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I am in a middle of a "misunderstanding" with my current employer - I have called for internal bullying resolution twice. In effect, I have got relocated, and am denied access to my work mailbox, where most of emails exchange took place. The situation takes place in UK.

During the process, I've forwarded one of the first questions I sent to HR to my personal mailbox. Since then, some of the correspondence ended in that mailbox as well (simply: reply-all, but I'm sure they're well aware of it). Now, would that kind of correspondence be considered confidential? May I use these materials when contacting a lawyer?

What about other materials, i.e. proofs of several issues that could support my case. Since I've got very limited access to my work mailbox, I fear the contents of it may get removed and I'd be left empty handed. Can I make a copy of these for my personal "just-in-case" use? (and use them in a court of law, should a need arise?)

  • Why are you not looking for a new job? – Kilisi May 7 '17 at 9:30
  • @Kilisi - I am, though, I'm testing the waters. – John The Worst May 7 '17 at 9:31
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    "May I use these materials when contacting a lawyer?" - if you decide to contact a lawyer part of his job as a lawyer is to be able to estimate whether what you have has any chance of winning a case, what is allowed/admissable, etc. – Brandin May 7 '17 at 12:20
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    @Kilisi making notes and keeping evidence in a grievance case is not sketchy its best practice – Neuromancer May 7 '17 at 13:12
  • I think the OP's concern was regarding other emails (or parts of an email unrelated to the bullying.) If he brings everything he has to the lawyer, he's potentially disclosing confidential company information at the same time as he's showing the evidence of bullying. – Steve-O May 7 '17 at 13:36
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Yes you do have the right to collect evidence and notes in this case

It appears you are raising a grievance with your employer, in this case if they are not allowing you or your lawyer access to evidence (The mailbox) this would be a serious breach of procedure and legal custom and practice.

Note that if It did go to tribunal if the employer denied you access to your email this would be a massive red flag and your Lawyer would have a field day it would probably be an automatic win for the employee side.

If you haven’t formally raised a grievance over bullying (check your employee hand book) do so now and also raise one on being denied access to evidence. You should also talk to your union if you are a member, the CAB or an employment lawyer.

  • Thank you for the answer. Kind of hoped access to mailbox is a sensitive thing on its own that may be help during the case, if not for the evidence stored itself. – John The Worst May 7 '17 at 17:53

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