Legal Ombudsman Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

Legal Ombudsman Reviews

Updated 22 Jan 2020

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1.7
16%
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0%
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Legal Ombudsman Chief Ombudsman Rebecca Marsh  (no image)
Rebecca Marsh
8 Ratings
  1. Helpful (4)

    "Good benefits"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Birmingham, England
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Legal Ombudsman full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    This is a friendly place to work. Excellent induction procedure with ongoing training and courses as required. Flexible working hours, parking on site, and excellent pension plan are part of the competitive package. There are designated members of staff that you can approach if you are feeling a bit stressed or just want a confidential chat without going to your Line Manager or HR. Office is located right next to canal at Brindley Place so great if you enjoy a walk or jog at lunch time.

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    Cons

    There can be an element of micro managing in some departments and some do try to take advantage of the flexible working conditions to the detriment of others.

    Advice to Management

    I’ve noticed that even though departmental one to one’s are highlighted as part of the ongoing induction process, they don’t always take place. Therefore, HR should ensure that these are recorded formally.

    Legal Ombudsman2019-07-19
  2. Helpful (4)

    "No confidence in senior management team, very toxic, punitive policies...PLEASE AVOID AT ALL COSTS"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Legal Investigator in Birmingham, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Legal Ombudsman full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Fellow colleagues are very supportive in this very challenging toxic environment.

    Cons

    Punitive policies Bullying and Harassment from management Micro management on a completely different unacceptable level. Very high staff turnover Very high sickness levels due to work related stress No consistency at all

    Advice to Management

    Listen, listen, listen. You have a wealth of experienced of knowledge in the investigators. This is all being lost, when people leave and go on long term work related sickness. LEO belongs to us all. Stop with the bullying and harassment and treat your employees with respect and decency. I have never worked for an organisation which is so badly managed. Investigators enjoy their work, but are being driven out by very bad management practices.

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    Legal Ombudsman2020-01-22
  3. Helpful (4)

    "Toxic environment, intractable management and relentless pressure. Avoid for your own health."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Investigator in Birmingham, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Legal Ombudsman full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Interesting, varied work on a day-to-day basis. "Earned" home working, which is revoked at short notice or limited should you fail to meet unrealistic targets. Flexible working allowed. Salary.

    Cons

    This is an organisation in trouble. I have worked at the Legal Ombudsman for many years and have watched as it has been slowly but effectively run into the ground through mis-management, reactionary decision-making, self-delusion and ill-treatment of the staff that do the heavy-lifting and day-to-day work (investigators and Ombudsmen). The Organisation has set itself up to fail by attempting to adhere to targets which senior management at this stage must know cannot be met without incurring serious detriment to staff wellbeing and mental health. Levels of depression and anxiety amongst staff (those brave and comfortable enough to talk about it) are unlike anything I have ever seen before in a similar organisation. The Organisation has in the past paid lip-service to such concerns and "Mental Health Champions" are available (members of staff with the generosity of spirit and empathy to volunteer for such a role), but this does nothing to address what the core of the problem is: the relentless pursuit of unachievable targets, to the detriment of everything else. The over-arching philosophy of the management team appears to be that they would rather burn-out 'performing' investigators and Ombudsmen then replace them with new starters, as opposed to addressing the actual problems causing the exodus of experienced staff and new staff leaving once the reality of the situation hits them. Those members of staff which do manage to meet targets are without exception working well over and above the allocated hours, late nights and weekends. It is not unusual to find employees "logged on" at 10 or 11 at night. This is just to meet the targets set and essentially keep themselves afloat, as the pace of work is utterly relentless. These additional hours are usually not recorded by those staff members themselves either and if they are being recorded, it should have been ringing alarm bells with the HR department and leadership teams. It does not. In short, the targets sought by the management are not reflective or considerate of the *actual* work that is being undertaken by staff in an attempt to meet them. Staff are told that if they are having to resort to such long hours to meet the targets, "they are not working effectively." Should you not meet targets, your home working is restricted. It is said that this is to give "additional support" - however in reality it is a punative measure, designed to 'encourage' meeting those unrealistic targets. Management fail to see that this drives and encourages unhealthy behaviours in staff. The reality is that the majority of staff are not meeting target. Those that continually do not meet target are effectively "managed out of the business" through "capability plans" and made to feel that the problem is with them as an employee. In addition to this, staff are expected to deal with micro-management from Team Leaders (and blessed are you should you be allocated a Team Leader that is understanding and professional), sudden changes in process which are ill-communicated, administrative reporting to Team Leaders (despite a "for-purpose" new case management system, the case management system has been to date unable to pull the data required for accurate reporting so it has fallen on investigators and Ombudsmen to complete onerous data spreadsheets), duplication of work in some respects and inconsistencies in approaches from Ombudsmen. Investigators are expected to adhere to very set methods of investigation and are overseen and supervised by Level 1 Ombudsmen, who will check and "approve" an investigators' approach or findings. One some sense this collaboration can provide an investigator with piece of mind that they are on the right track, but whether you are paired with a sensible and approachable Level 1 Ombudsman is the "luck of the draw" unfortunately and inter-personal conflicts are common as a result. Such instances are poorly managed as the drive and impetus of the management team is to simply "get those case closures." All of the above just relates to the daily administrative grind and the toxic atmosphere. If you are applying for the role of either an investigator or an Ombudsman, you will also need to be aware that the core work itself (investigating customer service complaints and dealing with upset parties for sometimes months at a time) whilst interesting and varied, can be at times quite stressful and negative. Be prepared to deal with angry, upset, mentally unwell, crying and abusive members of the public and the legal profession. Be prepared to be expected to sift through oftentimes massive amounts of paper work and documentation, much of which is irrelevant. The pace of this work is relentless owing to the massive backlog of work - once you close a case you are immediately expected to take another one (or however many) to backfill the work and progress the cases in line with management-created progression milestones. Constantly. There is no breathing room or time to re-group yourself. This has created a conveyor-belt atmosphere: investigators close cases, immediately take replacements on and are fully expected to hit unrealistic targets in progressing those cases. Needless to say, the quality and incisiveness of investigations can suffer across the board as investigators chase case closures and the Organisation suffers reputational damage as a result. There used to be a decent sense of comradery, community and friendship in this organisation. It used to feel like you were valued as an employee. In select cliques amongst management, this is still true. Staff functions and nights out were enjoyed. However, for a number of years now the staff morale has been so rock-bottom and good-will in such short supply that such functions are few and far between and efforts by the well-intentioned to revive that are exercises in papering over the cracks. It now feels as though staff are simply cogs in the machine, replaceable when they break and disposable when they don't fit the relentless grind of the pursuit of elusive targets.

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    Advice to Management

    Wake up. Be honest with the Board about what is realistically possible and achievable, taking into account the actual nature of the work, the level of staffing and resource available. You have for a long time over-promised results which have been hitherto unachievable. Your pursuit of those unrealistic targets has led to valuable, experienced staff jumping ship or being on long-term leave through stress-induced ill-health. The targets you aim for may be derived through an analysis of data (although even that is a stretch, given the dearth of accurate data collection and reporting) - but blinkered adherence to them in the knowledge of the damage it is doing to staff morale, wellbeing and whatever good will is left is disgusting. There are some fantastic, lovely professional people there - but they are being treated like complete trash with the trajectory you are intent on committing the Organisation to. Despite saying all this, it is so, so unfortunate that this will fall on deaf ears. The current management are simply unadvisable and it is so sad that the only way out for this Organisation will be with the direct involvement and intervention of the Ministry of Justice. It's long, long past the time for the senior leadership and Ops teams to be honest with themselves, the staff and the board. You can only squeeze so much blood from a stone.

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    Legal Ombudsman2020-01-17
  4. Helpful (3)

    "Run for the hills"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Investigator in Birmingham, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Legal Ombudsman full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Flexibility and job itself interesting

    Cons

    What can I say. Micro managing, bullying from management, and the so called Level 1 Ombudman. They dont listen to people and investigators are treated like trash. Unrealistic targets which has seen an exodus of experienced staff. There is a lot of favouritism as well. I loved the job but ended up leaving to a less flexible job as it was stressful. Wouldn't touch with a barge pole

    Advice to Management

    Stop being arrogant and actually listen to your staff.

    Legal Ombudsman2020-01-08
  5. Helpful (1)

    "A place where good souls go to die. Please, please, avoid at all costs."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Investigator 
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Legal Ombudsman full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Free tea, but you will be whipped if you use 2 tea bags

    Cons

    A most corrupt, lying, Machiavellian and bullying employer. Treats it’s staff like cannon fodder and cattle. Makes ridiculous and unachievable demands and targets and then makes the Investigation staff responsible when they are not met, by placing them on never ending capability plans. Experienced staff have in the main, already left and new staff don’t stay long when they see what it is really like. If you are a complainant, then be prepared for an extremely long wait to have your complaint looked at and then when it is, it is the luck of the draw as to which Ombudsman looks at it and what they say. If you are a spiteful, hateful and unreasonable complainant, then you will love this organisation, because they will bow to your every need and invite you to complain about the Investigator tasked to your case, when they tell you to wake up and smell the roses.

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    Advice to Management

    Do some Investigation work yourself with the current caseload and targets and see what you are asking is objectionable. Oh... please feel free to get out and free this organisation from your evil.

    Legal Ombudsman2020-01-09
  6. Helpful (3)

    "Avoid for your own self worth"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Investigator in Birmingham, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Legal Ombudsman full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Some flexible working but restricted.

    Cons

    Management is poor, they micromanage, bully and belittle people across the board. They overload staff with work and their targets are excessive. They don’t understand what is and is not achievable. Very poor management of any reasonable adjustment for staff. I went wanting to help the public but in reality you rarely do. You are treated like a child. They are inconsistent in their management of staff and in other parts of it.

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    Advice to Management

    Stop promising closures to the board you cannot achieve. Be honest with them. Stop believing your staff are going to take the mickey and treat them fairly.

    Legal Ombudsman2019-12-17
  7. Helpful (4)

    "What a shame !"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Investigator in Birmingham, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Legal Ombudsman full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Sadly there is nothing that I can say that is positive about the legal ombudsman

    Cons

    I have seen the organisation literally eat itself by pursuing unreasonable targets and working practices that prohibits its staff from meeting the targets set. It routinely allows the bullying of its staff by team leaders to the point where staff have had to leave the organisation with no job to go to just to escape the routine and often public humiliation for failing to meet targets and failing to be able to explain why the unreasonable target had not been met . I have heard colleagues being openly rebuked in fron if their team mates in “side by side “ discussions with their team leader resulting in them weeping with embarrassment and shame . I have never worked in such an abusive place . I have seen the organisation deteriorate from having high minded principles such as transparency, independence, fairness, to become an organisation that deliberately obfuscates it’s performance figures both internally to staff and externally to its stakeholders . But the worst thing is the deliberate encouragement by management to seek to terminate the employment of staff that are unable to meet the targets through misconduct processes rather than under performance because they can get them out more quickly . Rather than assist them or set realistic plans to help people meet target , they misconstrue feedback that they have asked their staff to provide as bad or challenging behaviours .

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    Advice to Management

    I could only genuinely give advice to new management . The present management are impossible to advise as has been mentioned in other reviews, will not take the blindest bit of notice .

    Legal Ombudsman2019-11-24
  8. Helpful (5)

    "I’d rather be unemployed."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Investigator 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Legal Ombudsman full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    They have running water and it is near a canal.

    Cons

    The team leaders are horrible people with zero people skills. Once training is over you are left to struggle with no assistance. Over 60% of the workforce are failing to hit their targets. Present staff have to work over 39 hours just to break even. There is no flexible working anymore. Level one ombudsmen are patronising and inhuman. Staff are regularly in tears and upset.

    Advice to Management

    Leave and find more suitable jobs, prison wardens perhaps.

    Legal Ombudsman2019-10-10
  9. Helpful (2)

    "stressful environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Business Apprentice 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Legal Ombudsman full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The only positive is flexible working.

    Cons

    No career progression in particular if you are an apprentice No work/life balance Stressful environment Extremely overworked Undervalued

    Advice to Management

    Make more of an effort to improve prospects for apprentices and staff in general.

    Legal Ombudsman2019-07-22
  10. Helpful (8)

    "Horrendous, avoid at all costs!!!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Investigator in Birmingham, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Legal Ombudsman full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The people are nice and are bonded due to the doomed future of this business.

    Cons

    No matter how bad you think your current job is, or how insidious the job ads are with a promise of flexible working and an ok wage, do not be fooled. If you value your sanity, self esteem, or work life balance this is not the job for you. In reality you will work 50 plus hours a week, be continuously told your not good enough and micro managed to breaking point. Staff welfare is the bottom of their list as are the customers. all they are driven by is stats. They would rather a shoddy half complete investigation is done if it means closing a complaint. The management are clueless and simply number crunch, the running of the business is alarmingly ineffective . They ask for feedback from staff and then become defensive and continue to defend their blinkered approach which ultimately will bring this business to its knees. The best advice I can give is simply don’t waste your time, many people leave within a few months and those who stay end up on capability plans and are pushed out. Morale is rock bottom and your best will never be good enough. Only sycophants thrive in this sinking ship and those who dare to speak the truth are singled out and isolated.

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    Advice to Management

    Realise that you need to be honest with the board and stop fudging figures, you need at least 25 more investigators, and stop micro managing people out of the business who have a wealth of knowledge and experience. The people who work here want to help resolve problems not have you telling them to cut corners for your targets. The majority of the organisation are not hitting target which in itself shows it is not achievable. The MOJ need to step in now before it’s too late, listen to the employees and breath some fresh air into the self praising clique that is upper management.

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    Legal Ombudsman2019-08-01
Found 38 reviews