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Can HR offer any support regarding affair

(35 Posts)
missblossomhill Thu 28-Mar-13 09:44:30

Hope someone can help me or offer advice
My STBXH had an affair with a woman in his work. It started when I was pregnant and I discovered it when my baby was six weeks old, I confronted him and he left me. They are still together
This was all six months ago and my maternity leave is about to end. But myself my husband and this woman all work in the same company !
I am absolutely dreading returning to work and seeing her or them both together
People have advised me to speak to HR but I'm not sure what they could do either practically or support wise

Does anyone have any ideas on how to handle this

I just don't know what to do

Loulybelle Wed 24-Apr-13 19:01:55

Any success OP?

MsWinnieBaygo Sat 30-Mar-13 01:24:35

Not the point of the thread but I agree with flowery - management make the decisions - HR are there to ensure consistency and that the correct procedures and statutory legislation is followed in accordance with the management decisions

flowery Fri 29-Mar-13 18:16:59

"HR can be very pragmatic indeed, particularly at the direction of their paymasters, just like anybody else."

Er yes that's exactly my point. It's not HR who decide someone is a troublemaker and must be got rid of. It's management.

nenevomito Fri 29-Mar-13 16:21:21

I'm glad that your managers were sympathetic and will support you with HR. that's a big positive for you.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Fri 29-Mar-13 16:04:51

Good result, OP... that must be a load off your mind. Hope the meeting goes well.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Fri 29-Mar-13 15:42:10

flowery... what squidgy says is more common than you might think. HR can be very pragmatic indeed, particularly at the direction of their paymasters, just like anybody else. I've worked in private, public and civil sectors and have seen it. In my experience, public sector is the worst - employees who should be sacked for very clear reasons, are not. In my current role in the private sector, I have had cause to complain about a public sector client who will be 'untouchable' because of his position, HR or no HR. In agreement with my company's legal team, we're putting that one away for a 'rainy day'.

So please don't arbitrarily say "it doesn't happen"; it clearly does.

flowery Fri 29-Mar-13 15:13:18

"I used to work in Investment banking in the late 90's and other colleagues as well as myself have been on the receiving end of their attitude that staff were just there to make money, and if not dispensable."

Seriously? You think HR were in charge of which staff were dispensable? Nope. That would be managers/directors. HR would have been asked to deal with getting rid of people not deciding who to get rid of!

SquidgyMummy Fri 29-Mar-13 13:38:38

Sorry to be harsh about HR departments. I used to work in Investment banking in the late 90's and other colleagues as well as myself have been on the receiving end of their attitude that staff were just there to make money, and if not dispensable.

OP, your STBXH sounds like a nasty piece of work, but if he is more senior to you or makes more money for the company, then watch your back.

The most political solution for this would be to try and get her promoted out of the situation, as unpalatable as this may seem. Happens so much in organisations, as my DP says "sh1t floats to the top".

That way your STBXH and OW cannot complain, OW is out of your hair and you get to protect the job situation you have worked hard for.

I know I sound paranoid, but I have seen people getting screwed over far too much for complaining telling the truth and i just want you to be very careful in your meeting. Is there someone you can take along with you to the meeting? Friend, trusted colleague?

ATouchOfStuffing Thu 28-Mar-13 21:22:13

Glad you have spoken to them OP. I had a friend at work who cheated with my then fiance. I spoke to HR and they offered to move me to a different department, which was good but tbh I felt I didn't want to see her at all and have people talking. I hope it works out well for you. Worth thinking if you have any preferences of new roles/vacancies in the firm that would be better placed for you away from either of them?

AuntieVenom Thu 28-Mar-13 21:17:42

Well done!!

I hope the meeting goes well and the two moral-less individuals get the comeuppance of their lives.

missblossomhill Thu 28-Mar-13 21:03:03

Thanks everyone
After reading your replies I felt strong enough to phone and explain everything including the threats and how i was feeling to my managers
They are appalled and are going to organise a meeting with HR next week
I feel so much better about this so thank you everyone again

ohtobecleo Thu 28-Mar-13 19:47:07

What an awful situation. I'm with those who've said that you should discuss the thinly veiled threat with HR without mentioning the affair so that you maintain dignity and proffessionality. And so that it's on record in the event of any dispute.

Bluesue26 Thu 28-Mar-13 16:50:43

Hmmmm, I know somebody who worked for her DH. The DH had an affair, (not with somebody within that company but was a client), and the wife resigned. She then sued the company for constructive dismissal and got a considerable pay out. She claimed she had to leave as it was an unbearable environment to work in.

BertramBertram Thu 28-Mar-13 16:38:57

HR are not just there for hiring & firing! A good HR person will want to know about this so that they can make sure YOU are OK. Whilst HR won't get involved in the morality issues, they will make sure that you are not driven out by ex & OW. You may find that HR are able to offer some practical support in terms of referring for counselling, flexible working etc. You must make them aware of his comments

onefewernow Thu 28-Mar-13 16:30:41

Queenofknickers us quite right. I also have some experience in thus field, and would have happily supported you to feel comfortable at work.

DontmindifIdo Thu 28-Mar-13 14:23:43

Definately tell HR after he's made that threat - they need to know any complaints from him are coming from a position of being in a relationship with this woman having cheated on you.

do they know at work that he's in a relationship with her or are they still keeping it quiet? If so, they need to know about it, and I would say so do your colleagues.

Your STBXH is probably hoping you'll quit or go elsewhere so he doesn't have to deal with the situation he created. It's a lot easier ot convince yourself you aren't doing anything wrong if you don't have to deal with seeing other people looking at you like you are scum. If his colleagues don't know now, I bet when they do they'll start looking down on him and her. (And particularly her, she knows you, rightly or wrongly, we do tend to reserve the most disapproval for an OW who shags the husband of someone she knows).

Verbalpunchbag Thu 28-Mar-13 14:07:41

Yes speak to HR, anything you tell them should be held in the strictest confidence, it would be worth mentioning what your husband said about getting you sacked. Don't discuss his cheating/separation/divorce etc with your colleagues, try to stay professional and above all walk into work with your head held high.

Queenofknickers Thu 28-Mar-13 11:00:39

Eek Squidgy, I know there are some less compassionate HRdepts out there ( honestly i know there are some horrors) but as a Head of HR myself having run lots of depts over 15 years I can reassure you that most HR people will be only too glad to listen to, help and reassure especially someone coming back from maternity leave - plus there are very few people related things such as affairs that an experienced HR person hasn't encountered. On behalf of myself and my colleagues we don't see people as troublemakers unless they make repeated unfounded or vexatious claims - dealing with disputes of all kinds is our bread and butter.

Phew that said I would absolutely suggest you request a confidential meeting with someone in HR (preferably at HR Manager level so they've got some experience) and ask for some support and help. No one is allowed to threaten you - your employers have a duty of care towards YOU. X Wish i could come with you! x

flowery Thu 28-Mar-13 10:57:53

Ok, definitely tell HR then. And don't worry, no one is going to sack you for looking at someone funny.

He sounds very unpleasant, and as if you are well shot tbh.

Speak to HR, just explain what has happened, and say you wanted them to be aware. They may or may not be able to actually do anything, but getting it on the record that there is a personal relationships 'issue' for want of a better word, is sensible.

eatmydust Thu 28-Mar-13 10:52:29

x posted with you earlier.

What he has said to you is bullying and you do need to report it to your company. That is probably enough leverage for them to move him.

Try and just communicate with him about this in writing/email/text so you have a record.

Are they is senior positions to you?

SoupDreggon Thu 28-Mar-13 10:46:11

He told me on no uncertain terms yesterday that if I even attempt to look at her the wrong way then she will complain to HR and will get me sacked

I certainly would be telling HR about his threat so that it is on record should anything happen.

arthriticfingers Thu 28-Mar-13 10:46:06

Do you have these threats - or anything work related as a phone text or email?

Whocansay Thu 28-Mar-13 10:44:57

Make an appointment with HR and make them aware of the situation as it stands. Be clear that you would not usually want to bring personal problems to work, but they should be aware of the above threat. Ask that if possible, you have no or very limited contact at work with either of them. And NEVER be alone with either of them. Make sure you always have a witness.

What a horrible situation. I hope you and your baby are otherwise OK?

nenevomito Thu 28-Mar-13 10:43:35

I would make an appointment with HR and explain that your H has left you and your young child for someone else in the company. Explain that you will always behave professionally, but as your Ex has threatened to cause trouble for you, they need to be aware of this and that anything about you from him, or the OW should be viewed in light of that information.

No, they can't enforce morals, but they can do something about bullying or someone causing trouble in the work place. In my experience, they wouldn't consider you to be the trouble maker.

MrsSpagBol Thu 28-Mar-13 10:42:11

In light of his comments I would definitely tell HR.

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