Bullying and Harassment

Vicky Gray made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Lambeth Borough Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Roedd y cais yn rhannol lwyddiannus.

Dear Sir/Madam

I would like to know how many employees of the city council have
been absent from work due to either stress, anxiety, depression or
any combination of those ailments between 1st August 2004 and 31st
October 2008.

Please also confirm how many complaints of bullying have been made
by employees of the council against managers or colleagues during
the same period.

Please confirm how many employees have claimed constructive
dismissal within the same period for bullying/harassment.

Please confirm how many claims have been filed against the city
council at the Employment Tribunal within the same period for bullying/harassment.

I would ask that you remember the statutory duty imposed upon
public authorities by virtue of Section 16 of the Freedom of
Information Act to provide advice and assistance to requesters. If
for any reason you are leaning toward rejecting any part of this
request or if you plan to argue that it is unmanageable or
unanswerable in any way then I would expect you to contact me
promptly to find ways to answer this request to our mutual
satisfaction.

Yours sincerely

Vicky Gray

Dear Sir or Madam

I would also clarify when I mentioned constructive dismissal, I was referring to the employee directly, similar point about bullying and harassment complaints, there is no Employment Tribunal claim called "bullying and harassment". This will usually form part of a claim for unfair dismissal or one (or more) of the various discrimination claim and/or under the Protection from Harassment Act. Could you provide the information on the aforementioned.

Could you provide the information in electronic format via this website.

Thank you for your full co-operation

Yours Sincerely

Vicky Gray

Kemish,Rebecca, Lambeth Borough Council

London Borough of Lambeth: our disclaimer is at the end of this e-mail.
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Dear Ms Gray,

Thank you for submitting a Freedom of Information request to the London
Borough of Lambeth

Firstly please accept my apologies for the delay in responding.

You requested the following information:

"I would like to know how many employees of the city council have
been absent from work due to either stress, anxiety, depression or
any combination of those ailments between 1st August 2004 and 31st
October 2008.

Please also confirm how many complaints of bullying have been made
by employees of the council against managers or colleagues during
the same period.

Please confirm how many employees have claimed constructive
dismissal within the same period for bullying/harassment.

Please confirm how many claims have been filed against the city
council at the Employment Tribunal within the same period for
bullying/harassment."

Your request is being processed. The Freedom of Information Act
requires us to satisfy it within 20 working days.

If you have any queries regarding the progress of your request, please
contact me via the contact details in this letter, quoting reference
106869.

Regards,

Rebecca Kemish
Interim Corporate Complaint Officer
Corporate Complaint Unit
Finance and Resources Department
London Borough of Lambeth
Direct Tel: 020 7926 9694
Fax: 020 7926 0245
email: [email address] <mailto:[email address]>
Website: www.lambeth.gov.uk

Room B13
Town Hall
Brixton
SW2 1RW


3rd floor Ivor House, 1 Acre Lane, London, SW2 5SD.
Lambeth - London's most improved council 2008

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Ms Kemish

Thank you for your response. There is no Employment Tribunal claim called "bullying and harassment". This will usually form part of a claim for unfair dismissal or one (or more) of the various discrimination claim and/or under the Protection from Harassment Act, can you confirm how many employees have claimed on these ground for either constructive dismissal or one(or more) of the various discrimination claim and/or under the Protection from Harassment Act?

Please confirm how many employees have claimed constructive dismissal within the same period 1st August 2004 and 31st October 2008 for bullying/harassment, unfair dismissal or one (or more) of the various discrimination claims and/or under the Protection from Harassment Act.

Thank you for your assistance

Yours sincerely

Vicky Gray

Kemish,Rebecca, Lambeth Borough Council

Dear Ms Gray,

Thank you for submitting a Freedom of information Request.

We have checked our records and I can confirm that three cases where an
employee claimed constructive dismissal arising from a bullying and
harassment complaint over the period in question.

Should you have a complaint about the way your request for information
under the Freedom of Information Act has been dealt with, please contact
the Corporate Complaints Unit, Lambeth Town Hall, SW2 1RW or e-mail
[email address]

If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of your complaint you may
contact the Information Commissioner, who can be reached at:

Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire SK9 5AF
Tel: 01625 545 700
Fax: 01625 545 510

Further information on the Freedom of Information Act can be found on
the Information Commissioner's website
www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

Regards,

Rebecca Kemish
Interim Corporate Complaint Officer
Corporate Complaint Unit
Finance and Resources Department
London Borough of Lambeth
Direct Tel: 020 7926 9694
Fax: 020 7926 0245
email: [email address] <mailto:[email address]>
Website: www.lambeth.gov.uk

Room B13
Town Hall
Brixton
SW2 1RW

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Ms Kemish

Thank you for your prompt response. You have not answered all my questions.
You stated: "We have checked our records and I can confirm that three cases where an employee claimed constructive dismissal arising from a bullying and
harassment complaint over the period in question."
There is no Employment Tribunal claim called "bullying and harassment" . This will usually form part of a claim for unfair dismissal or one (or more) of the various discrimination claim and/or under the Protection from Harassment Act, can you confirm
how many employees have claimed on these ground for either constructive dismissal or one(or more) of the various discrimination claim and/or under the Protection from Harassment Act?

I will repeat the questions again just to make sure everything is clear:

a) I would like to know how many employees of the city council have been absent from work due to either stress, anxiety, depression or any combination of those ailments between 1st August 2004 and 31st
October 2008.

b) Please also confirm how many complaints of bullying have been made by employees of the council against managers or colleagues during the same period 1st August 2004 and 31st October 2008.

c) Please confirm how many employees have claimed constructive dismissal within the same period 1st August 2004 and 31st October 2008 for
bullying/harassment, unfair dismissal or one (or more) of the various discrimination claims and/or under the Protection from Harassment Act.

d) Please confirm how many claims have been filed against the city council at the Employment Tribunal within the same period 1st August 2004 and 31st October 2008 for bullying/harassment or one
(or more) of the various discrimination and/or under the Protection from Harassment Act.

I would point out you have a legal obligation to provide the correct figures.

Thank you for you full Co-Operation.

Yours sincerely

Vicky Gray

Dear Kemish,Rebecca

You have not replied to my FOI request within the 20 working days you are allowed by law.

Kindly address yourselves to this matter immediately and explain your lack of response.

Yours sincerely

Vicky Gray

Kemish,Rebecca, Lambeth Borough Council

London Borough of Lambeth: our disclaimer is at the end of this e-mail.
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Dear Ms Gray,

Firstly please accept my apologies for the delay in responding to your request for information.

Unfortunately, to answer the number of other claims that mention Bullying and Harassment in them will take over the free 18.0 hours of research. We do not hold any database relating to Bullying and Harassment, as it is not a claim in itself.

An Officer would have to manually go through 195 claims made during the relevant period, most of which are archived as completed cases. These are either kept in achieve boxes in the basement or relevant documents have been scanned to a DVD database and the originals destroyed. The files will run from a small case at maybe 750 pages up to 10,000+ pages. They would then have to find the claim form, read it fully (which in some instances go up to 100 pages) and identify if the claim mentions Bullying and Harassment and then create a database to record the information against claim type.

In order to provide this information we would require you to pay £450 for the first 18 hours work and then £25 per hour for each hour it takes thereafter.

Please can you confirm if you would like to go ahead with this request, or if you would like to narrow the scope of your request.

I look forward to hearing from you

With Thanks

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Rebecca

Please start at ‘A’ and go through as many files as possible in the time limit provided for in the Act and supply me with those figures.

I would also clarify when I mentioned constructive dismissal, I was referring to the employee directly, similar point about bullying and harassment complaints, there is no Employment Tribunal claim called "bullying and harassment. This will usually form part of a claim for unfair dismissal or one (or more) of the various discrimination claim and/or under the Protection from Harassment Act.

Could you provide the information in electronic format via this website.

I would point out you have a legal obligation, to provide the correct figures.

Thank you for your full Co-operation

Yours sincerely

Vicky Gray

Dear Rebecca

Please ignore the letter I have just sent. I have just re read the request. I am going straight for review on the basis that you are asking ME to pay £450 upfront when the Act requires YOU to spend up to £450 without question.

Yours sincerely

Vicky Gray

Dear Sir or Madam,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Lambeth Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Bullying and Harassment'.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/bu...

Lambeth Council are asking me to pay £450 upfront when the Act requires Lambeth Council to spend up to £450 without question. Additionally, as they have offered to make the information available if I pay, they clearly do not have any problem providing it, they just seem to want to make money out of it.

I would point out the following: As a council you will have to record sickness absence in a format to send form HR to Payroll in order for SSP to be calculated (even for cases where staff still receive full pay) So there will be some sort or record detailing absence.

As a council one would expect you would employ a welfare officer, who would be advised of all staff absent due to stress or those who had said they were being bullied, it would be part of your duty of care under both the Health & Safety At Work Act 1974 and also under most contracts of employment. Details would have to be passed to that person or an appointed person in HR.

One would assume that a council would have a welfare officer, who would be advised of all staff absent due to stress or those who had said they were being bullied, it would be part of their duty of care under both the Health & Safety At Work Act 1974 and also under most contracts of employment. So details would have to be passed to that person or an appointed person in HR.

On the basis of the foregoing, I would ask that a review be carried out and that I be advised of the outcome of that review within the timescales deemed appropriate in the Information Commissioner’s recent guidance.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely

Vicky Gray

Kemish,Rebecca, Lambeth Borough Council

London Borough of Lambeth: our disclaimer is at the end of this e-mail.
***********************************************************************************

Dear Ms Gray,

Thank you for your emails received on the 12th January 2009

I am writing to confirm receipt of your emails and confirm that they have today been logged as an internal review.

Ian Goodwin, our Information Compliance Advisor will conduct a full investigation and will write to you with his findings before the 30th January 2009.

In the meantime if you have any problems or questions regarding this matter please contact me

With Thanks,

Rebecca Kemish
Interim Corporate Complaint Officer
Corporate Complaint Unit
Finance and Resources Department
London Borough of Lambeth
Direct Tel: 020 7926 9694
Fax: 020 7926 0245
email: [email address] <mailto:[email address]>
Website: www.lambeth.gov.uk

Room B13
Town Hall
Brixton
SW2 1RW

3rd floor Ivor House, 1 Acre Lane, London, SW2 5SD.
Lambeth - London's most improved council 2008

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Goodwin,Ian, Lambeth Borough Council

1 Atodiad

London Borough of Lambeth: our disclaimer is at the end of this e-mail.

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

References

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Goodwin,Ian, Lambeth Borough Council

1 Atodiad

London Borough of Lambeth: our disclaimer is at the end of this e-mail.

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

References

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1. http://www.lambeth.gov.uk
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Dear Mr Goodwin

Please provide whatever information you can.

Yours sincerely

Vicky Gray

Goodwin,Ian, Lambeth Borough Council

London Borough of Lambeth: our disclaimer is at the end of this e-mail.

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

References

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1. http://www.lambeth.gov.uk
file:///tmp/BLOCKED::http:/www.lambeth.gov.uk

Dear Sir or Madam

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Lambeth Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Bullying and Harassment'.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/bu...

Lambeth Council stated they would respond in June 2009. I submitted the request in December 2008. It is now September 2009. Lambeth Council are not adhering to the response times of the Freedom of Information Act.

Yours faithfully

Vicky Gray

Gardner1,Richard, Lambeth Borough Council

1 Atodiad

London Borough of Lambeth: our disclaimer is at the end of this e-mail.

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Dear Ms Gray

Thank you for your further email received today. You were sent a response
by my colleague Ian Goodwin, on 18th June 2009 which was also copied to
the Information Commissioner's Office (see copy email beneath the timeline
image below).

The original request dated Dec 2008 was answered in January with a refusal
as being in our view over the resource limit. Your subsequent request for
an internal review in January was answered in January. You then decided to
challenge our response. During the period January to May your complaint
was in a queue at the Information Commissioner's Office awaiting his
attention. Following involvement by the Information Commissioner's Office
in May the request was revisited in June. At each stage of our involvement
the appropriate timescale was observed by the Council.

Richard Gardner

Information Compliance Adviser

London Borough of Lambeth

ICT Services

Finance & Resources

tel: 020 79267741

[1]www.lambeth.gov.uk

3rd Floor, Ivor House, 1 Acre Lane, London, SW2 5SD

Lambeth - Making a difference

Richard Gardner

Information Compliance Adviser

London Borough of Lambeth

ICT Services

Finance & Resources

tel: 020 79267741

[2]www.lambeth.gov.uk

3rd Floor, Ivor House, 1 Acre Lane, London, SW2 5SD

Lambeth - Making a difference

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Gardner1,Richard, Lambeth Borough Council

London Borough of Lambeth: our disclaimer is at the end of this e-mail.

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

References

Visible links
1. http://www.lambeth.gov.uk
file:///tmp/BLOCKED::http:/www.lambeth.gov.uk

Gadawodd Michael Traill anodiad ()

Wihin a couple of days of the requestor submiting the FOI request a further email was sent having to clarify points. Atleast the requestor done this before being asked by the authority.

Please take care when submitting FOI requests. Give the matter some thought prior.

Dear Gardner1,Richard

I will not waste any more of my time in pursuing a complaint with the Information Commissioner but remain disappointed that you have adopted the same position as other authorities who would rather allow the problem to occur rather than act decisively to stamp it
out once and for all.

The taxpayer of LAMBETH will be funding the bullying behaviour of management. With an an additional tax for paying for cover for absent staff due to depression/stress bought on by bullying.

Thank you for your time.

Yours sincerely

Vicky Gray

Gadawodd Vicky Gray anodiad ()

FAO: Lambeth Borough Council Staff

If anyone is experiencing any form of bullying either in the workplace or elsewhere the following sites are helpful.

Very helpful: http://employees.org.uk/

Legal Advice: http://www.lawcentres.org.uk/

Helpful if going to tribunal http://etclaims.co.uk/

This is a free course which people may find helpful
http://www.skillsoft.com/bullying

Advice from Government website
http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Employment/D...

SOME SUGGESTIONS TO HANDLE BULLYING

(1) Make sure you keep a log of everything;
What has happened and what you have done and where it occurred, include dates, time and people around

(2) Keep all communication professional, factual, non-confrontational and problem resolution oriented. This will help you maintain your professionalism and creditability.

Keep all communication in writing so you have a paper trail in case you or the council needs to take legal action. Steer away from any emotionally charged conversations and do not respond to threats or degrading communication, verbal or e-mail. If the bully approaches you to harass you walk away immediately saying nothing.

Always remember you are in a professional setting and must maintain your creditability at all times. You will look more adult to the senior executives if you walked away and did not engage in the behaviour.
Keep everything on file; arm your self with facts and documents. Get enough hard evidence that backs up your position of concern, but make sure you do not strengthen the Bully’s position.

(3) Report to your supervisor/manager the incidents and request a copy of the council’s anti-harassment policy; you have the legal right to it.
If they will not give it to you then go to Human Resources or to the next level of management. If the Bully is the next level then go to their supervisor, after you have gone to your immediate supervisor/manager and Human Resources. Do not request it from the Bully.

Make sure you keep a log of who you spoke to, when and what you requested, and their actions.
Make a follow up requested by e-mail, stating the time and date of your meeting and the outcome.

(4) DO NOT hold any one-to-one conversations with the Bully in private.

Have someone else present for meetings, or have them where others can over hear if you can, i.e. keep doors open.

Ask MANAGER/EAD to help resolve issue by making a work agreement that the two of you must have a third party present at meetings until the issues are resolved.

(5) If the person you go to does nothing, keep going up the COUNCILS seniority levels until you reach the CEO.

(6) If no one in the COUNCIL will resolve the harassing behaviour, seek legal advice with your notes and communication file in hand.

GOOD LUCK AS YOU WILL NEED IT.

Regards

Vicky Gray