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Dominic Valentine

Dominic Valentine

Training Manager

Read more from Dominic Valentine

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Have you ever been bullied or harassed by a client and/or their staff?


As a freelancer, have you ever been bullied,harassed or subjected to any other sort of detriment by a client AND/OR their staff? One of my colleagues has recently been assisting a member of the group with a claim of harassment from some of the client's staff.It has now been resolved satisfactorily but it prompted me to reflect that other colleagues here may sometimes need advice on employment rights,inter alia equality and health/safety statutes. It would also be useful and very helpful to hear from colleagues here if they have ever suffered any detriments from a client and/or staff. What did you do about it? What actually happened? I have produced a short (about 500 words) briefing with signposts to two important cases that should be helpful. Additionally, the Coalition Government have just announced that it is their intention to repeal the concept of "Third Party Harassment" which, in the Equality Act, is designed to provide redress when say a customer OR freelance contractor harasses a member of the client's staff. Many experts believe, however, that the existing concept of "Environmental Harassment" in the Equality Act(a clause that is NOT going to be repealed) will be sufficient to capture the foregoing situation. If you want a copy of the briefing,my e mail is [email protected]

2 Responses

  1. In thirty years of doing this
    In thirty years of doing this challenging role I have had dozens of experiences others may consider harrassment, and indeed, the robust nature of my relations with certain people within client organisations would give grounds to feel I have done that back in return.

    I have been sworn at, attempts made to belittle me – not an easy one that – my professional judgements questioned, and work curtailed suddenly without ‘good’ reason – typically beacause someone moves on and/or budgets are ended – and that was just last week’s worth!

    I feel this is all just part of the rough and tumble of the work we do – particularly at the sharp end that gets emotions flowing.

    That said, I feel fortunate that I have not been subjected to worse, and I feel it likely many of you have or have the potential to be in the future.

    What we tolerate, and what we challenge has directly commercial implications. When working as a third party associate this may be perticularly the case, as the client is not our own.

    An interesting topic – I hope it generates more contributions.

    Come on you lurkers get involved!

  2. Bullied by client

    Hi Dominic


    Yes, I have.  As I have already mentioned in one of my posts to a question regarding training rules, I was bullied and harassed by a client whilst I was training surgery staff.  This particular "professional" twisted my words and tried to make me look stupid in front of his colleagues.  He constantly interrupted me with pointless questions and statements and told me "you're not very good at training, are you?".  I left the surgery in tears and felt humiliated and angry by his behaviour.  When I reported this back to my manager(s), they were reticent about dealing with the situation.  In fact, the whole episode was quietly brushed under the carpet and, from my view, nothing was actively done about it.  I refused to go back to the surgery to complete the further two days' training and one of my colleagues took my place. 


    The whole situation was badly handled, with no resolution (for me anyway). 





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Dominic Valentine

Training Manager

Read more from Dominic Valentine

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