Having worked in finance for over 20 years, I have met a huge number of people from all levels of business, and firmly believe that the biggest issue facing companies in the UK today is poor communication.
Bullying is something I loathe and if I see it in any shape or form I will stand up against it from a moral and ethical standpoint as well as a professional view that it is bad for business.
My previous employer chose to use this tactic as a standard etiquette, of which I have countless examples of unlawful treatment. When my team and I were subject to this, I decided not to let it go and raised a grievance to cover the issues with senior management and the effects it was having on individuals from a morale and personal wellbeing point of view. Instead of investigating the issues, and either apologising and / or changing HR policy, they demoted me, taking my fantastic team away and giving them new reports as well as undermining my own achievements.
When I talk about bullying, I don't mean a bit of piss-taking on the shop floor. I'm the first person to have a joke with the guys and think its a great way to boost morale and show humbleness at all levels. I mean when people are regularly undermined, offered roles which don't exist, humiliated openly and use threatening tactics. Please don't get me wrong. I am not a trouble maker. I have a completely clean criminal record, and have never previously had a caution at work nor have I ever made a complaint in my working life. In 2018, nobody should feel they can't go to work for fear of being abused, bullied and mentally tortured.
I have spoken to legal representatives, and they agree I have a case. I have no issue with public speaking and therefore will self-represent to keep costs down. As I see it, this is a win-win for me. If I win the case, I would like a change to employment law to ensure any reported incidents of bullying are fully investigated with full feedback. If I lose the case, I know I will never work in this industry again and ensure my children do not either, as it stands against everything I believe in.
The £3,000 should cover the legal fees in regards to drafting the particulars and forming the basis of the claim. If I win the case with legal fees being paid, every last penny will be returned to the individuals who supported the claim if they would like it refunded. Any funds received which exceed the target will go to the charity MIND who do an incredible job and will persevere in ensuring human rights are upheld.
On a personal level at the beginning of this year I made the hardest decision of my life and split with my wife of 6 years and left the family home, of which my employer was fully aware of. However instead of supporting me at this time when I had limited access to my wonderful children, and lost my beautiful house, my employer did everything they could to ensure I lost my job as well. After being told I was to be demoted on the back of my grievance claim, I followed government advice as per this link :
This clearly shows that I was subject to constructive dismissal and yet when I quoted this, and explained that if I had misinterpreted the meeting in which I was demoted from a senior position, I would gladly come back to work as soon as possible, my contract was terminated with immediate effect, given one days pay (they agreed to pay me to the end of the month bearing in mind it was 27th February) and therefore gave me no notice to look for other work or provide me with any means of being able to support myself. I was on a 3 month notice period, and would have easily found work in this time as any previous employers or business contacts would no doubt vouch for my integrity and work ethic.
I came very close to losing everything, and as much as I'd like to just put my head down and move on, I cannot sit back in the knowledge that some of the amazing people I was fortunate enough to work with are being subject to the same levels of torment from some of the senior management. Fortunately friends and family were supportive and financially I was able to get through these very difficult times and was able to find some contract work within a few weeks.
"He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it."
-Martin Luther King Jr.
I may not be able to change the world, but I'll certainly sleep better at night knowing I stood up for what I believe in.
Thank you for your support.