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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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My employer has recruited a new line manager for me "Group

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My employer has recruited a new line manager for me "Group Head" which is effectively the same role that I am currently doing as "Head of". The new Group Head has admitted that she was unaware of the structure she was inheriting. I am her only one direct report, with a team of forty below me (I have five direct managers that report to me). She wants to demote me (to even less a role than I was doing before being promoted at the company) and restructure to allow my current direct reports to report directly into her now. I am in very initial stages of speaking about giving me redundancy as she said it cannot and will not work as current structure as we both have the same jobs. I was not notified that the current Group Head recruitment was being made nor given the opportunity to apply for the role. In essence I have the choice of being demoted (not through performance, I was previously part of 1% of large international firm's awarded with a three year retention incentive and have been promoted each year of the three year's I have worked with the company until we were recently bought over).
I want to know what my avenues are to go down with HR when I have a further discussion with them on my role, as I would like to negotiate more than the three month's notice period pay (plus stat redund) and want to know if I have strong enough case to demand more or if I have a case for constructed dismissal and if I should bring this up in my HR meeting . Total salary package is six figure sum and thus it will take me time to find a suitable exec role at my current level.
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.

How long have you been working there? Also, based on what you have described, what would be the ideal outcome for you given the circumstances?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Hi. I have been at the company for 3.5 years (so more than legally required). I'd be happy to accept six month's pay, and gardening leave through 30 day consultation period (if redund offered).
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 in a short while. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Also, please do not responded to this message as it will just push your questions to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.

Many thanks for your patience. I would not suggest that you go down the constructive dismissal route as that can be quite difficult to prove and win. Instead you may wish to consider unfair dismissal where you are arguing that the redundancy procedure was not fair because there is effectively two of you doing the same job, yet you are the only one being considered for redundancy. Ideally what should happen is that you are both placed head to head in the redundancy exercise and some fair selection method is adopted to decide which one of you stays and which one is made redundant.

However, instead of making claims it is of course preferential if you were to try and negotiate something with the employer, for example leaving under a settlement agreement. Whatever you would be happy to leave with, it also has to be something which the employer is happy to pay you. So whilst you do have grounds to negotiate with them and push for more than the minimum you are entitled to, you cannot force them to agree to it.

If the direct negotiations fail and they proceed with the redundancy, then your first step would be to appeal to them. If that also fails you must then consider engaging ACAS to start the early conciliation process. This is a free procedure which uses them as a negotiator to try and agree some kind of settlement with the employer. If that also fails then you have the last option of a tribunal claim. As mentioned there is a potential case for unfair dismissal if the employer did not follow a fair selection procedure and it would be for the employer to convince the tribunal that they had done everything by the book.

But try the direct negotiations first, propose to leave under a settlement agreement and do not hesitate to challenge them over what they are doing and even mention that you will be considering unfair dismissal if needed. So there are plenty of opportunities for negotiating and this could happen up until the very end, on the day of a tribunal hearing. The closer you get to that the more likely it is that the employer may be seeking a settlement rather than incur further legal costs and spend time and resources defending this.

I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. 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

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
HelloWith regards ***** ***** statement in your opening paragraph. There seems to be some confusion. We could not be placed 'head to head' as she has only just been brought into the Company. A role was created for her (on the basis that the new COO had worked with her previously and wanted to bring her over). It is she who is making me redundant so the possibility of going head to head is not an option for the Company to offer. This is where I think I may have been wrongly treated.They are most likely to proceed with the redundancy as I have already told them I will not accept a lesser position or be demoted. Therefore I required a bit more information regarding the negotiation stage of the redundancy talks and if I should simply be negotiating a redundancy package?Thank you for your other pointers. They are beneficial. I just need some clarification on the two above points I have raised.Regards
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Also, what is your opinion, based on the basic facts, that this is an unfair dismissal case? I worked for a large International Company with a internal Legal and HR teams, so they are very thorough with knowing their rights and fighting any cases to the end.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.

Hi there, if you basically do the same jobs then legally you should be considered together, regardless of how long she has been there. So the fact that they appear to have replaced you like for like means that the whole dismissal may be unfair because there was no genuine redundancy as such, it was just an excuse to remove you whilst replacing you with this person. This is what you would be basing an unfair dismissal claim on. Whilst they may have the legal team behind them and advising them, they are also a commercial organisation so if there is a likelihood of spending too much on legal fees and resources just to defend this, commercially they may be looking to settle instead as it would make more financial sense – companies often do this even if they have a reasonably strong case. So your negotiations should focus on the minimum you would be entitled by law and contract, plus additional compensation for the potential unfair dismissal due to the unfair redundancy. Perhaps you should also try and ‘sweeten the deal’ so to speak by saying you are willing to leave quietly under a settlement agreement if the right offer is made. Hope this clarifies?

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Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. If this has answered your question please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars from the top of the page. I spend a lot of time and effort answering individual queries and I am not credited for my time until you leave your rating. If you still need further help please get back to me on here and I will assist as best as I can. Many thanks.

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