attendance meeting is generally to get you back to work. eventually, if you are not well enough to go back to work, they may dismiss. Don't get anything else confused with this meeting; stick to one topic. If they veer off, say "I thought this was about attendance?" and don;t answer any unrelated questions.

 

"I m off with work related stress due to being bullied. You agreed when I lodged my grievance lat time, that the bullying existed, and assured me it would not recur. That has not been my experience. I am gathering my evidence together for a further grievance. Now I have work related stress and depression due to the bullying. What can you do to give me a safer work environment so I can come back? Will it help if I see Occupational Health to give you a justification for moving the other people?"

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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ps the reason you cannot bring legal rep is that then makes it an external, not an internal, procdure. If you have your lawyer they want theirs. Which seems kinda fair to me. Do take your time and make copious notes though.

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi everyone

An update for you... I put in a grievence against them saying that I feel I have been victimised etc... Then had a phone call straight away asking if I would be able to attend a meeting regarding my letter, I said I didn't feel well enough to go into work so I said that HR could come to my home to discuss what ever it is they need to discuss.

The HR director came to my home and asked if I was 110% sure I wanted to put in this grievence as things could get very stressful and asked me if I would just prefer a 'clean' break in other words a compromise agreement, in order to have a 'sparking' reference and not to jepodise any working relationships, I said well as my employer you should provide a reference like that any way as I haven't done anything wrong, I was bullied and the grievence against the perpitrators was upheld and then my work performance was brought into the equation when I said that I wouldn't go back into the same room as the bullies, he then said that even if I did take it to a ET I wouldn't get much as I don't have a strong enough case! So it would probably be in my best interest to just make a clean break, he also said that it would cost them £300 to send me to occupational health and would give ne a week to think about wether I wish to proceed with the grievence or just leave with a compromise agreement, he hasn't said how much this would be.

What do you think that I should do, I'm really confused...

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well you could put in a grievance about th HR managers threatening behaviour.... not sure that'll do much good!

 

it's clear they aren't really taking the possibility of moving other people seriously.

 

£300 for occ health is peanuts, I'd make them spend it!!

 

re: cash amounts on compromise agreement? You can't really decide until you know that. ask them how much.

 

There is no reason they can't progress a grievance while you are thinking about a CA mind you. So tell him to go ahead with it anyway? And you will decide if you wish to *withdraw it* later when you see the CA.

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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I would write to them, summarise what you understood the HR director was saying. Ask them to confirm in writing what they want to happen. Detail that you are not adverse to coming to an agreement without recourse to going to the ET but that you are not fazed by doing so. If they want to negotiate and ending then they have to make it very clear.

 

If it is their intention to want to settle them you need to get THEM to be clear. It is not that you should take time to think about it..... it is THEIR problem not yours. You have nothing else to lose!!! Classic HR making you feel on the defensive. It is THEY who are worried. It will cost them a lot more if you take them to ET and it is that what they are afraid of hence the swift response.

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Thank you so much for your reply, I will write to them, I think that they think they can pay me off cheaply, that's the kind of sense I had in the meeting, but at the end of the day I could be out of a job for a long time, I'm applying for jobs with no response which is worrying :( if it did go to an ET how much do you think a case like this could be worth? If they do make me an offer I wouldn't have a clue about what I should be negotiating to, many thanks again

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