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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46743
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Hi Ben,I am a teacher on a permanent contract and was employed

Resolved Question:

Hi Ben,I am a teacher on a permanent contract and was employed to run a new special needs unit.I received my contract on the 7th of Nov 2013 and to my dismay have discovered the unit has been allocated to close due to cutback in the county.Looking at the proposal the county knew the financial situation and therefore shouldn't have offered my the post on a permanent contract.I feel that they have lured me into a false job.Please could you help,many thanks Catherine
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. Did you have continuous service with them before you took on this job or were you a new employee when you started?

Customer:

I worked for another county on continuous service and had no gap between employment.

Ben Jones :

was it guaranteed they were going to close down when they offered you the job?

Customer:

they've sent me the proposal and it states on this that proposal had been decided back in 2012

Ben Jones :

But was that just a possibility, rather than a done deal so to speak?

Customer:

http://static.powys.gov.uk/uploads/media/ALNConsdoc_en.pdf -

Ben Jones :

ok, it immediately is apparent that this is just a proposal and at present they are in a consultation process to decide whether to proceed with this proposal or not. It specifically states "A report will then be submitted to the Council’s Cabinet for consideration and they will decide, based on the feedback received, whether to proceed with the proposal, make changes to the proposal or not to proceed with the proposal."


So it is by no stretch a done deal yet - the consultation could still decide that the proposal should not go ahead and it could still mean your job would not be at risk. When recruiting, it would be impossible for an employer to give you information about every possible risk to the job and they are also not expected to do so. From a legal point of view there will only be a claim if they had lied to you, for example by saying there will be no proposal or potential risk to your job, or if you had directly asked them about this and they had failed to disclose it when they knew about it.

You may still raise a formal complaint with the employer over this, for example the grievance procedure is available to you if needed. However, all will become clear when the employer decides whether to proceed with the proposal and what actually happens with your job - only then will you know if and how you can challenge them

Customer:

had letter and bumph off county last night - Following the local authority inspection of march 2011 and the Estyn monitoring visit of October 2012 there has been a need to carry out a full review of local authority Additional Learning Needs Provision.During the summer of 2013 this review was commissioned via Ceredigion County Council to an independent consultant.

Customer:

The outcome of the review was reported at a meeting of the councils cabinet on 12th of November 2013 AT WHICH APPROVAL WAS GIVEN TO CONSULT ON CHANGING aln provision.

Ben Jones :

yes but the approval is simply to consult which is what the document states and after the consultation they can still make one of 3 decisions - proceed with the proposal, amend it, or not proceed with it

Ben Jones :

So your job is not guaranteed to be affected at this stage

Customer:

They've requested me to fill a skills audit in by 28th of April and have sent me a job description for an advisory post without any consultation.

Customer:

and also a business case for transformation of services for supporting learners with additional learning needs.The job description of the post I accepted stated also that it was to set up and run a new unit which I feel is very mis-leading.

Ben Jones :

But is this part of the consultation only or are they actually changing your job?

Customer:

this is what's so confusing,if I don't know but all the paperwork indicates to me that this is all going to go ahead. I've been invited to attend a group meeting on Thursday 13th Feb at 4pm in the Council Chamber,Powys County Hall where I will be advised about the timescale involved. Following this meeting I have the opportunity to attend an individual meeting.I have also received a list of dates,such as date of employment with Powys County Council,deadline for receipt of written representation to name but a few!!

Ben Jones :

ok well I can only go by what I have seen in the document and that states there is a proposal for restructure and that starting on 3 Feb there will be a consultation to decide whether the proposal will go ahead or not. The consultation could cover all sorts of grounds, for example you could be asked to do a skills audit so they can see what skills you have to offer in the new structure if it was to go ahead but it does not mean these changes will just be implemented now, I doubt they will. In any event, the consultation and meetings is your opportunity to ask questions about this and get clarification. However, as it currently stands, unless you were directly misled about there being no consultation or you asked them about it and they replied it is not the case, it would be difficult to challenge because there is no legal obligation on an employer to disclose all potential risks with taking the job, they simply cannot lie to you directly about it

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?

Customer:

have they induced me into the post by advertising it as a permanent post to run a new unit? if they knew the situation surely it should have been advertised as a temporary contract

Customer:

thank you for your response.I guess I have to wait and see whether it actually happens and then maybe I can take it further.They clearly advertised the post without thought in my opinion as all the paperwork indicates that they knew that there was clearly no future to my post.

Ben Jones :

well the job was and still is permanent - a consultation over a proposal does not mean it is no longer permanent, especially as the proposal could be rejected

Customer:

yes,you're right, thank you for the advice

Ben Jones :

You are most welcome, hope this has clarified your position

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46743
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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