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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46792
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I work as a Caretaker at a senior school 6 years which

Customer Question

I work as a Caretaker at a senior school for over 6 years which relocated last September, new management team has been set up.
I was told 8 days ( 28 th May) before last half-term that I would be working at the Junior School on my rreturn,which is located about 4 miles away.
I wasn't given a honest nor transparent reason for the move when I questioned management, nothing was put in writing, I have neither had disaplinary or sick issues.
I am on the very of resignation, what are the chances of successfully claiming Constructive Dismissal?
Regards
**** **
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.

Has your role remained the same and have you been moved to the Junior School yet?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I have moved to the Primary school with a verbal agreement with the Primary caretaker that we would job share, it 5 days at Primary 5 days at senior on a trial bases until the end of term
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.

OK, thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you later today. Please do not respond to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.

Can I just check if your contract allows you to be moved between schools in such a way?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
My contact states that I would be required to work at other locations within reasonable travelling distance on a temporary or permanent basis
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.

Constructive dismissal 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.

So you need to be able to identify what the serious breach here is. According to what I understand, you believe that this is the move from the senior school to the junior school. The issue here is that your contract allows for such a move because it specifically states that they can move you between locations on either a temporary r permanent basis. This is exactly what has happened here – you have been moved to another location on a permanent basis and this is not really a breach of contract because it is specifically allowed under your contract.

So a successful constructive dismissal claim may be unlikely but that does not stop you from trying to negotiate with the employer and even using this potential claim as leverage in these negotiations. There are also other options you have for negotiating with them using a third party which are completely free and can result in a successful outcome for you, even if you do not have to make a formal claim.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the negotiating options you have, 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, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46792
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.

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.

If you were to resign and consider a claim for constructive dismissal then a new feature in the employment tribunal’s claims process is mandatory early conciliation with ACAS. This requires prospective claimants to notify ACAS and provide details of their intended claim and they would then try to negotiate between the claimant and respondent to seek out of court settlement in order to avoid having to take the claim to the tribunal. It is possible for the parties to refuse to engage in these negotiations, or that they are unsuccessful, in which case they would get permission to proceed with making the claim in the tribunal.

If negotiations are initiated and settlement is reached, then the claimant would agree not to proceed with the claim in return for the agreed financial settlement.

The conciliation procedure and the form to fill in can be found here:

https://ec.acas.org.uk/Submission/SingleClaimantPage

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