Advice needed about bullying in the work place.(6 Posts)
I need some advice about how to take this further. My 18year old ds has a 3 year apprenticeship at a well known business, he is in the second year. He is a bright and eager lad who likes to be busy so not a slacker. The first 6 months were good for him. He works 4 on 4 off then does a week away at collage then back to rota so he does do some long shifts with no breaks if he's at college. His college tutor appears to have had it in for him from day one, name calling, no praise, snide comments and not helping when he's asked for help. Somehow relationships have now broken down and his older colleagues have joined in, name calling, personal slagging off about him and family despite them not knowing us, a colleague threatened to run him over if he saw him on his push bike, he was punched in the back of the head, made to do unsafe work without protective gear, got injured by an electrical appliance through someone else's laziness. All these incidents are brushed under the carpet. Recently he was involved in a "silly boy antic" which he was given a written warning for despite other lads who were involved who just got "told off".
This week his boss has made more threatening comments including telling him to "quit and save me a job". My ds is beside himself, low in mood, crying constantly, wants to quit, can't take any more and has made comments that he can't go on. Where do I go from here? The more we try and support ds the more the boss laughs at him and the bullying gets worse. I'm hoping some one can help. Thanks and sorry it's so long.
Get him out of that environment. Don't let him go back. At all.
He shouldn't have to give up the apprenticeship, I know, but your number one priority must be to protect your son and his mental health. And letting him carry on in that situation would be a major fucking hazard. Nothing, NOTHING is worth risking his health and safety.
Once he feels safe, you have several options to deal with his experience. You/he should consider reporting some of this behaviour to the police. The law doesn't stop at the "factory" gates, and if somebody punched or threatened me, I'd report them. You can also report the behaviour to the company. Sounds like it could be a national chain. I'd go straight to the top, and write to National HQ. And it should really be reported to the college as well. They should investigate the complaint and make appropriate changes, and if/when your son feels able, they may be able to find him another placement and assign a different tutor.
I also recommend he sees his GP. sounds like he's suffering with severe stress... No wonder. If so, it should be recorded because, quite frankly, you might decide to sue for workplace injury. Plus the GP might be able to recommend counselling or other treatment.
Just please don't let him go back tomorrow.
He should have someone at college who is responsabile for his apprenticeship placement. He needs to report this to them. It is totally unacceptable and it maybe possible to find him another apprenticeship position with another company if he goes down this route.
Thanks for the responses. It has helped greatly. He is currently away at college this week and there has been a mix up which has caused more stress. His boss has told him not to bother coming back unless he has completed all his work. Ds has also heard from another lad that works there that the rumour is he's being given a final written warning on Friday. For what we/he don't know. We've tried to contact college and so far no response. When the physical assault took place a few months ago his dad spoke to his work and they tried to deny it until we said we were reporting it to the police. The man who hit him admitted it, claimed it was in jest and ds agreed to forget it. Yes we are very worried about his mental health and he has asked me today to go with him to the GP. He is a typical teen but definitely not a bad lad.
He has emailed 2 college principals and asked for a meeting/help but they've been in other meetings and now gone home.
I'm tempted to drive the 5hour round trip to fetch him now as my biggest fear is that he will crumble. My kids have been through a lot and are very sensitive and emotionally not tough cookies iygwim.
Does the company he has his placement with have a HR dept?
If he were my son I would be advising him to write it all down and keep a log that he could show to HR, you can go along as his parent and support him, I would do this before letting him lose his placement.
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