You and the Law – 4th October 2011

Work grievance

I work for a reputable company and brought a grievance against one of my colleagues.  Now they have moved me to another building. Can they do that?  They say it’s in my contract, but I don’t have one.  The union is looking into this.  TC

If you work for a big firm it’s possible you have been given a short statement of the terms and conditions of your employment which refers to an employee handbook.  Ask about this from your personnel department.  It’s likely that there’s a mobility clause which gives your employer the right to ask you to work elsewhere.  This, however isn’t the issue.  The question is whether they have handled your grievance correctly.  Although you have given me no details, it would appear that you are being made to suffer for bringing a complaint, and if matters continue you may have a case for constructive dismissal.  Your union should be able to advise.

Neighbour row

Our neighbour’s old conservatory used to overhang slightly on to our property.  But the new one is worse: because of the slope the sill and guttering jut into our drive at head height.  We told the neighbour and the builder not to do this, but they went ahead anyway.  Can we do anything that doesn’t involve expensive legal action?  EM

It won’t cost much for your solicitor to send a letter.  Normally I would urge people to avoid neighbour disputes at all costs, but in this case there is obviously a danger to people using your drive.  And you did give your neighbour the chance to avoid a confrontation!  If he doesn’t respond to the letter you can go to court to ask for an order that the offending items be removed.  Your neighbour may well be ordered to pay your legal costs if court action becomes necessary.  It will be important to resolve this now, since it could affect the value of your property and your ability to sell it in future.

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