How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Ben Jones Your Own Question

Ben Jones
Ben Jones, Solicitor
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 38393
Experience:  Specialist in UK Law with expertise in UK Employment Law
Type Your UK Law Question Here...
Ben Jones is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Had a death threat at work, and after 2 week investigation

Resolved Question:

Had a death threat at work, and after 2 week investigation person who threated me is coming back to work, due to his connection to ops manager, what to do ?
Submitted: 8 months ago via InBrief.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 months ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

Before proceeding please note that as I am a practising solicitor, I am often in and out of meetings, travelling between clients or even at court when I pick your question up. This may even occur at weekends. Therefore, I apologise in advance but there may be a delay in getting back to you and providing my advice. Please be patient and I will respond as soon as I can. You do not have to wait here and you will receive an email when I have responded. For now please let me know what the outcome of the investigation was

Ben Jones :

Also please let me know how long you have worked there for?

Customer:

As far as I'm concerned person who threated me (head chef) is coming back to work tomorrow, after 2 weeks doing covers for the other branch, i have a meeting with ops manager at 11am and starting work at 12(I'm a waiter-supervisor), and I'm gonna be already working with him

Customer:

7 months

Customer:

he had a fight in the same place 2 years ago with another co-worker, his girlfriend is a GM in other branch and she is very good friend with our ops manager, furthermore senior gm who came to investigate it on the day, ask manager on duty to actually find covers for my shifts not person who came with hands up my neck pretending to suffocate me and his exact words were "you know i could kill you right now" had a manager, another supervisor and people in the restaurant witnessing it.

Customer:

he pushed away another supervisor who tried to cool him down

Customer:

first he grabbed me by my shirt, supervisor stepped in, so he pushed him aside, and threat me, I was standing still, with my hands down, completely passive

Customer:

Next day I had a meeting with ops manager who has tried to turn it around, with questions like " was it just angry behaviour, or genuine threat?" so i said that was a threat so he was like "you know people when angry says things they don't really mean" and he said that guy is going to be out of the bussiness for a little while, however somehow head chef brother who also works there already knew a week ago that he is coming back this week

Customer:

I wrote my statement on the day, half of the staff member is scared off him and already working on transfers, as he was always aggresive against other people at work.

Customer:

So tomorrow he's gonna ask me if i feel comfortable working with him, i'm going to say no, and if he ask me for transfer I'm going to say no too, and if i have to work with him, shall i seek compensation?

Ben Jones :

I fully empathise with your situation and will explain what your rights are in this case.


 


First of all I must make it clear that your rights will be somewhat limited due to the length of time you have been working there for. In order to make a claim for constructive or unfair dismissal, you need to have at least 2 years' continuous service, which you do not. This means that your employer can either dismiss you, or you can be forced to resign for more or less any reason without being able to challenge this any further. The only exceptions are if you have been subjected to discrimination which means being treated less favourably due to a protected characteristic, such as age, gender, race, disability, etc.


 


So if you are subjected to such threats and believe that as a result you can no longer continue working there, you may be forced to resign but cannot take your case any further.


 


However, you will have other rights, for example if you have actually suffered an injury or been assaulted, it can potentially give rise to a personal injury claim and you can pursue either the person responsible or also the employer if they had failed to take reasonable steps to minimise the risk of you being injured when they knew it was a possibility. However, this can only be pursued if an injury has been incurred.


 


Similarly, if you have been threatened on two or more occasions then it could amount to harassment. This is both a criminal and a civil matter. Under law (specifically the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 in civil cases and the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 in criminal cases), a person must not pursue a course of conduct which amounts to harassment of another and which he or she knows or ought to know amounts to harassment. Although there is no definition of what specifically amounts to harassment, it would usually include alarming a person or causing them distress and must have occurred on at least two occasions.


 


Under criminal law, and if this is reported to the police who then take action, the punishment for harassment can be imprisonment and/or a fine. A court may also impose a restraining order for the purpose of protecting the victim.


 


In addition to criminal action, a civil claim can also be brought against a person who is alleged to be guilty of causing harassment.


 


So in the first instance the police can be contacted and have this reported to them as harassment. However, they will not often get involved in trivial disputes so if they believe that this is not serious enough they could refuse to help and advise you that this is a civil matter. In such circumstances, the offender could be warned that their actions are being treated as harassment and that unless they refrain from such behaviour in the future they will be reported to the police and legal action will be taken against them.


 


Finally, you have the option of raising a formal grievance with the employer which would prompt them to investigate this matter and deal with it as they see fit. However, remember that they can also dismiss you at any point if they want to and will be acting legally and you cannot challenge that, so if they believe you are being a nuisance over this and are making things more difficult for them by raising these formal complaints, they can consider dismissal - I know it is unfair but it is legal in this case.

Customer:

So a week earlier he came up to me with a fist, does it count? have a few witnesses to that either, company i work for is Zizzi, part of Gondola group.

Customer:

My holding GM wants to raise a formal grievance against that ops manager either... as she was affected by this head chef connection and discriminated.

Customer:

so from the other hand i should stay there, get affected by working with person who threated me and raise civil claim?

Customer:

I'm supervisor so dismissing me it's not as easy as an any staff member.

Customer:

supervisor/ manager on duty*

Customer:

and what about my right to safe environment at work?

Ben Jones :

Yes such threats can count - these are all separate incidents so harassment is an option here. Your employer has a duty to ensure your health and safety at work, this is something you can remind them of, but if they fail then your rights are still as described in my advice above

Customer:

ops manager is still under head office and HR so writing grievance against ops manager is not a bad option for time being, is it? What about GMB would they do any good?

Ben Jones :

If you believe that the employer will act fairly on a grievance then it is your right to raise one. If you are a member of the union they can certainly help, they can assist with any grievance for example

Customer:

Im gonna have to wait for my membership to be permanent, 1 more week, so meantime shall i just carry on at work?

Customer:

Think the only way to go with it is to suffer injury, get affected by working with that person and then raise the claim, if nothing else can be done.

Ben Jones :

well it is a bit of an extreme way to go about things, also if you are seen to be deliberately looking for trouble and try to get injured then that could affect any potential claim. Also remember that a claim is not always easy - it will involve court fees, a lot of preparation with documents and letters, plus the outcome is never guaranteed

Customer:

yeah i understand that but i just cant let them get away with that,

Ben Jones :

No I know but need to make you aware of this. I would always advise that court action should be used as a last resort, don't just go for it without having exhausted all other options

Customer:

Could always use media... but thats an extreme solution , however thank you very much for help, hopefully will get something out of it

Ben Jones, Solicitor
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 38393
Experience: Specialist in UK Law with expertise in UK Employment Law
Ben Jones and other UK Law Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick Leeds, UK
< Last | Next >
  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick Leeds, UK
  • I did not know a French Law service existed and I was very impressed with the speed of reply --- very professional. Many thanks! Ms. Baker Alfafar, Spain
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie USA
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Ben Jones

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    8364
    Specialist in UK Law with expertise in UK Employment Law
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/venkoj/2010-02-20_133027_ben_pic.jpg Ben Jones's Avatar

    Ben Jones

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    8364
    Specialist in UK Law with expertise in UK Employment Law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CH/chathamchamber/2011-4-24_191833_1.64x64.jpg INC's Avatar

    INC

    Solicitor-Advocate

    Satisfied Customers:

    3850
    LL.B, Pg.Dip, LL.M, M.B.A (Pending), Solicitor-Advocate. UK Practising Certificate issued by SRA., DIFC Courts Registered (Dubai)
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/taratill/2010-03-09_111600_phpsik04M_c2AM.jpg Jenny Mackenzie's Avatar

    Jenny Mackenzie

    Satisfied Customers:

    2612
    Over 10 years experience in general legal matters
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/matthewjones/2009-9-7_20342_picture_007.jpg Matthew J's Avatar

    Matthew J

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    323
    4 y PQE (Partner) - Commercial / Residential Property & Property and Civil litigation experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TO/touchwoodsden/2013-12-6_91518_MeforJA.64x64.jpg Stuart J's Avatar

    Stuart J

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    5198
    PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/Remus2004/2012-4-22_93111_2bigstockPortraitOfConfidentFemaleL6943985.64x64.jpg Jo C.'s Avatar

    Jo C.

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    24742
    Over 5 years in practice.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JO/Josh2010/2012-4-29_19490_GettyImages80121770B.64x64.jpg Joshua's Avatar

    Joshua

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    6561
    LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice