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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50157
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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i am a site manager in secondary school, i have worked in this

Customer Question

i am a site manager in secondary school, i have worked in this school since 1991 when i started as a caretaker, over the years i have accepted more and more responsibility that some 10 years ago i was made site manager , i am responsible for the H/S in the school the cleaning which i run from in house/ the small maintenance of the school/ i also deal with the contractors for the larger items , my head teacher is about to leave at the end of this term my bursar will be leaving in app 1 year, since last September i have been under pressure to resign i am 60 now, i was asked in September if i knew what i wanted to do retirement wise at that point i was told that they were not happy with my performance and that they were going to progress manage me , i was unhappy with this but agreed, this has now been dropped, i have now been given 3 choices 1/redundancy 2/back to progress management 3/ accept a job as cleaning supervisor below the people that i managed , they have told me that that they would like to employ a facility's manager ,any extra responsibility i did not apply for nor was i trained in any aspects but accepted readily to help the school , i have a tied accommodation with my job , they today have told me that they are worried about my health (i need a new knee) and that if i do not accept then thing could end badly for me, my Q is are they bullying me into accepting their wish or can they do what they want with my job my home my family i have done nothing else but work hard for this school sometimes 365 days a year i do have my union involved but feel i would like to sue them do i have a leg to stand on
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Before proceeding please note that as I am a practising solicitor, I am often in and out of meetings, travelling between clients or even at court when I pick your question up. This may even occur at weekends. Therefore, I apologise in advance but there may be a delay in getting back to you and providing my advice. Please be patient and I will respond as soon as I can. You do not have to wait here and you will receive an email when I have responded. For now please let me know what you would like to sue them for.

JACUSTOMER-cvgk3yfh- :

possible bulling in the work place / if i was to lose my job constructive dismissal, i feel that all that i have done in the past has been good for the school as all thjat i was asked for is in ploace and allways has been

Ben Jones :

The employer cannot just chop and change your job and whilst they can take performance measures if they genuinely believe there are concerns about your performance, but even then they would have to justify these, especially if they take formal action against you.

Generally, the reasonableness of such disciplinary action or even dismissal would be measured against the following criteria:

  • Did the employee know what was required of them;
  • Did the employer take steps to minimise the risk of poor performance;
  • Was a proper appraisal conducted and was the problem identified;
  • Were training, supervision and encouragement provided;
  • Did the employer warn the employee of the consequences of failing to improve;
  • Did they give the employee the chance to improve;
  • Did the employer consider alternative employment.

They also cannot really go down the redundancy route unless there was a genuine redundancy and I am not sure there is one here.

I am concerned about their comments that you have basically been threatened that things could end up badly for you if you do not accept one of their options. This can indeed be bullying and a general breach of trust and confidence between you and the employer.

Resigning and claiming constructive dismissal is an option but that is not always an easy claim to win. Instead if you were to be dismissed by them you could claim unfair dismissal which is generally seen as a more easy claim to make. At any point you can also raise a formal grievance to have this matter dealt with internally, but in a formal way.

JACUSTOMER-cvgk3yfh- :

Ben are you saying that i can start a formal grievance against them and if so could they not suspend me or make my life a misery

Ben Jones : Yes you can start a grievance whenever you want, that is your legal right. You should not be treated detrimentally for deciding to go down that route. If that happens then at least you will have further grounds to consider the constructive dismissal route
Ben Jones :

I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating - your question will not close and I can continue providing further advice if necessary. Thank you