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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48796
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I am working at Recruitment agency and they have advertise

Customer Question

I am working at Recruitment agency and they have advertise my job on Total Jobs and have informed my Director that I have seen it and he has told me that he using my job on the website for market research to see whether or not he is paying me correctly.
In the last 6 months he has reduce my hours and always given me a weeks notice. I am worried that he is finding way to make me leave and also trying to reduce my hourly rate.
Is this legal? and what can I do about it?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
How long have you worked there?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I have been there 2 years 10 months

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Advertising someone’s job on its own is not illegal if it does not actually lead to anything. Your rights will really become clearer when the employer’s actions show whether they were advertising it with the intention of replacing you. If that happens and you are dismissed, then there will be a potential claim for unfair dismissal, which you can take to the employment tribunal if necessary. The things they have done so far could amount to constructive dismissal though, which is where you feel forced to resign because of a breach of contract by the employer. So you can argue that the changes in hours, even with notice, are a breach of contract which would allow you to go down that route. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the law on constructive dismissal and how to approach this, 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 2 years ago.
Thank you. 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 2 years ago.

Can he reduce my hourly rate as I have email from the Company Secretary saying my hourly rate is £10.00

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
No as that would amount to breach of contract, assuming you have always received that rate and have it confirmed in writing
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Ben

I have been informed today by my Manager that the Director wants to decreased my hours again from 25 to 20 hours and says he wants to save money.

I have told my manager that the Director will have to give me a months notice if he wants to decrease my hours.

I have a feeling he is trying to get rid of me. What do you think?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, thanks for getting back to me. Unfortunately your question has expired as you must post any follow up queries within 7 days of the date of the original question. If you need any further help on this subject please post it as a new question on our site - you may start it with 'for Ben Jones' so that I get it and deal with it as fast as I can. Many thanks