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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 44391
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have done the same role within a large company for 8

Customer Question

I have done the same role within a large company for 8 years. All my appraisals state that I have exceeded expectations and I have never had a complaint. One day I went in as usual and, found that the majority of my duties were now being done by someone else in the company. I had no knowledge that this was happening. I carried going in,for a couple of weeks hoping someone would explain why this had happened and what I was expected to do now. Nobody did. I was constantly upset at my desk, going from being very busy to having nothing to do. My doctor laid me off with work related stress.
I put in a grievance, and according to procedure, I should have had a response within 5 days. I never received one for almost 2 weeks. The grievance hearing was delayed as the person they appointed to lead was going on leave. The result of the grievance was totally fabricated so I appealed the decision. The Union rep came with me to the appeal, which was on August 11th. Since then I have had no contact from work. I have asked the union rep to chase HR for the outcome as I need to get back to work and he has e-mailed HR twice but we have had no response to date.
Today I received a letter from work telling me that my company sick pay ran out on August 16th and I am on very much reduced SSP. They also stated that as I have been paid in full for August they will make the adjustment when I return to work.
I have been trying to get this grievance resolved so that I can return to work but work has long delays and I still have not had a resolution.
Is it right that I now have to try to live on such a small amount when I have been trying to get back to work for some time, but work has not allowed that to happen?
SSP does not even cover my rent and I am terrified I am going to lose my home and everything through this.
I have done nothing wrong.
My name is*****
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 month ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today. What are you hoping to achieve in the circumstances?

Please note I am not online for long today so may have to reply tomorrow, thanks

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Hello Ben
Thank you for getting back so quick.
I was told that by not consulting with me they had broken employment law. I was left with no confidence or trust in my line management, which I stated at the appeal. I have been made ill over what has happened because I am still very confused over it all. For years I have happily told people how lucky I am as I love my job. I created the role and built it from nothing into a group procurement cell purchasing all materials and services for many projects. For three years I attended college on day release to gain qualifications to allow me to continually monitor and impliment any changes I felt would improve the service I was providing. I have not had an alternative role discussed with me. I feel I have been made redundant within the company. The grievance has been taking so long even though I have been chasing for a resolve. By taking so long I have now been forced into SSP, which I cannot live on. I just cant believe I did nothing wrong and have had it all taken from me with nobody talking to me. I have found out that my external suppliers were contacted and told about the changes to my role weeks before I found out. I dont know what rights I have now.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 month ago.

Hello Diana, thanks for your patience. It does appear like a very sudden and unexplained change by the employer and only they know what the reasons behind it are. Were they trying to push you out somehow or were they just ignorant of the impact it will have on you…

Anyhow whatever the reasons you will have certain rights. In the circumstances this would most likely 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.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the options you have after the resignation, 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: 44391
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 1 month ago.

Thank you. 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:

In terms of the time limits within which a claim must be presented, the early conciliation process places a ‘stop’ on that and the time between notifying ACAS and them issuing permission to proceed with the claim would not count for the purposes of these time limits.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thank you very much Ben.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 month ago.

You are most welcome

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