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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 45306
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Jones Mr A's employer has introduced a new grading

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For Ben Jones
Mr A's employer has introduced a new grading system.
Employer claims the changes are due to harsh business conditions and for the company to reduce costs to minimise redundancies in addition to bring fairness and consistency in the way it treats its employees.
Mr A believes his new grade is not consistent within his department of around 50 people based on facts.
Some employees that were on a lower grade than Mr A in the existing grading scheme have been given a higher grade then Mr A under the new scheme. In some sense Mr A has been demoted. But no change to pay.
Furthermore Mr A is being asked to sign a new employment contract stating the new grade and terms and conditions.
What should Mr A do?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long has he worked there for?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

9 years and 9 months

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.
How would the changes affect his work? Obviously he feels he is demoted but would there be any direct effects of this?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Is it possible to take this off line?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.
Sorry what do you mean, do you want to close the question?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Mr A believes the employer has been inconsistent in grading therefore unfair.

It will affect Mr A's authority, authorisation levels, and human behaviour part being embarrassment.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.
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:· Work under protest· Constructive dismissal· Unfair dismissal (if contract terminated by employer first) Initially a grievance should be raised but the above are really his only options apart from that. This is your basic legal position. I have more advice for you in terms of more detail for each of the above options and how to apply them, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there I no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 45306
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.
Thank you. 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. An alternative way out is to approach the employer on a 'without prejudice' basis (i.e. off the record) to try and discuss the possibility of leaving under a settlement agreement. Under a settlement agreement, the employee gets compensated for leaving the company and in return promises not to make any claims against the employer in the future. It is essentially a clean break, although the employer does not have to agree to it so it will be subject to negotiation. In any event, there is nothing to lose by raising this possibility with them because he cannot be treated detrimentally for suggesting it and it would not be used against him.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

To approach an employer on a 'without prejudice' basis.

Should Mr A do this verbally or by email?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.
I suggest a meeting, but it can be done either way
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Do you do add on services where additional fees are payable perhaps to add review specific items in the contract?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.
Yes certainly, although I will not be able to do that until tomorrow. If you provide the details on here please then I can submit a quote
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Tomorrow is fine. What time are you online?

I would like to not publish the details where its visible by all users as this would disclose specifics that I probably shouldn't disclose.

Is it possible without this visibility by all?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.
The best way to do it is if you can perhaps upload a file on a free hosting service like www.mediafire.com then provide the link on here, I can download it and as soon as I do that and let you know you can remove the files from there s no one can access them again. Tomorrow I should be around mid-morning and late afternoon
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

OK great.

If I'm unsuccessful with uploading the file for any reason then, I will just ask new questions as I seek further clarification.

We can close todays case.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** back to me whenever you wish

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