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AIBU to think if I tell HR I feel that my boss is bullying and harassing me they should do something about it?

(20 Posts)
goldwrapped Thu 28-Jul-16 19:09:47

Redundancy situation rumbling on at work. My boss has handled the process badly which has left me feeling stressed and anxious. My GP has signed me off with work-based stress.
My boss emails me daily, asking me to fill in a form, confirm an OH appointment, comment on something. She has not picked up the phone to ask how I am. This escalates my anxiety.
Last straw today when another email lands. I phoned HR and explained that I felt bullied and harassed by her actions. They explained that she was obliged to keep me abreast of the process.
We have to apply for new positions within the new structure by close of play tomorrow. I told HR that I was not in a position to make important decisions or contemplate a job application or interview at the moment. They insinuated that it's tough-if I don't apply I will have to accept redundancy, but that my boss would decide this.
I've tried the union (not a member so they won't help) and ACAS (told me to wait until after the interviews then seek unfair dismissal).
Surely, if an employee states that they're feeling this way, they should be offered some support? I got the impression HR think that it's just sour grapes and dismissed my feelings.

BuggerLumpsAnnoyed Thu 28-Jul-16 19:22:34

Uuum, to me, it doesn't sound like she's harassing you, more like she's trying to help you get your arse in gear. Your work has a lot going on and I'm sure a lot of people to deal with and I'm afraid they can't wait around because you arn't making a decision.

As far as I can see, they're all behaving perfectly reasonably. I'm sorry about the situation you're in, but you really need to get a move on

Chottie Thu 28-Jul-16 19:27:14

I think your boss is treading a fine line between keeping you informed and not harassing you.

If you are signed off work with work-based stress, I expect she would hesitate to contact you by phone, thinking it would be better for you to receive the information by email. She also needs to ensure that you have received all the information sent out to everyone concerned.

My employer would also be arranging an OH referral meeting with you.

happypoobum Thu 28-Jul-16 19:34:07

To be clear - she isn't emailing you about day to day work, but about updates on and actions you need to take in connection with the redundancy procedure?

YABU not to respond to these. They cannot put the whole procedure on hold because one person is off sick - do you think all your colleagues should be left dangling whilst you sort yourself out?

Maybe the stress you have been under has limited your ability to see this objectively? Is there anyone who can help you complete the forms and make the decisions by tomorrow?

DragonMamma Thu 28-Jul-16 19:39:56


If the redundancy process is making you feel stressed then it's often best to plough on ahead and get it over and done with.

Be realistic, do you think every redundancy consultation grinds to a halt if one of the at risk individuals goes off sick?

That being said, I would expect your HR department to ask what they can do to minimise your stress in order for you to continue with the consultation process.

I'm afraid that redundancy, by it's very nature, is likely to cause a stress reaction in many people. It doesn't always mean it's been badly handled.

magoria Thu 28-Jul-16 19:40:04

I don't think your boss can win.

If she didn't give you all the information she would be accused of discriminating against you.

She is doing her best to help you through this stressful time.

If you don't complete the application forms you are going to end up redundant as the roles will go to those who do and go for the interviews.

Your company will be able to say they gave you the relevant information and time scales.

QuiteLikely5 Thu 28-Jul-16 19:44:20

If your boss is carrying out a legal process then I'm surprised you are taking it the way you are.

Don't you think everyone gets stressed when told they are under consideration for redundancy?

However if ACAS say you have a case then perhaps she is doing something illegal but I have heard these things can be stressful and take a long time to reach tribunal anyway so not ideal

davos Thu 28-Jul-16 19:44:51

I am sorry you are having a hard time at the moment.

But I don't know what else they can do. They can't not give you the information and they can't stop the redundancy process because you are unwell.

What is it you want your boss to do?

straightouttacompton Thu 28-Jul-16 19:45:26

You're not being bullied or harassed. There are redundancies happening and your boss has to keep you in the loop and you have to act on the information.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Thu 28-Jul-16 19:48:27

If you are already stressed, I would consider whether you want to go through a constructive dismissal claim. They are long, and hard to win, and incredibly stressful.

It would probably be advisable to engage with the process this evening and apply for your job, so the process can end and hopefully you'll keep your job, and then your boss won't need to contact you and you can recover.

HermioneWeasley Thu 28-Jul-16 19:48:36

As others have said, I'm not sure what you want your boss or the company to do. The redundancy process can't stop for you and your boss is trying to make sure you're included and treated fairly.

What do you think they should be doing?

Was1969 Thu 28-Jul-16 19:52:50

I'm sorry to hear you are in this situation, it must be very upsetting and stressful.

Having said that it does not soon to me as though your boss is harassing you. There are processes that need to be followed which have deadlines. By not responding you are affective you making yourself redundant. Has your company set up some support for its workers in this situation? Unfortunately as you are not in a union your boss has no choice but to liaise with you directly.

Good luck, I hope you manage to sort things out.

m0therofdragons Thu 28-Jul-16 20:02:00

Been through the redundancy process numerous times and it's really stressful but there are tight deadlines they have to adhere to once set out. They can't tell others in the process that it's all delayed because one member of staff is stressed (that would stress everyone out). You may not be ready for the process but it is happening and no amount of doctor's notes can delay that I'm afraid.
Not sure how yours works but my last ones was a points system that had points for experience and skills plus minus points for number of days off sick.
As for your boss, what if the process happened and the boss didn't keep you informed? You wouldn't have a chance to apply and would be made redundant - surely that's not right. Most people prefer emails and find phone calls checking up on them really stressful. I think your boss is being kind by emailing rather than telling you over the phone.

QuiteLikely5 Thu 28-Jul-16 20:05:57

Also with all due respect how do you expect they will re-hire you if you are being difficult?

GahBuggerit Thu 28-Jul-16 20:12:26

sounds all fine to me op, you are risking making yourself redundant if you dont follow the process

GahBuggerit Thu 28-Jul-16 20:14:58

im a bit hmm at the acas advice also unless your manager has really cocked it up ie. not consulting correctly, unfair selection process etc

ChicRock Thu 28-Jul-16 20:19:42

You know you can't dodge being made redundant by going off sick until it's all done and dusted, right?

It seems you think they should leave you alone and you get to walk back into your job once you feel well again. It doesn't work like that.

GahBuggerit Thu 28-Jul-16 20:24:41

Chic i have had a couple of employees think they can get out of redundancy by going sick/no contact confused

daisypond Thu 28-Jul-16 20:30:29

I'm sorry you're having a difficult time. Can you get anyone else to help you fill in the required forms for now, just so you get the process under way? If you don't get this going, I think you'll automatically be put on the "redundancy" list. I'm afraid I agree with the other posters and your workplace seems to be acting reasonably. Could you ask for a short extension to the deadline - say Monday? They might be amenable to that.

goldwrapped Thu 28-Jul-16 20:50:29

Thanks for your kind responses. I know I'm being U in some respects. However. She hasn't followed the correct processes - the redundancy selection pool was wrongly selected. Her favourites were not included. I pointed the criteria out to her over and over again, but she dismissed me every time. It wasn't until I highlighted the relevant employment law that she changed the selection pool. She has been difficult since that point. That's when the daily emails started. There are other illogical and unsubstantiated issues that she refuses to explain.
I knew I would get some 'who do you think you are' type responses... That's not where I was coming from, I don't expect the process to be on hold for my benefit. Just wanted some perspective, so thank you to those of you who offered that and were kind.
My VR application will be in the post tomorrow!

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