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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46187
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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in May 2012 I was promoted to Director Hotel Services from

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in May 2012 I was promoted to Director Hotel Services from previously being Operations Manager of a hotel in the same charity. The role was to overlook the two hotels but to help increase occupancy in the hotel 6 hours away which I visited 3 days a month and remotely daily from my base in head office 3 miles from the hotel I ran previously and without any problems.
I had a new boss in May 2012 and I supported all changes but was aware that she was very dismissive of employees, a colleague and I commented that we wondered when our time would come to be under handily got rid off.
The charity I work for is almost about to have changes by the 1st March, which discussions with another charity have been going on since last year.
In November after a pay rise in October I started to get given more and more different tasks to the extent that I felt personally like I was being pulled from pillar to post but not being given enough time to complete a single task. I had not in 5 years been anything but dedicated to the charity and to achieving to the best of my ability in all areas.
In December my appraisal was at the CEO house she was pleasant on arrival but once sat upstairs in a room with a bed she used as an office she questioned my private life and told me that staff did not like my partner who volunteered and had a great rapour with the guest and had done so over 5 years and to me this was an attack on me personally (her own husband works for the charity? not voluntary like my partner) I did say that I had found the running of the hotel due to no manager due to no money and running remotely a hotel 6 hours away plus assisting with information for the fundraising team, finance team and her requests I was finding it difficult and not feeling like I was achieving what my role was. She then told me that we would not be putting a manager onto the hotel I had previously run due to cash flow and I would be working in the hotel 3 days a week to overlook the management side, I agreed to this as the charity is a poor charity and I saw this as supporting her decisions and the charity. However, a complaint from a member of the staff who had been given an increase in pay to overlook the running of the hotel until January was that I was did not answer my phone and she said I should not have it turned off ' I was 45 miles away when the call came in at 8pm at night, it was not an emergency it was boxing night and my day off? My phone was out of charge the person who had been put as acting ass manager was not called but I called first thing the following day. I was then told I should always be contactable?? I do not have a work phone?
Today I was asked to go to the Head office to sign my NEW contract back to my original role running the hotel on my salary as DHS and when I said I would take to read I was told don't be ridiculous that I had seen it before and if I did had to return it signed next day.

I am happy to run the hotel for the new charity as manager its a fantastic job which I loved but my boss has made me feel like I have not achieved and am worthless and to add to that has informed by phone in the presence of a fellow colleague that I am on a performance review?? an email that she called me Operations Manager which until I signed today as she hit the roof when I asked to bring back and the stress it is causing and sleepless nights is not worth it. She was a solicitor previously for 25 yrs but I cant believe its okay to treat people like this.
I feel bullied, do I however, do my original role and hope my potential boss ignores what her opinions are and meets me and sees how dedicated I am or do I say this is not acceptable behaviour. There is so many things that have occurred but I now feel so tearful and its not like me to feel like this, I have always taken the bull by the horns and done my best for the charity and I still am until she requests a meeting and then I worry about what I am going to again
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. What are your specific queries about this situation please?

Customer:

how can I be Director Hotel Services then told I have to run hotel 3 days a week but now over 2 weeks I am told I have to no have my contract changed back to my old contract and go back to run hotel full time on my DHS salary this acceptable

Customer:

When I asked if I could take new contract home to read I got told I was being ridiculous, but would you sign a contract without thoroughly going over

Ben Jones :

and what would you like to achieve in this situation?

Customer:

I am happy to go back to my original role but if how she has gone about getting this to happen threatens my role with my new boss I really want to know if this behaviour continues is it cause for constructive dismissal as I am so unhappy but was not until December, also she has to leave her role and she is never responsible for anything that goes wrong there always has to be a scape goat...2 finance staff in 2 months, a hotel manager, and 4 volunteers?

Customer:

We cant all be under performing?7

Ben Jones :

All of this could indeed result in a 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).


 


The affected employee would initially be expected to raise a formal grievance in order to officially bring their concerns to the employer's attention and give them an opportunity to try and resolve them. If the issues are so bad that the employee can't even face raising a grievance and going through the process, or if a grievance has been raised but has been unsuccessful, then they can consider resigning straight away.


 


If resignation appears to be the only option, it must be done without unreasonable delay so as not to give an impression that the employer's breach had been accepted. Any resignation would normally be with immediate effect and without providing any notice period. It is advisable to resign in writing, stating the reasons for the resignation and that this is being treated as constructive dismissal.


 


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.


 


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.


 


Just to make a final, yet important point, that constructive dismissal can be a difficult claim to win as the burden of proof is entirely on the employee to show the required elements of a claim were present. Therefore, it should only be used as a last resort.


 

Customer:

I know the procedure for constructive dismissal but I am happy to do my original role with the new charity but I want to cover my options with my new boss as my to be old boss actually called and told her she had put me on performance review in front of another colleague. This surely is not acceptable behaviour and with the changes to happen Monday I do not wan to cause problems but do not feel my old boss to be can treat people like this.

Ben Jones :

no I agree, but whilst this may be tantamount to bulling, the procedure would be the same - informal discussions with the person at first, followed by a grievance and then constructive dismissal

Ben Jones :

Just to let you know I have to go offline shortly as I have an early start so please let me know if you need me to clarify anything else for you before I go?

Customer:

Thank you for your help but I do not want to complain with a new boss and if I won a constructive dismissal claim it would be a cost to the new charity which I would not want as they are an amazing charity.

Ben Jones :

yes that is an issue, you sue the employer, not the individual so that is something to consider before proceeding

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? Thanks

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46187
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and 2 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
Hello, please let me know if I have answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? Thank you

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