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Employers responsibility?(3 Posts)
I've been on several health & safety courses and I'm sure I remember it briefly being mentioned that employers must protect your emotional well being/mental health etc. Is this true?
I've had an issue for a year now which has really affected me. It's knocked my confidence and really hurt me. I spent so much time thinking about it it's made me ill and I went through a period of hair loss because of the stress.
I will try and explain in as short a way as possible. I work in a group of 7 women, I started 12 months ago and another person joined a month after me (let's call her M). Since day one M has ignored me completely, no talking no eye contact no communication at all. It hasn't gone unnoticed by my other colleagues but as she talks to them nobody seems bothered and it has affected the job at times. We sometimes have to pair up and we are never put together. A complaint was made about me after the first 2 months (about something taken out of context and some of it lies) I felt my manager at the time took the complaint far to seriously. I'm pretty sure M made the complaint but I can't prove it. I mentioned the problem I was having with M to my manager and told her the effect it was having on me she basically said it was something she couldn't get involved in and that I had to deal with it myself! Her advice was to confront M. Inside I was in agony, how could I confront M about totally ignoring me, it felt like she really had it in for me and I didn't know what she was capable of especially after the false allegations possibly made by her. It's sounds ridiculous I know but to be completely ignored as if you are not there is actually very draining. It's so disrespectful and embarrassing. I have an appraisal coming up and wondered if it was worth mentioning again ( new manager now) but I don't want to cause any trouble or feel let down again and not understood and left looking a fool.
Should my work be doing more to protect me from this situation? Where do I stand legally?
I wouldn't consider this to be a health and safety issue to be honest. Your employer does have a duty of care towards you, but if someone has been ignoring you completely from day one and it only applies to you, and you genuinely have absolutely no idea why, it's not unreasonable of your employer to think that at some point during that time, probably early on, you would have invited the new colleague for coffee to try and clear the air and establish what the problem is. She may have perceived some slight on your part, and was then standoffish with you, and it snowballed from there. I'm not saying she's not at fault, but it does seem a bit odd that at no point did you try and talk to her and find out what the deal is. I'm assuming you haven't, it sounds not.
What is it you'd like your manager to do exactly? You mention that you wonder whether your employer should be doing more to 'protect' you from this situation, did you have anything specific in mind?
I'm not in any way underestimating how awful it is to be ignored. It just seems to me that a conversation very early on could have cleared this up very easily, and it's now become a huge big deal to you and has got worse, and your manager is probably wondering why you haven't broached the subject with your colleague before.
If it's affected the work you do, has anyone questioned this? Poor performance will be noticed surely
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