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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50161
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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My role as Project Management Office Manager at Shell

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Hello, My role as Project Management Office Manager at Shell has been made redundant after 3 years. For the last 4 months I was asked to work as a Project Manager (a role I did at Shell for many years) and have justs been asked to take on another project PM role with the target to do it up to my redundancy date with a handover to whoever takes on the project afterwards. Another 5 months. There has been no conversation about me being offered a permanant PM role and to my knowledge no other PM are sceduled for redundancy. So my PMO role is long gone (from August last year). I then did a transition role for 6 months to help with the organisational change, and now a PM for 9 Months. Given I am now being asked to do a completely different role which continues after I have left, and wil be the only PM made redundant, can I make a challenge for unfair dismissal ?
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. When was your original role made redundant?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi, The role disapeared in August 2015. I was then placed on a 6 months transition role. Then received stage one notice in Feb (3 months) and stage 2 from May 1st for 5 months. During the stage one and two I was asked to work as a Project Manager
Are the roles you are doing now suitable alternatives to the original role?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Given I worked as a Project Manager for 5 or 6 years before the PMO role. I think so
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
But it has been clearly stated that I will hand the project over - so I have no expectation I will be offered a replacement role
As there has been no dismissal here you cannot claim for unfair dismissal. This will only be possible if the employer terminates your employment with them and at this stage you are still employed there. If they were to dismiss you eventually because no permanent role was available for you then as long as they still make you redundant there will be little chance of a successful dismiss claim. This would really only be an option if they still dismiss you but they do not use redundancy as a reason for dismissal. If they do not actually dismiss you and try to keep you in temporary jobs here and there then there would be a potential claim for constructive dismissal instead. This is where you are forced to resign because your job becomes untenable. It would be the case if your job was made redundant and you were not offered suitable alternative employment (suitable position in terms of skills may not be suitable if it is only a temporary position). This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the law on constructive dismissal and how to apply it here, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there I no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Thank you. So as mentioned, if they leave you in unsuitable positions, this 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.