Too stressed to work during the grievance process

(39 Posts)
AdelaideD Fri 08-Nov-19 00:24:45

Hi it's my first time posting in this amazing forum.

I have been back on a phased return for 3 weeks on short shifts and due to work full days 35 hours this week Monday. I've also been working in another office away from the colleague I've put a grievance against but I still feel extremely stressed/anxiety and struggling to work. The colleagues in the new office were nice to me during the first week, but started ignoring me after they found out I put a grievance in (not sure how they found out). I came face-to-face with the bully I complained about one day last week and it made me very upset. I've already had five months off and just came back. I am dreading going to work on Monday. Shall I call in sick or request emergency annual leave for the week? What would be a valid reason for emergency annual leave? Will they take action against me if I do call in sick with stress again? I'm also unsure about how this will affect my pay if i go sick, as i was on half pay when I returned from long term sick leave recently then onto a phased return.
My union have been very unsupportive in all this which has made matters so much worse for me. Will i be able to request a refund from the union?

Please help

OP’s posts: |
AdelaideD Fri 08-Nov-19 00:39:21

I forgot to add that I still have to interact with the same management who handled the bullying badly, so I feel pretty depressed and angry.

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Mishfit0819 Fri 08-Nov-19 00:42:00

I don't want to sound unsympathetic, but what's so bad that you've needed 5 months off for, and that your union and colleagues won't back you for?

If whatever has happened is so bad, what outcome do you expect to come from the grievance process that will resolve the issue?

There isn't much info from the post re the actual issue, so all I can think of is to save yourself the stress and find another role.

Its unlikely that your sick pay will reset so you'd likely be back on half pay but it'll be down to the company policy, whether it's x amount in a 12 month period etc.

NorthEndGal Fri 08-Nov-19 00:42:42

What if you went in as planned, and see how it goes? There may have been changes made since you were last in that office, as it has been nearly half a year

AdelaideD Fri 08-Nov-19 01:14:38

As mentioned above I was bullied.

OP’s posts: |
AdelaideD Fri 08-Nov-19 01:18:20

I've already been back for almost a month on a phased return.

Fyi, I've applied for jobs but worried about being asked for reference from current employer? I do have positive appraisals record and a letter of proof of employment from HR

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BouquetOfRoses Fri 08-Nov-19 02:51:43

Sickness or emergency AL is only delaying the issue.

Do you have a time frame for the grievance investigation outcome? Can you just be polite to the new colleagues and tell yourself what they may think doesn't matter?

Did your manager not complete a meeting with you to discuss how you were feeling at the end of rehab?

Northernlurker Fri 08-Nov-19 03:03:14

You've had five months off and one face to face encounter leads you unable to go to work? You need to think about leaving. I don't see how it's possible to recover the situation.

Bluerussian Fri 08-Nov-19 03:38:28

I do feel sorry for you, Adelaide. In your position I would stay off sick and look for another job, your current firm will give you a decent reference I assure you; people do not give bad references unless the staff member has had serious issues, and even then they would be more inclined to just not give a reference at all and suggest you ask someone else. You will be fine.

When you go for interviews, try to get a good feel of the place and some of the employees. At interview all you have to say is that you feel you would do a better job in a different set up.

Good luck flowers.

Bluerussian Fri 08-Nov-19 03:39:06

PS I'm not suggesting you cop a feel of the employees !

TeachesOfPeaches Fri 08-Nov-19 03:45:38

Why didn't you look for another job during your 5 months off?

Jozen Fri 08-Nov-19 04:26:56

I agree with Northernlurker, a single encounter with this person has had a detrimental effect on you and I don't see how you can recover from this situation either.
Why won't the union assist you? Workplace bullying is a big no no and should be taken very seriously. Do you have any witnesses to the bullying behaviour who can back you up?

Anotherlongdrive Fri 08-Nov-19 04:28:05

When did you raise the grievance?

Can you give some detail about what was in it?

SleepWarrior Fri 08-Nov-19 05:13:57

I'd be concerned about what sort of resolution you're hoping for that will enable you to actually manage to work there? Is the bully possibly getting the sack? It sounds like anything short of that wouldn't really fix your particular problems which must be stressful for you, but difficult for your employer too.

If you go sick again, do you mean for a day or two to gather yourself or do you mean longer term? A day of two isn't going to change what you're walking back into at work so I'd say better to bite the bullet and just go in. If you mean longer term then I agree with others, just find another job. Your time, mental health, etc are worth more than faffing around in this place.

Good luck.

IfOnlyOurEyesSawSouls Fri 08-Nov-19 08:06:49

Once you have had your 6 months full pay it is rare for it to reset again so youd be on half pay.

Gazelda Fri 08-Nov-19 08:15:21

Can you email your line manager today, or the person who helped arrange the phased return? Tell them how you're feeling. Ask for their support in dealing with situations where you come face to face with your bully.
I think you have to give your employer the opportunity to help find a solution to this, rather than putting it off for another week.

daisychain01 Fri 08-Nov-19 08:15:49

@AdelaideD can you clarify: did you put in the Grievance while you were on your 5 months sick leave? Has your employer (either your manager or HR?) indicated whether they are actually going to investigate according to their policy/procedure for handling Grievances?

My union have been very unsupportive in all this which has made matters so much worse for me. Will i be able to request a refund from the union?

What are you expecting from the Union Rep? Have you given them details of your Grievance? On what basis have they declined to assist or support you?

Sorry for so many questions, but it isn't easy to give advice without sufficient info to work with.

misspiggy19 Fri 08-Nov-19 08:21:36

*I don't want to sound unsympathetic, but what's so bad that you've needed 5 months off for, and that your union and colleagues won't back you for?*

^Exactly what I thought too. Obviously there is more to this story.

You won’t get a refund from the union.

thenightsky Fri 08-Nov-19 08:29:48

Is the grievance ongoing or is it finished and the person disciplined, or the case dismissed?

AdelaideD Fri 08-Nov-19 09:45:49

Good morning all,
Thank you for your replies and suggestions. I will try to answer your questions ( I don't want to give too much away to out myself. )
1. I wrote an email to my manager 3 months before I went sick to inform her about the bullying and she did not even reply.

2. I then wrote to the supervisor who said he isn't getting involved.

3. I requested mediation with the bully via HR and they said she refused and told me I could put in a grievance.

4. My union rep has been very negative about grievances & says they are rarely upheld (even with evidence). The union wanted me to keep trying the informal route that was clearly not working.

5. I lost 4 members of my family in a car accident last year when all this bullying was also going on at work.

6. The person who has been bullying me has been in the organisation longer than me (12 years) although she has been through issues in her previous departments (i've heard rumours of her bullying others in the company in other departments).

7. I've been with the company for almost six years and I've been happy with the job up until this bully started working in my department.

8. I have 2 witnesses and emails, text messages from colleagues confirming some of the incidents that took place.

9. The supervisor has also been interviewed as they witnessed the verbal attack/aggressive confrontation that led to my 5 months of sickness and this was documented by the supervisor upon my request. The union did have a go at my managers for not contacting me at all during my sickness.

10. I started the grievance process only two months ago due to the stress I was experiencing plus grieving the loss of my family. I did try to start it in July but my union rep was on annual leave and she was trying to put me off since.

11. The bully has been interviwed by HR and we are awaiting the panel hearing (no idea how long this will take).

12. The HR woman who is dealing with the case only works 2 days a week so I can't contact her whenever I wish. Other HR advisors keep telling me to speak to the advisor who is dealing with it.

13. I have a few interviews lined up at the end of this month which are better money but 9-5 mon-fri but 2k more than my current salary, but 10 days less holidays than my current job. I do love the shifts of my permanent job as i like having days off during the week (everywhere is busy during weekends)

OP’s posts: |
AdelaideD Fri 08-Nov-19 09:55:46

HR have suggested permanent redeployment in another department, but I'm not sure about this as this bully has been speaking to everyone around the company about the situation (even though HR have told her to keep my statement etc confidential) I've heard that she's even shown my statement to others.

The bully's mother is a rep of another union and the bully herself used to be a union rep but was apparently removed due to complaints raised against her. I fear that nothing will come out of my grievance.

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AdelaideD Fri 08-Nov-19 09:58:31

Thank you for your gentle words of encouragement.

OP’s posts: |
MrsMaiselsMuff Fri 08-Nov-19 10:01:11

What do you want the outcome of the grievance to be? On what you've said, it's very unlikely she'll be dismissed.

If she does continue to work there, how can you make things work for you to continue?

breakfastpizza Fri 08-Nov-19 10:31:52

From what you've posted, remaining with this company doesn't sound viable. Have you been in contact with a solicitor? I'd spend the money and find out what your legal options are. Best case, you might be able to negotiate an exit package to move on.

NorthEndGal Fri 08-Nov-19 10:33:08

Clearly you will not feel comfortable working for your employer while she is there, and she isn't leaving.
At this point you would need to find a better way to cope with the stress, or put in your notice, because this in limbo thing has got to be so stressful for you and your employer

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