What else you might like to know about Click Solicitors
If you find yourself on the receiving end of malicious rumours, insults or being excluded, treated unfairly or deliberately undermined with constant criticism, it could be considered bullying.
Bullying at work is described as unwanted behaviour which intimidates, degrades, humiliates or offends a person and can make you feel lonely and isolated.
You should always try to speak to someone to discuss the problem such as your manager, HR advisor or union representative. Your employer has a duty to ensure bullying is not tolerated in the workplace, but can only support you if they are aware of the problem. If you feel like there's no-one you can speak to you could put everything in writing in a grievance letter.
Feeling you have been discriminated against at work can be frightening, especially if it has happened more than once.
Discrimination is described as treating a person or particular group of people differently and is covered under the Equality Act 2010. This includes age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex (gender) and sexual orientation.
Discrimination at work usually occurs when someone is treated less favourably because of one of the above characteristics and can be:
(a) direct, for example being dismissed for having a disability(b) indirect, for example a pension scheme launched by your employer which you have to be a certain age to join
harassment, for example being verbally abused because of your religion or belief
(c) victimisation, for example raising a grievance for sexual harassment and being treated unfavourably at work from then on as you are perceived to be a troublemaker
If you feel you have been discriminated against at work, you should make your employer aware. The best way to do this is to raise a grievance in a letter setting out the date(s) of the incident(s), who was involved and what took place. If you do need to take it further a make a claim at the employment tribunal, discrimination issues usually need to be submitted to the employment tribunal within three months, that is three months less one day, from the date of the last incident of discrimination.
Employees are expected to behave in a certain way and adhere to standards set out by their employer. If your employer believes you have done something wrong you could find yourself facing disciplinary proceedings at work.
There are a number of reasons you may face the disciplinary procedure, for example in relation to conduct, timekeeping, absence, inappropriate use of company property or poor performance.
Employers should follow a clear process and there is usually a disciplinary procedure that you should have access to. The first step would usually be an investigatory meeting to make enquiries: please note employees are not usually able to be accompanied by anyone at this stage.
If the matter is deemed to be serious you may find yourself being suspended. Although this can feel daunting, bear in mind this does not mean that you are guilty of any allegation, as your employer has a duty to fully investigate the situation.
Once your employer has made full enquiries you may be invited to a disciplinary hearing. At this point you have the right to be accompanied by a work colleague or union representative. You should also receive documentation that your employer is relying on ahead of the disciplinary hearing taking place.
Depending on the outcome you have the right to appeal against the decision, usually within a specified time period, in writing. It is likely this would lead to an appeal meeting, where again you have the right to be accompanied by a work colleague or union representative.
If you feel that the correct procedures have not been followed you may have a claim for unfair dismissal.
An employment tribunal is usually the last resort to work related disputes.
If you decide you want to make a claim at the employment tribunal you firstly need to go through ACAS: Early Conciliation: this is a step designed to try to find a way to resolve the dispute before it goes to the employment tribunal and usually lasts for one month. You will need to complete an ACAS Early Conciliation form and may find these guidance notes useful. You need to ensure you put down the correct name of your employer on the form.
If you aren't able to reach an agreement at Early Conciliation you will receive a certificate from ACAS. You will need to keep a note of the certificate number.
You will then need to submit a claim at the employment tribunal by submitting an ET1 form online or by post. You should ensure all claims are included on the form as you may not be able to include further claims at a later date.
Most claims need to be lodged within three months, that is, three months less one day, usually from the date you were dismissed or from when the last incident took place.
Out of time? You may be able to take the matter to a civil court depending on what the problem is.
Fees at the employment tribunal can be costly, however you may be entitled to help in paying the fees depending on your circumstances which could mean you get a reduction or may not need to pay anything at all. Entitlement for help with fees can work on a sliding scale so it may be worth checking. You will need to complete an EX160 form. If you need to pay employment tribunal fees and are successful with your claim, you can apply to have the employment tribunal fees paid by your employer.
In particular circumstances you may be able to obtain free advice and assistance.