So then...

About Me

Welcome to my blog. My pen name is Eva James. I'm an aspiring writer paying the bills working as a legal secretary. Relentlessly bullied by my former boss, I looked for another job but the recession hit. Feeling trapped, I recorded everything in this blog, which serves as a revealing insight into workplace bullying. WEEK 1 starts the story and, as the weeks progress, you'll note what starts as banter soon spirals out of control. Sadly, it's all true. Whilst along the way I've found alternative employment, my passion for blogging about workplace bullying remains. Trevor Griffiths, legendary theatre, TV and film writer said at the outset, "I like the writing a lot: smart, cool, placed. If you were prepared/able to take your prick of a boss on, you'd marmelise him."

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Robin Hood


For the last few years, the Tories have re-negotiated employment rights to the employer’s advantage claiming that doing so would benefit the economy. It was the EU in the main which prevented them going too far, along with some of the stronger unions.

The Tories version of give and take is also worth noting. They gave us The Equality Act 2010, which means that we can’t be bullied at work or harassed and discriminated against on protected grounds of gender, race or disability etc. But then they made it prohibitively expensive to take an Equality Act 2010 case to tribunal or court with court fees running to thousands.

With the EU out of the picture following #Brexit, workers rights and employment law will be looked at again by the Tory right wing.  I’m worried about the forthcoming employment agenda.

We need the strongest Labour government in opposition now. We need the strongest trade unions. I’ve got a lot of respect for Jeremy Corbyn, but this is too big a job for him. We need, um...

 

Robin Hood?

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

The Go-To Guy


The hibernation I mentioned in my last blog lasted a little longer than anticipated,and I’m sorry for that, but at least the result of it is that I have a new novel coming out in October. The hard work paid off!

But let’s not waste any time in being back at Bullied by the Boss with all things bullying, harassment and employment related.

Ordinarily, I have never allowed adverts on my blog. Over time, people have told me I’m crazy: “Monetise!” they shout. But I don’t want my readers to be distracted by adverts for coats, deodorants and soft drinks when they’re looking for solidarity and support.

I’ve also been approached many times over the years to blog about companies that promote related services. As a rule, I always politely decline.

But recently I got thinking about advertising. There can be great value in personal recommendations. I set myself to working out who would I turn to if workplace bullying were, God forbid, to happen to me again. If I found myself bullied at work and my life again reduced to a daily misery of unhappiness and humiliation, who would I call?

I realised that during my break from blogging the landscape of employment law has been changing fast. It’s all about mediation now. Like litigation, mediation is confidential but it’s quicker and less expensive. With mediation, one bonus is that keeping your job can be an option.

There are a growing number of mediators out there but if mediation fails you don’t want to be hunting around for a lawyer who can progress things further. So my personal recommendation would be a trained mediator who is also an experienced lawyer.

But who in particular would I use?

There is a lawyer about whom I have heard nothing but good things and great results for those having all sorts of trouble at work. And what has prompted this blog is that I’ve just heard he is also now an accredited employment and workplace mediator.

Chris Mayers from MLM Cartwright Solicitors in Cardiff has seen it all from both Claimant and Defendant side. He’s fearless, but also patient and understanding. For more info do Google him at http://mlmcartwright.com!

If I were to run into a workplace problem again, he’s the guy I would call.  

He’s your go-to guy!

Thursday, 29 October 2015

The Four Seasons (or the Legacy of Vince Cable and David Cameron)


In November, I’ll be going into a month of hibernation from social media as I’m embarking on the NaNoWriMo writing challenge – 50,000 words of a novel in a month. Ouch! Before I go (and I’ll be back in December), I wanted to reflect on the legacy of former Work and Pension Secretary, Vince Cable, and look at the potential future legacy of David Cameron.

 Vince Cable may be gone, but the process he began of moving power away from the employee to employers continues.

 In a previous blog, I wrote about the tribunal fees which were introduced by Cable in the summer of 2013. Employees now have to pay up to £1,200 to take their claim to the employment tribunal. Cable argued that this would deter around 25 per cent of employees.

 The drop in employees able to afford the tribunal route turned out to be a lot bigger, closer to 80 per cent. For employers, this nut wasn’t just cracked, it was oven roasted and then blitzed in a Tory food processor.

 Employees had one defence left, it seemed: union membership. Unions can help represent you at tribunal and even help towards the cost of the tribunal fee. However, a moderate amount of strikes involving London Underground, civil servants and teachers has seen the government reaching for its sledgehammer again. The sledgehammer has a name: The Trade Union Bill.

 I came across an interesting article by Adam Bienkov at: http://politics.co.uk/blogs/2015/05/29/the-government-are-trying-to-kill-off-the-trade-union-moveme. Bienkov cautions that it’s easy to lose sight of the main agenda in the technically complex Trade Union Bill. He writes:

 It is about damaging the basic ability of working and middle class people to campaign for good pay and employment rights...It will hamper any future campaigns for a living wage, or against exploitative contracts and discrimination. Basically any union campaign that can in any way be judged as political will have its funding restricted by this law.’

 Even if you’re in a union, if the Tories win this battle, the only help you’ll get in terms of employment is an official with their hands tied behind their back and a pair of ears to listen to you.

I sense there’s more behind this sledgehammer mentality. This isn’t the winter of discontent of the 1970s, but with deeper austerity cuts on the way, perhaps the tribunal fees and the Trade Union Bill are preparatory work. Perhaps the end game is to try and ensure mass discontent is not given a voice in the coming months and years. I’m pretty sure David Cameron doesn’t want his legacy to be a winter of discontent. He may be underestimating anyway if the austerity measures get worse. His legacy looks more likely to be the Four Seasons of discontent.
That said, the battle isn’t over yet. Come on, the unions!
Bottom Swirl