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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 47907
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I gave notice yesterday to leave my current position engaged

Customer Question

I gave notice yesterday to leave my current position engaged in office work computer etc, my employer is not happy with me due to leaving to join a competitor, they have now removed me from my position and allocated cleaning cupboards etc which will last for 7 weeks - Is there anything I can do?
Assistant: Thank you. Can you provide any more details to help us find you the right Expert?
Customer: What further details do you need? Also they have demanded that I bring to work for them to troll through my personal laptop and mobile phone can they do this
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today. How long have you worked there for and does your contract state that your duties can be changed as and when required?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I have worked there for 4 years, and I haven't got the details to hand for my contract.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Can I just double check that this is a one off payment?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Are you asking for £38 (which we have already paid) plus an additional £6 if we were to call you instead?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.

Call are extra but I am not available for that at the moment unfortunately (it is an automatic offer by the system) so you can ignore that. You also appear to have joined on a subscription so you will need to go into your account page to cancel that to ensure it is only a one off charge for this question. Please let me know when done so I can continue thanks

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thank you Ben, do you have any advise for me? Can you please just double check I have also cancelled the monthly payment scheme please.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.

yes you appear you have, thanks

Your rights will very much depend on what is in your contract of employment. For example you could be contracted to do a specific job but have a clause which allows your employer to vary your duties from time to time and temporarily then they could potentially ask you to cover other duties for the duration of your notice period. However, if no such contractual right exists then they would likely be acting in breach of contract if they do this. You cannot be forced to undertake these tasks and if they do not change their mind and for example allow you to leave by paying you in lieu of notice or placing you on garden leave, then you can consider resigning immediately and making a constructive dismissal claim against them.

This is where you feel forced to reign as a result of the employer’s unreasonable behaviour. Whilst you would generally be pursuing them for future loss of earnings, this would not be relevant here as you already have a job lined up but instead you can pursue them for the pay for your notice period which you missed out on by being forced to resign.

Please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars. I can continue answering follow up questions and in particular can also discuss the steps you need to follow should you decide to take this further. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can still continue this discussion. Thank you

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Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Further to this, they have logged me out of my work emails and system due to the sensitive information withheld on here. The reason for this being, is because I sent myself some stuff back to my personal email relating to my job. However, I did not realise that this would be breaching their security in-house, and this never crossed my mind. Further to this, I have had to have multiple meetings with no representative and quite frankly they are being quite nasty towards me. I have explained the situation that I didn't do this maliciously and I wasn't trying to give my new company a competitive edge (as they think). I obviously know how this looks to them, but it is definitely not the case. In the meetings they are twisting my words and also writing minutes within the meetings. I have advised them that this information is not in my hands anymore, and has been deleted as requested. The information sent back, was for personal use only to remember stuff for my future CV, jog memory to create a new idea and some venue ideas. Today they have advised me that they want to see my personal laptop, phone and ipad tomorrow for checking. I was just wondering whether this would be acceptable? They have also advised that they are getting a lawyer to draw up a legal binding document for me to sign and I have still not been advised of my leaving date.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.

Again whether they can check your personal property would depend on your contract so you must check that. If no right exists there then they cannot force you to let them inspect it. However, if you have nothing to hide you might wish to consider allowing that just to get them off your back, otherwise it may look suspicious to them.

The document they are after to get you to sign is a settlement agreement where you are paid off to leave and you agree not to make any claims against them. You need to see a solicitor to tell you what your rights are before it becomes legally binding so they will explain in more detail what you can expect and if you are offered a good deal

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
In regards ***** ***** emails, if I haven't sent these onto anyone but myself (personal email addresses). Then surely they haven't got an argument?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.

well there is still an argument that you have breached their policies by sending things even to yourself. Also it could be an issue if they believe you will use these against the such as by helping your new employer compete with them

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
The people that are carrying out the investigation are the directors of the company, have they violated any of their directors code or any laws?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Do you ascertain that I will obtain my leave date, once this is all over?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
What can happen to me, if they don't believe me even if they check my personal stuff?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Can you please explain all the possible outcomes to me please, just so I can prepare myself.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.

There is nothing wrong with directors carrying out an investigation or holding a disciplinary heating – there is no law that prevents them from doing any of that. They are after all responsible for the running of the company and this is part of it.

As far as your leave date is concerned that cannot be longer than your notice period – they cannot keep you there longer than that. If it is going to be shorter then they will have to tell you eventually, unless you were to follow the option I mentioned earlier of leaving immediately yourself.

What can happen to you, worst case, I they dismiss you for gross misconduct – you do not get paid for the remainder of your notice period and they can mention hat in a reference. Other options could be a written warning, which will not affect your current job but they can again mention in a reference.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thanks so much for your help Ben!!
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 months ago.

You are welcome, all the best