Luna started a new job where her working conditions were unsustainable and unsafe. She sought help from Citizens Advice Barnet when her situation became impossible.
A Difficult Situation:
Luna was working as a trainer and began a job in a new studio. She was asked to work late in a building that was open to the public and had no security guard or receptionist in the evenings when Luna was working. Every night, she was left alone to tidy and lock up despite a lack of risk assessment for lone working and no emergency contact if anything went wrong.
When Luna first raised her safety concerns with her manager, her worries were dismissed and went unaddressed for a further five months. Her manager became angry that she was asking, and accused her of not working her hours.
When she complained again, her manager threatened to fire her and take legal action against her. The situation continued with no sign that anything would change. Soon after this, Luna says she was forced to hand in her notice:
“I didn’t feel safe and didn’t see any other option.”
As well as not receiving her wages, this left her without a regular source of income.
Asking for Help:
Luna first approached ACAS (Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service) for help when her manager became aggressive. They are an independent public body that work to resolve disputes between employers and employees. They referred her to Citizens Advice Barnet so she could get the practical help that she needed.
Luna was clear in her goal: “I just wanted to be paid for the hours I had worked and for them to realise that it isn’t okay to treat people the way that they did me.”
What we did:
Acting on Luna’s behalf, our employment team registered an Employment Tribunal claim against her employer. This is something that normally has to be done within 3 months (minus one day) from when the incident took place. They helped Luna demonstrate that her manager’s treatment of her had left her no choice but to resign; this counted as unfair treatment that had breached her contract.
They were successful in settling the claim out of court for £2000 and a favourable reference!
A Happy Ending:
“I received the money back that the company had refused to pay me as well as some compensation for having had to leave the job which was all I was after. Hopefully this will stop them from doing the same to other people.”
Since leaving her old job and being supported through her claim, Luna’s life has continued to improve. She wants others to know that they can find help and support with Citizens Advice Barnet:
“They are so lovely and helpful, I felt so comfortable speaking with them and they were amazing at recommending the best steps for me to take throughout the process, I couldn’t recommend them more!”
David was amazing! I also had correspondence with others and they were all just incredible!