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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 47354
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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In the company I work am team manager of one person,

Customer Question

In the company I work for I am team manager of one person, usually two, but currently one, the company have decided to introduce a policy of, anyone with less than three team members can no longer manage, as a result I have been classed alongside my team members who all now answer to my line manager. I have 22 years service with the company, and a strong legacy of success.
My question is, do I have a legal case to request redundancy, as my job has effectively been made redundant and they are demanding I carry out a role which used to work for me, I would be happy to get out, but can I claim redundancy as they are not offering an alternative position of similar status. Thanks.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. So to be clear your position still exists but the reporting line has changed?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, I was a line manager for this small team, I am now being told I am a team member and all team members are now answering to my line manager, I am now expected to perform a role that my team were doing/
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
How long had you been doing the job in question and is it stated in your contract of employment as the job you actually are contracted to do?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The job was the last 3 years, but I had performed an identical role for 5 years before that, both with team responsibility. The contract of employment stated UK manager responsibility for a product area and customer area, organisational charts showed responsibility for team members.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Whether this is a redundancy situation or not, you cannot force an employer to offer this to you. Even in the clearest examples of redundancy, an employer may wish to try and ague that there is no redundancy and just shuffle people around or offer them other jobs. Whilst strictly speaking they may have to make them redundant, they cannot be forced to do that. Therefore, what happens in the circumstances is the employee may have to pursue an internal grievance first and then consider whether they feel forced to resign as a result and pursue a claim for constructive dismissal. If successful in such a claim the employee could be entitled to compensation which often will reflect what they may have received had they been made redundant. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the law on constructive dismissal and what you need to do in order to try and pursue that, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
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Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Many thanks for the rating. As mentioned, this could potentially amount to 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.
Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ben thanks for the advice. I will not go down the grievance route, but as I will likely leave, I may as well challenge then with a threat, as a big blue chip they don't like this sort of thing. Cheers Howard.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
You are welcome, all the best - and you may be surprised what a bit of pressure may do in some cases

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