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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 49813
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Dear Sir/Madam, At the Shopping Centre, where my colleagues

Customer Question

Dear Sir/Madam,
At the Shopping Centre, where my colleagues and I work We have a tyrannical new Centre Manager of 6 months.
This manager we have heard wants to get rid of the existing Security Staff and replace us with someone else, even though we, the existing staff have been at the centre for years, I myself have devoted my life to the Centre in one way or another for nearly 6 and a half years of a 13 and a half year retail security career, one of my other colleagues has been here for 22 since the Centre opened, others 15, 8 and 3 years respectively.
Between us there is not an inch or any aspect of Centre daily operations that we are not familiar with.
Yet the manager, with the help of the regional HR Manager of the contracted company that we work for and the newcomer of 10 months who has been made security supervisor, are determined to prove by collusion with the Centre Manager with what we can only describe as "incompetence" (we trained him in Centre Operations).
It seems like day after day we are now required to do more and more tasks that have been specifically set up to entrap us.
I would like to say at this point that my colleagues and I are professionals that work well together and have worked tirelessly with the now retired Centre Manager who said at his leaving, that we were - (the best team that he had worked with).
The current operations manager, who works for the same company as the Centre Manager is in the same situation as us.
Sue as I will call her had a Disciplinary this morning conducted by her company, this "grilling" as one can only put it lasted for 4 hours, during we heard she was questioned and treated as an incompetent by her own bosses we believe purely on the say so of the Centre Manager.
We are also convinced that the Centre Manager is now grasping at straws to get something to use against us in her aims to get us "The Security Team" all removed from site, which for all of us would result in our never working again, the youngest being 50 years old, even though with the exception of one are all fitter than men 10 to 15 years younger.
We are all sick with worry over our futures, this is why I would like to ask that you keep this Email confidential please.
Reading this long and laborious story, would you say that this is a case of bullying and constructive dismissal, if she indeed succeeded in her aims, also what if anything could we do?
Yours Sincerely,
A Very Worried Security Officer
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Is the manager employed by the same employer as you or are they our employer's client?

I am just going offline unfortunately but will pick this up first thing tomorrow if that is ok, thanks

JACUSTOMER-mwixd5c9- :

The Centre Manager is employed by the Company who run the centre.

Ben Jones :

Good morning and thanks for your patience. From what I understand you are contracted to work at the centre, which is using your employer’s company to provide security services. The centre has its own manager, which is the root of the problems, but they are not actually employed by the same company as you.


If I have understood this correctly, then there will be some hurdles to go through in this situation because you cannot really claim for constructive dismissal or bullying as they are not in the same employment as you. Had this been a colleague that was employed by the same employer as you, then you could have considered these routes but as they are not working for the same employer, that would not be possible.


As far as the law stands, there are circumstances when an employer may feel forced to move or even dismiss an employee because of pressure from a third party. This pressure may come from a valued customer or from another third party that has a degree of influence over the employer, such as a supplier, the landlord of their premises, etc. Such a dismissal can be deemed fair because it would amount to 'some other substantial reason' (SOSR), which is one of the potentially fair reasons for dismissal allowed under the Employment Rights Act 1996.


It is generally accepted that the reason behind the third party's request is irrelevant and there is no requirement on the employer to establish the truth behind the allegations. What really matters is the how important the third party's continued business is to the employer and what risks there are to that relationship if the employer does not act as per the request.


For example, in the case of Dobie v Burns International Security Services, Mr Dobie was a security guard working for a contractor who supplied security staff to a Council. Friction developed between a senior Council employee and Mr Dobie, with the Council demanding his removal from their site. His employer eventually dismissed him. He made a claim against his employer, however he lost with the decision being that third party pressure to dismiss can amount to a fair reason for dismissal.


Employers must still act reasonably when taking action, in accordance with established employment principles and would need to undertake some form of investigation and hold a formal meeting. They should also consider whether there is any other alternative employment that can be offered to the employee instead of dismissing them because dismissal should only be seen as a last resort. However, in principle, such dismissals can be fair because they are not driven by the employer, but by a third party that the employer cannot influence the decision of. So consider all of the above when deciding on what you need to do next and how to handle this situation. I can answer any further questions you may have.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
Hello I understand you had problems viewing chat mode so I have ended that and switched to the more user-friendly Q&A mode. My posts should now be visible above. Please let me know if you have any queries or leave a rating if you are satisfied with my answer. Thank you