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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Employment Law
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HiI Am a female which has been made a sales director over

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I Am a female which has been made a sales director over the last year.
I have been over the last few months harassed by my FD. Since having my contract changed for the better in January which has seen my salary increase to include my bonuses as I felt it was not being managed properly which was negotiated without the FD included I feel he has taken umbridge at this and has been trying to harass me.
He has and has been bullying others at work since he started at the company.
What has come to the forefront and is very noticeable is that whenever my boss is away he starts to mis behave.
Recently while I have been away on business with a colleague he began ringing and shouting at me down the phone the eventually slamming the phone down. It came to the forefront at end of last week when on Thursday boss beng away again he had an argument with me and was intimidating and harassing me inte office.
My boss was aware of what happened when I was away on business as my colleague mentioned it to him and I informed him of what went on in the office on Friday while he was away on business Thursday.
I am so stressed and unhappy at his treatment I have asked my boss to implement to me what he proposes to do about it as I have mentioned several times to my OSS of the FD behaviour and each time he says he will have a word with him. My boss said he will think over the weekend what he needs to do.
What do I do now?

Ben Jones : Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked there for?
Customer: Hi
Customer: Hi I have worked here for 30 years
It certainly appears that you are the victim of bullying, which is unfortunately something that is not uncommon in workplaces. The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) defines bullying as “offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, an abuse or misuse of power through means that undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the recipient.” Whatever form it takes, it is unwarranted and unwelcome to the individual.

Under law, specifically the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, an employer has a duty to ensure the health, safety and welfare of its employees. That includes preventing bullying behaviour occurring in the workplace and effectively dealing with any complaints that have arisen as a result of bullying.

In terms of what an employee who is the victim of bullying can do to try and deal with such problems, the following steps are recommended:

1. First of all, and if possible, the employee should try and resolve the issue informally with the person responsible for the bullying.
2. If the above does not work or is not a viable option, the employee should consider raising a formal grievance with the employer by following the company's grievance policy.
3. If, following a grievance, the employer fails to take any action or the action they take is inappropriate the employee would need to seriously consider their next steps. Unfortunately, employment law does not allow employees to make a direct claim about bullying. As such, the most common way of claiming for bullying is by resigning first and then submitting a claim for constructive dismissal in an employment tribunal (subject to having at least 2 years' continuous service with the employer). The reason for resigning would be to claim that by failing to act appropriately, the employer has breached the implied term of mutual trust and confidence and that there was no other option but to resign. However, that is not an easy claim to win and there has to be a reasonable degree of certainty that continuing to work for the employer in the circumstances is no longer possible.

In general, try and gather as much evidence as possible before considering making a formal complaint and certainly before going down the resignation route. As bullying often takes verbal form, the best way is to keep a detailed diary of all bullying occasions so that there is at least some evidence in written form that the employer and/or the tribunal can refer to.

If the bullying behaviour is serious enough and has occurred on at least two occasions, it may also amount to harassment, which can be a criminal matter, although it can also be pursued as a civil matter. However, it is advisable to try and stick to one claim only so if constructive dismissal is being pursued then try and concentrate on that.

I hope this has answered your query and would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating. Your question will not close and I can continue providing further advice if necessary. Thank you
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