Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Have they given you any reasons for this change?
Were you told that the acting up was just a temporary measure at the time?
Ok so you were asked to work as an acting manager in 2003 and have since worked in that post. Whilst initially this may have been intended as a temporary measure, as most acting up posts are, due to the rather long time you have been doing this job it is likely that you can claim permanent rights over it as it is likely to have become a contractual term through custom and practice.
This means that by trying to place you back into a lower role they will be changing your contractual 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:
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.
3. 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 try and justify the dismissal and the changes if they had a sound business reason for doing so. This could be pressing business needs requiring drastic changes for the company to survive. If no such reason exists, you 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 2 years' continuous would apply.
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.
the policy of automatic promotion after a year would be too old to rely on if it happened in 2004, however more recent examples can certainly be used in your arguments
the stronger argument would be the length of time that you have been doing this job with no indication that it was still temporary, as mentioned it is something that you can raise as having become an implied term through 'custom and practice'
precisely what you need to rely on and bring up to aid your case. However, at this stage it is simply a matter of pursuing it through the official routes as described above, then depending on the outcome you can consider your next steps again as described above
yes, well the law is as explained, the issue is even if you have all the se rights the employer could still try an ignore them which then means you need to seek to apply them through other means, such as the tribunal, so time will tell how best to proceed
well that is the issue, even with the best available case to help your position, the employer could choose to ignore that so at this stage it is very much in their hands
so stick to your guns, raise all possible defences as explained and hope for the best for now, then it is a mater of upping your game if you need to go further