Bullying and Harassment

Vicky Gray made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Scarborough 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

Thank you for your prompt response. 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

Diane Cross, Scarborough Borough Council

I am out of the office now until Wednesday, 10 December. If you have
any queries please contact Karen Crosier on ext 2488.

Thank you.

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Sue Hastie, Scarborough Borough Council

Hi

I would like to leave a message for Vicky Gray in response to her email
re the above.

We have outsourced our Payroll System wef 1-4-07. As we cannot report
on sickness absences from our previous system, I wish to advise you that
we can only provide this data from 1-4-07. I am currently collating
this information and will respond to you in due course.

Please confirm receipt of this email as I had difficulty navigating
your website.

Sue Hastie
Assistant HR Officer
Human Resources & Performance
Scarborough Borough Council
t: 01723 232313
e: [email address]
w: www.scarborough.gov.uk

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Sue Hastie

Why can't they report on the absences under the previous system?

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

Your sincerely

Vicky Gray

Sue Hastie, Scarborough Borough Council

Hi Vicky

Our previous Payroll/HR System is no longer supported by the Company
provider and we cannot physically retrieve the data you are requesting.
Unfortunately, historical data prior to 1-4-07 was not copied across to
the new outsourced system, apart from sickness absence data which was
input for the previous year only (for SSP purposes). However, only the
start and end dates of absences and total number of days were input for
2006-7 and not the reasons for the absence. Therefore I cannot extract
absences solely due to stress, anxiety or depression.

As previously stated, I am currently collating the remainder of the
data and will provide you with a response when this is complete.

Sue Hastie
Assistant HR Officer
Human Resources & Performance
Scarborough Borough Council
t: 01723 232313
e: [email address]
w: www.scarborough.gov.uk

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

pm >>>
Dear Sue Hastie

Why can't they report on the absences under the previous system?

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

Your sincerely

Vicky Gray

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Sue Hastie, Scarborough Borough Council

1 Atodiad

FAO Vicky Gray

Hi

I attach copy of Scarborough Borough Council's response to your recent
request for information.

Please confirm receipt of this email so that I can close your request
down on my file.

Sue Hastie
Assistant HR Officer
Human Resources & Performance
Scarborough Borough Council
t: 01723 232313
e: [email address]
w: www.scarborough.gov.uk

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

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 Scarborough 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...
The response provided has no relation to the information I asked for. I didn't ask if they had a system for recording statistical information, I asked for the figures. They have not denied that any complaints were made nor have they cited any
exemptions against disclosing the data. The fact that they do not have a system for recording them is meaningless. They have a duty under FOI to confirm of deny if the information is held, then to determine if it is exempt from disclosure and if it is not, they must disclose it.

Thank you for your assistance.

Yours sincerely

Vicky Gray

Diane Cross, Scarborough Borough Council

I am out of the office now until Monday, 29 December. If you have any
queries please contact Karen Crosier on ext 2488.

Merry Christmas.

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Maggie McLeod, Scarborough Borough Council

Dear Ms Gray,

I refer to your request for a review on the way your recent Freedom of
Information request on Bullying and Harassment was answered.
Unfortunately, Janet Deacon's investigations are still ongoing and it is
therefore necessary to delay Janet's reply to you. However, I can
confirm that Janet will be able to provide a response by Friday the 16th
January 2009, at the latest.

May I take this opportunity to thank you for your patience and assure
you that Janet's review is extensive and will hopefully be able to
resolve this matter. If you would like to discuss this matter further
please contact Janet Deacon on 01723 232570 or
[email address]

Regards

Maggie McLeod

Margaret McLeod
Customer First Assistant Manager
Transformational Management
Scarborough Borough Council
t: 01723 384373
f: 01723 383608
e: [email address]
www.scarborough.gov.uk
www.discoveryorkshirecoast.com

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

David Kitson, Scarborough Borough Council

1 Atodiad

Please find attached to this e-mail a response to your request for a
review of your initial request for information under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000.

Regards

David Kitson
Senior Solicitor
Legal and Support Services
Scarborough Borough Council
DX 719232 SCARBOROUGH 5
Tel: 01723 384319
Fax: 0870 2384 160
E Mail: [email address]
Website: www.scarborough.gov.uk
www.discoveryorkshirecoast.com

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Mr Kitson

Thank you for your response to my request for internal review.

I note that you have now chosen to apply exemptions which did not form part of the original response.

I further note that you have stated I must complete your three stage review procedure before I make a complaint to the Information Commissioner. In that regard you are in error.

Your refusal notice states that “If you remain dissatisfied with the way your request has been dealt with and wish to request a further review of our decision, you should write to Ian Anderson, head of Legal and Support Services, Town Hall, St. Nicholas Street, Scarborough, North Yorkshire, YO11 2HG or email [email address]. This will take you to Stage 2 of our 3 part complaint procedure, details of which can be found at www.scarborough.gov.uk/Default.aspx?page...

For your information, Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Act makes provision that there must be a mechanism for internal review, it does not make provision that the council’s normal complaints procedures with their normal timescale must be used.

I would refer you to the Practice Recommendation issued by the Information Commissioner under Section 48 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 against Liverpool City Council on the 8th May 2007 available online here: http://www.ico.gov.uk/upload/documents/l...

Paragraph 9 deals with the unacceptability of the council using their generic complaint procedure for reviews conducted under Freedom of Information legislation.

Paragraphs 15 and 16 detail the Information Commissioner’s position as to how internal reviews should be conducted.

Finally, your refusal notice states “If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint, you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally, the Information Commissioner’s office cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the complaints procedure provided by Scarborough Borough Council.”

As I have already demonstrated, I do not have to “exhaust” your internal complaints procedure. I have to allow you a maximum of 40 working days in which to finally respond to me after which time I can legally complain to the Information Commissioner and I shall now do so.

Yours sincerely

Vicky Gray

Dear Sir or Madam

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

I first requested a review on the 22 December 2008. It is now 14 September 2009 what is the excuse this time for not adhering to the procedures of the Freedom of Information Act? Is it perhaps because you have meticulously collated the correct information that I requested? I originally requested the information on the 4 December 2008.
I am writing to request an internal review of Scarborough 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...

Yours faithfully

Vicky Gray

Dear Sir or Madam

I requested a review on the 22 December 2008 and also the 14 September 2009. Does Scarborough Council ignore all requests? Are there no time limits that you have to adhere to?

Please read all correspondence and respond to it. I have also emailed the Chief Executive Jim Dillon. As I feel he has a right to know that his staff are ignoring FOI requests

Yours faithfully

Vicky Gray

Dear Sir or Madam

I am still awaiting a response to my request. The next excuse will be the Christmas holidays. Please respond to this request.

Yours faithfully

Vicky Gray

David Kitson, Scarborough Borough Council

1 Atodiad

Regards

David Kitson
Senior Solicitor, Litigation and Regulation, Legal and Support Services, Scarborough Borough Council
e: [email address] | t: 01723 384319 | f: 08702 384160
w: www.scarborough.gov.uk

Office: Town Hall, St Nicholas Street, Scarborough, North Yorkshire. YO11 2HG
Business hours: 8.30am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday, excluding Bank Holidays

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear David Kitson

I will not waste any more of my valuable time by complaining to the Information Commissioner from whose office you have no doubt been advised how best to refuse to comply.

The taxpayer of Scarborough 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.

Stress is not the employee's inability to cope with excessive workload or the unwelcome attentions of bullying co-workers and managers; stress is a consequence of the employer's failure to provide a safe system of work as required by the UK Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Yours sincerely

Vicky Gray

Gadawodd Vicky Gray anodiad ()

FAO: Scarbrough 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...

Mobbing
http://bullyeq.com/mobbing.htm

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