At Lincs Law we regularly meet people who are experiencing difficulties at work. These can range from their working conditions, performance issues as well as experiencing forms of bullying or harassment. Understandably, any issue that you are experiencing at work can have a huge impact on you which can also intrude into your home life too.
What can you do if you are experiencing forms of bullying at work?
It is common to be too fearful to raise your concerns (either informally or formally) with your employer. However, by not doing so this can result in the issue escalating and before you know where you are, you find yourself in a position which can feel untenable. We would always advise an individual raise their concerns formally before it gets to this stage as, by failing to do so, it can limit the options available and actually weaken your position.
Where should I start?
A good position to start in, is when you first become aware that you are being treated differently or bullied. Usually this does not happen immediately but gradually it becomes something you are aware of. At this stage, we would recommend you make regular diary entries so that you can keep a log of what has happened and when it has happened. It is surprising at how easy it is to forget specific incidents or dates. By keeping a log it will certainly strengthen your position.
Thereafter, it is a good idea to look at submitting a Formal Grievance to your employer. Your employer is likely to have a Formal Grievance procedure in place, which will give information on how to do this but, at the very least, an employer should adhere to the ACAS on Disciplinaries and Grievances 2009.
Am I being harassed?
Sometimes the bullying can be a form of harassment. However, harassment is slightly different to the definition of bullying as it does hold a legal definition within the Equality Act 2010. The legislation provides protection to people who have a protected characteristic such as their age, disability, race, religion or belief, sex etc and it defines it as being unwanted conduct which has the purpose or effect of violating an employee’s dignity. If you believe that the harassment you are receiving is because of a protected characteristic, then you can bring a claim whilst still in employment by starting Early Claim Conciliation with ACAS. This initial step is free and does not mean you have to proceed to the Employment Tribunal.
Should I obtain legal advice?
It is recommended that you obtain expert legal advice as soon as possible. This will ensure you are fully aware of all of your options and you can also receive expert legal advice along the way which will not only alleviate some of the pressure from you, but it should also help you in feeling more confident that the way you are being treated is unacceptable.
If you are being bullied at work, just call 01522 440512 for a no obligation, free consultation to discuss your matter. Alternatively, for more information about how to raise a grievance read our post https://lincslaw.co.uk/blog/raising-a-grievance-with-your-employer/
Associate Employment Law Solicitor