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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48453
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I left my job recently after 16 years due to a changed role,

Resolved Question:

I left my job recently after 16 years due to a changed role, where the workload was completely unacceptable. I resigned after 7 weeks in the new role as I realized the workload was too much and I was having to work evenings, weekends and my day off just to try to keep my head above water. I was offered the job on a part time basis (4 days per week) but the person who did it prior did it full time and could not cope with the workload either. As part of the negotiation for me to accept the job, it was mentioned that they were hoping to get a 2nd person to assist me, yet when I resigned, this was not mentioned at all. Neither was the option to go back to my old job or find an alternative role, even though I was on a probationary period in the new role.
My part time status has been an issue for the company for some time as I feel I have been discriminated against - I was told on countless occasions that I would never progress whilst part time and had training and benefits denied.

Over the years, the company has had an increasing problem with my part time status and even though it was my decision to resign, I believe that they have seen this as a great opportunity to get rid of me easily.

Do I have a case for constructive dismissal and discrimination?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

When did you resign?

Customer:

I resigned 24 Nov and worked out 1 month's notice, finishing Christmas Eve.

Ben Jones :

On what grounds would the discrimination apply?

Customer:

Is there a discrimination when it comes to part time status and rights within that?

Ben Jones :

yes but it is not called discrimination, that is different. It is protection from less favourable treatment on grounds of your part time status, so basically you have protection from being treated detrimentally because of being part time when compared to a full time worker, as long as the treatment cannot be objectively justified.

Ben Jones :

let me get my full response ready please

Ben Jones :

This could potentially amount to constructive dismissal, which occurs when the following two elements are present:


• Serious breach of contract by the employer; and


• An acceptance of that breach by the employee, who in turn treats the contract of employment as at an end. The employee must act in response to the breach and must not delay any action too long.


 


A common breach by the employer occurs when it, or its employees, have broken the implied contractual term of trust and confidence. The conduct relied on could be a single act, or a series of less serious acts over a period of time, which together could be treated as serious enough (usually culminating in the 'last straw' scenario).


 


Following the resignation, the option of pursuing a claim for constructive dismissal exists. This is only available to employees who have at least 2 years' continuous service. There is a time limit of 3 months from the date of resignation to submit a claim in the employment tribunal. At the same time, or instead of that claim, you may also consider the claim for detrimental treatment due to your part time status.


 


An alternative way out is to approach the employer on a 'without prejudice' basis (i.e. off the record) to try and discuss the possibility of leaving under a settlement agreement. Under a settlement agreement, the employee gets compensated for leaving the company and in return promises not to make any claims against the employer in the future. It is essentially a clean break, although the employer does not have to agree to it so it will be subject to negotiation. In any event, there is nothing to lose by raising this possibility with them because you cannot be treated detrimentally for suggesting it and it would not be used against you.

Customer:

So are you saying it could be constructive dismissal based on breach of contract, as my trust and confidence have been broken?

Customer:

If I were to approach the company on the settlement agreement compromise, is it better to have this written by a legal expert or to do it myself?

Ben Jones : Yes correct that is how constructive dismissal occurs.mifnyou were to agree a settlement then you will need to take formal legal advice anyway so that will be organised once a formal agreement has been reached with the employer
Ben Jones :

Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this?

Ben Jones :

I see you have accessed and read my answer to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this?

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