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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50161
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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Okay in a rut here... But please if you are going to bid -

Customer Question

Okay in a rut here... But please if you are going to bid - please do not give me the text book answers as I can read the web and am intelligent enough to see the straight answer, i.e. less than 12 months of employment and you have no recourse.
I looking insight as to what are my options are and am happy to pay extra time. This is related to UK employment law...
Left a high profile job with a big company to join another 'bigger' company. The job role in itself was lower but the pay was higher so I took it as the brief was that need someone who can 'shape up the team and transform the way we work'.
At the time I did tell them / the 'bigger company' that such a 'change in ways of working' will lead to unpopularity and ruffle feathers and if they are not ready they should not hire me. But anyway they went ahead...
Moved to the bigger company in April 2014, i.e. less than 12 months, but have a 3 months notice period now - i.e. if I get the notice period I will be over a year
On joining my boss told me that I should not focus on the details but the big picture and that had to shape lead manage stakeholder etc etc. All of this was done and had continued support from my boss most of the time.
My last performance review, concluded with 'glad you are part of my team'. We did discuss the 'ruffle feather bit' and my boss said it was a positive sign. This happened on the 14th of Jan 2015 i.e. 13 days back.
Today my boss called me up and said - this is a formal performance management session - which clearly caught me by surprise (no informal chat - no here is what you need to watch etc). The allegations were:
1. I do not get involved in the details (but he had asked me not to...)
2. There is complaints about me my 'stubbornness' from a number of people. These are the same people (who complained) that my boss had worked with in the past and slagged off / asked help to handle them, which I did. But now it seems like - he is on their side :). There have been numerous incidences where my boss and me have attended meeting where the other person has lost it and I always maintained professionalism, and he had appreciated all of that till today :)
The situation now is that large parts of what I set out to achieve in the new job has been done and appreciated... Feel a bit like a .......... who has been ....... and now is being dumped in the gutter
Clearly something has changed in the last 13 days (which had 2 weekends and I was off days .i.e. 7 days) so my performance cannot have gone from 'glad to have you on-board' to you are on 'performance management' in 7 days of work.
I know that the company is cutting costs / headcount and wonder if I am an easy target as I have been there / 24 months?
So the questions are:
1. Can I start a grievance procedure given that I have been with the company less than 12 months and will they have to honor it? Or is it as simple as - do not like the color of your socks now so you are fired...
2. Does implied breach of trust (given the boss man's comments, directions and the surprising u turn) apply in this situation and can I go after them ?
3. Are there any other possible legs / situations I could stand on? Not looking to 'win the case' but something that my employers 'will have to act on'
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
Ben Jones : , my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Do you think you have been targeted specific reasons?
JACUSTOMER-9hreuv2o- :

Not sure Ben - think I am the only India born person in the team - else everyone was either born in the western world or is western

Ben Jones :

sorry I was offline by the time you had replied last night. So to answer your queries:

  1. You can start a grievance process at any point, regardless of length of service. This is a basic employment right. However, the employer does not have to consider the grievance because the employee’s rights to challenge such a failure do not kick in until they have 2 years’ service (please note it is no longer 12 months as you mentioned, it has changed and it is now 2 years). So you have nothing to lose by starting a grievance process at this time.

  2. Unfortunately the alleged breach of trust will be of no help here. You are still bound by the minimum service requirements to be able to initiate a claim dismissal (if you are dismissed) or constructive dismissal (if you were to resign) and these are 2 years’ service, which unfortunately you do not have. You can use this as part of the grievance process if the employer agrees to go ahead with it but cannot take formal legal action as a result

  3. Due to your short service, you are only really looking at discrimination as a potential option to fight or defend this. However, you must be able to show that the treatment you have received is due to a protected characteristic, such as age, gender, race, religion, etc. You did mention that you were the only India-born team member but that would not automatically mean that you were discriminated because of your race/religion. You must be able to show that their reasons were in some way linked to this, but as you can understand it can be a simple coincidence that you have found yourself in this position and have nothing to do with your background.

So regardless of what you may require in this situation, in truth your options are rather limited and you will only be protected if you can show discrimination. Without any evidence to back that up it would be rather difficult to challenge any potential dismissal or if you were forced to leave.

Hope this clarifies your position? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you

Ben Jones :

, I see you have accessed and read my answer to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else in relation to this? I just need to know whether to close the question or not? Thanks