Grievance Upheld. But what now ?

(38 Posts)
Oblomov Wed 05-Jan-11 13:18:45

I had a grievance at work. Flowery wrote me the most fantastic 3 page letter. Eventually, after 3 months of chasing, I got a response.

Their letter was 3 lines long.

Upheld. That my manager has been asked to re-write my job descrption, which can be discussed at my imminent appraisal, re more challenging work that I had 'requested'.

And THATS IT.
No reasons for upholding it. No recomemndations.

And actually I didn't specifically ask for more challenging work. I just used that as an arguemnt in discusssion: I have always performed well, nothing been said before, I have asked many times for more challenging work, and more work .. thus that pooh-poohs your comment that my performance capability is in question.

It all seems naff. And a cop out.

But is it up to me, my responsibility to come up with a list of what I want done ?
But why is this all down to me ?
I did nothing wrong. was discriminated against, bullied and not managed properly. The senior manager who helped me fight my case has it in writing that it has been agreeed that the "core problem is that her manager is a crap manager and has mismanaged her".

So why is it up to me to do all the sucking up and requesting ? I don't even know what I need to put this situation right.

scurryfunge Wed 05-Jan-11 13:23:04

Sounds like they are setting themselves up nicely to bully you further. Be prepared now to be over loaded with work so that will confirm their original capability question. Get representation (are you in a union?) and record absolutely every communication with them.

Oblomov Wed 05-Jan-11 13:32:32

My thoughts exactly scurry.
They have taken this opportunity to change my job description, and they will then have grounds ot say thta I can't do it. Which plays right inot the eir hands, becasue they never had this chance before, because I performed 3 out of my 4 tasks well, 'improved' was noted on my last appraisal.
I see it as underhanded and their way of getting what they originally wanted. To get rid of me.
But when i mentioned this to someone, he just thought this was very negative and pessimistic.

StillSquiffy Wed 05-Jan-11 13:42:25

What are the key details of your complaint? did you have a list of points made?

You should go back to them asking how they will address each of your individual points now that your grievance has been upheld.

They are copping out and you simply need to lob it back to them. If they don't address your issues adequately then they are just adding more evidence against themselves that you can use in the future if need be. It's their problem and you just need to (politely) give it back to them.

Oblomov Wed 05-Jan-11 21:24:14

Thank you squiffy.
Yes you are right. It is the wording of the letter that I am concerned about. Tis not my forte.

I haven't even raised the issue of the unacceptable way he talks to me, yet.

I am not even sure its worth it.
Have checked jobs. None part time. All half my current salary.

Sorry. Just a bit fed up.

Heroine Wed 05-Jan-11 23:41:34

Sorry to hear this - if the substance of your grievance was inadequate management and/or bullying behaviour under say a harassment and bullying or dignity policy, this it is what I would call 'wholly inadequate'.

It looks like they have not responded to your grievance but yet, perversely, they have upheld it.

They are also giving all the power back to the same manager to decide 'at an appraisal' (i,e not in response to the grievance at all - they are asking you to do what you would normally do) with the caveat that he has to re-write the job description.

This sounds very much like what you suspect i.e that a higher level of responsibility will be given to you without extra resources or reward.

If I am right, you weren't simply saying 'I want more responsibility' were you? so if they are responding like this they are deliberately misunderstanding your grievance - i.e. also not addressing it.

I would either:

1. write back and say something like thank-you for your decision to uphold my grievance about inadequate management and bullying behaviour. I do not consider that the sanctions placed on the manager represent a proportional outcome to the breach of trust that has been imposed on me by my manager.

I am now formally appealing your decision to impose disproportionately lenient sanctions on the basis that the sanctions do not adequately address the issues raised in my original grievance letter, despite the grievance being upheld. I will submit my full appeal to (x correct next level) within (x days as specified by policy).

If you get to tribunal with an upheld grievance but a seemingly irrelevant action/sanction it will be automatically unfair.

or

2. write back and say clearly that:

1. My original grievance related to inadequate management and bullying behaviour in breach both of the trust expected between employee and management, and of the dignity at work/harassment and bullying policy. I do not consider that your response addresses all the points raised by me in my original submission and that the sanctions are whilly inadequate given the seriousness of the actions against me. Though I appreciate the decision to uphold my complaint that the manager was acting in a way that should be considered harassing and bullying, because the sanctions are inadequate, I cannot therefore accept that my grievance, though it was upheld, can be considered to have been adequately addressed. I am now a)escalating this grievance to x level to ensure that a full a fair consideration of the issues can be made. or b) resubmitting my grievance with additional evidence (including this response if it is from that manager)

- then state in this re-raised grievance 1. This grievance is against x (managers name) 2. This grievance is about the harassing and bullying behaviour experienced and upheld on the (date) by (names of the panel/managers responding. 3. is in addition to the grievance component (ideally numbered in your original submission or quote) 'I am willing and able to take on additional tasks' that was specifically addressed in the outcome of the upheld grievance on the (date). 4. I wish sanctions and actions to be taken on the following components as follows:

(eg)
1. Withdrawal of Management support
- appropriate target setting, clear definition of scope of role, and appropriate management communication in a series of monthly meetings also attended by HR
2. Denial of access to training
- attendance and time away given to attend.. ...
3. Lack of access to development roles and opportunities
Manager must work with me, with HR approval to discuss routes into promotion positions

etc etc

(then do that!).

This sounds like a 'pat her on the head, and she'll go away (the 'toss a biscuit' solution) don't wear it. I bet this was sent to you/written by the manager the grievance is against and if so they clearly don't understand the gravity or legal implications of your manager being such a tool.

If the next level up is sensible, they will pick this up immediately, and think the manager is a total tool for ignoraing the substance of the grievance and thereby increasing the legal exposure of the company. - if they are crap and in cohoots, you will have an easy and painless win at tribunal, but the mgr will probably get a swift and sharp kick in the nuts from the HR director before you get there.

(Don't panic about tribunals etc btw - many people go to them and continue work perfectly happily the moral highground here is that you have been reasonable and it is the managers/grievance hearing people who have screwed up).

Heroine Wed 05-Jan-11 23:48:38

btw if your manager wants to get rid of your for capability reasons, bullying is not the way to do it - its expensive, cowardly and counterproductive - you have an appraisal system, and a verbal, written warning, dismissal approach no doubt (and probably performance management guidelines that state EXACTLY how to manage poor performance) and if he hasn't followed these you can reasonably assume your performance is not the issue - if it is, and he should have followed those procedures he is at fault not you anyway - how can you improve if you had no idea that you weren't performing!...

I would guess this is either incompetence (if you are being forgiving) or direct harassement - both of which you should feel no sadness about - it usually means a) you have more integrity than you think and it shows more than you think and b) you unsettle him because you can see through him. Being harassed is no bigger signal that your manager has recognised your ability!

Heroine Wed 05-Jan-11 23:50:33

oh yes and get union support if you haven't already.. they wil be invaluable in determining a rute through this (obviously my advice above may not relate as well as I might think to you).

flowery Thu 06-Jan-11 09:43:54

Hi Oblomov

I agree with Squiffy, write back asking how they intend to address your specific concerns.

However in answer to your question about whether it's your responsibility to come up with what you want, I actually think to an extent it is. It's fair enough if someone raises a grievance to ask them to state what outcome they actually want, so while you should write asking how they plan to address your concerns, you should also give some thought to what you would like them to do.

If you want some 'sanctions' placed on your manager as Heroine suggests, think about what you would like those to be.

Heroine I have to say I am concerned at some of your advice. You say if on appealing the grievance Oblomov doesn't get any change in the outcome, she will have an 'easy and painless win at tribunal'. I think that's an incredibly irresponsible thing to say anyway, given your very very limited knowledge of Oblomov's case (unless you have been in touch with her privately) but especially when you do not give any indication what legal claim you think she has so clearly. What law do you think will have been broken if her employer don't place sanctions on her manager?

You also say 'If you get to tribunal with an upheld grievance but a seemingly irrelevant action/sanction it will be automatically unfair.' What will? Again, what claim do you think will be so easily won?

Heroine Thu 06-Jan-11 11:26:15

An ET should judge quickly that if a grievance has been raised about bullying and harassment as this seems, yet the result seems to point to the greivance being misinterpreted as being only about a desire for more challenging tasks only, it will be easy to demonstrate that the substantive components of the original grievance have not been adequately of fairly considered. If the panel want to dismiss the substance and drive of the original grievance they must staate their reasoning and justification for doing so - and this would contradict the 'upheld' verdict, so I think they are pretty stuffed on whether the grievance has been fairly considered.

I don't have detail, but I do know that ETs are very intolerant of employers messing employees around and performing wholly inadequate dismissals of serious allegations.

I'm not saying a 'win' will generate massive compensation am saying that i would expect that they would very heavily criticise an HR department who returned that response to an unpheld grievance about bullying and harassment.

flowery Thu 06-Jan-11 11:32:59

Still not clear what legal claim you think she has for this 'easy win' you mention, and I think bringing some kind of unspecified claim simply for the purposes of getting a tribunal to 'heavily criticise' the HR department would be daft quite frankly.

Pinkjenny Thu 06-Jan-11 11:34:56

I have never ever EVER seen an easy and painless win at tribunal. Even when the claimant has won.

Ridiculous.

Pinkjenny Thu 06-Jan-11 11:36:06

<<butts back out>>

flowery Thu 06-Jan-11 11:53:56

grin

Hi PJ, how's you? Feel free to butt away!

flowery Thu 06-Jan-11 11:55:08

'Butt away' as in butt back in, rather than butt out, of course...

Pinkjenny Thu 06-Jan-11 12:46:43

Great, thanks Flowery!!! So much going on at work, Administrator has been made redundant, leaving me stand alone. Which is crap. Anyhoo, beggars (i.e. those who want part time HR) cannot be choosers.

Sorry for the brief hijack, OP.

Oblomov Thu 06-Jan-11 13:44:17

Thank you for the responses.
I didn't mean to give the wrong impression on the bullying. My manager snaps at me in an inappropriate way ( other peoples words), when he is stressed, but it is not that often.
I had a very unfortunate meeting with him and the HR manager, where it all come out, a bit of a shock to me, and some of the things said to me were inappropriate, bullying. If anything, it was actually the HR manager though, who said these things, not my actual manager. so thats no good.

I guess I am just being silly about it. Dh says they are probbaly embarrrassed.
But this isn't going to get any better. Really. Is it ?
And I can't even find a single part time job , currently to apply for.
Have just finished my 2.5 days for the week. I made a mistake in our year end process. Probably not helped by the fact thta I had the minutes from the meeting delivered to my desk yesterday, after a month, after asking.
The HR manager phoned and spoke to my dh ( how unprofessional) and told him he was 'wiping the slate clean' and that a letter would be sent. I had to ask again for the letter.
And when it arrived. It was so short, it was offensive.

Guess I am in denial. I sit here sobbing, wondering how i got myself into this. Silly woman.

Thank you Heroine. And thank you very much Flowery. I will give some thought to what you say. And maybe try and compose a letter.

Heroine Thu 06-Jan-11 14:04:05

Oh I'm sorry, this sounds terrible - and there are indications that the HR person really is pretty clueless about how to behave - they shouldn't really jump in both feet on the employer's side. Their reasonable response should be that there is clearly some issue here that needs sensible response.

I am guessing that these 'things that came out' were complaints about you/conduct/performance. If so then they shouldn't be raised in this way (i.e. only used to bat away your complaint) they should have been raised, by an effective manager, as they occured and you are right to interpret this as bullying (in the sense that this is being used to bully you out of making your complaint). This has happened to me too, so don't be worried that its just you or that ou should have behaved differently every employee has the right to raise reasonably complaints and to have them heard responsibly - to then 'punish' you with unevidenced criticisms is highly inappropriate.

Did you go to these meetings unaccompanied?

Also this 'wiping the slate clean' sounds as though they are trying to say that they are prepared to overlook our midemeanor in raising the issue!!!! That is ridiculous. they can't just decide to 'wipe the slate clean' if ou have raised a grievance - reall the are saying 'please please accept our proposal to forget about it' - if this was a crime like a theft, a reasonable defence is not 'oh well, we are where we are, lets move forward'!!

The HR manager should not speak to your DH, unless ou have appointed him as your official representative - that is bullying in itself as it is raising a distorted picture in the mind of a close relationship that you are in the wrong. big procedural error - I am guessing this is either a small company or one where they are not typically accountable (eg junior HR or a relatively 'hire and fire' culture/industry?

sorry to hear how much this is affecting you - it is upsetting and stressful and yet the fact you have done what is reasonable is great credit to you.

You are NOT a silly woman- you have silly empoyers - any manager with any courage would pick up an issue of your being affected by the way communications are delivered and changed their style accordingly. You are right to raise concerns about behaviours even if you are wide of the mark about intention that is the onl way to ensure you are managed well so don't feel bad - try to feel proud and remember you are someone who cares enough to protest - that sounds like a good employee to me!

Oblomov Thu 06-Jan-11 15:29:46

My company is huge. We are medium, 250 employees. But we are part of a group. Top 10.

Oblomov Sun 09-Jan-11 18:15:57

Sorry to muck everyone around. But I need more advice.
Is Flowery there ? I value your advice highly.

For those of you thta don't know the history :
I worked here for 5 years. I adore my job and the people I work with. They obviously don't think I'm up to it.
My appraisals have always been o.k. I think it is because my manager is crap, he never did anything about me not being up to the job. And then over time, i guess my performance level becomes defined as acceptable. he let it fester, and was too inept to address it then, so probably is unlikely to address anything now.

Anyway, I get invited to a disciplinary meeting, due to not starting work on time and talkin to colleagues. not true.
When I got to the meeting, the issue of talking was discussed, then the issue of my performance capability was raised. News to me.
Then suddenly a compromise agreement of 2 months salary ( poxy, after 5 years, and I only work 2.5 days, so not alot of money), so kind of insulting.
Then the HR manager said take it or else, if you don't you'll be dismissed within a couple of meetings.

so, when flowery wrote my fab letter, raising grievance of them not doing things properly, it was with the implication, as I had told her, that I wanted to keep my job.

But my dh, my mum and flowery all said that really my job was over there. once a company does this, its over. But I was in denial. I didn't want to accept this. I loved my job and my colleagues, so much. I was highly paid for doing stuff i could do standing on my head. It fitted with ds1 and school. It was perfect. More fool me for not taking more care of it.

But I think finally i have accepted what everyone else has been telling me. It has to be over. I have never been in an abusive relationship. I would never stay if someone didn't love me. so why am i doing it in my job life ?

whats the point of asking them to respond and give details of what they are going to do. They don't want me. And i have searched for the last few weeks and honestly there isn't even one part time job on websites. But I have to leave, don't I ? Like now. Immediately.
Do I go back and offer them to re-negotiate on the compromise agreement. How much do I ask for ? 6 months or a year ?

They only offered me 2 months before. But that was before the HR bullied me and they laid all their cards on the table, of stating that they wanted to get rid of me and that there was no option for me to improve.

Am I in a strong position to negotiate on quite alot ?

sandripples Sun 09-Jan-11 18:43:50

I would also support what someone said earlier, ie that if you raise a grievance it is up to you to state as clearly as you can, the outcomes you are seeking. I suggest you word them positively eg rather than saying that you were not given training opportunities, say that you would like the opportunity within (time-frame) to attend training in
X
Y
Z
because these relate to your job and/or career development(or to the issues you've been critices about?)

Rather than saying that you don't wish to be bullied, say that you expect to be treated with dignity at all times, and that you will do (or already do) the same.

Say you would like regular appraisals and with whom.

I'd also suggest you say that this has all been very difficult/stressful but that you do very much want to remain with the company, and to draw a line so that you can make a fresh start.

I don't think you shouold focus on what sanctions the manager gets - I would focus on what would turn work into a positive experience again for you. This might involve either the manager or yourself moving into a different line of management. IF the manager has been found to be bullying, it is really that person who should move.

Would you like to request a mentor?

Think about 3-4 postive things that would make this workable.

Hope this helps. I'm really suggesting you focus on what would make this situation an enjoyable working experience again, rather than on getting to an ET which I think is stressful all round.

If this positive approach does not work and you were to be bullied again, then yes think about ET.

StealthPolarStuckSpaceBar Sun 09-Jan-11 18:57:33

Hi oblomov, I am sorry you have been through the mill, and I'm afraid I didn't really understand all the deatil. But I don't think it necessarily follows that you need to jump ship. I'd certainly be job hunting but wouldn't feel the need to hand in my notice immediately.
Are there any other options? Transfer to another dept?
I also think comparison to a relationship doesn't really work - there are procedures for dealing with abuse in employment, and you haven't had a lover's tiff (though I can see why it would feel that way) you have been through a formal procedure to refute their allegations, and you have won. They are a business, and you are profesional, they should at least be able to keep up a facade of professionalism/normality.

Oblomov Sun 09-Jan-11 18:58:00

sand, I really appreciate your post. And all of what you write makes so much sense.
But I went to stay with my two closest school friends yesterday. both accountants. and they both said, that trying to work on this is pointless. becasue they don't want me. And that we never would have got to this point if they had wanted to try, wanted to offer me training etc.
They both asked me why I was still in denial ?

Don't you think that your points are all very valid when there have been a few 'issues' at work.

But hasn't my position gone way past that ?

Everyone keeps telling me that its over. that I must stop being in denial and accept this.

Yet, you seem to be not going along with that ?

StealthPolarStuckSpaceBar Sun 09-Jan-11 19:00:03

sandripples, how would thinking about a weird looking little alien make the OP feel better?
wink

Oblomov Sun 09-Jan-11 19:06:28

stealth, its not a tiff.
My manager thinks I'm not up to the job.
Last year I had a meeting with him, over reducing my days and then he lied. and said he'd never said stuff. then HR got involved and they too didn't do the right thing. Flowery advised me on that too, and said I had behaved admirably and they had not.
And then all this happens.
There is no other dept that I could transfer to.
Besides why would I want to. Not only does my manager belittle me infront of my colleagues and not think I'm good enough. But now the HR manager has been shown up becuase he didn't do the right thing, and my grievance showed his ineptness too.
Really winning friends, aren't I ?
Why would you want to remain with a company when atleast 2 , senior managers, have treated you badly, and when they clearly think you are not up to the job.

Oblomov Sun 09-Jan-11 19:09:29

ET go home ? wink

StealthPolarStuckSpaceBar Sun 09-Jan-11 19:12:19

Sorry oblomov, I really wasn't trying to demean/lighten it, and it sounds worse than I imagined. I just meant that you sound so defeated, when in actually fact, you have behaved professionally, they have admitted it (kinda) and so in theory that should be the end of it. I agree though it seems more complicated and there may be repercussions in your daily work. Is there any chance you could get a FT job somewhere else if PT hours are the barrier? Any possibility you could do that while looking for something mroe suitable?

Oblomov Sun 09-Jan-11 20:29:31

Its o.k. stealth.
I am only prepared to work part time. It is a priority to me, for me to be able to drop off and pick up ds1(7) from school atleast some of the time. Ds2(2) is our last child and I would rather not work at all than work full time.
I have worked part time since having children and am not prepared to work full time. I know the market is very bad at the moment, and I am in no position to be choosy at all, but full time is just something I am not prepared to consider.
well I did it for a couple of months, but that was only becasue the clients accounts were in such a bad way and desperate, and she agreed that I could go back to my job description of part time, once I sorted the main mess.

flowery Sun 09-Jan-11 21:41:30

You don't need to leave immediately, now, if you are not in a position to do so.

After the conversations we have had, and the incidents/conversations you described, I think your employer fully intends to get rid of you as soon as possible, yes. And unless there is some major change, that means your employment there isn't going to be sustainable long term. I think it's a question of how/when.

As we discussed on the phone last time, you wanted to stay, or, if that wasn't possible, you obviously need as decent a settlement as possible given the job market.

I don't think you should go back to them about the comp agreement they offered you. It was a really rubbish offer, which you (rightly) rejected, so if you then ask to resurrect discussions, they are not going to increase it. If you ask for a compromise rather than them asking you, you're never going to get anything decent.

Ultimately you'd like to stay. Ultimately I think they are going to get rid of you unless something major changes. So you need to let them act. Do all you can to improve things yourself so you are the reasonable one. Lots of Sandripples' points are good. Make sure everything they are doing wrong or unreasonably is documented in correspondence, including this latest thing. Make sure everything also documents you making every reasonable attempt to work this out.

Very best case scenario; things improve drastically, they back off and you can stay in work, at least long enough to sort something else out. Worst case scenario, if they want to get rid of you they will have to pay more than the rotten two months they offered you and/or take much longer and more reasonable procedure than the HR person indicated they would do.

Oblomov Sun 09-Jan-11 22:38:23

Thank you flowery.
You didn't say what I expected you to say. I read your post to dh. And I explained to dh that I was expecting you to agree with me. And then I read your post to him and he too was suprised.
I was thinking that it might be best for me to say that it had become untenable. And to basically suggest that I was looking for a years money and to see what their re-action was to that.

I declined their poxy offer. But i never told them that if they made me a semi-reasonable offer I would have considered it. Plus I am now in a stronger position thta i was before. They have upheld my grievance. That makes me have more bargaining power. Or in theory it should. Doesn't feel like it.

I have to work in this shitty environment, until I find another p/t job. And then I just leave. That lets them right off the hook. Just get another job as if none of this had happened ? And i receive no monetry sum.
As we all agree, Tribunal would be awful.

I'm sorry for dithering and being so choppy changey. I just can't work out how to get the best out of this , for me. or how to get the most money out of them atleast.

flowery Sun 09-Jan-11 22:47:53

You are not going to get lots of money from them by approaching them and asking for it. You've refused one offer, they didn't increase it at the time. If you now go back and say actually you are interested in leaving if they pay you off, what's their incentive for increasing their offer by very much if at all? It gives the impression that you are desperate to leave, so they won't think they need to pay you too much at all, if anything, as you are bound to resign soon anyway.

You need to give the impression you will be staying and making a pain of yourself. For them to offer you lots of money they need to be under the impression that getting rid of you will be difficult. If you ask them for money it implies you are close to resigning anyway, so not difficult at all for them, therefore no need to pay you lots.

If you genuinely feel you can't go on, by all means go and ask if you can reopen negotiations, but just bear in mind that they will only pay lots to either avoid a sticky tribunal situation or a very long drawn out performance management process. So for a decent payout they either need to believe you have a genuine legal claim and every intention of following it, or that you are going to stay and be a millstone round their necks.

Heroine Sun 09-Jan-11 23:22:01

1. i have to say that making a compromise agreement (presume in writing) and threatening you with disciplinary in this way is outrageous - unless the offer is excellent which it isn't.

2. Disciplinary action can't guarantee to get you out, you need clear and reasonable improvement objectives and tools and help to achieve them, or the next action is automatically unfair - so this is a bluff

3. You are right to think that they don't wnat you - that doesn't mean that this is rational or acceptable

4. Flowery is right, say nothing, and let them make outrageous threats and fools of themselves before you pre-empt a defence that will give them clues as to how to respond /prevent formal

5. If they are negotiating, they are negotiating - you can say that you want to stay in the role - a good one to put the wind up.

6. a compromise agreement without proven underperformance (they have said your performance is fine so far and you have proof, so cannot reasonably have any reason to 'correct' your work competancy anyway) is a clear constructive dismissal act

7. If you think out is the best route, then start negotiating - if you have been there a few years and think finding a new job is going to be hard AND have a grievance upheld AND their response to their bad management is a negotiation, you should be talking in multiples of ANNUAL salary, not monthly.

8. HR expecting dismissal in this way shows evidence that they haven't taken your concerns on board, and are colluding with the manager's viewpoint unreasonably.

I think you have a case that is strong enough to expect to be offered much more than you have been - in a clear case of bullying of a member of staff who was only in post for nine months in one case I worked on, the settlement was £15K even when there were no grievances upheld, no clear management failure (as there is if you think that they think you are underperforming yet you have had strong performance reports)..

Just remember that the first thing that always happens in these circumstances is that you start to believe that they couldn't possibly behave like this unless you had done something. This is where you use a zen technique of FU YB - don't take on their version of events to 'help' them out. What they think of you is their shit, and exposes their misjudgement. HR here are behaving absurdly and they need their arse kicking.

Heroine Sun 09-Jan-11 23:30:04

oh and BTW - that senior managers treat you badly through this is because its by its nature adversarial, not because they really don't like you - you can expect HR and management to resist this stuff, stay calm at each stage and expect to progress to the next - if you get a surprise so be it, but they won't move to being nice until its over - but they may then have a lot of respect for you - I have seen this happen many times when a manager has painted a just awful picture of someone all over the shop - usually without evidence, just opinion, and slowly but surely over many meetings, despite what is happening overtly, senior HR people are thinking 'this manager is a total total dickhead, I can't believe he has carried on in this idiotic way and wasted my time, my staff's time and cost us a bloody fortune just because he couldn't say 'could you improve here.. and here'. even when they think this HR directors and seniopr mangers will still toe a relatively company line so don't interpret everything at face value - and remember they upheld the grievance which is a pretty good sign they are thinking along the lines I mention above.

Oblomov Mon 10-Jan-11 06:43:33

Thank yopu Flowery and Heroine.

"So for a decent payout they either need to believe you have a genuine legal claim and every intention of following it, or that you are going to stay and be a millstone round their necks." said Flowery.

Well, yes. I guess thats the crux of it isn't it.
AM I prpepared to go to tribunal ?
HELL YES, LETS GO.
Thats because I am a pitbull, and I believe in things being done properly. morals and principals. christian, treating others as you wish to be treated.
BUT, I guess I am naieve as to how awful it would be. Stressful. May drag on for 18 mths to 2 years, or so people say. And they would dig every piece of dirt on me and paint me out badly.

But do I actually have a case. That is the real question. But as Flowery says, staying as a millstone in the long term is not actually an option. So actually, It would APPEAR that I don't even have a choice.

I have to go to tribunal. But we can't afford legal fees. I will phone our home insurance to see if its covered today, but i fear not.

LoveBeingADaddysGirl Mon 10-Jan-11 07:21:32

Op I can't offer any advice, you have plenty if excellent advice already.

Just wanted to say that I completely and utterly understand what you mean when you say it's like an abusive relationship, I used those exact words to describe my working relationship with my old boss. It's heart breaking when you work hard want to do well and everything you do goes unrecognised or worse stillnot good enough. I think it's hard fir someone to understand unless they've been pushed to the edge.

Good luck, I too struggled with leaving and stayed much longer than I should. It effected my confidence in my abilities but like all bullies it is them who are afraid. I hope you get some sort of deal you are happy with. Once you have made that decision to leave you will not be able to stay.

StillSquiffy Mon 10-Jan-11 09:26:52

I don't know any of the details so like the rest of us (with the exception of flowery who you have spoken to privately) none of us can say if you have a strong case or not, and we certainly can't predict that you would receive a huge settlement either from increased compromise negotiations or from a tribunal. Most tribunals settle for figures in the low (single) thousands so unless you think you have been victimised because of your need to work part time as a working mum (or something similar) then as you say the ends (of a tribunal ruling) may not be sufficient to justify the means. And it IS stressful to chase (I have done this myself).

But on the face of it they do seem to be making more of a hash of it every way they turn, so your case is strengthening.

flowery talks very good sense. The only thing I would add to this is that if it were me I would probably send your HR person an email stating that you are very upset that he stated that you had no choice but to accept a compromise agreement because otherwise he would get rid of you within a few meetings and that you would kindly request he obtains legal advice before proceding along this course of action. I would then have a follow up paragraph reiterating that you are very commited to the role, consider that the discipline case was totally without merit on most of the major points, and are very concerned that the upheld grievance that you made has still not resulted in clear constructive actions which the firm will commit to undertake to support your continued success in your role. somethign like that, but as I say I am not involved in detail so it may not be an appropriate step...

Heroine Mon 10-Jan-11 14:53:50

Whilst things can drag on, tribunals should happen fairly quickly the application has to be within three months of losing your job, say... - my usual advice (given and recieved) is to expect aroung six months - including to get through the internal procedured - you don't have to be working in this period for that employer either. If they try to dismiss, and you appeal etc there are usually strict guidelines as to how long each employer stage is.

I think you need to play a bit of chess here - you want them to drum up the thinnest of disciplinary cases, and come up with dismissal unreasonably, so it might be best to stay quiet and see if they act on a dismissal action - or better, use low-level tactics (eg taking your name of the company website, photo off photoboards, try to overload you with work etc) all that is grist to the mill if you note and record all of it.

At some point I expect they will up negotiations, but the above poster is correct to say that unless there is a clear trigger, you must always say that you are keen to work, that actions are unreasonable etc. but still progress your complaint. Once you break into negotiations you need to be at a strong point and ready to ask for a high amount as as soon as you respond vaguely positively, the game is on, and you need to tit for tat to raise upwards. I have been in one where the initial employer offer was one month's salary that became more than one year's salary after about five bits of to-ing and fro-ing and 'lets adjourn'...

get as much advice as you can - you need to give the impression that if you stay you will continue with your grievances.

The 2 year delay figure sounds like when the claim is split between the county court and the Employment Tribunal perhaps.

lil88 Sat 15-Jan-11 23:22:04

Hi
I a new member and have an employment issue. I started a new part time job with a local county council (very large employer) 4 months ago as a job share. My job sharer has been in the job for nearly 2 years full time before taking maternity leave, yet receives greater supervision than me when she returned from her maternity leave probably because she does not possess prior relevant professional experience. My previous work experience although relevant to the job role and is greater than that of my jobshare, bears no correlation to the current work that is carried out. My line manager unreasonably believe that I should be able to pick up things quickly because of my professional background and, despite being unemployed 18 months immediately before the job started.
I was shocked when my Line Manager during a probation meeting 2 months into my employment, presented to me a series of complaints of underperformance mostly exaggerated and unsubstantiated which she saw fit to back up with a letter handed to me at the end of the meeting. I was also told I was abrupt and abrasive and had a negative demeanour and that I misrepresented my previous work experience, all of which I object to and feel is unfair. Hearsay was also relied upon that I had thought the job was beneath me which I absolutely deny saying or even alluding to. There was also a personal comment that my husband (who also works at the council, was cynical and my manager commented also that my handwriting was scruffy. These comments are inappropriate and gratuitous. Having researched bullying websites, I filed a claim for harassment/bullying. However my claim was not upheld very recently, and was told that my manager was performing her role in managing me even though there had been a couple of unfortunate comments. The underperformance claims were not dealt with in the harassment claim, as they only took into account my manager's conduct of the probation meeting. I require advice as to whether to put in a separate claim for grievance in respect of the underperformance claims. I feel that I have not received adequate training and support to enable me to carry out my role. I do admit to a couple of her complaints but the remainder are not reasonable or fair.

My line manager has a reputation for being a bully but no one else is prepared to support me. Since putting in my claim no one in my department will chat to me openly and the rest of the department form part of the manager's coterie. We work in an open plan office and I feel isolated. Everything I say and do is monitored so it is not comfortable.

I know that I can not take this to tribunal due to the length of my employment. Ubder the current eficient savings in the public sector, I am under no illusion that this job will last anyway notwithstanding that my manager has it in for me and even more so after the harassment claim. Do I just keep my head down and wait for the axe to fall (probably within the next month or so), or do I put in the claim for grievance regarding the underperformance claim. Financially I have nothing to gain and I accept that I will not get a reference from the employer.

If any of you can provide some advice,it would help me decide what to do next. Thanks

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