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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 48190
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Hi I feel I may have a grievance with my employer . I have

Resolved Question:

Hi I feel I may have a grievance with my employer . I have returned from a 2 week vacation , I managed a large retail store . I was told to meet at HQ on my first day back and subsequently told I was being moved to another store due to development concerns. I has no input in this and was not given a chance to improve any concerns. I feel moving to another store will effect my career as it is a smaller store with less turnover and would effect my chances of growth. I have been told it's not a demotion just that I need development in another environment . I have worked in that store for 2.4 years and the past 6 months as manager . 3 months ago I past my probation with no issues. I'm confused . Can you help?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked there please?

Customer:

I started in Oct 2011 as assistant store manager , more recently being promoted to flagship store manager in Aug . I passed my probation in Oct for the new role . My last review was then. I had no review before vacation and was told on Monday that this was done on my absence and the decision was made to move me.

Ben Jones :


OK thank you, XXXXX XXXXX it with me. I am at tribunal today so may not be able to answer immediately but rest assured you will hear from me today. There is no need to wait here and you will receive an email when I have responded.

Customer:

Okay thanks Ben

Ben Jones :

Many thanks for your patience, I am available to assist now. Can I just clarify one more thing before I proceed – does your contract say anything about the employer’s ability to move you?

Customer:

Yes , there is a clause stating that they can move move within 25 miles however the store that they are moving me to is a smaller store and I feel would effectively damage my career path . They have said that I am not under performance management just that I need development and they feel it would be better done in another store . This I disagree with and I feel development in my store would be more beneficial. In fact I emailed some recruitment agency's today and asked if this would effect my next career move and they said it would significantly decrease my career opportunities going forward and potentially cause a massive salary drop should I look at external employment . In addition moving me out of the flagship to manage another store is in essence a demotion .

Ben Jones :

ok thank you I will get my response ready now, won't be long

Customer:

Thanks sorry I meant to say 25 min not miles. Spellchecker !

Ben Jones :

By asking you to move stores the employer is effectively changing your terms and conditions. There are a few ways in which an employer may try and make changes to an employee’s contract of employment. These are by:



  • Receiving the employee’s express consent to the changes.

  • Forcefully introducing the changes (called 'unilateral change of contract').

  • Giving the employee notice to terminate their current contract and then offer them immediate re-engagement under a new contract that contains the new terms.


 


If the changes are introduced without the employee's consent, then the following options are available:


 


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


 


2. If the changes fundamentally impact the contract, for example changes to pay, duties, place of work, etc., you may wish to consider resigning and claiming constructive dismissal. The resignation must be done without unreasonable 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 you having at least 2 years' continuous service. You would then seek compensation for loss of earnings resulting from the employer's actions. Before you consider this I suggest you pursue this through the internal grievance route.


 


Finally, it is also worth mentioning that sometimes employment contracts may try to give the employer a general right to make changes to an employee’s contract. As such clauses give the employer the unreserved to change any term, so as to evade the general rule that changes must be mutually agreed, courts will rarely enforce such clauses. Nothing but the clearest language will be sufficient to create such a right and the situation must warrant it. Any attempt to rely on such clauses will still be subject to the requirement of the employer to act reasonably and can be challenged as above.

Customer:

Thank you so much Ben . I have found this very valuable. At the minute I have not excepted a move and they have allowed me time to think. I have a meeting on Friday so I will think through everything and take it from there . Thanks so much

Ben Jones :

You are most welcome. Please take a second to leave a positive rating for the advice I have provided as that is an important part of our process. Thank you and feel free to bookmark my profile for future help:



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