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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50490
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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In March 2017 my employer removed the level of Production

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Hello, in March 2017 my employer removed the level of Production Manager and said that all employees reporting to the manager would report to their Lead. The person who was the lead of me wasn’t happy about this change and left. I was then promoted to lead by applying for the role. The title of my role is production lead. The production leads report to the operations director.Since being in the role I have been responsible for choosing new staff, getting temp staff in, staff development plans, appraisals and probation reviews. My job description however said I would only assist with these tasks... I basically run the whole of my department with little input from the operations director. When I ask for support or his input he saids it’s my decesion.My employer has now deceided to advertise the role of production manager. So we haven’t had one for 9 Months. The production manager will be responsible for all 3 production departments.I have recently just completed staff appraisals and it stated throughtout that I was the supervisor. At the end of the apprasil it states that only the manager can submit appraisals. Supervisors must let the manager submit.Question: am I a manager?And...The production manager role states the they will be responsible for staff performance. Mine states I will assist. Does having done the role for 9 Months back a case for constructive dismissal on the basis I feel demoted?
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Just to add to the bit about apprasils. I asked if I should submit it and the response from HR was ‘yes you are the manager.’

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

How long have you worked there for?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
8 years
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Just to add My job description does say: ‘other duties maybe assigned’

What would you go back to if this new manager is appointed?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
When the new role of production manager is filled my title will remain unchanged. I will just report to the production manager instead of the operations director.So I will still be called ‘production lead’My issues are that my title is production lead however I am constantly being to referred to as a manager and even attend management meetings (again not in my job description).I feel like I have been doing all these extra duties which are not in my duties which are now being appointed to somebody else so feel it’s a demotion either though my official job description said I don’t do them or just assist with them.

Ok thanks. I do understand the frustration this may have caused you. As far as the legal position is concerned, I would not say you have been doing the job long enough to be able to claim any permanent rights over it, especially if it was not made clear by the employer that they had intended for you to be placed permanently in it. If you did not have any clear indication that the employer wanted you to keep this role permanently (the inferences you mentioned will not be sufficient), you would have had to rely on what is known as ‘custom and practice’ in order to try and lay any permanent rights to it. This is where something has been applied consistently over a period of time, so that it has become an implied contractual term.

Whilst the law does not stipulate a specific period which is required for something to become an implied term, usually we are looking at years rather than months, hence why I do not believe that 9 months is long enough, especially when it was not made clearer by the employer that there was a firm intention on them to keep you in this role permanently.

There is nothing stopping you from leaving and pursuing constructive dismissal, but it will be a difficult claim in this case.

It is worth mentioning that there is a possible alternative solution, where the employer is approached on a 'without prejudice' basis (i.e. off the record) to try and discuss the possibility of leaving under a settlement agreement. Under such an agreement, the employee gets compensated for leaving the company with no fuss and in return promises not to make any claims against the employer in the future. It is essentially a clean break, where both parties move on without the need for going to tribunal. However, it is an entirely voluntary process and the employer does not have to participate in such negotiations or agree to anything. It just means that these discussions cannot be brought up in any subsequent tribunal claim and prejudice either party. So there is nothing to lose by raising this possibility with them as the worst outcome is they say no, whereas if successful it can mean being allowed to leave in accordance with any pre-agreed terms, such as with compensation and an agreed reference.

I trust this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars above - this is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you still need me to clarify anything else, please reply on here and I will assist as best as I can. Thank you

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
How much of a settlement argreement do you think I would be looking at? Salary is £23k. One months notice.How do I start asking for settlement argreement?If they refuse can I continue working there with no issues? Nobody can mention it.It’s the not fact of the role, it’s more of taking the extra duties away I was doing for free and they are going to pay somebody else £60k a year for.To add to the fact I thought it was a more permanent thing I was sent on leadership and management course to help me progress.

It’s difficult to say how much to look for because often that depends on how strong a case you have but in this case knowing that if you claimed it would be difficult, it does not give you the strongest of negotiating positions. Also whatever you ask for it has to be something the employer is willing to pay and you cannot force them to do so. Perhaps a reasonable amount would be a few months’ pay just to see you through until you find a new job and cover for the eventuality it may take a few months to do so.

If they refuse then yes you can continue working there with no issues because these negotiations should have been off the record and remain as such. Obviously no one can guarantee that there may be no hard feelings behind closed doors between you but legally they cannot treat you detrimentally because of it.

Hope this clarifies?

Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
last question how should I open up the discussion of a settlement agreement?

I would ask for a meeting with your manager and if needed they can involve others, like HR. State that you want it to be a without prejudice meeting to discuss some issues about the proposed changes

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Thank you for your help !!!

you are welcome, all the best