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New workplace

(10 Posts)
Happyelves Tue 07-Feb-17 22:52:39

Well, after striving so hard, I've finally managed to get myself a job. Only to discover that the office is full of 'banter', i.e. Completely inappropriate sexist language and behaviour that makes me really regret taking the job.
As it is I really need the money so I'm terrified of popping my head up and saying 'I know I'm merely an older woman, but I would like to feel respected in the workplace and that people can't get away with trying to hide behind language that everyone else in the office understands but is so offensive I have to wait until I get home to find out what it means. Please don't sack me'

HelenDenver Tue 07-Feb-17 22:55:03

Congrats on getting the job. Sorry the workplace is shit.

How big is it? Any HR?

And it's better to look for a job in a job - keep your eyes open.

Happyelves Tue 07-Feb-17 23:15:59

It's a huge company that always goes on about it's wonderful reputation. Could I be sacked for complaining?

HelenDenver Tue 07-Feb-17 23:18:21

Unlikely but it might be awkward
How long is your probation period?

Happyelves Tue 07-Feb-17 23:27:23

Probably the standard six months. I think I'm just going to have to learn how to keep my head down and try not to hear what the young men are saying until I can either leave the team or get a different job.

HelenDenver Tue 07-Feb-17 23:29:21

Six months is quite long, I'd say. Worth checking.

Are these staff junior, senior or equal rank to you?

Happyelves Tue 07-Feb-17 23:47:11

Equal to me. Is six months not the standard?

LassWiTheDelicateAir Wed 08-Feb-17 00:14:09

Your probationary period, if there is one, should have been explained in the job offer and set out in your contract of employment. You are entitled to a written contract within no more than 2 months of starting but most big employers will issue it long before that.

There is no "standard" probationary period- there may not be one at all.

There's no particular magic in them. An employer is still entitled to dismiss an employee after the probationary period. Unless the reason for the dismissal puts it into a category of "automatically unfair" there's little redress if you have been there less than 2 years.

-If the dismissal was because of discrimination because of a protected characteristic or because you are pregnant or for things like asking for your legal rights at work, eg to be paid minimum wage or whistle blowing it would be unfair.

I suppose if you complained and we're dismissed you might argue there had been discrimination against you if the banter is primarily directed at women and is sexist and degrading, but I'm not an employment lawyer.

Happyelves Wed 08-Feb-17 00:37:52

Thank you for making me feel like I'm not a complete loony and for your support.

FairPlayForWomen Wed 08-Feb-17 03:33:38

You're not a loony! You are quite right that sexually degrading "humour" at work is discomforting and can make you feel uneasy or threatened.

"Sexual harassment is defined by the Equality Act, 2010, as unwanted conduct of a sexual nature which has the purpose or effect of violating someone’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. Obvious examples include indecent or suggestive remarks, questions, jokes or suggestions about a colleague’s sex life, display of pornography in the workplace, unwelcome and inappropriate touching, hugging or kissing."
- Do have a read here: www.integralegal.co.uk/sexual-harassment-work-place/

It's likely the upper levels of management don't know about this. I think you could raise it with HR, maybe not making a complaint as such but asking advice - what's their policy; what should you do, kind of thing. It's not a good look for a company, so one hopes they'd do something about it once it's been pointed out.

Even my old employer, an incredibly misogynistic media company, made people keep their porny amusements & conversations to themselves. I'm surprised anyone other than a local mechanic's shop still allows this.

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