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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50157
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I've been with my company plus years recently they asked

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I've been with my company for 6 plus years recently they asked me to go full time and so asked me to change my current hours of work from 34 hours a week to forty (I was initially hired on a part time basis six years ago working 20 hours and my hours have gradually increased over the years but my current contract is still considered part time
The offer was verbally made to me by my MD and a figure was stated (being my hourly rate of 16.50 grossed up which put me on an full time salary of 35
16.50 was my hourly rate part time however I worked at least one to two extra days every month overtime (at same rate) so my annual salary varied between 29172- 32340 and that's on my 34 hour contract with overtime monthly which had been required from me for at least a couple of years.
Now i received the offer letter two days after the discussion with my director and the offer had been retracted on paper I was told I was being paid above the market rate (although I was receiving the same salary for the past seven months) they wanted to pay me 31k which was essentially a four grand annual cut from what my salary (hourly rate) grossed up to and far off the goal post for what was discussed. Essentially a hourly rate deduction from 16.50 to 14.90
I wasn't happy with the offer and was told to go away and reconsider it but that the figure would not change at a push he agreed to raise it to 31.5k however I said I wasn't happy with the offer. The market rate argument doesn't suffice as I showed them 8 plus jobs printed out from the agencies they as a company work with and showed them how I am being paid in line with my market rate. So to clarify,after six years the business want to pay me less money to work more hours so they have amended my hours and salary rate, however in contrast they rewarded the entire work force with a pay rise just two weeks ago to which I was not privy to.
I asked what other options I had should I not accept the offer and was told I could either take a zero rated contract doing a completely different role on a shift basis at a five pound per hour salary drop or statutory redundancy was the last option . (There bare minimum the law entitled me to)
Now I am aware that they have made big payouts to former staff members in the past to allow them to go quietly but are not offering me nothing other than the statutory amounted redundancy.
I was signed off sick by my GP with stress at work for a fortnight and had my note renewed for another two weeks due to stress as well as leg pain which was worsening I had a run of blood tests etc and I submitted fit notes and detailed my progress to my employer
During my time off they tried to pressure me to make a decision as to my choice out of the three options they had provided me with (by the end of the first week I was signed off)
I said to them I needed more time and didn't think in was sensible to be giving me deadlines during my period off with stress.
Things have since turned quite sour, I was paid ssp of 88pounds a week for three weeks of the month and only paid full pay for one week I was not informed until the day before the money hit my account and this was only because I had contacted them with An update.
It had been reiterated to me that the figure for the full time offer had not moved and was basically not going to 31.5k was the final offer even though the MD had said that he would be revisiting the position just before I was signed off ill.
Further more they are hounding and harassing me to sign a consent for for them to contact my GP For a Medical report! Bearing in mind i return to work this week and have submitted two fit notes to account for four weeks away from work
I must note that with past employees they have paid full sick pay when they have been off long term and they have never asked for a consent to contact a persons doctor so I feel largely discriminated against.
When I queried this with hr I was told it was all discretionary and not a part of ones contract (however in my case they chose to retract from me)
On top of all this it has been brought to my attention by friends inside the company that the business is advertising for my job role. They have carried out more than two interviews for my role with candidates reporting to reception and divulging the job they are being interviewed for.
I thought this has very risky and unlawful connotations admit feels to me as if the business are trying to form a case for constructive dismissal or something asking for a medical report I feel strongly pushed out
I want to leave but I feel the redundancy offer is poor roughly 2700k is all I will get
Can I say that I'm not happy with this offer and it needs to be better because it's already clear that the company have plans to drive me out from interviewing for my role before I have even said anything, I have not resigned or even said that I would
Also acas mentioned that but sounds like a variation of contract, please advise
Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Did you accept the initial offer which was later withdrawn?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I did but it was only verbal and there was No one other than myself and MD present at that discussion, he admits he retracted but said he felt I was now been paid above market rate I think he was consulting with my line manager and hr lady
Even if an offer was made and accepted verbally it can still amount to a legally binding contract. The law requires an offer, acceptance and consideration and these need not be in written form – verbal can suffice just as much. The issue is that there were no witnesses to this so it would be your word against the employer’s and that’s not always easy to pursue further as the evidence will just not be there to swing this enough in your direction. If you had started to work on this new contract and for example started receiving the pay you were promised you could show that there was an agreed amount as it would be reflected in your pay. However, if you never actually started working on it then the evidence may not be there to take it further. In terms of getting paid the same as others, or getting pay rises as them, the law on equal pay is frequently misunderstood. Many workers believe that there is a right to equal pay across the workforce, especially for workers that perform the same or similar jobs. However, the reality is that employers are free to pay their employees whatever they want, as long as it is above the current National Minimum Wage and in accordance with the employee's contract of employment. It is not generally unlawful to pay employees doing the same or similar jobs different rates. The only time this would be an issue is if the reasons for the difference in pay is discriminatory, due to a difference in gender. The relevant law was originally brought in to deal with the fact that many women were being paid less than their male colleagues for doing the same job. Whilst this protection still applies, to be successful in a claim you must show that the reason for being paid less is actually gender-related. It is no good claiming that you are being paid less than someone else, unless it can be shown that the reasons for this difference in pay is due to gender. So unless there were discriminatory reasons for the difference in pay, there is nothing illegal in paying different rates even if the workers are performing the same job. I agree that is appears unfair and morally wrong, but unfortunately it is not illegal. Finally, the redundancy offer – the employer does not have to offer you anything higher than what you are entitled to by law, which is the minimum redundancy payment and your notice period. You may feel that you should be offered more but they do not have to give you anything on top of what has been offered and it would mean you pursue them in tribunal if you were to fight them for more. In general, this whole situation could potentially amount to constructive dismissal, which occurs when the following two elements are present:· Serious breach of contract by the employer; and· An acceptance of that breach by the employee, who in turn treats the contract of employment as at an end. The employee must act in response to the breach and must not delay any action too long. A common breach by the employer occurs when it, or its employees, have broken the implied contractual term of trust and confidence. The conduct relied on could be a single act, or a series of less serious acts over a period of time, which together could be treated as serious enough (usually culminating in the 'last straw' scenario). The affected employee would initially be expected to raise a formal grievance in order to officially bring their concerns to the employer's attention and give them an opportunity to try and resolve them. If the issues are so bad that the employee can't even face raising a grievance and going through the process, or if a grievance has been raised but has been unsuccessful, then they can consider resigning straight away. If resignation appears to be the only option, it must be done without unreasonable delay so as not to give an impression that the employer's breach had been accepted. Any resignation would normally be with immediate effect and without providing any notice period. It is advisable to resign in writing, stating the reasons for the resignation and that this is being treated as constructive dismissal. Following the resignation, the option of pursuing a claim for constructive dismissal exists. This is only available to employees who have at least 2 years' continuous service. There is a time limit of 3 months from the date of resignation to submit a claim in the employment tribunal. 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 you cannot be treated detrimentally for suggesting it and it would not be used against you. Just to make a final, yet important point, that constructive dismissal can be a difficult claim to win as the burden of proof is entirely on the employee to show the required elements of a claim were present. Therefore, it should only be used as a last resort. I hope this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating, or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your reply which has been helpful, in regards ***** ***** interviewing for my position, could I not use that along with the fact that they have lowered my hourly rate of pay (as I had been informed that this was not lawful for a company to lower my pay rate inless it was due to economic crisis within the business or unless it was for a temporary period of time and usually done with a pool of people, not just one individual) in light of the fact that the entire workforce (all departments) were rewarded a pay rise in line with inflation (as in why was I discriminated against?
I guess I could encorpoirate hear points into suggesting a better payoff in order for me to not to keep quiet about these unsettling issues and leave?
you may indeed use these factors to your benefit when negotiating with the employer - they are both indicative of breach of contract and/or breach of trust and confidence. So of course there is nothing stopping you from using these in your negotiations but the issue remains that the employer cannot be forced to offer an improved settlement and they could just leave you to pursue this though the tribunal yourself and take the risk that way. Hope this clarifies things a bit more?
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