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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 44961
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Hi Four years ago they pushed me from the Pricing and Marketing

Customer Question

Hi
Four years ago they pushed me from the Pricing and Marketing Manager into Marketing and Communications Manager so they could bring in someone from our head office in NYC.

Which I was forced to accepted at the time, because my husband had been made redundant and we had just purchased a house.

A new Job description was sent to me and it stated clearly I would manage the marketing team, I would still keep the evaluation & mentoring of the Marketing staff, what would change is I would report to the Pricing and Marketing Manager and not to the General Manager directly.

In the last year and I half the Marketing & Pricing Manager has slowly taken some of my tasked away (evaluation and mentoring of staff, etc) and now the personnel manager has called me in to a meeting,
They have asked me to accept a demotion to Marketing specialist because they are re structuring the department and if I do not they will force it anyway.

Is this legal?
Can they do this again? Can I take any legal action?

Your advice would be greatly appreciated


Rosa Velo
My email address [email protected]
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to be able to assist with your question today. Please let me know if you have been told that you could face redundancy instead?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
For Ben jones No, I have not
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
Your employer cannot just change your contract and demote you. There are several ways in which an employer may try and make changes to an employee’s contract of employment. These are:

1. By receiving the employee’s express consent.
2. By forcefully introducing the changes (called 'unilateral change of contract').
3. By giving the employee notice to terminate their current contract and then offer them immediate re-engagement under a new contract that contains the changes.

If the employee agrees to the changes then that would usually put an end to the matter.

If the changes are introduced forcefully then the following options are open to the employee:

1. Start working on the new terms but making it clear in writing that they are working ‘under protest’. This means that the employee does not agree with the changes but is only working them because they feel they are forced to. In the meantime they should try and resolve the issue either by informal discussions or by raising a formal grievance.

2. If the changes are serious enough (e.g. a change to pay, duties, place of work, etc.) the employee may wish to consider resigning and claiming constructive dismissal. The resignation must be done without undue delay so as not to give the impression that the changes had been accepted. The claim must be submitted in an employment tribunal within 3 months of resigning and is subject to the employee having at least 1 year’s continuous service.

3. Finally, if the employment is terminated and the employer offers re-engagement on the new terms that could potentially amount to unfair dismissal. However, the employer can justify the dismissal and the changes if they had a sound business reason for dismissing an employee who refuses to accept the variation in terms. This could be pressing business needs requiring drastic changes for the company to survive. If no such reason exists, the employee can make a claim for unfair dismissal in an employment tribunal. The same time limit of 3 months to claim and the requirement to have 1 year’s continuous would apply.

Finally, if your current job no longer exists and as a result you are forced to take up another position that could actually amount to redundancy and you could try and push for that instead.

Please take a second to leave a positive rating as that is a very important part of our process. Your question will not close and I can continue providing further advice if necessary. Thank you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


For Ben jones only


 


Hi Ben


 


My salary reduces as I no longer will be eligible to the management bonus scheme, and my holidays will be reduced.


Would that be a justified cause for constructive dismissal?


 


 


if I was to accept under protest, and raise a grievance,


Do I word it in any particular way?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
these changes are fundamental changes to your contract and as such it is certainly possible to treat the employer's actions as a serious breach of contract resulting in constructive dismissal.

If you were to accept this under protest then you need to make it clear you are doing so and that you do not agree to the changes.

As your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer - it only takes a second to do. I can then continue providing further advice and answer follow up questions if needed. Thank you.
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 44961
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


For Ben Jones only

 

if i agree to the changes under protest , that means they will change my tittle and this is one of the main reasons for me not to accept.

 

can i writte to the company and inform them i am not willing to accept the changes because i believe these are major changes to my contract.

 

but im not sure how to word it correctly , can you help?

 

thank you

 

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
If you work under protest it means that you are working under the new terms without actually accepting them. In other words, you feel forced to do so. This will not affect your rights to claim constructive dismissal, which would involve you accepting the terms and then resigning as a result of it.

In your correspondence with the employer you need to make it clear that notwithstanding your decision to continue working in your present position, you do not accept the proposed changes and are now working under protest until you try and reach a resolution with the employer.

Alternatively, if you simply wish to resign now, you can tell them that you have accepted the changes they have made but as you believe that they amount to a fundamental change to your contract you are resigning as a result and treating your contract as at an end. You may then go ahead with the constructive dismissal claim if you wish.

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