Where do I stand on this?(14 Posts)
I've recently returned from long term sick leave to do the same role despite assurances that my working conditions would change.
I'm going to contact ACAS but do I have grounds for a claim if I leave my firm?
You would need to provide further information:
Why has your role changed?
Why were you off on long term sick?
How long for?
Have reasonable adjustments been made to your role to help your return to work?
Why do you want to leave?
What do you want the Company to do? What are your intentions in 'making a claim'? Claim about what?
Thank you for your reply FadBook. I was off work for a year with stress. This had been brought on by one of our key clients who was quite demanding and constantly changing business requirements.
When I returned, my manager said that the said client had been concerned about my situation whilst I was off and with my return he really hoped that I would rejoin accounts team as I was highly respected within his firm (I never saw this concerned side as he was always very pushy, picky and demanding).
Manager asked if I was ok and I felt cajoled into returning but within a month I now feel I've made a mistake, the stress is once again returning.
I've just seen another thread on here and I think I should just leave, I don't think I do have a strong case as I agreed to go back. My health is too important.
From what you have said, you may have a case for constructive dismissal which is where you resign and are entitled to treat yourself as dismissed because your employer has acted so unreasonably.
If it is known and agreed that the cause of your stress was this client, and nothing has been put in place to change that and support you, you may have a case.
Agree with Hermonie, the Company should be limiting or removing the stress factor where possible. It will depend on Company size if what they've done so far is 'reasonable'.
Would strongly recommend you speaking to ACAS or an independent HR consultant, who can advise you of what you need to do next.
What adjustments did they say they would make?
Have they explained why the adjustments have not been made?
Is it still possible for the adjustments to be made?
The law doesn't put the onus on you to suggest adjustments, but what do you think they should have done and how practical was it for them to do it?
Thanks everyone for your helpful replies.
I work in an environment where working long hours are actively encouraged and that you accept client demands to achieve the targets. Since my return, my manager has agreed that I can work from home on Fridays. So in a way they have made adjustments for my return. I was asked when I returned if I wanted to leave the client but I said I'd be able to cope with him, so based on these factors I do not feel I have a good case.
I will contact ACAS but it could be argued that my employer has made reasonable adjustments for my return despite my continued feelings of stress, don't you think? If they take that client off me I will still be unhappy.
Hang on, in your OP you said they had promised changes to your working conditions which they had not implemented.
Now you say they are allowing some working from home and have offered to let you leave the client you say caused the stress, but you have refused that offer?
What is it you want/wanted your employer to do?
I feel I was made to go back to client, I don't like to use the term bullied but it was along those lines. Plus I suggested the changes to my working practises not them. I think I will contact ACAS as I'm not making myself clear on her. Thanks for your replies.
I am sorry, but if the main issue was leaving that client (which it seems to be) and they offered and you refused I think you are going to find a discrimination or construction dismissal case very difficult. The first step would almost certainly be to go back to them and tell them you would actually like to leave the client after all. Then see what happens. If you have made no effort to do that I think you will struggle with anything legal.
Agree, it doesn't matter who suggested the changes, they have implemented them. Next step would be to talk to them and say that you csn't handle that client after all.
Some employment claims are fairly black and white, like has the person been paid what they should have been, have they been given enough holiday, or the correct notice period.
But most employment claims are involving issues, and then they often become largely about reasonable behaviour, which is a lot greyer. For the best chance of succeeding in a claim, an employee needs to demonstrate as clearly as possible that their employer behaved unreasonably in the circumstances, which is far easier to do if the employee can simultaneously demonstrate that they themselves behaved reasonably. Otherwise it can just look like mudslinging on both parts.
Reasonable behaviour from an employee in your circumstances OP would be cooperating with any attempt made to get you back to work, including adjustments made to try and address your concerns, suggesting adjustments if there is something you think may help which they have not thought of, and, if you feel they have done something wrong/not done something they should have done, given them reasonable opportunity to put that right, which would normally involve an internal grievance.
Reasonable behaviour from an employer would be making reasonable adjustments to help the employer back to work, listening to suggestions from the employee, and medical advice where appropriate, and in the event of a grievance, listening carefully to the concerns raised and addressing them if possible.
The worst thing someone can do for you is to advise you that you have a claim if you don't, so for that reason it is essential when you talk to someone for advice, that you are absolutely clear about everything that had happened, including anything you think your employer will say that you have done "wrong".
ACAS isn't the best source of advice IMO as they can be inaccurate and inconsistent, but it will give you an opportunity to talk to someone properly about the situation.
Thanks all for your very helpful feedback. I really do appreciate your advice.
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