I have had several issues with my manager over the course of the last three years, but most recently, other members of staff have indicated that he has been mocking me behind my back. What can I do?

I have had several issues with my manager over the course of the last three years, but most recently, other members of staff have indicated that he has been mocking me behind my back. What can I do?

I am sorry to hear that you are having issues with your manager. If what your colleagues are saying is true, it could be that you are being subjected to bullying in the workplace.

Bullying: A Definition

Bullying is regarded as a behaviour which derives from a person or group that is unwanted and makes you feel uncomfortable. It also includes you feeling scared or intimidated; less respected or put down; made fun of; or upset.

Bullying is considered harassment when it is about any protected characteristic, including age; disability; gender reassignment; race; religion or belief; sex; or sexual orientation.

What can I do about it?

Sometimes, the person who is being accused of mocking you, may not realise what they are doing, or the effects that their actions are having on you.

Speaking to the person directly, if you feel comfortable doing so, can sometimes help. If you decide to do this, you should highlight the effect that their behaviour is having on you, and the way it is making you feel, in a factual, firm, and non-aggressive manner.

If you are uncomfortable talking to the person face-to-face, then you may want to put this in an email or ask for support from a trade union representative if you have one. You may also wish to highlight this to another manager within the business, or someone in your HR or Personnel department if your organisation has one.

You should keep a record or any instances of bullying or harassment that you have suffered including the way it made you feel, dates and times of occurrences, and any witnesses or evidence that there may be.

Company Policies

Companies usually have a policy on bullying and harassment, which is normally found in the organisation’s employee handbook. If there is no policy in place, your employer still has a legal duty of care to protect you while you are at work, and this includes dealing with instances of bullying.

By speaking to someone in a senior position, we can attempt to address the problem more informally, however if this does not work, you can then raise a grievance.

Grievance Procedures

These procedures can be used to try and resolve any issues that you have at work if informal measures do not help. Grievances should be put in writing, outlining the situation and the preferred outcome. Employers usually have procedures in place that you can refer to, and again, these can usually be found in your employee handbook.

Your employer should arrange a meeting to discuss your issues of concern and make a decision based on the information presented in the grievance and during the course of the meeting. The decision will then be made as whether they will uphold or dismiss your claims.

Further Steps

There are further steps that you can take, including escalation to early conciliation through ACAS, and moving further to an employment tribunal if your employer does not deal with the issues effectively.

advice.scot provide free, practical, and impartial advice and information on a range of subjects, including employment. Our newly developed website has a Knowledge Centre with more information on employment issues and the next steps, should you need them.

I hope this helps and you can resolve the situation with your employer.

You can access free, impartial advice on any topic from advice.scot by contacting 0808 800 9060 or by visiting www.advice.scot. Advice is available to everyone in Scotland, at no cost, regardless of personal circumstance.

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