Employees who have been employed for two years or more are protected against unfair dismissal and, if they are dismissed they may bring a claim in the employment tribunal. ACAS in its Bullying and Harassment at Work guide characterise bullying as: offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, an abuse or misuse of power through means that undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the recipient. I was distraught and broke down and had difficulty completing my days work. work with you Every year Acas helps employers and employees from thousands of workplaces. Swearing can actually fall under Bullying, Harassment & Verbal Assault in the workplace, depending upon whether the profane language used made someone else feel intimidated, degraded, humiliated or offended (see more on the Acas website). If, following a proper disciplinary procedure, you are found to be If the employee has over 2 years service a fair procedure must be followed no matter the seriousness of the conduct otherwise the employee may have a valid tribunal claim. Bullying at work is a gradual process that wears the victim down, and makes them feel worthless, both as a worker and as a person. Take a free 7-day trial now. The onus is on employers to support female employees struggling with symptoms, says Alex Christen. 4. Coronavirus (COVID-19): latest advice for employers and employees. The law on equal pay, and how men and women must get equal pay for doing equal work. Such language also has a way of being addictive. This is the Acas company profile. They need to be aware of how this accusation is affecting your job and your time at work. Defamation, Data Protection and Privacy - Legal Risks and Considerations You can lose all faith in yourself, you can feel ill and depressed, and find it hard to motivate yourself to work. While at work, employees are generally expected to follow a series of unwritten rules. It is covered by various pieces of legislation notably the Equality Act 2010 and Human Rights Act. But if in the context of that relationship the male manager uses a joke connected to the female’s sex, this could potentially constitute harassment under sex discrimination legislation and result in a claim. Explore thousands of up-to-date resources that will help you increase your productivity, build your confidence in HR decisions and deliver on your business strategies. If the employee has over 2 years service a fair procedure must be followed no matter the seriousness of the conduct otherwise the employee may have a valid tribunal claim. If an employer feels they need to dismiss someone because they do not have any work for them, they may need to consider other options. Circumstances when an employer may legally make a decision based on a 'protected characteristic'. Employment law updates What are the five fair reasons for dismissal? By Ben Power, 22 February 2019. Certain types of misconduct are classed as 'gross misconduct'. Offer supporting evidence. In this particular case, an employee was sacked from his job as a security guard after he swore several times at his manager in a heated exchange. For example, two managers (one male, one female) may have a work-based friendship where they often joke and tease each other. In a lot a work places swearing between staff members is generaly accepted but if a manager wants to get rid of you then that could use it as an excuse. For example, they might be able to put the employee on 'furlough' (temporary leave) or agree to change working hours. While there is no general legal principle that the use of swearing by employees is an act of gross misconduct that would justify instant dismissal, there are certain circumstances where the use of foul and abusive language in the workplace could lead to legal action. Even so, if you swear directly at someone else, the cases suggest that your employer must consider whether there was some underlying explanation for your behaviour. In recent months, quite a few cases have highlighted the issue of swearing in the workplace, and not surprisingly, we’ve been getting a number of questions through to the Workplace Helpdesk about it. Maybe you were under some unique pressures at work or at home. Conduct a Face-to-Face Meeting. Discover the power of XpertHR employment law guidance and best practice at your fingertips. 4. This argument ignores some crucial issues, however. Offer supporting evidence. other alternatives to redundancies or dismissals, Alternatives to redundancies or dismissals, conduct – when the employee has done something that's inappropriate or not acceptable, capability – when the employee is not able to do the job or does not have the right qualifications, a legal reason – when the employee cannot do their job legally, for example a lorry driver who's banned from driving, 'some other substantial reason' – a term used for a wide variety of other situations, third party pressure, for example if a client refuses to work with an employee, an employee refusing to agree to new terms and conditions of employment.