I'm being bullied out of my job

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Happy Shopper that is horrendous. Do you have a Union rep you can talk to? Or is there someone in HR?

Where the computer use and lymphoedema is concerned, would it be possible to get voice activiated software/voice regognition software to work with the packages you use, or is it all internally programmed bespoke stuff they use? Under Equality legislation they have to make reasonable adjustments for you, and I’d have thought this would fit.

A friend of mine in the NHS recently asked for mediation because of a real problem with a colleague… don’t know if all trusts/boards offer it, but may be worth asking HR about the possibility. My friend said it helped.

Workplace bullying is surely disciplinary? Do you keep a record of incidents? Having an evidence base would strengthen your case if you wanted to make a complaint or go to a tribunal.

I guess the fixed term contract thing is a real nuisance… if they don’t renew you can never prove why.

Sorry, this isn’t really much help. Hopefully someone with a background in employment stuff will happen along soon… one of the perverse benefits of the indiscriminate nature of this disease is that between us we seem to have people with knowledge of most things.

Take care and a big HUG

Document it all, is the best advice I can give. Bullying is against the law, and it’s in NHS policies to have no-tolerance to it. Proving it, however, is always harder. In our Trust they give people who feel they are being bullied diaries… Can you talk to your boss’ boss? how awful for you… it’s so hard…

I feel for you. I was bullied out of a job over 20 years ago, it was an awful experience. I was young and naive and didn’t handle it very well. I also thought that if I just did my job well nothing bad could happen. I was so wrong! My boss twisted everything I did and said to suit himself and his bosses backed him up. I hadn’t been in the job very long and didn’t have a long track record to fall back on. The experience affected my confidence for years.

So the most important thing to remember is this is not your fault, you are just in the unfortunate position of working for someone who is not nice - it happens. As the other have said, document everything. As you have worked in the NHS for a long time, you must have a long track record there, get previous colleagues to back you up. There is no way you can guarantee the end result here - I think it often comes down to office politics and who is the most expendable, which unfortunately is often the more junior member of staff, but if you have lots of documentation to back everything up that will help your case.

Sometimes you have to cut your losses and run, but I appreciate that isn’t easy in the current economic climate. Just hold onto the fact this situation has been forced on you by someone else and in no way reflects on you or your abilities.

Hi Happy Shopper, your boss sounds really bullying. I agree that you should keep an audit trail and contact the union. Good luck x

Are you old enough to take your NHS Pension? I am and have decided to jump before the gov changes the pension, even though it will be actuarily reduced for me by 2yrs.

Hi all,
thank you so much for your comments.

i have deleted my original post as I have re read it and was obviously very upset when I wrote it early this morning !

I went in today and made an idiot of myself as I was tired and burst into tears - the pressure of it all has got too much.

i am now going to seriously consider looking at taking ill health - I have talked about this before on here, but it has always felt too daunting to do so and I am scared of being turned down and what happens then? I do have lymphodema and back problems.I have such a lack of confidence and the thought of doing anything new scares me.
Your posts have brought alot of comfort. thank you

Thats what we are all here for - mutual support.
Don’t let your employer decide what is best for you. Get HR advice, contact Macmillan

Happy shopper I’m not sure what you posted but presume you work in the nhs and are on a fixed term contract… If you have been fixed term for i think over two years then you have the same rights as permanent staff… See if you can find your trust policy on fixed term contracts or might even be part of agenda for change but there is deep something covering temp working as I did a few temp jobs before getting a permanent one.

You could maybe ask about redeployment if your not happy where you are or finding it difficult to carry out your duties… Occy health should be able to support you too.

Lulu x

I missed your original post HS but if you are considering ill health retirement don’t be daunted, you do have serious health issues. Stress is a real issue in the NHS, some people go under with it without having had to deal with cancer too. This extra stress of feeling bullied is really not good for you. Early retirement on health grounds is not something your boss can block, if the docs say you’re not fit to work, and it may genuinely be the best option for you. You may have probably done yourself a favour by blowing out this morning, that let them all realise how truly awful you felt, which really should not be happening; and it’s much cheaper for them to help you retire gracefully, than that they face a legal case for discriminatory unfair dismissal or bullying!

Big hugs and Praying things work out for you :slight_smile: Do give the helpline a call too.

Hello Happyshopper.
I didn’t see your post about bullying just the one about early retirment on ill health. Just thought I’d add my twopenuth.
I am very luck both with my BC and with work. However last year I did have an issue with depression and stress caused by the side effects of tamoxefen and lymphodema which were making my job as a class teacher increasingly difficult. I had time off and before returning to work I had to see the authority doctor. As a result I have been classified as disabled because of the lymphodema. This means that the aspects of work that cause problems I now have help with. It has also given me the confidence to say “No” to anything I think will cause me a problem regarding my health. During this time I also got support from my union.
As the others have said the first step is HR but perhaps there are alternatives to stopping work.
Regards Chinook

Hi Happyshopper, I feel really sorry for anyone who is being bullied, it is bad when it is kids, it makes it especially hard to accept when it is an adult doing this, she should not be in the job. I worked in similar enviroment a few years ago, and wonder now how this person was allowed to get away with it, why we allowed her to get away with it. To cut a long story short restructuring was on the cards so a couple of us got out (I had been their 22 years). I was 50 and enrolled at college never having used a computer before and wondered what I had done. The younger students were brilliant I wasn’t made to feel any different to them, they helped me when I found it difficult, I made some lovely friends and passed exams with distinctions. I was doing voluntary work and when I finished college was offered a post of advice worker. I just want you to see their is life, I loved my job but sadly it lost funding and ceased. I haven’t worked since, but love my time at home and when I read your post this morning I said to my husband, I am so glad I don’t have that stress anymore, please think hard about your future, has to be your decision, but you have to come first. Take care love junieliz x

i have been sending regular sick notes into work but forgot to photocopy they are now saying they can’t trace them and want to take me salary back for the lat four months any advice welcome

What?! They must be very careless then. Can you get copies from your GP maybe?

2 were issued by hospital and 2 from GP will have to see what I can do could well do without the stress at present have been in a right state about going down to half pay with this added stress has this really been all worth it


happyshopper are you in a union there are some options which they could pursue

If necessary you should follow a policy which could ensure a fairer process, although formalising things is daunting nhs trusts have strict policies these days re bullying.

Hope you get some support as anyone who has had BC has enough to contend with without extra pressures.


surely your Gp will support you with this, good luck

love Poppy x

Just to say, HS that as well as being bullied (I missed your original post so don’t know details), if it is related to your bc you are probably also being harassed as you have a disability which is a protected characteristic in the 2010 Equalities Act, which strengthens your position.

Dear all,
Thank you all once again for your lovely messages - the support on this forum is just wonderful, and it helps so much to talk to those who are/have been through breast cancer too.

I am so stressed at the momentso have taken the decision to remove myself from this stress and have phoned in sick this morning.

I had a bit of a “smelt the coffee moment” over the weekend, especially after reading all your messages. Why am I putting up with this?
Despite the bullying, I have battled on at work,despite having problems with lymphodema and fatigue, and having to endure the stress that goes with having CT scans to exclude secondaries etc, to be treated like this.
I have now spoken to my union rep helpline, didn’t get as far as telking about the bullying, only got as far as to mention how much I am struggling to work with lymphodema and back pain whilst sitting at a desk for 6 hrs every day (I have tried cutting this time down with taking time owing, with no effect), and he suggested the possibility of ill health retirement. I am not sure that I could cope with the stress of going through a complaints proceedure.
I think whatever happens, I need to remove myself from this stressful, negative, bullying environment - NOW.
So, I have taken the first move and phoned in sick. I have booked an appt to see my GP (actually,my GP has gone on long term sick leave so will have to see a Dr I have never been before, so that’s a bit nerve wracking) and hopefully they will agree to sign me off.
I will keep you posted as to what happens, and good luck to all of you who may be in the same situation. It is so goods to hear of those of you who have got through it and are enjoying a “new life”.

Good for you, happyshopper, you sound so much more positive!
Tell the union about the bullying.
You have tried so hard and now it is the time to think about yourself and your health, you are the priority now.
Best of luck to you with everything xx

HS, I’m glad you’ve given yourself permission to acknowledge what’s happening. Good luck talking to your union people, they need to be told so that action can be taken to prevent this manager continuing in this way, whether or not you take ill health retirement.