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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48786
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Hi, I am currently a company director, I am paid £38,000 per

Customer Question

Hi, I am currently a company director, I am paid £38,000 per year with a company car but no bonuses or shares or dividends. I work over 50 hrs a week and I have been suffering with high blood pressure through the stress of my job. I am on medication for this and it is working. By boss feels that my health is an issue for him as he feels that I can't do my job properly even though there is no facts to suggest this be true. My boss wants me to drop down to a manager status with a manager car and a manager wage. I have done this job for the last 10 years and feel like my boss is trying to force me to do this. I don't have a contract and am not sure of my rights. Please help. Martin.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. When you say you are a director, are you a non-executive director/employee or a director at Companies House?

JACUSTOMER-dt5rczt2- : Hi Ben. I am a sales director registered at companies house.
Ben Jones :

Hi sorry my connection dropped. So does that mean you are also an employee or work in such a way to be considered an employee? For example you work exclusively for this employer, they tell you what to do and when, they have control over you, etc

JACUSTOMER-dt5rczt2- : Yes I am an employee also.
Ben Jones :

ok thanks let me get my response ready please

JACUSTOMER-dt5rczt2- : Ok thank you.
Ben Jones :

The employer cannot just go ahead and change your terms, especially in the circumstances which have prompted this. You may not have a written contract in place but you will still have an implied contract with them the terms of which would be governed by what has been applied consistently over time. So if you held the same job and pay for 10 years, it is most likely that these would be the formal contractual terms you are working under, even without it being written down anywhere. So you do not have to accept these proposed changes, especially as they would result in changes to your pay and status.

As to your general legal rights, a good starting point is to look at The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and related statutory instruments, which impose a general duty on employers to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all their employees. This includes a duty to undertake risk assessments and manage activities to reduce the incidence of stress at work. In addition, under common law an employer owes a duty of care towards its employees, the breach of which can amount to negligence.

Not only that but when deciding on what can be done to relieve the stress of someone exposed to it at work, whilst reduction in hours or responsibilities can be an option, the employer cannot force through further changes that would result in a drop in pay, etc unless it was specifically allowed in your contract (which is not the case here) or you agreed to it.

So do not accept the changes if you do not want to. Remind the employer that they need to deal with resolving any evident stressors, but not at your expense – it is their duty under common health and safety laws.

Ben Jones :

Hello, I see you have accessed and read my answer to your query. 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? I just need to know whether to close the question or not? Thanks