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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48189
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Just started a senior level job in UK at a large US tech corporate.

Resolved Question:

Just started a senior level job in UK at a large US tech corporate. On three month probation and one week's notice - now in my seventh week. Gave up a job as a CEO to be in this new job. Because of change of direction (two bosses above me fired and not being replaced) my job has reduced in seniority, influence and specification (although none of this was in writing). I am being paid an awful lot of money for doing a tiny job that I used to do decades ago. Question is, if I leave, do I have any recourse for some sort of implicit breach of contract ? (i.e. undocumented promises made during interview which could only be substantiated if ex-employees were asked to say something, or simply by looking at the mismatch between what I am doing and my career history !).
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 receive a contract of employment

Customer:

yes

Ben Jones :

Ok thank you leave it with me I need to look up a few things and then get my advice ready.I will post back on here when done there is no need to wait and you will receive an email when I have responded.

Customer:

thanks !

Ben Jones :

Many thanks for your patience. If the employer had concealed the true facts of your job or had built it up to be something which it certainly is not, then that could amount to potential misrepresentation. This is a type of negligence/breach of contract, which could allow you to seek legal action against them and to recover compensation if necessary. In order to sue for damages, you must have suffered damages as a result of the employer’s misrepresentation. These damages could be in the form of expenses associated with relocating for the job or losses incurred as a result of turning down another job to accept this one.


 


However, before you go down the route of legal action, you need to consider whether you are able to show that misrepresentation had actually occurred, which would require you to satisfy most of the following:



  • Did the employer make a statement of fact, or withhold a fact when asked specifically by you about it

  • Did the employer know that they were misrepresenting the situation

  • Did the employer intend you to take action as a result of the misrepresentation (i.e. to take the job In question)

  • You reasonably relied on the misrepresentation and that induced you to act and take the job

  • Did you suffer actual damages as a result


 


So before you go down the legal route try to resolve this issue directly with the employer – discuss the matter with them, raise your concerns, remind them of what was promised and what was actually delivered, try to seek a resolution internally rather than involving the courts. However, if this appears to not be resolvable in that way and you are adamant that you cannot continue working there as a result and are confident you can meet the above criteria, then you could consider the legal route.

Customer:

If I resign because the job is not what it was "sold" to me as, and I have no job to go to, does that count as suffering damages ?

Customer:

Basically the job is genuinely soul destroying.

Customer:

i.e. is NOT something I would have agreed to do and is causing misery.

Customer:

Also, I was interviewed by eight people. Who is "the employer" here, wrt your bullet points ?

Ben Jones :

yes, although you are the one who has decided to resign, you were left with no other option. You cannot make a claim for constructive dismissal in this case because you do not have the required service with the employer but this can count as damages. However, you have a duty to minimise your losses as soon as possible, meaning looking for a new job straight away. Depending on how lucky you are in getting one, it would affect the losses you could seek to claim

Ben Jones :

the employer is the company

Customer:

I understand the last point you make, but do interviewers represent the company in this case ?

Customer:

It was interviewers who made statements of fact etc.

Customer:

What I'm getting at is that these people who spoke to me and misrepresented may themselves not have known what they were promised. Is the employer (company) still liable then ?

Customer:

Sorry- "what they were promising" I meant to say.

Customer:

I guess they are "agents of the company" certainly as far as I was concerned they were.

Ben Jones :

yes the employees would be agents of the company and it is still the company that has the final responsibility

Ben Jones :

it is called vicarious liability

Customer:

Thanks. I believe I would have a case but agree with your advice on trying to resolve with the employer - always good to have a few legal words in your back pocket ! :-).

Ben Jones :

You are welcome!

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