Grievance procedure or try to negotiate a way out? Desperately need advice

(3 Posts)
zaazaa Fri 04-Nov-16 12:07:47

I have been at my work place for nearly 10 years, no disciplinaries etc. I have managed a huge flagship project singlehandedly during that time and acknowledged as being really good at it. Basically, new senior manager started a year ago and over 17 people have left my department - some without jobs to go to as it is so awful in there.

In March we got moved to a new work space which is just a big void in the building like an atrium - very loud, echo chamber, hot, infested with brick mites, coloured lights flashing above my head and air-con that blows dust on us. In addition they have sat me so that my chair hits the back of the reception desk chair if I push my chair back even slightly so I have constant disturbance all day.

This has caused me to have migraines and my productivity to suffer - complained verbally and in email to management and was more or less told to put up and shut up. Migraines resulted in my being sent to Occupational Health who recommended flexibility if I wasn't feeling well and change of work space. Nothing was done. I approached senior manager to ask about implementing recommendations and was told I had to produce medical evidence which I did. I then continued having migraines and OH appts where they were shocked nothing had been done. I was also relieved of my major project at this time on flimsy grounds and my manager actually lied to me about it and also said he was doing it to make sure that knowledge wasn't lodged with just one person but nobody else has had their projects where they are solely responsible removed and given to other people (no performance issues as I am universally acknowledged as doing an excellent job for it).

Since September 13th been signed off with stress related illness/migraines. I have had my fit note extended by 6 weeks by my GP today. I can't face going back

My last OH appt was with the consultant on Wednesday and he advised approaching them for a severance package as he said he can't force them to make changes and he knows how bad it is at my workplace as he has seen others.

Should I raise a grievance for them not taking steps to help when my health was suffering? Should I approach them for a settlement package and if I do, do I have grounds for a potential tribunal to use as leverage? I don't want to work for them any more, seen them abuse too many good people, staff churn is enormous and I have no trust or confidence in them and don't believe they will do anything to help. In other words, I think this guy wants me out and that is why he has done nothing to help/stripped me of my main project..

If anyone is HR out there please could you advise because I would rather mutually call it quits than slog it out and it get nasty. Thank you

flowery Sat 05-Nov-16 11:48:02

Don't ask for a settlement- they have no incentive to give you one at the moment. They would say if you don't want to come back to work you are free to resign.

I would suggest raising a grievance. If they think there is significant legal vulnerability and a tribunal claim with reasonable chance of success looming, then they might feel incentivised to pay you off. But if you haven't even raised a grievance yet that isn't the case.

If the OH has made recommendations to enable you to return to work, what reason have they given you for not implementing those?

zaazaa Sun 06-Nov-16 10:48:37

Hi Flowery, thanks so much for your response. In the second OH report, the OH nurse reminded them that they could be in breach of HSE regulations by not taking any action. My first OH report was at the end of May at the extreme insistence of my senior manager (something like 15 emails asking if I had booked appointments and when I pointed out that I had projects running and couldn't be away from work at that time but was happy to make an appointment once the project ended in a week or so, he said if you don't make an appointment, I will get HR to make it for you) and since May, they have not approached me to have a meeting or mentioned anything at all to me about adjustments or even what is going on. The only time they have specifically referred to what is going is when the senior manager refused to allow me to work from home when I wrote after my first OH appointment. I cited the OH recommendations and that I couldn't get important work with a deadline done because it was so loud/uncomfortable in there and that is when he responded asking for medical evidence and said because we are customer facing (for the most part we are not) that everyone has to be in the office at all times.

In August he removed my major project with no consultation or discussion and gave it to a colleague who had only started there the week before and had no experience and said that the Director I was working with knew about it and was on board with it. When I asked the Director later why he didn't mention anything, he responded via email that he knew nothing about it and this was the first he had heard of it.

In place of my project, he gave me two lesser projects but even then, these were more or less farmed out to a temp with nobody communicating anything to me yet my direct line manager had been having contact every day with them temp and the other Directors and informing everyone except me what was going on. They then decided to drop everything on me with only 2 days to go until the project started so I wrote to the people involved and asked if they could from now on come through me rather than the temp as I would be looking after things going forwards and I got emails back saying this isn't what my direct line manager manager had asked for and he and the temp were to be copied in to everything. By this stage, 3 months of frustration boiled over and I fired of an email f an email asking them to forgive me for my ignorance as nobody had taken the time to tell me what was going on and I demanded a meeting with my direct line manager.

I had a frank discussion with him including about the OH stuff and he said that as he had only been in post since May, he hadn't had time to get around to sorting it out yet. A couple of weeks later I had a migraine that lasted for two days and of such severity I was frightened and went to my GP to ask about alternative medications and she started questioning me and said that she felt that not only was it an unhealthy environment but that it sounded to her like there was some bullying going on and that is when she initially signed me off.

The only mention of workplace adjustments from management have come in an email I received on Thursday when my line manager asked if I was returning to work on Monday and to let him know if there were any adjustments that needed to be made.

So in a nutshell:

Refused to make adjustments despite OH recommendations and warnings about HSE regulations for months with no mention of intentions to do anything or reasons given as to why they couldn't/wouldn't do anything

Sidelined me at work and stripped me of my major project for no sound business reason and with no consultation after 10 years of getting excellent results and causing me humiliation by not putting out an email to explain why.

Ignored repeated emails asking for help with situation/complaints about work environment - I know many of my colleagues have also complained

Refused to help even after receiving a GP's report

Been left hanging since May despite 3 OH reports , a GP's report and 3 fit notes plus numerous verbal and email communications from my self asking for help.

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