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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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I used to work for BBA Aviation and was responsible for

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Hello,I used to work for BBA Aviation and was responsible for Private Business Travel (Signature Flight Services) and Commercial Ground Handling (ASIG)However, BBA Aviation sold ASIG. I managed ASIG in Aberdeen. John Menzies Plc (Menzies Aviation) was the purchaser of ASIG however the monopolies commission stated Menzies could not have Aberdeen therefore this part of the business had to be divested.As such, a new buyer was found. I was never in Menzies plan to transfer to new owner. Menzies Aviation wanted to retain me in their business.I met with several senior managers in Menzies and I told them, to have me in their business was complimentary, however, I lived in Aberdeen and on no account, would I ever consider moving to another city.I was asked if I could consider reviewing/working at a troublesome station for Menzies Aviation in Edinburgh.I agreed to this, whilst reiterating, I would not ever consider a relocation to Edinburgh. I was merely on a project. It was verbally agreed I would have my accommodation costs paid for by Menzies and we would review in a 'few months' to see if it is what I wanted.I have now been in position for 8 months. I have absolutely turned around a failing station to one which is now on the road to success.However, no review has taken place.Menzies Aviation, a number of weeks ago, requested me to consider transferring from my TUPE contract to a Menzies contract.Initially, my boss said I would be put on grade 12,...I challenged this and he quickly changed this to grade 13.My boss also said I would need to move out of hotel accommodation and move to an apartment because, in his opinion, costs would be less. Menzies would pay for this cost.Two weeks later I am told by my boss Menzies will not pay for my accommodation but will increase my salary by £7k (despite my request for an increase of £12k) (Edinburgh operation is the flagship station for Menzies and has huge problems which I am there to rectify)I have categorically stated I will not pay for the privilege to rectify Edinburgh station,.. I was asked to take on a project on certain terms and now, Menzies are changing these terms... to my detriment,..Finally, today, my boss has told me that Menzies now don't want to change my TUPE contract,... thus they will continue to pay my accommodation but reduce the offer of increased salary and keep it at what it was,...This is so wrong. Can I have your advice please?Thank you so much.

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

What is your total unbroken length of service and what are you ideally hoping to achieve in the circumstances?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I have been in service since Nov 2006. I wish for Menzies to offer me a redundancy package if they cannot offer me a position in Aberdeen. I came to Edinburgh on a 'project'. This project has now come to an end as far as I am concerned.

Thank you. A lot of what happened here would be a case of he said/she said where you and the employer may have differing accounts as to what was the intention of this ‘project’ and how long you were genuinely expected to remain there for. Nevertheless, if you were genuinely only advised that this would be a temporary relocation and that it was never offered to you or accepted by you as a permanent move, you cannot be expected to remain there indefinitely. Once the original duration of this project had expired, the employer should either allow you to return to your original role (unlikely to be an option if that role no longer exists), or they need to find you something which amounts to a suitable alternative.

If no such alternatives exist, they should indeed be looking at making you redundant. The main issue with that is you cannot force them to go down that path. Therefore, if they refuse to do so and simply leave you in the current role, trying to argue it is now your permanent one, the only way for you to challenge it is to resign and then make a claim for constructive dismissal against them.

Please take a quick second to leave a positive rating for the service so far by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars above. I can continue answering follow up questions and in particular can also discuss the constructive dismissal option and how to take it further. There is no extra cost for this - leaving your rating now will not close the question and means we can still continue this discussion. Thank you

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question and if you need me to discuss the next steps in more detail? In the meantime please take a quick second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars above. The question will not close and I can continue with my advice as discussed. Thank you

Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Hello Ben,
Many thanks for your excellent and efficient response, most helpful and appreciated.
Yes please, can you please advise me further on constructive dismissal option? Many thanks.

Thank you and yes, of course I will.

As mentioned, 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 resigns in response to it.

Whilst the alleged breach could be a breach of a specific contractual term, it is also common for a breach to occur when the implied term of trust and confidence has been broken. The conduct relied on could be a serious 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).

Before constructive dismissal is contemplated, it is recommended that a formal grievance is raised in order to officially bring the concerns to the employer's attention and give them an opportunity to try and resolve them.

If resignation appears to be the only option going forward, it must be done in response to the alleged breaches (i.e. without unreasonable delay after they have occurred). Whilst not legally required, a resignation would normally be with immediate effect and without serving any notice period. It is also 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 with the employer. There is a time limit of 3 months from the date of termination of employment to submit a claim in the employment tribunal.

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.

Customer: replied 26 days ago.
Hi Ben,Your advice has been invaluable, thank you so much.Whilst the location of employment is the main factor here, there has also been a turn of events in which I have reached 'the last straw' scenario.Since I started with Company, I have had a right hand person, i.e. in the role of Head of Operations.
Another station elsewhere, i.e. Manchester, is failing badly. The Station Manager of Manchester resigned 3 months ago and has since left the Company. Subsequently, my Head of Operations applied for this role as he lives in Manchester. He was told he would be informed if he was successful to be shortlisted. He has never been informed he achieved this stage.
The VP for Manchester was put on Garden Leave last Tuesday. I received a text message from my secretary on Tuesday of last week to say she 'had heard' my Head of Operations was starting in Manchester today.
On Wednesday of last week, my SVP arrived in Edinburgh to advise my Head of Operations he had been successful in application and as such, he subsequently left Edinburgh the very next day, which leaves a big hole in my operation.This coincides with my negative contractual discussions and as such, is the last straw.In my grievance, I can summarise all the serious of acts that have taken place, but may I ask the question,... due to me being so stressed and upset at recent events, in which I am not my formal self, what is the risk if I do not raise a grievance and go straight to resignation with subsequent claim for Constructive Dismissal?I really appreciate your advice Ben, your service is amazing and so valued.Beverly
Customer: replied 26 days ago.
Sorry, I should have clarified,..When I arrived, my Head of Operations was leading a broken station,... and as such, he was offered another position which he accepted. I then brought into my operation another Head of Operations which was always temporary as he lived in Manchester and commuted to Edinburgh, as I did, and hotel accommodation was paid for. This person had agreed to stay with me until at least April/May'18 however this has been snatched from me. My opinion is we always knew the VP was going to be put on Garden Leave, (I had this conversation with the COO on/around Dec'17) therefore why did my SVP not give me prior notice so that I could arrange 'shadow' cover ,.. I was told we were not aware VP was going to be put on Garden Leave last week!!! Of course I understand being politically correct however we all know reality.

Hello Beverly, raising a grievance is not a mandatory requirement and constructive dismissal can still be pursued without you having raised a grievance. The grievance is really there in cases where a resolution is potentially on the cards, as it gives both parties the chance to work through their issues and try to come to an amicable resolution. If the trust and confidence have been broken beyond repair, then often it would be pointless to pursue a grievance as there won’t be anything the employer can do to resolve this. In these circumstances you can ignore the grievance process and proceed to resignation and a potential claim.