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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46784
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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if I have resigned from my Director role due to my CEO not

Resolved Question:

if I have resigned from my Director role due to my CEO not supporting me due to unfair allegations made against me of harrassment by a direct report can I take legal action against the direct report that has caused me to have to resign with immediate effect and hence loss of income
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. Were you an employee as well or just an executive director?

Customer:

Good morning

Customer:

Employee

Customer:

I am director of a school and the direct report trainer was being summary dismissed by me for lack of performance when they went to my direct manager CEO and claimed harrassment

Customer:

The CEO Removed the report from me and the problems have escalated

Ben Jones :

How long did you work there for?

Customer:

offered job June 25 2011

Customer:

oops sorry thats wrong

Customer:

i have the contract here...1st August 2010 the other date was the copy I printed

Customer:

I held two Director positions school director and product development director until last month when I resigned from the product development role. My sole director role started April 1st 2014 but I have not yet signed the contract amendment letter

Ben Jones :

When did you resign?

Customer:

i intend to resign on tuesday from the school director role and want to go with immediate effect as this is stressful

Customer:

i have a CEO Meeting set for 9am tuesday

Customer:

so the question relates to if the person who has caused this can individually sued by me for my career being damaged in this way

Ben Jones :

ok thanks let me get my response ready please

Customer:

ok thank you

Ben Jones :

Taking action against the person who made the complaints is going to be quite difficult and would be a risky affair. You are looking at a claim for defamation but these are very expensive and complex.


 


First of all, certain conditions must be met for the statement to be classified as defamatory. These are:


 


1. The statement has to be untrue.


2. It must directly identify the complainant.


3. It must have been published, usually communicated to at least another person.


4. It must be in a form of words, which would tend to lower the claimant in the estimation of ‘right thinking members of society generally', expose the claimant to hatred, contempt or ridicule, or cause the claimant to be shunned or avoided.


5. Its publication has caused or is likely to cause serious harm to the reputation of the claimant.


 


Whilst it may be easy to prove that defamation has occurred, the legal process of pursuing such a claim is extremely complex and expensive. As this goes through the High Court, you would need the professional help of specialist defamation solicitors and the costs are undoubtedly going to run into the thousands right at the outset. Also there is no legal aid available for such claims so the complainant must fund these personally. So when you hear about defamation claims being made, these are usually pursued by big corporations or celebrities who have a public image to protect.


 


You must also consider whether the party alleged of making the defamatory statement can defend the claim. Even if you satisfy the criteria to prove the statement was defamatory it could be defended on a number of grounds, including by providing evidence that the statement was substantially true or an honest opinion.


 


You must also consider whether the other person would be able to pay any compensation they are ordered to. Just because you win does not guarantee anything and they can either refuse to pay, leaving it to you to try and explore different methods of enforcement, or even declare themselves bankrupt and you may not be able to get anything from them anyway.


 


If your employer has not dealt with this adequately and you have been forced to leave as a result, then you can also consider taking action against them in the form of a constructive dismissal claim in the employment tribunal, which would seek to compensate you for future loss of earnings. Not the easiest claim to win but much more ‘straightforward’ than a defamation claim.

Customer:

ok...can I ask a second question related to my resignation

Ben Jones :

yes ok

Customer:

in terms of my resignation on tuesday....my original contract was as dual director from 1st August 2010 as director of product development and school....i met with CEO and stated wanting to reduce my role in Jan 2104 and hence gave 3 months notice of the intended change....he agreed my new role to start April 2014 at reduced salary and as agreed at reduced hours...I asked to drop to 30 hours per week not 37.5 as former contract. all was agreed. I have new letter confirming his consent to just school director and at reduced salary and reduced hours. however I want to resign with immediate effect....what consequences would I face. This resignation is due to the direct report/ the CEO Management of the issue and ongoing poor management decisions on their behalf thus I have lost respect for the senior management and want to leave with immediate effect

Customer:

they also offered share option grant which I have never received in form of year 1 salary sacrifice of 20k

Customer:

i have endlessly been chasing them for confirmations - all documented

Ben Jones :

in a constructive dismissal case you would usually resign with immediate effect - you are basically claiming that through its conduct the employer has breached the implied term of trust and confidence that exists in every employment relationship and that in turn has broken the contract they have with you, voiding any terms within it, including the notice period you must give to leave. So you would then be resigning with immediate effect

Customer:

can they withold salary or paid holiday due?

Ben Jones :

No

Customer:

so if I walk into that meeting and state I resign with immediate effect I can leave - not return to the brand again thereafter and not face any witheld due salary/funds

Ben Jones :

they cannot withhold salary due to you for time already worked as that would amount to unlawful deduction of wages.

Customer:

ok thank you that offers peace of mind...the aim from their part would be to try to convince me to stay to minimise their disruption to the business and hence loss of business in my absence correct?

Ben Jones :

yes I presume they could do that but it really depends on the business and your influence so that would vary from one job to another

Customer:

i wouldnt be convinced to stay but just preguessing their intended move, Thanks for all your advice

Ben Jones :

you are most welcome, all the best

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46784
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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