Financial adviser makes Employment Tribunal claim after allegations of bullying

The Worcester News reports that a former financial adviser at Santander has made an Employment Tribunal claim after he alleged he was bullied and harassed at work.

Mr Andrew Johnson worked for Santander in Droitwich until his resignation last year. He resigned after he claims that he raised grievances relating to bullying by one of his managers and that the bank was failing to make the necessary adjustments to help him cope with his disability at work. He went on to gain advice from specialist employment solicitors and subsequently submitted a claim to the Employment Tribunal for constructive unfair dismissal, failure to make reasonable adjustments, and discrimination arising from his disability. A compromise agreement was considered but no agreement could be arrived at by either party.

Mr Johnson’s claim went to the Birmingham Employment Tribunal last week. His claim is founded on the basis that new targets had been imposed on its staff by Santander in 2011 which related to how many investments needed to be attracted each week. Mr Johnson stated that it was unreasonable to expect these targets given his disability, and also raised issues regarding to how many miles he could be expected to travel for work in view of his disability. He further alleged that the bank had completely failed to consider making reasonable adjustments relating to his disability to allow him to do his job properly. After raising a grievance he subsequently resigned from his employment. There was criticism made of Mr Johnson and his approach to the dispute during the Employment Tribunal when Mr Johnson was cross-examined. The Employment Tribunal lasted seven days and the Employment Judge is expected to make a decision at a later date.

So, what is constructive dismissal? To paraphrase, constructive dismissal occurs when a Claimant is forced to resign from their employment because of the unreasonable behaviour of their employer, which breaches their contract of employment. In order to claim constructive dismissal a Claimant must show these four elements:

  1. That there had been a breach of contract by their employer
  2. That this breach of contract was sufficiently serious (both subjectively and objectively) to entitle the Claimant to resign
  3. That the Claimant resigned (at least in part) because of the breach and not for any other reason; and
  4. That the period between the breach and the Claimant’s resignation was not too long

If you think that you’ve been bullied or harassed in the workplace because of your disability or for any other reason then you should submit a written, formal grievance to your employer to try and resolve the matter internally. Employment Tribunal proceedings are an option if matters can’t be resolved but this is always a last resort and shouldn’t be the first step for potential Claimants.

Direct 2 Lawyers can put you in touch with expert employment law solicitors and unfair dismissal solicitors

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