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Employment Query

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sukkie | 15:06 Sun 29th Dec 2013 | Law
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Please can someone help with employment information here,
Some of my daughters post goes to the hotel where she works, the employer is opening the post and reading the statements then threatening her with a warning if she does not change the address to her home address. Her employer has also now held onto a letter which arrived for my daughter two weeks ago and still not handed this over to her. We know it is there as the receptionist has told my daughter. I might add that it is only my daughters post she opens and no one else that works there. Her employer has been bullying her for a while now, what should she do and what are her legal rights regarding her post. The letter could after all be an NHS appointment for all we know?

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Why does she continue to get some letters delivered there knowing that they are opened and her employer has asked for it to stop? Isn't the easy solution just to not get post sent to her work?
It is illegal to open withhold or interfere with someone else's mail. Why does your daughter ot get her mail sent elsewhere?
I know it is illegal to open or withhold someone else's post, but a lot of employers have all the post going into their offices opened centrally, so how is that covered by the law Wolfgang - I'm assuming that it's because wouldn't be getting post there is not employed and so assumed to be work related?

Sorry - I know this isn't necessarily relevant to this question as you say that it is only the daughters post which is opened but just wondering...
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My daughter has asked the company in question to change the address several times. My daughter, like many of the workers used to live at the hotel until she married. The employer does not open any one else's post and only recently started picking on her, we just needed to know what can be done about the employers harassment?
It is not illegal to open or interfere with mail after it has been posted to the correct address. It only applies to post in transit.

Your daughter should not be using her place of work as a mail address.
if its addressed to a individual by name (not to eg "the manager") who has not given permission for mail to be opened then its illegal. Otherwise all mail for people staying at the hotel could be opened and read. I worked in the NHS and we had to give permission to our secretary to open all mail unless it was marked "personal".
I am assuming that the OP's daughter has lodgings at the hotel and that is why she has mail sent there, otherwise she needs to get it sent to where she does live.
The employer should not open it or with hold but instead should send it back marked no longer at this address or something like that - that may also make the company pay more attention and change their records when your daughter contacts them.

I am not sure that it is harassment - a reasonable request has been made and is not being complied with.
woofgang, that doesn't apply when it is sent to an employee, unless the employee is permanently resident at that address.
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Should the employer not be consistent and treat all employees the same?
Is the employer allowed to pick just one employee and open any post that arrives in her name but not anyone else's. This is just one item of bullying and harassment that has occurred.
well but she was, and the mail that she is receiving is not in her capacity as an employee but in her capacity of someone who was resident at that address.
I think the issue is with the company that is refusing your daughter's requests to send the mail to a different address, not her employer.
He has no right not to forward mail to your daughter but it is only hearsay that this has happened.

Regarding the employer, I suspect he is opening only her mail because she is only one not resident that has mail delivered to the hotel. It is impossible for an employer to know the contents of a letter without opening it and it is reasonable to assume that mail addressed to the hotel is business mail.

Your daughter should make sure her address has been changed by all the companies that she deals with, including her GP, dentist and any hospital she may currently be receiving treatment from.

Is your daughter being bullied by the employer in any other way?
why are other people who aren't living there having their mail delivered there anyway?
If it's only one company writing to her there, as you seem to suggest, unless that company is the NHS, it seems unlikely that it will be an NHS appointment.
It is your daughter's responsibility to inform people that her address has changed - any post coming to the work address can be assumed to be work related. If the company that is sending her post there wont change their records, then she should set up re-direction with the RM.
I can't see how this is harrassment
Can she escalate the matter with the company concerned, is it a large company say a bank or lender (as statements are mentioned) as to the change of address issue? They are likely to have some kind of complaints procedure.

In the meantime she could set up a mail redirection, maybe warn the company that she will bill them for it if they do not change her address urgently and ask for copies of any mail sent to her at the wrong address to be sent to her correct address.

If she is worried about any medical appointments being sent she should ensure that all appropriate places are aware of her new address.
Maybe it's time to either look for a new job (as the relationship seems to have broken down) or tackle the issue of bullying if she thinks she has a case. The employer is right to insist that she doesn't have post delivered there but should give a reasonable period of time for this to be resolved. A month or two seems reasonable. If 3 months or more have elapsed and it's still happening I'm not surprised the employer feels she isn't doing enough to notify people of her correct address
Maybe it's time to either look for a new job (as the relationship seems to have broken down) or tackle the issue of bullying if she thinks she has a case. The employer is right to insist that she doesn't have post delivered there but should give a reasonable period of time for this to be resolved. A month or two seems reasonable. If 3 months or more have elapsed and it's still happening I'm not surprised the employer feels she isn't doing enough to notify people of her correct address.
Can't she just get Royal Mail to redirect her post to her new place? We did that when we moved and then she'll know which companies still think she lives at the hotel. It's up to her to change her personal address with people, not her employer.
It may be addressed to your daughter but as it is to a business address they DO have the right to open it.

However they should be consistant in their approach and treat all employee post in the same manner.

Is the hotel privately owned or a larger company that owns multiple hotels?


I was also going to suggest a redirection as the previous poster has and perhaps a strongly worded communication to the bank or other companies still sending post to the wrong address.
It seems this letter opening is only one example of bullying by the employer. It is the bullying which should be taken up, but in practice if it is the top person in the business who is doing the bullying it may be very difficult to get anything effective done.

I suggest your daughter rings the ACAS helpline & gives them information about what the porblems are & asks their advice. The employer should have a grievance procedure & they may say the first step should be to start using it.
I think she has to show the employer a leter she has written to the firm asking them to send to the new address.

One employer I know opened UNION correspondence with the words - I have checked I am allowed to do this....and we couldnt get anyone interested at all. Does make you careful about what you write to third party addresses tho'.

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