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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 49789
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have been employed by a Hotel years with a clear employment

Customer Question

I have been employed by a Hotel for 18 years with a clear employment record. Never late, sick etc. The hotel went into administration 15 months ago but luckily has just been bought and taken over. On Tuesday this week I was asked to attend a meeting with the new General Manager of 4 weeks and HR of 4 weeks, The meeting lasted 1 hour during which the GM and HR both made me feel uncomforble and it is clear that they do not want me working with the company. I work as a waitress full time and have never had an incident like this before. Can I be treated like this and how do I stand legally. Thank you
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What did say or do to make you feel uncomfortable?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I have been accused of being negative and unfriendly by GM and HR who do not really know me. 3 situation were brought up. The first one silly it might sound, we have been promised a coffee maching in the restaurant for 15 months and when the new gm told us we were getting one I said I will believe it when we get one. Later he approached me, I explained we had been promised one for so long the staff thought it funny. he accepted this and I thought the situation had been put to bed. I have recently been promoted to banqueting manager looking after weddings etc. I enquired about a different uniform and he has taken this as negative. Finally I was taking care of a funeral wake in a public area. I enquired about a finishing time because I had to get this area ready for evening hotel guests (a normal request) this apparently also negative. The HR lady was not I felt impartial and in the end said I had not been saying hello to her and that I was unfriendly. I dont really even know this HR lady

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
At this stage it is still relatively early days. They have only recently taken over the business and whilst their attitude may appear somewhat negative there has been nothing clear to state that they do not want you working for them. Over time this may become clearer if these are really their intentions and the longer this goes on for and the more obvious it becomes the clearer your rights will become.
If that becomes the case then it 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 trust this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page). If for any reason you are unhappy with my response or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? If your query has been dealt with please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts from the top of the page. If you need further help please get back to me on here and I will assist as best as I can. Thank you.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, do you need any further assistance or are you happy with the above response? Look forward to hearing from you.