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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48162
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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If you are told your job is at risk and they have changed your

Resolved Question:

If you are told your job is at risk and they have changed your job description and place of work and told you have to apply for your own job. Can that be classed as constructive dismissal.
Also if they have put as a job requirement in the new job description of having to be a quantity surveyor which is not essential to do the job that we are already doing.
This is happening to two of us - both women incidentally
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked there for?

Customer:

1 year

Ben Jones :

Do you think the fact you are woman actually has anything to do with this or is it just a coincidence?

Customer:

both of us theink that could be one of the reasons, the other being the new MD wants to brings his mates in

Ben Jones :

can you actually prove in some way that it is one of the reasons - I am just saying that the fact you are a woman may not necessarily be linked to this and just jumping to that conclusion would not in itself be sufficient, so some prof would be needed

Customer:

No proof (will not know until we are told we haven't got our jobs)but what about changing our job descriptions, we are both coincidentally professional accountants and not quantity surveyors

Ben Jones :

How long has the other person worked there for?

Customer:

Also 1 year

Ben Jones :

Ok unfortunately your rights will be rather limited and this is due to your length of service. If you have been continuously employed at your place of work for less than 2 years then your employment rights will be somewhat limited. Most importantly, you will not be protected against unfair dismissal or constructive dismissal. This means that your employer can dismiss you r force you to resign for more or less any reason, and without following a fair procedure, as long as their decision is not based on discriminatory grounds (i.e. because of gender, race, religion, age, a disability, sexual orientation, etc.) or because you were trying to assert any of your statutory rights (e.g. requesting maternity/paternity leave, etc.). In the event that the reason for dismissal fell within these categories, then the dismissal will either be automatically unfair, or there will be a potential discrimination claim. However, as mentioned it is no good just looking at the situation and identifying a potential discriminatory ground just because it happens to exist and then claiming it is the reason for the employer’s actions. The fact that you are both women would not automatically mean that this is happening because of your gender, it could have easily happened to males as well had they been doing these jobs. So you would need to provide evidence that the reasons are actually linked to the fact you are females.

Same applies to cha going your job description – generally this can’t just happen but as you do not have the required protection the employer could easily change your duties and then you would either have to accept it and continue working there, or resign. However, if you were to resign your short length of service would not allow you to claim constructive dismissal.

Therefore, it is entirely possible for the employer to make you redundant and remove you from your present positions. Whether that is to get their mates in or for other reasons would not change anything and he only way to take this further is if some direct evidence comes up which shows that the actual reasons for this were linked to you gender. A simple coincidence will not be sufficient.

Customer:

Thanks - no use persuing it then if there is no case

Ben Jones :

well it's not all over yet - you still have time to see what they will use to justify this but if it appears that there is not much in terms of discrimination then sadly it cannot be challenged

Customer:

OK thanks for your advice - have a good day

Ben Jones :

you are welcome, all the best to you

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