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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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If I work 35 hours as the manager in a shop in Preston and

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If I work 35 hours as the manager in a shop in Preston and at a managers meeting in December 2014 was informed that the shop is not viable and when they open a new shop in Longton or Penwotham I will be the manager of one of those shops (there where approximately 10 other managers present) can they then give the managers job in Longton to another person. This other person was originally employed to work on a shop in Exton, the Exton shop has not opened yet due to paperwork issues. My shop in Preston is now being closed due to the building being purchased by another company. I have been offered another position in another area but it will take 1 and half hours to travel where by the Longton shop would take half an hour to travel to. Because the statement was made that I will be given Longton or Penwotham I did not seek other employment do I have any rights to insist I still be given the Longton shop?
Regards, tracey
Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked there for?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I have worked for YMCA since December 2011 as an assistant manager in Ormskirk then Formby. I was promoted to Manager in March 2014 at the Preston Shop.

Did you sign any formal agreement or contract to that effect?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


I meant for the job that you were promised?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

no it was a statement made by the District manager in the shop managers meeting. She stated that the Preston shop is not viable and they are looking at opening in Penwortham or Longton and I would be offered either of those shops. this was stated in front of myself and approximately 10 other store managers. It was the first I knew of them considering to closed the Preston shop.

I was not sure if a statement made in this way was binding?

Potentially it could be but not necessarily easy to prove. What you would have to argue is that a binding contract was formed at that meeting. The law does not require a formal written contract to be present for there to be a legally binding agreement in place. A legal contract could still exist just through a verbal conversation. What is important is that the elements of a contract are present. These are: an offer, an acceptance and consideration.
You would need to show that the employer had made an unconditional offer for the job. Be aware that it means they offered you the job unconditionally and without you having to go through any selection process. They may have told you that you would be offered the job but it could have meant that you would have been offered to apply for it so their intentions at the time would be relevant. In turn you would have had to accept their offer and make it clear that you were agreeable to the offer that was made to you. The final element is consideration, it could be the fact that you relied on this offer to not pursue any other employment.
So if you can satisfy these conditions you could argue with the employer that a binding contract had been formed and ask them to reconsider their position. If needed you could raise a formal grievance to that effect and the employer should formally review this.
If your grievance fails then your only option is to consider resigning and making a claim for constructive dismissal.
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
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