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Am I being bullied?(26 Posts)
This is one in a long line of things done/said to me over a couple of years.
In my job we are running two computer systems over a period of a couple of months, so everything I put on our usual system has to be entered onto the new one too. This is whilst learning the new system at the same time.
Hence my workload has doubled and I haven't been allowed to increase my hours in the short term to help alleviate the extra work.
In addition to this, I have been tasked with another (time consuming) job for a different department and have been given hardly any training, yet am expected to have all this work done in my usual hours.
I feel like I am being burdened with more and more stuff and nobody seems to be listening when I say it's too much. ☹️
I don’t think you’re being bullied just from what you’ve said, but I accept that there may be more to it.
What has the conversation been like when you’ve said you have too much work? Are you the only person in this position?
The key thing is to formalise your concerns about workload. That doesn't mean you need to put in a grievance. What it does mean is you need to have an audit trail of the actual increase in your workload, such that you give them adequate information to be able to make necessary changes to help you. You could suggest solutions, for ex.the workload is shared with another colleague or getting your manager to confirm how long this will continue in case a temp could be hired for the next 1-2 months to support you.
What you don't want to do is let it rumble on and on, such that you end up breaking down with stress, and potentially making an important mistake because they're running you ragged, then they turn round and blame it on you and deny you were clear enough about what was happening.
Drop it in an email to your manager to show in real terms, specific examples of your hours doubling and the impact on you personally.
This isn’t bullying, you can leave when your hours end, you aren’t a slave
No it’s not bullying! Can you possibly take control of the situation and manage their expectations of what you are capable of doing with the hours and training you’re given? Don’t be a victim.
This is called a shit job or employer, you can choose to leave though. It not bullying, no one is threatening you or your family if you don’t stay. It’s your choice
@DoINeedANewJob do you want to be a victim? You sound like you do? Please give me sympathy for being good at my job?
If this is just one example of many then it's likekt you are being bullied. I was in the safe situation last year doing a job by myself that they have now recruited 8 people to do. When I mentioned I was overwhelmed I was told by my manager at that time that I wasn't working hard enough. Ended up having a mental breakdown and being signed off for months.
What makes you think this is bullying rather than just bad management practice? Is it directed only at you? What else is there?
You say you aren’t being allowed to increase your hours to cope with Eva workload. If it’s too much work for the hours you do then that means presumably a lot of it isn’t getting done. What’s your manager’s response to that?
I think it would depend on if there is a reason you think / know this work increase is part of a campaign to see you gone?
Like a pp said, start documenting this issue now via email. Email your manager and copy in HR. Document the increase in workload clearly in terms of hours you need to complete these new tasks and then offer solutions like more training, additional help you need from other departments, moving parts of your job elsewhere etc.
No it's not bullying. Have an adult conversation about your concerns and just get as much work done as you can in the hours you work. Everyone is busy in their jobs these days and I imagine that's how it'll stay.
Incidentally bullying isn't against any employment legislation so even if you feel bullied, victimised or threatened, they aren't going to feel forced into changing their approach. But you can make change happen for yourself.
Hmmm. Tried the email route and got a written warning when it broke down into a heated discussion.
Not great after lengthy service without a blemish.
Interesting that bullying isn't against any employment legislation, daisychain01 - it certainly happens, so wonder what the perpetrators are 'charged' with if it is ever brought to light?
”Interesting that bullying isn't against any employment legislation, daisychain01 - it certainly happens, so wonder what the perpetrators are 'charged' with if it is ever brought to light?”
Internally perpetrators can definitely be ‘charged’ with bullying- behaviour doesn’t have to be unlawful for it to result in a disciplinary warning or even dismissal.
In terms of the employer’s liability, they could be at risk of a constructive dismissal claim if they fail to address a serious bullying problem.
Can you answer the question about what happens when you don’t complete all this work, on the basis you don’t have enough time and they won’t let you work more hours?
Nothing has happened, my LM asked me the other day if a particular task had been done, I said no he said oh.
I'd say I'm fitting in about 2/3 of the extra work; luckily another part of my job has been unusually quiet, so I've not had to break off to get that done and I've dropped 'non essential' stuff.
If all my tasks had been as busy as usual, I'd have struggled even more than I have.
Forgot to mention, the above has been done with me forfeiting my lunch a couple of times a week and also staying over (unpaid).
Possibly making me the martyr but I'd rather do that than see a whole load of work piling up.
Um, ok. Well if you're fitting in most of the work and no one is bothered that you're not doing some of it, you'd struggle to argue there's anything wrong or 'bullying' about being given it in the first place!
If you get busier and start to not be able to fit more in, raise it with your line manager and ask what he would like you to prioritise.
I just feel they're building a case to manage me out. Especially now I've received a warning.
Ok well stop forfeiting your lunch or staying late, and if you are unable to complete the work, make sure your manager is notified regularly and asked which tasks he would like you to prioritise.
What was the warning for?
Insubordination for arguing back with the manager when trying to explain about workload.
they could be at risk of a constructive dismissal claim if they fail to address a serious bullying problem.
The risk of constructive dismissal is extremely small, and for bullying the onus would fall on the employee. All that cost + stress = unlikely to get them anywhere.
Yes I didn’t say it was likely to be successful or suggest the OP pursue that option, but she asked about the potential legal avenues as bullying isn’t specifically unlawful, so I told her.
You do what you can do in yours hours, that’s it. Stop doing more. Then they will understand the need for more resources when things go wrong
OP if you think they are trying to 'manage you out' over this, I would suggest you handle the situation proactively, so there is no misunderstanding, as it sounds like they are handling the matter poorly.
If you are in a Union, you could get them to support you, to clarify to management that you've tried your best to cover the situation and have been more than willing to work the extra hours, that isn't the problem. Your email was to highlight the longer term problem of your workload doubling and that you were doing the responsible thing by bringing the situation to their attention.
Also emphasise that you are keen to continue to work towards a resolution so the impact on the business is minimised and to ensure your hours are manageable over time.
If you are just short of two years employment rights this could be curtains, unfortunately and my comment upthread that there's a risk they will turn against you (even though you've worked those extra hours and have foregone breaks) could be coming to fruition. They don't sound like a responsible employer to allow you to struggle and throw warnings at you just because you raise concerns.
Unfortunately I've known these situations where the employee has been put upon and expected to work more and more, and it rarely ends well sticking to one's hours, esp if there's a blame culture.
There's a tipping point where it goes from pulling out the stops to get through a temporary spike in activity, to being a precedent that's set, and those long hours just being expected. It can be a sign of management burying their head in the sand and leaving the burden to the put-upon employee.