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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48736
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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After agreeing and accepting a change of role in the work

Customer Question

After agreeing and accepting a change of role in the work place that also came with a reduction in income, but not the basic salary, within 2 weeks my role was changed for the second time without consultation and with it came another cut in income, but again not the basic salary.
As the first cut in income I was prepared for the second cut in income was a shock and would result in my finances being unmanageable.
My immediate reaction was to resign my position and seek work with a different employer with rewards that came nearer to my original income to which I have now accomplished.
On reflection it appears that my ex employer either intentionally or unintentionally gave me no choice and forced me to resign, could it be possible that I have a claim for constructive dismissal?
Submitted: 24 days ago.
Category: Employment Law
Customer: replied 24 days ago.
I must add that clause 6 of my contract of employment does allow my employer to change me role within the work place.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 24 days ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 24 days ago.

How long have you worked there for?

Customer: replied 24 days ago.
Three years and 8 months
Customer: replied 24 days ago.
Is that an extra 44 on top of original cost or is that an all in price?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 24 days ago.

Hi there, sorry my connection dropped. The call is charged extra but we can just continue here in writing. When did your employment with them terminate?

Customer: replied 24 days ago.
November 3rd
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 24 days ago.

And just to confirm you now have a new job which pays more or less the same as the role you did before the changes?

Customer: replied 24 days ago.
Im sorry but ive had an interuption at my end can we continue this at a later time?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 24 days ago.

of course just get back to me whenever you are ready to continue

Customer: replied 24 days ago.
I started work for UK company in Feb 2014 on a Dutch tanker contract.
My role was to service this contract for the most part carried out entirely by myself.
Wages were.
Basic £410 pw
Tanker work £20 per day
Subject to stoppages
Meals £5 up to 10 hrs wrk and extra £5 over. £10 per day.
Nights out in the truck £26
Cash subsistance allowances.
Three other bonuse related to performance paid monthly.
I carried out the Dutch work for 3 years and 8 months almost on a 5 day 4 nights out one week, 6 days 5 nights out the next for the entire period.
When I initially requested to stand down from this role I was informed that there was no other tank work as they would withdraw from the contract and cease doing the work (thats their choice, the contract with the Dutch company was not dependant on solely me doing it) and would have to do general haulage, but they would look for additional tanker work.
This would mean at best an immediate £100 (£67) drop in income but could equate to more.
I withdrew the request to assess my finances and await any additional work to replace my current work.
Over 3 months later some alternative work was found but 2 months later with no start date for this work still on the horizon I repeated my request to stop doing the Dutch work.
It was long hours, hard work and was slowly destroying me and had made my company aware of this on more than 1 occasion.
Notice was handed to the Dutch company and 1 month later the work ceased and ny new role was on the curtainsiders on general haulage, a nervous time for me now a little worried about my finances.
This commenced on the monday and less than 2 weeks later on the following Thursday my boss called to say that the company wanted to change my role again, call me back as i was driving.
A busy day meant the next communication was Friday afternoon at 4pm.
I was to present myself to 1 single company on Monday morning and my role would be as a shunter, shunting trailers on site on a daily basis. A £50 enhancement on the basic pay was offered, (37 after tax).
Now thats a loss if £104 tax free to be replaced with £37 plus additional expenses on my part and very little scope for additional earnings.
Before I could fully assess this change at 5pm at end of shift i was told to clear my truck of my own belongings, the truck i had driven for the last 3 years 8 months, my second home for that period, that was an adapted truck specifically for use with a tank as a new driver was starting Monday morning abd was to drive it. I was to use the on site shunter.
With the Dutch work gone and now no truck theres only one direction that i can go.
On calculation, my average income this year so far according to my payslips is £607.
On calculation this was about to be replaced with a basic £410 less deductions £338 plus £37 enhancement plus £50 pw meal allowance
Total £425 an income drop of lets say £160 per week.
There is no way I can afford a drop in salary of that magnitude, it left me no choice other than to tout myself and my 35 years of experience about and find work that wanted to use that experience and reward it accordingly, the longer i stayed put the bigger the fear that i would start to get into debt, so i immediately handed in my resignation.
My 1st thought was that it was something that i needed to do for my own safeguard but, i gave and served out a 2 weeks notice and in that time neither of the two bosses spoke to me or contacted me with any concern about my departure and thats what got me thinking that these actions may have been deliberate to force my hand thus my resignation could be deemed as constructive dismissal.
On the down side of this is that they knew when i left i still had not secured alternative work and the following Thursday, desperate for a shunter i was offered a days work which would they have offered had they intended to force me out in the first place.
There is no way that i could have remained at this company and sustained my finances fully and efficiently with what was now being offered, i had to leave for my own safe financial future plus try to relieve some of the stress this has now put me in.
I have contacted them and given them the oppurtunity to re employ me if they are desperate for a shunter but it would have to on or near the same terms and financial return that i enjoyed before the first change of role.
They have declined and lay all the blame for the drop in income on myself in that it was me that orchestrated the whole situation as it was my move to come off the Dutch contract that initiated the start of this whole procedure.
I have now found a different employer and my weekly take home pay is around £500 maybe £525 pw so I am around £75 to £100 per week down, a loss I can cope with.
Sorry its been so long winded but it is pointless you giving me guidance on half the details and information as it may be the guidance i want rather than the guidance that is correct.
Thank you.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 24 days ago.

That’s great thanks for the detailed information. Whilst the employer may have had a clause allowing them to vary your contract, that does not give them the automatic right to just change it as and when they want or to make whatever changes they want. There still has to be a test of reasonableness passed and the employer must act fairly. So as a starting point there is indeed a potential to consider a constructive dismissal claim, due to a breach of contract, with that breach being a breach of trust and confidence.

However, you next need to consider what such a claim will get you if you are successful. Constructive dismissal is primarily there to compensate you for your losses resulting from being forced to resign. These would be the difference in pay between the old job and the new one, or the overall lack of income for being out of work. In your case you have found a new job and the difference is not that large. So making a claim may not really get you that much in all honesty. Considering constructive dismissal is one of the harder claims to win, it may not be worth it in the end. Saying that claims are free to make so you could take your chances, as long as you are prepared to put the time and effort in pursuing it.

Please take a quick second to leave a positive rating for the service so far by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars above. I can continue answering follow up questions and in particular can also discuss the steps you need to follow if you were to take this further. There is no extra cost for this - leaving your rating now will not close the question and means we can still continue this discussion. Thank you

Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 24 days ago.
Thank you for the replies. I must give some consideration to this.
As a background, the company has a fleet of 26 trucks i think.
As 1 of the 2 partners is Bulgarian the workforce is predominantly Bulgarian, now down to 3 English drivers, 1 Rumanian, 4 Polish and the rest are Bulgarians.
I am of the opinion that this may not be the 1st time they have acted this way to the workforce though nothing i can prove, and if so then to a foreign employee who may not have been aware of his rights.
It may just be that the bosses need to be made aware that in this day and age you can not treat employees like this rather than about the money.
I did like the company and liked working for them. I enjoyed the work and got on really well with both bosses and it just irates me that after 3 years and 8 months hard work, and incidentally 2 years casual prior to this they treat me in this manner. Indeed in my resignation letter i did include the sentence, 'i used think that I meant something to/in this company but the past events have reminded me that I am just an employee'.
If I need you further i will be in touch. Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 24 days ago.

Thank you. First of all you have 3 months from date of termination of employment to start the process.

Before a person can make a claim in the employment tribunal, they would be required to participate in mandatory early conciliation through the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS).

The purpose of this process is to allow ACAS to mediate between the claimant and respondent to agree on an out of court settlement in order to avoid the need for legal action in tribunal. The respondent does not have to engage in these discussions, or if they do and the talks are unsuccessful, the claimant will be issued with a certificate allowing them to make a claim.

However, if a settlement is reached, the claimant would agree not to proceed with the claim in return for the agreed financial settlement. Other terms can also be agreed as part of the settlement, such as an agreed reference.

To initiate the conciliation procedure ACAS can be contacted online by filling in the following form (https://ec.acas.org.uk/Submission/SingleClaimantPage), or by phone on 0300(###) ###-####

Customer: replied 24 days ago.
I understand that I will have to make a Subject Access Request and pay a £10 charge for admin, would that be before or after an approach to ACAS?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 24 days ago.

Why would you need to make that?

Customer: replied 24 days ago.
You tell me. If i do not have to then I have obviously been mis informed.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 24 days ago.

that is only needed if you require personal information held about you by the employer, so for example personnel file. It is not a requirement to get any of that before you make a claim, you only do it if you need the documentation in question

Customer: replied 24 days ago.
Ok and thank you. You know how it is, when theres an occurance in ones life suddenly the whole world becomes a doctor or lawyer or knows someone that did that or has been through this and they all want ti give you advice. I should know better, thats why im on here asking the question.
Thank you again.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 24 days ago.

no problem at all that is what we are here for