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Jenny
Jenny, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 6390
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor specialising in Employment Law and general legal matters. Please start your question For Jenny Only
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I am practice manager at GP surgery. On Sunday 26/10/14 the

Customer Question

I am practice manager at GP surgery. On Sunday 26/10/14 the GP rang my mobile to tell me a memebr of staff had made a written complaint against me. On return to work on the MOnday he advised me to avoid the memebr of staff, thus since then I have spent the working day in my office, unable to supervise the reception area and isolated. On Tuesday he advised me that he will be bringing in his wife to act as office manager in January. Can this be classed as constructive dismissal? I have attended work all through this period as we are a small practice but feel very stressed due to the circumstances and am considering taking sick leave
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jenny replied 3 years ago.
taratill :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I am happy to help you today. How long have you worked there for?

Customer:

I have worked at the surgery for 20 years when it was a partnership of two GP's. This GP took over as sole partner April 2014

taratill :

Hi yes he cannot replace you with his wife in this way and remove your duties. This is a significant breach of your contract of employment such that would give rise to the right to resign and claim constructive dismissal. You should first raise a grievance stating that you consider this to be a significant breach and that you intend to resign and claim constructive dismissal. You can resign with or without notice. You willl then need to engage ACAS pre-claim conciliation, you will find details at http://www.acas.org.uk/earlyconciliation

taratill :

After raising early conciliation you will be able to raise a claim in the employment tribunals.

taratill :

If you have any further questions please do ask.

Customer:

So if I do a letter to the GP today do I then leave the premises?

taratill :

It is up to you if you want to resign without notice , if you do your letter should state you feel you have no alternative but to resign with immediate effect.

Customer:

what happens then if he doesn't agree, I will be left with no job?

taratill :

Then you will have to raise a claim and the Tribunal will decide , based on the evidence, whether it was reasonable to treat this as a contructive dismissal. If you have been told that his wife is taking your job and you raise a grievanace and he does not reassure you that you will retain your job it is likely you will succeed.

taratill :

The alternative is to wait until she is put in your job then resign.

taratill :

Hello is there anything further you would like to know?

Customer:

I am finding the advice a little confusing. He has told me to carry on with the financial side of the job and his wife will work part time as office manager. However, she will not be working the same shift as the person who has made the complaint against me so I do not see what they will gain by his wife's employment as office manager. I have nothing against her working here I quite like her but is will not solve the original staff problem and I will still be isolated in my office with no contact with members of staff

taratill :

Well that is completely unfair on you. If you do not want to resign immediately you have the right know what the complaint was and how it can be resolved. You cannot be 'punished' without a disciplinary which is effectively what is happening.

Customer:

The original complaint was that I "favour" members of staff, take home sandwiches that reps bring in, exclude her from conversations and dont send her birthday cards. There has not been a meeting between the GP and said member of staff and myself to discuss this. I have replied to him in writing, answering each comment. There is obviously a personality clash now and I feel unable to work with her, but bringing his wife in to work mornings as office manager when said staff member works afternoons is not going to solve any issues she has with me being practice manager. I need to know if my best option is to resign for contstructive dismissal or go on sick leave until resolved

taratill :

If you feel sick you should go on sick leave for work related stress at the same time as raising a grievance to say that unless this can be resolved satisfactorily and speedily it is impacting your health and that the employer has a duty to care for your health and safety and a duty of trust and confidence and this is a breach of both. You can say in this letter that ultimately if it cannot be resolved you will have no option but to resign and claim constructive dismissal.

taratill :

This will keep all of your options open in the first instance. If matters cannot be resolved you reserve the right to resign in the future.

taratill :

If you have any further questions please do ask. If i have answered your question I would be grateful if you would take the time to rate my answer. Thank you and all the bes.t

taratill :

`I have to go offline now as I am about to attend a meeting. If you have any further questions I will answer them on my return.

Customer:

I have rung the ACAS helpline and they do not recommend constructive dismissal, can I have your comments please? I have written a letter tio the GP advising that i am not happy with current resolution and quoting impact on health and unless resloved

Customer:

I am unsure whether to give to him now

taratill :

Resigning and claiming constructive dismissal should always be the last resort as you obviously have to leave a job to claim. If you think that matters can be resolved without resigning then this is to be recommended.

taratill :

I would suggest that you do as I stated above, namely raise a grievance about the issues and say that this is causing you stress. You are not precluded from claiming constructive dismissal if matters become untenable in the future.

taratill :

I would be grateful if you would take the time to rate my answer as I am not otherwise credited for the time I have spent answering your questions.

Jenny and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


Further to the above I have attended my GP and been given a sick note till 12.1.15. I have received a letter from my employer denying a meeting with him and his wife saying it was simply an informal conversation and that he has spoken to other members of staff who are happy with her appointment although he is now saying receptionist not office manager and that she could act as a third party between me and staff. álso that I should not feel isolated as there are other members of staff that I can engage with if I so wish. I will still be unabke to carry out organisational duties without contact with all members of staff and feel humiliated that he has taken this stand. I intend returning to myy own GP in Jan 15 and will probably request a further sick note as at the moment I donot feel able to deal with the matter to my best interest. I wonder if I should contact ACAS ??