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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50511
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I have been a PA to a CEO in the same company for 14 years

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I have been a PA to a CEO in the same company for 14 years with the same CEO. Last year, we had a new CEO come in and since then we ha e had 40 members of staff leave through varying reasons.
My situation now, is the CEO is pretty self sufficient and does most of his work himself, despite me asking to assist where I can to offload some pressure from him. The work I used to do, has now been taken over by a new HR Director, and I am sat with nothing to do.
I had a meeting with the HR director in April explaining my concerns that I am being under utilised, not appreciated, and feel I am being pusded out of my job. I indicated a few points to her in the meeting as to why I am feeling this way. She asked me to forward a list of work I would like to do, after having already done this to the new CEO. However, I did as she asked. ~I suggested I would be happy to work for the other directors in the company too, changing my role from PA to Executive Assistant.
An Exec Meeting was had a week later and my role was discussed. HR informed me that she was going to speak with each individual director and come up with a job description for me which would then keep me very busy, which I was obviously happy with.
Today, I had another meeting with the HR director as nothing has come forward. I have given her to the end of May to come up with a job description for me.
I am very stressed and depressed at present sitting with nothing to do and feel I am being forced into looking for another job.
Can you advise if I have a case for constructive dismissal please?
Kind regards
Sue

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

So after your meeting today, did they say whether they would be able to come up with something?

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
She said she would speak with the directors again and come back to me next week. I have to keep putting pressure on to get any information though. It seems as though I am put on the back burner and being forgotten about.

OK thank you for your response. Leave it with me for now and I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you as soon as I can. Please do not respond to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you

Many thanks for your patience. In the circumstances, the employer should have really be looking at making you redundant and offering you suitable alternative employment in the process. Therefore, if any other suitable work had come up you could have considered it and taken it in order to avoid redundancy. However, if there was nothing else that was suitable, it should have resulted in redundancy.

The issue is that you cannot force the employer to go through a redundancy process and if they fail to do so, leaving you doing very little in the process, you may eventually have to consider going down the constructive dismissal route.

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.

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.

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 steps you need to follow if you were going to claim. 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

Ben Jones and 2 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

Thank you. Before a person can make a claim in the employment tribunal, they would be required to participate in mandatory early conciliation through the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS).

The purpose of this process is to allow ACAS to mediate between the claimant and respondent to agree on an out of court settlement in order to avoid the need for legal action in tribunal. The respondent does not have to engage in these discussions, or if they do and the talks are unsuccessful, the claimant will be issued with a certificate allowing them to make a claim.

However, if a settlement is reached, the claimant would agree not to proceed with the claim in return for the agreed financial settlement. Other terms can also be agreed as part of the settlement, such as an agreed reference.

To initiate the conciliation procedure ACAS can be contacted online by filling in the following form (https://ec.acas.org.uk/Submission/SingleClaimantPage), or by phone on 0300(###) ###-####

If the conciliation process was not successful and you then wanted to make a formal claim in tribunal, you can do so here:

https://www.employmenttribunals.service.gov.uk/apply