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Bullying at work...advice needed please

(4 Posts)
Resilience16 Thu 26-May-16 16:52:59

I have a good friend who is off work with stress at the moment due to the bullying culture in the department where they work.
There is a history of bullying, with at least two other staff leaving because of this. One particular manager is the main bully, he has an important position within the department so seemingly other senior managers and HR have historically turned a blind eye.
My friend is now on medication and receiving counselling while off as they have been so badly affected by the whole situation.
Now to make matters worse my friend has been told they are being investigated for disciplinary matters while off (none if this was mentioned prior to them going off) and has been asked to come in for a meeting.
I have told my friend to get legal advice ( not in a union) but due to the fragile state of their mental health I think they can't face it.
My questions are firstly can you be invited in for a disciplinary investigation while you are on long term sick, particularly when the reason you are off is due to work related stress?
Getting rid of my friend would be easier for HR than having to address the bullying issues. If sacked could my friend apply for constructive dismissal?
I feel so sorry for my friend. Has anyone else been in a similar situation?Any advice gratefully received.

daisychain01 Thu 26-May-16 17:05:19

if your friend isn't even strong enough to take employment legal advice, it is doubtful they would be in a strong position to go for constructive dismissal. It will require a lawyer to capture the details of your friend's case, and have formal meetings with the employer etc.

The date for a disciplinary meeting would have to be negotiated with your friend, as clearly she needs to be able to go to work to have the meeting. If she's covered by a medical certificate, then she has to decide when she feels capable of attending the meeting. That's a decision only she can make depending on her current health situation. If she can't get in due to being unable to, then she needs to make that position clear.

She really needs to take proper legal advice. At some point she will need to tackle the situation, or they can make the decision to terminate her employment. It can't go on indefinitely.

Resilience16 Thu 26-May-16 17:31:53

Thanks. The disciplinary is total different reason to the sickness, they are saying there are issues with the way friend does the day job. But not mentioned prior to going off.
Have been telling for months to record all incidences as the bullying has been going on for ages. Think has also raised with line manager and HR so should be documented there too?
What about whistleblowing? Anyone with experience of that?

Muskey Thu 26-May-16 17:49:47

Bullying unfortunately isn't covered by the whistle blowing regulation. It only protects people from retaliation once they have blown the whistle. Whistle blowing covers things like corporate fraud and the whistle blowers are acting in good faith rather than having an axe to grind, not bullying. Bullying should be dealt with by line management and HR although I have to say some companies are better than others at protecting their staff.

You mention that your friend has also been asked to attend a disciplinary hearing depending what it is for they can ask for the meeting to be rescheduled when they are feeling better and can have someone with them when it takes place although I don't think you are allowed legal representation.

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