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Seb Anthony

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My friend works in a small office and the manageress is a very difficult person to get on with. She talks down to the staff and at one time, needed to move one of her employees cars, so she went in that employee's handbag, removed the car keys and then moved the car. She wasn't going to tell the employee that she had moved it so she could laugh at her when she went to go home and couldn't find the car.
She is very domineering and three employees have left because of this Manageress's behaviour. The problem is, they only put in a complaint after they have left. Is the company legally/ethically required to follow up their complaint even though they are no longer an employee. Where do the existing staff stand as they all feel the same?
Lisa Birch

7 Responses

  1. use the grievance procedures
    The company has no legal requirement to follow up a complaint after someone has left unless the managers behaviour has resulted in a tribunal. Any decent company would notice a pattern here and start to investigate it. I would suggest that your friend if she still works there invokes the grievance procedures which any company must have by law to get the bullying investigated. Incidently the taking of the car is theft and in law even if she only moved it a short distance it is still classed as taking without consent and punishable by imprisonment at the extreme. I am sure a magistrate would not see the “joke”

  2. Grievance procedure
    Further to Craig’s excellent reply, I was in a similar situation some years ago. I invoked the grievance procedure and that solved the problem.

  3. Bullying
    Your friend has a clear case for grievance based on the stress and harrasment of the manager.
    She should put that in writing immediately and also the point that the manager went into a handbag, stole the keys and took the car without consent.
    If it is true that people are leaving because of behaviour, and the company has failed to act or investigate the claims, this can also be used as evidence.

    The law protects us from harrassment and bullying: use it!

  4. Get grievances from ex-employees!
    Whilst I agree with most of what has been said, it is my understanding that under the Employment Relations Act 2004 it is possible for ex-employees to bring a grievance against a former employer or one of their staff and there does not appear to be a time limit on when.
    If this is so then perhaps Lisa you could persuade some of your ex-employees who left because of this manager’s behaviour to provide evidence for a grievance hearing.

  5. Log Everything
    My partner was in a similar position at the end of last year. He logged everything his manager did that made him feel bullied and made clear notes of all meetings requesting she change her behaviour. This meant that when he felt he had exhaused all informal routes to resolve the situation he could go into his grievance hearing with specific examples, dates, times and how these things made him feel at the time. He said when he was writing some of things down he felt they were petty and wouldn’t be taken seriously but the quantity of them showed how this manager eroded his confidence. Thankfully, because of the notes the CEO had to tackle the problem.

    Hope this helps

  6. Thank You
    Firstly, thank you for your very useful replies. I asked my friend if the company had a grievance procedure and she believed that it had. I urged her to ask the other ‘victims’ to start the process using the grievance procedure. (she told me that one employee had been documenting incidents, which will of course help with this).
    She did say, however, that the majority of people were scared of this woman and would probably be too frightened to do anything about her behaviour. This saddens me, because the law is there to protect us from these bullies, but alas, some people are too scared to tackle them.
    I will endeavour to get my friend to persuade her colleagues to put a stop to this using the correct procedures, but if they won’t do it, I don’t suppose there is anything else I can do. I don’t actually work for this company, because if I did, I certainly wouldn’t put up with this woman’s behaviour. I will post any new ‘happenings’ with this.
    Many thanks

  7. Put To Bed
    It looks like I can go no further with this one. I spoke to my friend and apparently the staff are a) too afraid to go through a grievance process and b) believe that the senior management think the sun shines from this woman’s **** as she is efficient in her role.
    So, I’ll have to put it to bed, feeling rather frustrated that nothing will be done. But at least the comments below may have helped someone else who is being bullied and wasn’t sure what to do.
    Thanks again.


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