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Jenny McKenzie
Jenny McKenzie,
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5416
Experience:  10 Years of experience in Employment Law and HR
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HI, I am experiencing a lot of problems at work over the past

Customer Question

HI, I am experiencing a lot of problems at work over the past 2 years, on Monday this week it has reached a critical point and I m going to try and be brief in my summary: I have been working on the company for 4 years +. I am a manager in the company. I am fully allocated to a finance team looking after global functional ressourcing. During the fist 2 years I was reporting to the Director of this team based in the Netherlands (although I work in the UK and have a UK contract of employment). My appraisals were excellent. 2 years ago my line reporting changed and I started to report to a Director of a different finance team based in the UK although my work has not changed and although the work I produce is still fully allocated to the same global functional ressourcing team. It has created a strange situation. Indeed I report to someone for whom I do not work for... My relationship with my new manager has never been good. My new manger has set up one single goal for me next year and this goal was a presentation to a VP about the result of the global functional ressourcing team. The VP said that he did not like my presentation skills (not the content but the way I was presenting!!) and as a result I have been evaluated on this simple goal and got a bad end year appraisal, with no bonus, no pay rise. During the all year last year my new manager told me that the senior VP "was gunning for me" (this are his own words) and that he could not change the VP's opinion and as a result I will get a bad appraisal again this year. I will not tell you about all the other comment like this but I have a full list of same stories happening. On Monday this week my new manager told me that according to him I should not leave work so early (The company policy allow employees to start work between 7h30 and 10 am and finish work between 4 pm and 6 pm). Since I work a lot with India I start at 7.30 and usually leave between 4 and 4.30 pm. I work 8 hours a day as average (as I take a quick lunch break). My manager has oftn complained that he has problem with his young kid and often has to work until 11 pm since he breaks up to look after the kid during the day. As a result if he works until 11 pm I should not leave at 4/4.30 . Last week he called me in his office and said that he will "lay on me" and make sure that i have more work so i cannot leave at 4 anymore. On monday thsi week he asked me to do additional work for his team (for which I remind I am not working for). I said that I was happy to help him but not before Wednsday this week as I was doing the month end reporting for my old boss (for whom I am fully dedicated (i know it is stange)). He said that my answer was not acceptable and that i had to work longer on Monday. He pointed out the fact that he has his team, free to do that work for him while me i was busy doing the work for the other finance director. The other finance director called my manager to say that i was not free to do the work for him. My manager got so angry that he called me into his office and said that I was not allowed to complain to someone else and that i should do whatever he was asking to do. I raised a complain to HR because my manager is bullying me for 2 years now. Not every day but regularly. I mentioned that I wanted to go though the formal grievance procedure. I keep emailing HR since monday, who keep promising me to set up a call every day but HR never do set up his call. Since Monday HR has not talked to me. What can I do to force HR to listen to me and have the right to go through a grievance procedure? (ps: so much more has happened the past 2 years but i cnnot summarise this to you now, Sorry for the long message). Thanks, Ben.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Employment Law
Expert:  Jenny McKenzie replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome to Just Answer, does your company have a grievance procedure which sets out response times?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Hi, my company has a grievance procedure (I looked at it) but there is no timelines for HR to gte back to me. The grievance procedure does not differenciate between the employer taking the employee into a grievance procedure and the employee taking the manager/employer into a grievance procedure.


 


In my case I highlighted that it was urgent to solve the case as the additional work that my manger asked me to do against the recommendation of the senior director for which I work for shall be done by today and I am unclear as to whom as the right to ask me to do what?


 


Also are they allowed to give me work until very late and stop me going back to my other and personal duties?


 


 

Expert:  Jenny McKenzie replied 1 year ago.
Hi if there is no specific time frame in the grievance procedure then it should be dealt with within a reasonable timeframe, certainly no more than a week.

From a practical point of view if you are receiving different instructions from 2 managers it is untenable. You could write an email to both managers copying in HR to state that you are concerned that by complying with one set of instructions you will not be complying with another which is unacceptable.

It is not acceptable for you to be asked to work additional hours to those in your contract and you can refuse to do so.

I would suggest you email HR to state that this situation of bullying and failure to respond to it is putting you in a position whereby it is increasingly difficult for you to continue working as it amounts to a breach trust and confidence so you need some help with it immediately.

Hopefully this will lead them to take the matter seriously and assist you with resolving it.

If you have any further questions please ask, if I have answered your question I would be grateful if you would give my answer a positive rating. thank you and all the best.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


You have been very helpful Jenny. You talked about bullying.... i m glad you used this word. That s exactly how I feel and felt over the past 2 years but bullying is so hard to prove. There are comments being said on a regular basis but often verbally. I am glad that my current manager made, on Monday, what he must now considers "a mistake". He replied to my email to HR (to which he was cc) saying that indeed he considers un acceptable for me to leave at 4 or 6 pm, even though I started work at 8.30 and that his intention is to give me more work (because him he works until 11 pm). This email can act as evidence. What do you think I should do with that email? (I already forwarded it to HR)


 


(PS: My contract of employment states 37 h / week + a possible 10% that may be required to accomodate business needs. Since I work 8h a day I m already doing this additonal 10%).


 


The second evidence I have is my end year appraisal. I have had one single goal and objective for last year and although I have been employed as an IT and Finance manager this goal was for me to present the end year result of the Global functional ressourcing team to a senior VP.


 


I got a very bad appraisal because "my presentaion skills" are poor (as they say), but the contend was great. The Finance VP is not an expert in presentaion, his expertise are limited to finance and so are mine. I should not have been rated on that, surely.To me, my manager is setting me up to fail.


 


What do you think about having one objective for the year that is set around 1h presentation and subject to one person's comment?


 


There is also the following element: my current manager was supposed to put me on a peformance improvement plan (PIP), because I had a bad appraisal and all employees having a bad appraisal must be put into a PIP.


On this PIP the manager is suppose to define a plan to help the employee progress.


However my current manager refused to do it, and told me, during a face to face meeting, that having one objective for the all year, set around a presentation looks like constructive dismissal, that he does not have any issue with the work I produce, and that he does not want to be part of that PIP. So I haven t been put into PIP although HR made it a requirement.


 


It is so obvious that there is something wrong here but I do not know how to properly raise my concern, as you did above. Can you help me here and put in words what all of this means, legally? (i.e. bullying or constructive dismissal).


 


What I would really like is for me to start reporting back to the Head of the global functional ressourcing unit for which I work for as it is very strange for me to report to another unit. Does it sound "normal" according to employment law, for an employee to report to someone outside his own team?


 


I just want a "normal" and "standard" working environment. I tried to leave but the economic situation is such that it does not make it easy to find another job.


I felt down for so long, I even put on weight of more than 3 stones over the past 2 years because of this. This is the first time I feel that I stand up for myself.


 


Thanks for your help.


 


 

Expert:  Jenny McKenzie replied 1 year ago.
to answer the questions in bold type:

1. You should keep the email and any other correspondence that supports your case.
2. an appraisal should not just be based on one subjective opinion to one task.
3. You should simply write a chronological review of all the events that have happened explain the effect they have had on your health and say that a failure to properly respond amounts to a breach of trust and confidence.
4. 'there is no employment law which states who should manage an employee. It is more a common sense issue your manager should be someone who you work for.

I would be grateful if you would give my answer positive feedback. I will be happy to answer your follow on questions.
Jenny McKenzie,
Satisfied Customers: 5416
Experience: 10 Years of experience in Employment Law and HR
Jenny McKenzie and 3 other UK Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Dear Jenny,

Thanks for your above reply. It has helped and HR has now set up the merting for Tuesday next week.

May I ask please:
In almost all web site i have been, raising a formal grievement procedure seems to put me at risk of losing my job. Everywhere i can read that i could be dismissed.
I would understand that if it would have been my employer who would have raised the grievement procedure but here, it s me who is initiating it. Do i not have the right to raise formal griefs against my manager without fear any disciplinary action?

Everywhere i could read that the advice was to raise the problem informally but not formally if i can.

Can my employment be jeopardize because I asked for that meeting to be set up?

Thanks,
KR,
Ben.

Expert:  Jenny McKenzie replied 1 year ago.
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Jenny McKenzie
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