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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Introduced to senior management team as a group operation director,

Resolved Question:

Introduced to senior management team as a group operation director, been sent an email confirming the new salary by the chairman of the group, after three weeks the new appointed group managing director wanted to unravel the whole position including the salary
I would to know the legal point of view of the situation
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. When you say 'unravel' what are they proposing to do?

Customer: He is proposing to continue with my current position only rather than what I have agreed with the chairnan
Ben Jones :

Are you new to the company or was this a promotion?

Customer: I have even with the company since 1996 . This is a promotion
Customer: *been
Ben Jones :

did the chairman have the authority to make these promises?

Customer: The chairman is the owner of the all companies , I am an employee of one of them, because of my own performance he has asked me to fly to his office and evaluate the performance of other companies to find that there potential savings of millions of pounds, after t
Customer: after that he called a meeting immediately and asked me to present all my findings to all his senior management team, then he announced my new position and asked them to work with me to ensure smooth running of the business, the meetings was documented and minuted
Customer: He also emailed the financial controller and asked him to review my salary
Customer: The MD of the company that I work for didn't like what has happened because he felt that there is no back fill
Customer: He then had a conversation with the chairman who suggested to him to become group MD,
Customer: I have an email copy that was sent to financial controller to increase my salary, I have all the presentations of the meetings and also what was minuted
Ben Jones :

ok thanks let me get my response ready please

Customer: Ok
Customer: If you like more informations I'm more than happy to submit that
Ben Jones :

When you were issued with the offer of the new job, which you subsequently accepted, a legally binding contract would have been created between you and the employer. You would have agreed to undertake the job in question and in return the employer would have agreed to pay you as agreed and adhere to any other benefits that were in the contract, or which were agreed in advance.


 


Therefore, if the employer later withdraws from this contract and refuses to meet their part of the bargain, they could be accused of acting in breach of contract. This would have separate repercussions depending o0n how you wish to pursue this. For example one possibility is a breach of contract claim but that would only allow you to pursue them for actual losses incurred, such as lost pay as a result of going back to a lower pay.


 


Another option is to go as far as resigning and claiming constructive dismissal, relying on the employer’s initial breach to argue that your position has been made impossible and that you had no other option but to leave. In that case you are looking at compensation for loss of earnings resulting from being pushed out.


 


Either option would be formal legal action and ideally you would like to do that if you have exhausted all other routes and this is really a last resort. So before you go as far as that you may wish to consider challenging this internally. You always have the formal grievance route which prompts an investigation from the employer and a formal decision, which you can appeal if necessary. It is after the grievance that you need to be thinking about the legal options.


 


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: Do you think I should challenge them for the hurt to my feelings, pride, reputation as well as the salary agreed? Because everyone knew my new position including contractors , suppliers and other personnel
Ben Jones :

legally, apart from the salary, these are not really grounds for complaint, although personally you can raise them but you cannot really expect anything more than an apology.

Customer: if I decide not to leave to my personal commitment , by law would I be able to demand my new agreed salary and would that affect my working conditions for the company ?
Ben Jones :

forcing the employer to keep the agreed salary would be difficult, no one can actually force them to pay you that, it just means you have to be making an ongoing claim for the difference in pay. No one can say if your other conditions will be affected - they may be, the employer could try and change things around, but again your protection comes from the option to pursue constructive dismissal

Customer: Finally , what would you consider the best option for me in this matter?
Ben Jones :

definitely the grievance first - you need to try and resolve this internally. This is a formal process, certain rules apply that require the employer to deal with it fairly, then you can appeal the outcome. After that really it is a personal matter - can you afford to leave and risk a claim, or would you just bite the bullet and remain there knowing you at least have a job...

Customer: Thanks for your help , it was very much appreciated
Ben Jones :

you are most welcome, all the best

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