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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48718
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I believe my job role is being changed unfairly at work. I

Customer Question

I believe my job role is being changed unfairly at work or I will be got rid off. I have had a disagreement with my manager about him asking me to get rid of one of my reports without good reason. Since then he has been quite unfair and now I am moved to a different manager without hr knowing and I have reason to believe they have already decided I will lose my job or get a reduced role. Someone has recently commented to one of my staff I won't have a job much longer.  I have no current objectives and my end of year rating has always been excellent.

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked there for?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Just under 4 years

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am in a tribunal today so will prepare my advice during the day and get back to you this afternoon. There is no need to wait and you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Many thanks for your patience. The starting point is that if an employee has been continuously employed with their employer for at least 2 years they will be protected against unfair dismissal. This means that to fairly dismiss them their employer has to show that there was a potentially fair reason for dismissal and that a fair dismissal procedure was followed.
According to the Employment Rights Act 1996 there are five separate reasons that an employer could use to show that a dismissal was fair: conduct, capability, redundancy, illegality or some other substantial reason (SOSR). The employer will not only need to show that the dismissal was for one of those reasons, but also justify that it was appropriate and reasonable to use in the circumstances. In addition, they need to ensure that a fair dismissal procedure was followed and this would depend on which of the above reasons they used to dismiss.
Instead you could treat this as potential constructive dismissal, which occurs when the following two elements are present:
• Serious breach of contract by the employer; and
• An acceptance of that breach by the employee, who in turn treats the contract of employment as at an end. The employee must act in response to the breach and must not delay any action too long.
A common breach by the employer occurs when it, or its employees, have broken the implied contractual term of trust and confidence. The conduct relied on could be a single act, or a series of less serious acts over a period of time, which together could be treated as serious enough (usually culminating in the 'last straw' scenario).
The affected employee would initially be expected to raise a formal grievance in order to officially bring their concerns to the employer's attention and give them an opportunity to try and resolve them. If the issues are so bad that the employee can't even face raising a grievance and going through the process, or if a grievance has been raised but has been unsuccessful, then they can consider resigning straight away.
If resignation appears to be the only option, it must be done without unreasonable delay so as not to give an impression that the employer's breach had been accepted. Any resignation would normally be with immediate effect and without providing any notice period. It is advisable to resign in writing, stating the reasons for the resignation and that this is being treated as constructive dismissal.
Following the resignation, the option of pursuing a claim for constructive dismissal exists. This is only available to employees who have at least 2 years' continuous service. There is a time limit of 3 months from the date of resignation to submit a claim in the employment tribunal.
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.
Just to make a final, yet important point, that constructive dismissal can be a difficult claim to win as the burden of proof is entirely on the employee to show the required elements of a claim were present. Therefore, it should only be used as a last resort.
I trust this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page). If for any reason you are unhappy with my response or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, I see you have read my response 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? If your query has been dealt with please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts from the top of the page. If you need further help please get back to me on here and I will assist as best as I can. Thank you.
Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hello, sorry for delay replying, things are lookingbetter if you would be able to explain a little of what is reasonable for a job role change and when redundancy or another option must be offered

Thanks.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
What is a reasonable job change is really for you to decide – some employees may be agreeable to certain changes, others may not and it could make the new job impossible for them to perform. So it would depend on the particular circumstance and the changes. The most common factors that would make a job unsuitable are:· Job content/status – drop in status, substantial changes in duties, etc.· Pay and other benefits – significant drop in earnings/benefits (e.g. basic pay, bonuses, overtime, sick pay, holidays)· Working hours – change in shift pattern, removal of overtime, extension/reduction of working hours· Change of workplace – new location making it unreasonable to travel to the new place of work· Job prospects – going from permanent to temporary work, becoming self-employed or being employed on a fixed-term contract. As to redundancy, that would only occur if there is a genuine redundancy situation in place. The Employment Rights Act 1996defines a redundancy as: 1. Business closure – where the whole of the employer’s business is closed2. Workplace closure – closure or relocation of one or more sites3. Reduced requirement for employees to carry out work of a particular kind (this is where many employees get confused as they believe a job has to actually disappear for them to be made redundant).