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    Default 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

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    Default Re: Company disclosed medical condition to my staff


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    Default Re: Company disclosed medical condition to my staff

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

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    Default Re: Company disclosed medical condition to my staff

    Quote 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.

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    Default 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: As a public forum, the content posted by me is intended as guidance in relation to your rights and responsibilities. It does not constitute legal advice or create any kind of special or other relationship. If you follow guidance, advice or other information I publish then you do so at your own risk and cost, and I cannot accept any liability. You should always seek independent legal advice by going to Law Society's Find A Solicitor or contact your local Citizen's Advice Bureau.

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    Default 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.

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    Default 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.

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    Default 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.

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    Default 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.

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    Default 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.

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    Default 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?

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    Default Re: Company disclosed medical condition to my staff

    Quote 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.

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    Default Re: Company disclosed medical condition to my staff

    Quote 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.

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    Default 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.

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    Default 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.

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    Default Re: Company disclosed medical condition to my staff

    Have to say SANGIE is offering advice not fighting the you for the other side I would expect the next advice will be consult a Solicitor.

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    Default Re: Company disclosed medical condition to my staff

    I do apologise that's not how I meant it to sound, what I meant was there is clearly a lot of knowledge in SANGIE'S comments, and some seem to be a heads up as to what my company are going to say/do, along with were I will stand. I did not mean any offence. My main issue was are my employers in the wrong for disclosing my medical condition, which is considered to be a disability it seems, to my staff and cause me more stress? I think the answer had been yes and I will push the issue back to them.

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    Default Re: Company disclosed medical condition to my staff

    @Sangie595,

    I've not read the following posts by Jarj or yourself in great detail so perhaps my initial stance may change but I thought I would quickly comment on a few things you mentioned in your second post.

    You said you factored in constructive dismissal in your post about unfair dismissal and that it is essentially the same form as unfair dismissal. Could you expand what you mean by this as I dont quite understand what you are trying to say? In the eyes of the law, constructive dismissal and unfair dismissal are two separate causes of action, and therefore treated separately - you can't bring them under the same umbrella for the purposes of considering a claim against the employer.

    As for constructive dismissal being pretty much impossible to prove, I would not say it is close to impossible but simply difficult for the reason that an employee has to prove a repudiatory breach of contract, hence the difficulties. A breach of mutual trust and confidence which is an implied term, will inevitably result in a repudiatory breach for which the employee can resign and claim constructive dismissal.

    Of course we can only decide things based on the information given but it would be unwise to completely rule out a claim for constructive dismissal on the basis of your opinion it is nigh impossible to prove. It is always worth giving all of the possible options as well as the risks and prospects of success than combining causes of action.

    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.
    This thread seems to have expanded further than what the original post intended. Leaving aside any other issues raised by Jarj and going back to the original question about disclosure of Jarj's personal circumstances, there would appear to be a breach of data protection for which Jarj would have an eligible claim in the county court (not the ET).

    So there would seem to be a viable claim for breach of data protection at least and as I have pointed out, potentially a claim for constructive dismissal if it can be shown that the facts and circumstances of the disclosure to employees of the business has caused a breakdown of trust and confidence.
    DISCLAIMER: As a public forum, the content posted by me is intended as guidance in relation to your rights and responsibilities. It does not constitute legal advice or create any kind of special or other relationship. If you follow guidance, advice or other information I publish then you do so at your own risk and cost, and I cannot accept any liability. You should always seek independent legal advice by going to Law Society's Find A Solicitor or contact your local Citizen's Advice Bureau.

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    Default Re: Company disclosed medical condition to my staff

    Quote Originally Posted by Jarj View Post
    I do apologise that's not how I meant it to sound, what I meant was there is clearly a lot of knowledge in SANGIE'S comments, and some seem to be a heads up as to what my company are going to say/do, along with were I will stand. I did not mean any offence. My main issue was are my employers in the wrong for disclosing my medical condition, which is considered to be a disability it seems, to my staff and cause me more stress? I think the answer had been yes and I will push the issue back to them.
    Please rest assured that I haven't taken any offence at all. I totally understand how distressing this is. You are quite correct in that I am giving you a realistic response rather than telling you something you might want to hear.

    You quite certainly, after a few weeks off sick, do not have a disability in law. Forget that. The definition of a disability is that it must have lasted, or be expected to last, at least 12 months, and must have a substantial impact on your day to day life. You aren't there yet. And as someone who is (physical disability) I would hope you never will be.

    Going back to the keystone issue you raised, yes, you can complain about the disclosure, but I honestly don't think this is a repudiatory breach in itself. It is a serious mistake, but there is no evidence that it was an intentional act. Or that it has happened to anyone else. So it depends what "in the wrong" means to you. No it shouldn't have happened, and yes, they should ensure that data is better protected and used. But beyond that, it is a weak claim in terms of what you might be able to do about it.

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    Default Re: Company disclosed medical condition to my staff

    Quote Originally Posted by R0b View Post
    @Sangie595,

    I've not read the following posts by Jarj or yourself in great detail so perhaps my initial stance may change but I thought I would quickly comment on a few things you mentioned in your second post.I am not sure that this is the place to engage in a discussion, and when posting I prefer to base my opinions on the full information, so I do read the whole thread. Since things have moved on quite a bit, it does inform the situation.

    You said you factored in constructive dismissal in your post about unfair dismissal and that it is essentially the same form as unfair dismissal. Could you expand what you mean by this as I dont quite understand what you are trying to say? In the eyes of the law, constructive dismissal and unfair dismissal are two separate causes of action, and therefore treated separately - you can't bring them under the same umbrella for the purposes of considering a claim against the employer. In technical detail, yes, constructive dismissal stands as a point of law on its own, but it is rarely brought as a single claim, and so actually yes, it can and usually is brought under the same umbrella when making a claim against the employer. Indeed, the most commonly used case law on this point, Savoia v Chiltern Herb Farms Ltd [1982] IRLR 166, makes this argument - it is difficult to envisage many situations in which an employer can breach ERA96 s98 - the definition of unfair dismissal - whilst also being fair. The claim most commonly heard now being "constructive unfair dismissal" in that the claim is brought and heard as a constructive dismissal and an unfair dismissal.

    As for constructive dismissal being pretty much impossible to prove, I would not say it is close to impossible but simply difficult for the reason that an employee has to prove a repudiatory breach of contract, hence the difficulties. A breach of mutual trust and confidence which is an implied term, will inevitably result in a repudiatory breach for which the employee can resign and claim constructive dismissal. I would consider a success rate of less than 1% to be close to impossible. Perhaps you have a different definition?

    Of course we can only decide things based on the information given but it would be unwise to completely rule out a claim for constructive dismissal on the basis of your opinion it is nigh impossible to prove. It is always worth giving all of the possible options as well as the risks and prospects of success than combining causes of action. I agree. Which is why my opinion was based on the facts the OP gave. They had - and they have subsequently re-confirmed this - a whole list of complaints which they had never raised as grievances or in any serious way. Mentioning things to your manager which they don't act on is not a repudiatory breach. Working a lot of hours voluntarily (because if the OP didn't say no, then they agreed) is not a repudiatory breach. Making a mistake and sending an email to the staff with an attachment stating the sickness cause is a serious mistake - but there is no intent proven. So it is questionable whether it could be deemed a repudiatory breach since people can and do make mistakes. And, in fact, the most serious errors here include the OP's staff - who, having erroneously received this information, should have known better than to discuss it and discuss it with clients! The employer had a right to expect better behaviour from them too.


    This thread seems to have expanded further than what the original post intended. Leaving aside any other issues raised by Jarj and going back to the original question about disclosure of Jarj's personal circumstances, there would appear to be a breach of data protection for which Jarj would have an eligible claim in the county court (not the ET).As I stated, this is not an area of law which I am required to be familiar with, but as you stated - it isn't worth much. Whether the OP wishes to trade their job for a small compensatory award is not something they appear to be interested in. But if they are, they would need to take advice on that specific aspect to ascertain the likely value of such a claim to them. The original post was clear that the OP was saying they didn't want to stay in their job, and that was the purpose of their enquiry. That was the point I addressed - did they have a claim for the loss of their employment?

    So there would seem to be a viable claim for breach of data protection at least and as I have pointed out, potentially a claim for constructive dismissal if it can be shown that the facts and circumstances of the disclosure to employees of the business has caused a breakdown of trust and confidence.
    Even with substantially more information than originally available, I cannot see sufficient evidenced grounds to suggest a repudiatory breach, either in statutory or common law. I maintain my position that it is seriously risky for the OP to consider constructive dismissal, and, as I suggested, if they are even entertaining such a notion, the legal advice is an absolute must. And I repeat my suggestion that the legal advice is tested realistically - there are lawyers who will be happy to take your money when you may have little prospect of winning. By no means the majority, but nobody knows the type until after it is too late.

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    Default Re: Company disclosed medical condition to my staff

    I would consider a success rate of less than 1% to be close to impossible. Perhaps you have a different definition?
    i'd love to see your statistics or information on that I am making the assumption that the less than 1% is based on the actual claims that reach conclusion at a tribunal hearing (given that around 15% of claims only reach a final hearing and perhaps lower since the introduction of high fees to bring a claim) and not those which are settled / withdrawn.

    My point about unfair dismissal and constructive is that they are not essentially the same, in fact they are very different legally. Yes you can bring a claim for both constructive and unfair dismissal under one claim but the criteria and tests are substantially different to warrant them not being essentially the same.

    One thing I do agree with you is there does not appear to be a justification for unfair dismissal but that does not rule out any potential claim for constructive dismissal. As already said, the difficulty fr such claims is proving the fundamental breach however, as you have acknowledged, breaching confidentiality and data protection is a serious one, there's not a need to simply prove intention of it. If the breach is likely to destroy or seriously damage the trust and confidence between the employer and the employee, regardless of whether it was intended to do so, a fundamental breach will have occurred. Emailing other colleagues working under Jarj about the personal circumstances which, no doubt was said in confidence, and who then filter that down to Jarj's customers, is arguably a breach. Then that may work in favour of Jarj. It is doubtful that the employer can discharge any breach simply because the employees should have known better when it was the employer who brought about the breach. it is not clear as to whether or not the employer did anything to mitigate the issue, such as recalling the email or informing employees not to disclose the information etc but if nothing was done, then that could work in favour of Jarj.

    Of course I think another question which I am not sure has been answered (unless I've missed it) is how long ago the breach occurred. Obviously if Jarj is working more hours voluntarily since the breach then that will certainly undermine any claim for constructive dismissal as well as the length of time Jarj stays in employment before deciding to resign.

    As for any civil claim for breach of data protection, it is usual for other allegations to be put forward at the same time such as misuse of private information and breach of confidence. Since the claim is a civil tort, it would have no effect on you as regards to your employment status and you can carry on working there (though I appreciate you have said you don't want to), however in practice claiming against an employer and then continuing to work there can be very difficult and can cause even more stress and pressure, and I have known some to have been pushed out eventually as a result.

    Repeating what has already been said, before any claim is made, legal advice should be sought and if possible, more than one consultation because, in the case of lawyers, each one will have a different view of things and prospects of success.
    DISCLAIMER: As a public forum, the content posted by me is intended as guidance in relation to your rights and responsibilities. It does not constitute legal advice or create any kind of special or other relationship. If you follow guidance, advice or other information I publish then you do so at your own risk and cost, and I cannot accept any liability. You should always seek independent legal advice by going to Law Society's Find A Solicitor or contact your local Citizen's Advice Bureau.

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    Default Re: Company disclosed medical condition to my staff

    You quite certainly, after a few weeks off sick, do not have a disability in law. Forget that. The definition of a disability is that it must have lasted, or be expected to last, at least 12 months, and must have a substantial impact on your day to day life. You aren't there yet. And as someone who is (physical disability) I would hope you never will be.

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    Default Re: Company disclosed medical condition to my staff

    Sorry what I meant was is that I have been told my symptoms are that of anxiety and depression brought on by stress, I have been placed on medication. I am continuing to go to work simply because I have to, I have a family to support. It is one of the worst situations I have been in and the sooner I can get out the better, a job I loved and thrived and excelled at is now the worst place I can be at the minute. I get so low when I know I've got to go, I can't sleep in two months I've lost nearly two stone, these are not things I've ever experienced before and hope never to again, I'm someone who is always reluctant to take pain killers so to end up in pills to be able to continue to do a job I now know that a) my promotion which was so close will probably never happen. B) had had all the enjoyment ripped out of it, is just not conducive of a healthy or enjoyable working environment.

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    Default Re: Company disclosed medical condition to my staff

    As far as I was aware residing issues informally first was the way to go, which is what I've done on many occasions with either the promise of change, support or and apology.
    The latest events which I have complained officially about as enough was enough, began just before the festive season and I am still working but my rota hours as I thought best to at least see it the grievance procedure first. As I have said part of my grievance was the data breach which has been upheld, admitted, and I am now at the appeal stage to ensure the rest is upheld. That have most definitely lost my trust and confidence totally and being around similar events in my career I know for a fact that I will be " gone after" in some shape or form, so if my career is basically stored in its tracks for no fault of my own besides using a grievance policy which I am entitled to do, then why should I or would anyone want to continue to work for the company? I see it, and I may be wrong, they have caused an event which leads me to no longer want to stay under their employ this is not my fault but it is me that is going to be out of a job I loved, have done well in and was verging on promotion not only is it not fair it's not my fault yet I'll be the one losing out. I think they know they are due bother from my direction, even the grievance procedure itself was full of flaws e.g. I have evidence of poor performance from my manager and evidence to prove things I have said not once have I been asked for any. I also raised issues of work load, hours etc and not even a response, literal silence and next question. The meeting was carried out as an investigation against me not a fair,unbiased meeting to fact find and resolve my manager has been given opportunity for all of the above, in fact, all the texts emails etc I have too but he has shown and only sections used in his evidence to look like it is how he says it is when clearly reading in full you would see otherwise. It's clearly been about protecting themselves and one of theirs, and in my opinion not the purpose of a grievance policy or facilitating one.
    This has only worsened the situation and had they simply excepted fault and dealt with issues as apposed to lying I may be more reluctant to walk away and have my faith restored. But now they seem to have turned my complaint into me Vs them! Not the point at all!

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    Default Re: Company disclosed medical condition to my staff

    Another question, my company keep insisting I provide a resolution I understand this may be usual but I really don't know how they can resolve I tell them this yet this insist that I must provide one, is this right? If so what do I suggest? I see it as pretty pointless as me saying manage my manager accordingly as a junior member of staff would be for under performance or dismiss the person responsible for disclosing my personal information as it is most definitely gross misconduct, is not going to sit well or even be taken into consideration.

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