Is there any of our wonderful readers of this site able to give advice about victimisation/ workplace bullying?
One of my neighbours has a son of 22 who as a child had slightly delayed developement. He attended special schools to help him, he is not your average 22 year old , the best way to describe him is younger than his years...his mum is of the opinion that finding his dad dead from a heart attack as a small child affected him.
He has grown into a clean, pleasant boy who has never been in trouble, is inoffensive and polite.
He worked as an estate cleaner employed by an agency for a year, then Southwark Council took over the cleaning company meaning that the lad is now employed by Southwark Cleaning Dept., He had worked for the agency for a year with no complaints about his work, and with barely a day off sick and with out a break for holidays.
However since his permanent employment with Southwark he has endured various forms of which I believe is victimisation, bullying and intimidation. When he complained about his Team Leader and Manager he was moved to another section of the cleaning department. Things improved slightly , then it seems that when his new colleagues found about his complaints they too decided to ' hound' him.
He is being told constantly that he is being watched, being told he is going to be sacked, told off for not picking up a leaf ( in Autumn!) He is jeered at, one of his ' superiors' tossed a pound coin on the floor told him to pick it up and go and get him a drink, which the lad did....What an easy target for them....
The list is endless..
All this irreprehensible behaviour towards him has made his childhood stutter return and he has now developed a nervous cough and tic. His G.P. signed him off for two weeks with stress and was reluctant to let him return to work. The Doctor has also written a letter on the lads behalf.
To try and keep it brief, which is very difficult for me! what can be done to help this young lad? Because of the difficulties he now has it will be very difficult for [name] to work with the constant barrage of abuse he seems to be receiving on a daily basis, and his bosses seem to be ignoring it. His request to moved to back to another area where he used to work for the agency are not being taken seriously.
What should this lad and his Mum do next?
p.s. could not remember if irreprehensible was the right word, but threw it in anyway!
From what I can remember, when you join the Council you are advised to join a union of some sort. Perhaps [name] can contact them for some advice?
What about contacting the old agency and asking them to take him on their books, if he was happy there it might be worth investigating this option.
Bullying of any kind is unacceptable and his managers should be ashamed of themselves for letting this go on. I just hope Nick Stanton reads this, if only to reaffirm what a terrible reputation the staff at Southwark are getting across all departments and as "Leader" the buck stops with him.
Dave, I spoke to his Mum this morning and she thinks it would be too far for him to get to. She's a bit concerned I think whether he got lost or not, but thank you so very much for thinking of him.
I'll keep my ears open for something a little more local.
Believe you should email this to Nick Stanton as it could have ramifications for the council legally under unfair working practices and to their disability conformation. He's quite a decent guy at the end of the day and I know he would be horrified by this story.
If someone wants to work and is willing to work despite having every opportunity to hide behind his disability he should be given every support.
Southwark Council is legally obliged to take reaonable steps to provide a safe place of work and safe procedures for its staff.
I also know they have a document which sets out its policies on appropriate workplace behaviour and harrassment. Your friend's son should have been given a copy of this together with a copy of his contract when he signed up - perhaps in a staff handbook ?
If not, why doesn't she try calling the Southwark Council funded Disability Advice line ((020) 7247 8763). They will be very up to date on employment related issues and discrimination in the workplace.
Article 3 of the human rights act might b ethe one to take action under. It will take about 4 weeks to get a response though. They have an advice line Mon/Thu 6.30-8.30pm and 12.30-2.30 Wed. but it is VERY busy.