What to do when raising issues about colleagues at work

Sadly, this is a story coming from more and more Brighton girls: suffering at work due to unreasonable behaviour from colleagues, including managers.

Whilst it can be hard to challenge ingrained behaviours, especially with upper management, there are a few things you can do.

Talk to the person directly

Hopefully the issue will be a simple misunderstanding. We’ve all been guilty of speaking before we think – has this been the case? As long as you feel comfortable doing this, talk to them. Explain how you feel and chat about whether something was misinterpreted in which case the problem should be solved easily and quickly.

Keep a record

Start making a record of any events including time, date, what happened and any witnesses – also make sure you keep copies of any emails, letters, instant messages and phone calls. This way you have a note of what happened should you need it. This can be anything from a major issue to small comments and remarks – if it doesn’t sit well with you, write it down.

Speak to someone

Ask the people you trust at work if they have noticed the behaviour and whether it is affecting them as well. You might even find out that someone else is going through the same thing. You’re stronger as a group, and even if they haven’t been on the receiving end, it’s good to confide in someone

Raise the issue formally

Most companies have policies to follow about raising grievances against colleagues. If your company has one make sure you follow it. If you don’t have a written policy, then usually, if it's a colleague that's the problem, go to your line manager. If the line manager is the problem, then it gets trickier but you can try going to their manager, a colleague that's the same level as them or your HR team/person.

Check out the ACAS website

Regardless of your job, role or union membership, ACAS are a free, independent advice service for employment disputes that can be accessed over the phone or on their website www.acas.org.uk. They also have information about mediation, dispute resolution and arbitration (this is a particularly helpful page (http://m.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=1364).

Find support

Most large organisations have a recognised union, so find out what it is and join it. If there's no recognised union, look into Unite, Unison, GMB, or a sector specific union that others in the industry use. They can provide support and advice over the phone and join you in meetings as impartial advice. You can find a trade union by using the TUC’s online Union Finder here: https://worksmart.org.uk/tools/union-finder

Every case is different, so the suggestions above might not suit your situation but hopefully some of them will help.

Remember: you’re not alone. If you ever feel threatened or intimidated at work – speak out. Fed up of a nick name or being spoken over? Speak up.

Disclaimer: The tips on this page are provided for information only. Brighton Girl takes every reasonable effort to make sure that the information is accurate and up to date, but it does not amount to legal advice to any person on a specific case or matter. Readers requiring legal advice are encouraged to contact their trade union or other legal advisor.

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