Employment Law

Discussion in 'Finance, Property, Law' started by Jerrycan2793, May 8, 2013.

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  1. My house mate is facing an interesting problem. She works for a well known pub chain and has suffered bullying at work from various staff members. The straw that broke the camels back was a fellow staff member sending her a message claiming he is going to kill himself followed by a picture of him holding a knife to his wrist.

    This chap had previously suggested similar and she had reported that to the management of her pub alongside other concerns about individuals who have verbally and on occasion physically abused her (excessive pushing and pulling no fighting or sexual abuse). However because of the nature of the messages she received she phoned the police as she deemed their was an imminent risk to the lad who messaged her. The police asked if she knew the lads address, she didn't but said she would phone work and get them to call the police directly with his address.

    She phoned her management saying the police wanted the address of the employee and asked the management to call the police and give them the details quoting Log xyz. (she did that because she was expecting the management to say you can't have the address so it made sense) Instead the management offered to hand out the address of the staff member which we have later discovered to be a breach of their data protection policy which is on the contract signed by her. They also failed to implement their harassment/bullying policies respectively with the initial complaints.

    In the aftermath of this, My house mate was invited to a grievance meeting to raise her concerns and she asked for me to go as a witness (Bear in mind I am not an employee at the pub or a union rep) They agreed to it after explaining I knew about the situation and would be better moral support than a colleague or union rep. I was also in the know of the situation from the off so it also allowed for less people to be told about what is quite a personal issue (Especially for the lad threatening to kill himself) The company agreed to me acting as a witness. I reluctantly agreed so off I went to research what a witness should and should not be doing in the meeting.

    In the meeting the woman chairing (a manager from another bar in the chain, but with obvious links to the management who have ignored the situation up until now) it spent her time asking very leading questions and acting in what was quite obviously an arse covering exercise. The minutes where selectively taken ignoring key points my house mate raised. We decided not to sign the minutes as we disagreed with what had been written as it had taken much out of context. This was further added to our grievance. It appeared that the aim of that meeting was not to fact find but rather find facts that supported their "It's not the companies fault" stance.

    We spoke to the HR team a step up who have been very helpful from the off, We soon got a phone call from an area manager however who pretty much screamed at my house mate and said I shouldn't have been there (My thoughts exactly especially as it was their decision) given my house mate is supposed to be raising a grievance it is hardly fair treatment. I had a great time speaking to him on the phone because he couldn't shout his point across at me he decided I couldn't attend any further meetings or speak to him.

    We think the reason they initially allowed me as a witness was because I would sit and do nothing, Instead I have researched what I should and should not be doing (Their guidelines and ACAS) and followed that closely. They have realised that I will not sit and watch her get stitched up and as such are now changing their mind. We are hoping to have a union rep arranged for her next meeting which is going to be conducted by the area manager who is adamant he will act impartially despite completely dismissing my house mates claims that one of his managers was acting in a partial and leading manner.

    The way it is now, My house mate is unlikely to continue working there. We know there is no case of constructive dismissal (She has been there under the required time scale) but she is being treat like a criminal. What is the ARRSE opinion? (Both funny and constructive appreciated) what options do we have bearing in mind we are cheap student bums. What would you do?

    Many thanks

  2. Just tell her to move on, waste of time staying.
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  3. get on the YouGov site and research 'Employment Tribunals', it's all in there and is easier than you think. I got stiffed over a job and took on EDF without legal assistance and won. So can your friend.
  4. Is she worth a squirt ??
  5. What exactly does your house mate want to do? I am not sure what s/he is aiming for.

    It sounds like the management are arse covering. Managers have a duty of care to their employees, which has not been actioned.
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  6. I struggle to follow your train of thought - a bit like the company I expect, hence their frustration.
  7. I agree with Jarrod on this, but TBH, you shouldn't have been in the position that you are in due to the fact that normally only fellow staff and union reps are permitted to attend. You can have no input on the meeting at all due to your position.
    Your friend should have access to the meeting minutes and present them to HR, along with the fact that the AM rang her direct to harass her verbally (although, the actual meat of the convo will be denied by the AM).
    I once worked for a national chain as well and was set impossible targets by the AM, I took it to his manager and got rebuffed so took it to HR. I had a paper trail to back me up and this set in motion a chain of events that led to said AM getting moved to another region once it was general knowledge amongst other unit managers in the area and they all expressed their opinions on said AM.
    Your friend should look upon this as a learning curve and move on.
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  8. You mean even the French won't employ you? Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah!
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  9. Sorry it is poorly written I tried to outline the events chronologically.

    I think our goal is to try and get them to consider revising or at least implementing their existing policies with regards to bullying. Consider their actions when it comes to their data protection policy. Both of these points are contractual but she doesnt feel safe at work.

    An apology and visible action taken against the management who have failed to act would be a bonus.

    From what I can gather if she had been working their for a few months longer solicitors would be rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of quite a strong constructive dismissal case however she has only been there a year and a bit.

    The meeting minutes are possibly available but because we disagreed with them and did not take copies (in hindsight we should have) there is a chance they have already been destroyed especially given we further added to the grievance that the fact finding meeting was more like the spanish inquisition.
    They have spoken to her and myself like crap. We likely will not achieve much but they have wasted my time, her time and endeavoured to do nothing but pass the book to her (Bearing in mind she is the victim) so I feel like returning the favour. Hopefully we can get someone to take ownership of their actions and get an apology as a minimum.

    I have edited the initial post so hopefully it now makes a bit more sense.
  10. As I said, take it to HR (normally I hate those ******* but they do have a function in life) and see if she can speak to someone there who's not involved in this mess. Alert them to the fact that the AM has been on the blower, his number must have come up on her phone, if it's the work mobile, even better as it will show that he has been in contact even if in a ranting manner (which can't be proved BTW).
    Are we talking a pub chain that has a tall, long haired Kiwi **** as boss?
  11. Yes I think we may be on the same page as to the Kiwi.

    I had a further conversation with one of the managers who kept talking over my house mate. He was having ago at her because apparently I was asking questions when I shouldn't have been (News to me) she put him on the phone to me (If I have fucked up I should get it in the neck)

    He lost the plot when he tried speaking/shouting over me and I told him that "I was speaking and he was listening."

    He shouted "are you for real" in a somewhat squeaky tone after that But at the very least he shut up long enough for me to finish a sentence (He also carried on being a good listener with my house mate) He eventually calmed down and spoke to me properly and we achieved a little bit more clarity about what my house mate is aiming for. Every time they question her they do it so forcefully she ends up in tears. She is a sensitive soul to be fair.

    We have evidenced most things. She has a clear statement of events and copies of all emails/letters sent between her and the company. Including messages stating that the management would look into the bullying prior to these events happening.

    From what we have gathered so far the chap who sent her the picture claiming he is suicidal has been suspended pending disciplinary for gross misconduct for sending her the picture. Which hasn't made my house mate very happy because she sees him as just as much a victim of the pub's bullying as her.
  12. As Joker62 says....

    Unless you can prove anything it will one persons word against another. Report to HR, if they keep getting complaints or concerns from enough staff they might have to investigate. From my experience though, companies won't do too much unless they have too.

    Good luck.
  13. And that is where you fucked up, you, as a witness, have no input into the conversation at all, you are there to speak to your friend and only her, you need to butt out and listen but have a signal, such a tap on the leg or nod of the head, to let your friend know that she needs to call an adjournment to proceeding so that you can offer advice away from the meeting.
  14. In the meeting I did exactly that, I did not address the meeting at all. I did however address my house mate when I felt their was a concern to be raised with her.

    The only time I spoke to him was when he was bollocking her for my apparent actions I felt that if I had done something wrong he should speak to me. We soon got it squared away once he calmed himself down a bit, but that serves as quite a good example of the sort of people she is dealing with. We can't prove it and that I suppose is what it will boil down too, not what we know but what we can prove.
  15. The_Duke

    The_Duke LE Moderator

    It is a tin pot job in a pub, not CEO of MegaCorp. Stop taking yourselves so seriously and go and get a job ina different pub.
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