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Company disclosed medical condition to my staff

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  • Company disclosed medical condition to my staff

    Hi,
    New on here and looking for some sound advice. I have been having issues with my employer for a while, I have been unsupported in my job, I been failed and I feel my contact has been breached in more than one way. All of this led me to bring signed off sick by my GP, this is not something that has happened to me before and to be honest I felt quite embarrassed that I had cracked. After being constantly contacted, despite me ignoring, for the first week I was off, that too was too much and I thought it be easier to return to work, but after a week I had to return to doctors as nothing has changed and was too much. On my return the second time I noticed an email has been sent to our office email for all to see requesting my RATE (which has been completed late) however attached to the email was my original sick note! The staff that all work below me had seen the details and took it upon themselves to disclose to my customers who on my return had spoken to me if my illness as well as it being common knowledge around my place of work. I am curious and as you can imagine this has caused me even more anxiety, stress and upset with the world and his dog knowing my private business. Surely this isn't right. My company has merely apologised and brushed off in my grievance, can anyone advise on what action I could take. Needless to say with such incompetence from a pretty big company I have lost all faith and I'm not sure I can continue my role for them due to this and several other issues before which I've raised in grievance.
    Rant over....I think
    Tags: None

  • #2
    Re: Company disclosed medical condition to my staff

    [MENTION=94916]Sangie595[/MENTION]

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Company disclosed medical condition to my staff

      Hi,
      I'm sorry but I don't know what that link is for

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Company disclosed medical condition to my staff

        Originally posted by Jarj View Post
        Hi,
        I'm sorry but I don't know what that link is for
        It was to give me a "nudge" to have a look at your post.

        I'm sorry, but there really isn't a lot you can do about this. If you are not willing to accept the apology then you can report the matter to the Information Commissioners Office as a date breach. But realistically, they aren't going to do anything other than give the company a smacked wrist and tell them not to do it again. If this isn't the first time, they might get a fine. But no more than that, and, if anything, it makes your problem worse.

        And realistically, if you cannot continue to work for them, then you must find a new job. I am sure that wasn't what you wanted to hear, but I am not seeing anything here that gives you enough justification to try unfair dismissal. You may have been having issues for a while, but "saving them up" for a grievance isn't the best way of going about things - you raise problems as they occur, and if you don't think they are important enough to raise when they do, then your employer cannot resolve them. You appear to be saying that they should have solved them when you didn't raise them. That isn't going to show any breach of contract. And even if it did - IF there has been a breach of contract, it has to be very significant to take the risk of resigning and claiming unfair dismissal. Very few such cases win, and you could easily end up unemployed and with no reference.

        Your only other possible route would be if the company were prepared to enter into a settlement agreement for your resignation. But you are not very likely to get much out of that financially - there is little incentive for them to want to offer anything just because you don't want to work there.

        It's difficult to really see any other way, but you haven't been very specific here. Feeling "unsupported" isn't nice, I agree - but it also isn't an unlawful thing, and employers don't have to make you feel supported. I realise that what you are saying here is that you don't want to continue to work there, but unless you mean that you would prefer to be unemployed, which I doubt, then you need to be clearer about what is and isn't possible for you. If you have only just raised a grievance, then you haven't given them any opportunity to try to resolve the problems that you believe exist. The point of a grievance is to do that. But equally, they don't have to meet your expectations. What you want, and what you can realistically have, may not be the same thing. For example, I agree that contacting you constantly about work matters when you are off sick is unreasonable. But it isn't actionable in law, so what you need is a solution - they need to stop contacting you except for sickness absence management processes. I sense that solutions now are not something that you are interested in, and that, for you, there is no solution that will meet your expectations. In which case, unless you have something much more significant that I can work with, you need to simply hit the vacancies pages and find another job. But I suspected that you already knew that. I appreciate that you feel a particular way about your job now - but you are the one describing it as a rant. And sometimes that is what it is. Understandable, but a rant. There are lots of things in the employment world that make people feel unappreciated or ignored or defensive or whatever, and taken together they may mean that continuing in the job feels impossible. But that is a long way off having a case to argue - or the money and energy to argue one. The most obvious solution is also, sometimes, the best one - you need to find a new job.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Company disclosed medical condition to my staff

          I would like to expand on a few things Sangie has already mentioned. There are other actions you could consider but they are likely to result in you no longer working for the company, and before you take such steps, you need to really consider whether you want to continue working for them or not.

          From what you've said, there appears to be a breach of data protection by your employer and that itself would give rise to a claim under the Data Protection Act and this would amount to a civil claim outside of any employment claim which you can bring in the county court. You've said it has caused stress and anxiety and the fact that colleagues have informed your customers you have spoken to arguably amplifies that stress knowing that your customers are aware of your personal circumstances. There has been quite a few breach of DPA actions in the last couple of years with varying results of damages awarded (from 750 up to a few thousand) and these types of claims are likely to continue in the spotlight for some time, especially with the new General Data Protection Regulations due to come into force next year.

          Another option to consider is constructive dismissal. Due to the personal nature of the contractual relationship between an employer and an employee, there is an implied term of mutual trust and confidence which, if breached, can amount to grounds for you to claim constructive dismissal. Breach of mutual trust and confidence is deemed a repudiatory breach that goes to the heart of the contract and for an action to arise, the employer must undermine the trust and confidence. The question to be asked is whether the employer conducted themselves in a manner calculated or likely to destroy or seriously damage the trust and confidence between the employer and the employee.

          Although I can't say for certainty, it is possible that disclosure of your personal circumstances to other employees within the business who in turn then discloses the situation to your customers could be amount to a breach of mutual trust and confidence.

          Before embarking on any particular route, you may want to further explore your options and prospects of success and therefore seen an initial low cost consultation with a lawyer or some do offer free consultations depending on the complexity of the situation. Are you part of a union which offers free legal advice, you may be able to chat to them and they could advise you further.
          DISCLAIMER: ANY CONTENT I POST IS INTENDED FOR EDUCATIONAL AND INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND IS NOT A REPLACEMENT OR SUBSTITUTION FOR LEGAL ADVICE. I MAKE NO REPRESENTATIONS AS TO THE ACCURACY OF MY POSTS NOR DO I ASSUME ANY RESPONSIBILITY. USE OF ANY CONTENT IS SOLELY AT YOUR OWN RISK AND COST AND I ACCEPT NO LIABILITY. YOU SHOULD SEEK INDEPENDENT LEGAL ADVICE BY GOING TO Law Society's Find A Solicitor OR CONTACT YOUR LOCAL Citizen's Advice Bureau.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Company disclosed medical condition to my staff

            Excuse me butting in, may I ask a question? If someone is stressed enough to consult a Doctor and be signed off is it worth getting into another stressful situation by leaving a job and trying to make a claim for stress which as we read puts the stress levels to a new high level.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Company disclosed medical condition to my staff

              Thanks for your advice. I apologise my post doesn't not contain many details I was simply worried about putting too much information and anyone linked being able to see it for fear of causing myself more problems. I initially raised a grievance as many times I have been left understaffed with less than the norm and promise of cover/ more staff. To cut a long story short and so as not to put too much detail, I have raised this issue several times in the past and recently it has meant I have had to do the work which would normally be done by two or more, I have had to work shifts upto 20 hours and I have had to exceed my contracted hours and not have long enough breaks between my days. All this was paid little attention I told my line manager I was becoming increasingly stressed and the final straw was when the same happened again through his fault not mine and I was threatened with my job into working xmas day which wasn't mine to do and was supposed to be covered as promised, I was told this and let down two days before. I ended up signed off with work related stress, returned, nothing changed , no extra help or support, no return to work completed, no risk assessment, I ended up off again with the same problem. I don't believe my grievance had been handled properly or fairly I haven't even been asked for any evidence, issues I've raised have been ignored in minutes, which themselves are very very vague and simple notes. etc however the person I have raised against had clearly been given opportunity to show evidence to suit his case however not in full or it would aide mine.it seems and looks completely bias. My grievance has been partially upheld and I intend to appeal.hope this is a bit more info.

              - - - Updated - - -

              To add, the person who promised to supply cover( my senior) is now lying and stating he didnt, I find cover for many shifts many times a year and would not rest on my laurels an risk working my day off had he not taken the role off me and promised to provide cover himself.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Company disclosed medical condition to my staff

                The department that set the email deals with this daily across the company so I dread to think how many times this could have happened and not been spotted or offended anyone. I let them know out of courtesy I did not want to as consider myself not one to succumb to stress levels but it is clear enough was enough wether I liked it or not. I am a very private person as a rule and I know is I don't really have to tell them my personal medical condition of which I wrongly at the time felt slightly embarrassed as this is sort of looked down upon in my experience within this company. My time off I'll was caused by my company and I was docked my salary as a result which has caused me a lot more stress financially I know they are not contracted to pay me but it seems so unfair when it was their fault hence I can not really afford the prices of solicitors unless I can build some sort of case and be pretty sure I have a hope of winning. I do not want to work for them anymore for the very reason you have stated I have no trust or confidence in them and despite it being illegal my career will go no further despite me being very good at my job and makeing considerable profits for the company.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Company disclosed medical condition to my staff

                  The points raised by Rob in relation to unfair dismissal were already factored into my original reply. "Constructive dismissal" is really only a form of unfair dismissal, and one that is nigh impossible to win. I am aware that sometimes people think I'm on the employers side because I'm ruthless at making the risks clear to people. I'm not. I'm making sure that people know exactly what they are getting into before they get into it, because once you commit to a course of action that will result in you losing your job, possibly not getting a reference, and which is incredibly hard work, you are stuck with that choice. Especially since, in my experience, the majority of people posting on boards like this do not have what my members have - me and a legal department! Even if we can see a case, having support from a union or a lawyer does not make it any easier or less stressful. And it is no less risky for that either.

                  And here are two of those unpalatable facts. Please explain how your employer physically prevented you from leaving work and forced you to work such unreasonable shifts. Did they tie to up? Hold you captive? No? Because, as you rightly point out, you have a contract and you cannot be forced to work more than your contractual hours. You simply refuse to do so! Now we both know it is never that easy in reality. But in legal terms, that is what you will face - you did those shifts and hours and you did them voluntarily because you DIDN'T refuse. You mentioned it a few times to your manager? That is hardly a formal grievance or a history of them. And it isn't a refusal to work. These days everyone is doing the work of two people or more - and if they don't say no, then that is what they will continue to do. The other one is that your employer is never going to be found responsible for your sickness - you can say it is their fault, but proving it is another thing. The number of successful claims for stress related to work are few and far between. Because it is impossible to pin down a cause. They will argue you are weak. They will argue that it's to do with your personal life. And their arguments are as valid as yours, I regret to say. There is no proof as to why someone gets stressed. Or what triggers it. Or why some people get stressed and others don't. Proving fault will be nearly impossible. And you were off sick. They paid you sick pay according to your contact? That is all you were ever going to get. It's all you are entitled to.

                  And wales01man raises a very good point. If you can't handle this stress - and to be clear, I am not judging you on that matter - then how will you manage being out of work and attempting to argue a very stressful tribunal case with a weak chance of winning?

                  So basically, at this point in time you haven't shown any evidence that the employer has done anything "illegal". Contrary to what you think. Yes, it is true that you have worked more hours than set down in the working time directive - but these have been "voluntary" additional hours, and therefore not covered in the regulations.

                  I realise that this is very difficult for you and very distressing. But the law has no sympathy. You need to tell me something that is evidence - factual, provable information - of your employer doing something illegal or causing you injury or harm. You haven't yet done that. And that would be the absolute minimum requirement for a claim. And not a very good one unless you have forgotten something very significant. Unfair? Yes. Illegal? No. I don't know what else to tell you. Employment tribunals are much harder than anyone thinks.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Company disclosed medical condition to my staff

                    Thank you. They can argue I'm weak but I have out performed many and most of my peers over the six years I have done my job and coped with many stressful situations along the way, but things mount up. As you say I did stay in work and was not tied up however is it appropriate to threaten me with my job if I don't stay? Within our company as in most there is a chain, an order to who does what job, the fact is my line manager has failed to do his properly which in turn has made mine exceptionally more difficult which isn't fair. I have duty of care to the health and well being of my staff and know if I had acted as he has I would be facing disciplinary. I have requested more senior staff members for months and months I have told him I was struggling, not because I am weak but because most of my colleagues do their job with a team of up to ten on a senior team ranging from having one or two that next step is own unit down to first step on the ladder if that makes sense. Despite my requests I was left to run my unit which makes more profit year on year than any other on my area, with two first step on the ladder staff member who had not long been appointed. This to me is unreasonable and really had I failed to perform on top of becoming depressed, stressed and despising my own place of work, then it would be down to him that I had failed I asked for support ( he failed to give it). Now on top of feeling like I have had a break down and yes feeling like I am weak, I have this information publicised all over my place of business, it's not right and it's just another problem. I have to face these people daily knowing that I broke, I couldn't cope, and yes seem weak. In my line of work I have been a strong figure and it is needed how can I maintain authority so to speak when I know everyone knows this has happened to me? I would love to be able to be exact and specific but as I've said I really am worried about anyone seeing this and relating it to me, paranoia probably being another side effect.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Company disclosed medical condition to my staff

                      To add, if I had raised a greivance every time he lacked in his role the list would be long. He's known for this today I'm having to listen to people on my team express upset with the way he works and bite my lip because I certainly don't want to be seen to be discussing my own pending grievance. My contact actually forbids me from discussing any matters relating with any other party?? How is this even possible?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Company disclosed medical condition to my staff

                        Originally posted by Jarj View Post
                        Thank you. They can argue I'm weak but I have out performed many and most of my peers over the six years I have done my job and coped with many stressful situations along the way, but things mount up. As you say I did stay in work and was not tied up however is it appropriate to threaten me with my job if I don't stay? Within our company as in most there is a chain, an order to who does what job, the fact is my line manager has failed to do his properly which in turn has made mine exceptionally more difficult which isn't fair. I have duty of care to the health and well being of my staff and know if I had acted as he has I would be facing disciplinary. I have requested more senior staff members for months and months I have told him I was struggling, not because I am weak but because most of my colleagues do their job with a team of up to ten on a senior team ranging from having one or two that next step is own unit down to first step on the ladder if that makes sense. Despite my requests I was left to run my unit which makes more profit year on year than any other on my area, with two first step on the ladder staff member who had not long been appointed. This to me is unreasonable and really had I failed to perform on top of becoming depressed, stressed and despising my own place of work, then it would be down to him that I had failed I asked for support ( he failed to give it). Now on top of feeling like I have had a break down and yes feeling like I am weak, I have this information publicised all over my place of business, it's not right and it's just another problem. I have to face these people daily knowing that I broke, I couldn't cope, and yes seem weak. In my line of work I have been a strong figure and it is needed how can I maintain authority so to speak when I know everyone knows this has happened to me? I would love to be able to be exact and specific but as I've said I really am worried about anyone seeing this and relating it to me, paranoia probably being another side effect.
                        They do mount up yes. But that doesn't change a thing I said. And it won't change the fact that nobody else is claiming mental injury, or that they won't be seen for dust when you attempt to make a claim. You aren't hearing me. I believe you. A tribunal won't - not without evidence!

                        Where are the witnesses that you were threatened?

                        Explain this to me - your team make more and more money, year on year. Sounds to me like they are managing fine and your manager is doing his job very well. The fact is that your employer seems to think this. And a tribunal isn't a test of how well your manager does his job, or what that job is. Do you have ANY EVIDENCE that your manager has acted outside the law? What you think is unreasonable is not the test. Nothing at all you are saying is elevating it above a workplace whine. Sorry, but "my manager doesn't support me" and "i'm doing two peoples work" simply isn't tribunal evidence. I really hate being the bad guy here, but you are not providing anything other than "work is hard but we're a great asset to the employer and make them money".

                        And I'm sorry but quite apart from the fact that being "strong" is not a management criterion, you maintain your authority by being a good manager. It has nothing to do with you having a couple of weeks off for stress unless you make it about that! I could easily argue that it makes your a better manager because you are not perfect. You did not break. You had a couple of weeks off sick for a reason that is a huge impact on working life in the UK today. That doesn't mean it is right, or that it should be, but really, this isn't as big a deal as you think it is. The person making it a big deal, the person who is saying you are broken, is you. Not everyone else.

                        Look, you sound like a really great person and an asset to any employer. And you obviously know how to do your job well. And successfully. And your employer does not sound like they are worth any space at all. But that isn't the point here. Maybe you could get a few 100's for a breach of data protection. Maybe. Not my area. How long is that going to tide you over when you have no job? I want to help you, but helping you isn't encouraging you to think you have a case of unfair dismissal when there isn't one in sight. If this is so impossible, then all I can say is see a lawyer. But be clear - lug your case to no win no fee lawyers. If you can find one who thinks it is worth them taking a risk on you, fine - consider that risk. But don't offer someone YOUR money to represent you in a case that you are intent on having. Because a good lawyer might tell you not to waste your cash. A bad one might not.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Company disclosed medical condition to my staff

                          Originally posted by Jarj View Post
                          To add, if I had raised a greivance every time he lacked in his role the list would be long. He's known for this today I'm having to listen to people on my team express upset with the way he works and bite my lip because I certainly don't want to be seen to be discussing my own pending grievance. My contact actually forbids me from discussing any matters relating with any other party?? How is this even possible?
                          So what if it's a long list? That isn't an argument! And it's your job as their manager to listen to what your team have to say. That isn't discussing YOUR feelings about him! If your team have issues then as their manager you deal with THEIR issues. Either resolve them, or tell them where the grievance policy is. Sitting in their seat, I can see them saying the same things about their manager as you are about yours. How do you know that isn't the case?

                          It sounds very much like an unhealthy workplace and an unhealthy culture. One you would be best out of. But please - do that in your own time and by your own choices. Don't do something that you will regret even more. And if you are going to decide to take that risk, please don't do it based on anonymous forums or what you want to hear. This is something you need to have your head together on. Because toy might think things can't get worse. They can.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Company disclosed medical condition to my staff

                            I really do appreciate your advice, and really your just stating the cases they probably will I know that. It's not really about taking them to the cleaner's for me it's about the whole company losing its culture, it's base and its roots. I know I need out and I know me alone won't change a thing but the greivance needed to be placed as his behaviour and needs changing. The profit I make is in no way connected to him he plays no part in it, myself and my team do the work. With regards to my staff issues, that is exactly what I did, directed them to the grievance policy sad as it is if it was ever found out that I had suggested they actually use the policy id be hung drawn and quartered! I'm expected to be one of them not one of the staff it's disgusting as a manager you play a part of a facilitator sort of our a mid way between the company and the staff. I'm an ideal world a settlement for mutual terminal of my contact would suit me fine, I have no confidence in them and certainly don't trust them any longer how am I expected to continue to work for them? My career will progress no further, despite how close I am to progression now illegal and wrong but I know that's how it'll be. Thanks for your advice and I know your simply fighting their side now so I'm aware of what's to come.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Company disclosed medical condition to my staff

                              I don't think of be the only person sad as it is that has let things slide, with the carrot of career progression dangled in front of them. But I think do I really want it if I'm expected to act like that? Right is right and wrong is wrong.

                              Comment

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