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Grounds for constructive dismissal?(4 Posts)
have been at my work place for nearly 10 years, no disciplinaries etc. I have managed a huge flagship project singlehandedly during that time and acknowledged as being really good at it. Basically, new senior manager started a year ago and over 17 people have left my department - some without jobs to go to as it is so awful in there.
In March we got moved to a new work space which is just a big void in the building like an atrium - very loud, echo chamber, hot, infested with brick mites, coloured lights flashing above my head and air-con that blows dust on us. In addition they have sat me so that my chair hits the back of the reception desk chair if I push my chair back even slightly so I have constant disturbance all day.
This has caused me to have migraines and my productivity to suffer - complained verbally and in email to management and was more or less told to put up and shut up. Migraines resulted in my being sent to Occupational Health who recommended flexibility if I wasn't feeling well and change of work space. Nothing was done. I approached senior manager to ask about implementing recommendations and was told I had to produce medical evidence which I did. I then continued having migraines and OH appts where they were shocked nothing had been done. I was also relieved of my major project at this time on flimsy grounds and my manager actually lied to me about it and also said he was doing it to make sure that knowledge wasn't lodged with just one person but nobody else has had their projects where they are solely responsible removed and given to other people (no performance issues as I am universally acknowledged as doing an excellent job for it).
Since September 13th been signed off with stress related illness/migraines. I have had my fit note extended by 6 weeks by my GP today. I can't face going back
My last OH appt was with the consultant on Wednesday and he advised approaching them for a severance package as he said he can't force them to make changes and he knows how bad it is at my workplace as he has seen others.
Should I raise a grievance for them not taking steps to help when my health was suffering? Should I approach them for a settlement package and if I do, do I have grounds for a potential tribunal to use as leverage?
I don't want to work for them any more, seen them abuse too many good people, staff churn is enormous and I have no trust or confidence in them and don't believe they will do anything to help. In other words, I think this guy wants me out and that is why he has done nothing to help/stripped me of my main project..
Do I have grounds for constructive dismissal or an employment tribunal?
If anyone out could weigh in please could you advise because I would rather mutually call it quits and get a severance package than slog it out and it get nasty. Thank you
Oh dear, sorry to hear about that.
My only thought is if your finances can cope, get away and cut all ties in your mind with there as soon as possible. Don't drag things out.
You can get another job, but you can't get another health, so look after yourself.
If you really need the money, then try to get advice. Maybe the CAB can help somewhat.
If the working conditions are as bad as you say they may well have broken the terms of the Health & Safety at Work Acts and a phone call to the Health and Safety Executive
Further to the above, I have now attended 4 OH appointments, given in 3 sick notes from my GP and a letter. My last OH consultation was on Monday and the consultant doctor I saw was furious as my line manager had 'nitpicked' his way through the entire report. He was asking for information extraneous to what I have been signed off for and that is not legally required to be divulged. He questioned my GP's last sick note as it just stated migraines and not migraines/stress as on the previous two sick notes (an oversight by the GP I am sure).
31 March moved to new office space
18 April 1st email complaint from me about noise and conditions
31 May attended 1st OH appt where recommendations to allow me to be moved to a different place and to work some hours from home were made.
2 June 1st OH report sent out
14 June email to manager outlining conditions again and requesting to be allowed to work from home the following afternoon due to being unable to work due to noise etc. Request was denied on the grounds that further medical evidence needed before adjustments could be considered.
23rd June GP letter stating migraine problem exacerbated by work conditions and recommending OH adjustments implemented handed in.
12 September meeting booked 'to discuss OH report' dated early June for September 16
15th September attend GP surgery following severe migraine to ask about alternative medication. GP decides to sign me off for 2 weeks with stress/migraines
16 September meeting did not go ahead
30 September 2nd OH appt in which I reported no adjustments had been made since last OH consultation in early June. HSE regulations possibly breached was pointed out by OH.
7 October signs me off for 4 weeks for stress/migraines
1st November 3rd OH appt in which doctor states that unless adjustments are made it is forseeable that health problems will continue and suggests meeting with me to discuss
7 November GP gives another fit note for 6 weeks
6 December 4th OH appt in which doctor is exasperated by long 2 page critique/questions of his previous report and the inclusion of my sickness record since I started working there is 2007 in addition to demands to reveal information he isn't obliged to give or that have a bearing on my consultation.
15 December meeting booked on 21 November with line manager to 'discuss adjustments' to take place.
Basically they left me with stress and headaches for 3.5 months before any mention of meetings to discuss OH reports was made by them. I had to chase them about it and I have lost all faith in them.
I would like to negotiate a settlement agreement but realise that success depends upon possibility of litigation success etc. I could raise a grievance but honestly, I would like to walk away with a few months salary until I get a new job and settle things amicably. I have worked there for 10 years, given good service, no disciplinaries and cooperated with everything they have asked of me throughout despite them ignoring emails and verbal reports of how the new environment was affecting me and also the OH recommendations/GP letter being disregarded.
Do I have a good case to ask for a settlement agreement? The meeting is on Monday. I am 46 so not a feckless kid and very, very worried and anxious about it all. I actually felt sick and wobbly after my last OH appt due to the aggressive and lengthy nature of the line manager's rebuttal to the OH doctor's report. I don't want to go back as although I can't prove it, I do feel this senior manager has a personal grudge but trying to keep everything factual. If someone can chip in on this with latest developments, I would be very grateful.
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