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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50202
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I work , . I went on an overseas deployment in

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I work for the XXX, XXX. I went on an overseas deployment in 2012 and have just finished. The following has happened with all decisions made by the area business manager, a woman and single mother. 1. I am a single mother. I deployed without my children in order to set up childcare etc, leaving my kids behind for 10 weeks. The posting was based in XXXwith travel to XXX. The XXX then denied my return to the XXX to collect my two children (then aged 6 and 8). This was eventually resolved by my line manager who exchanged their two business class tickets for three economy ones enabling me to return. My argument at the time was had I a spouse, they would be paying for his ticket regardless. This was very distressing at the time and unnecessary and clearly, in my view, unreasonable. 2. She refused my request for a familiarisation visit in 2012. However, my successor has been granted one (she is white, no kids, I am asian with two). 3. Though based in XXXX (and therefore entitled to the XXX hardship allowance), I travelled frequently to XXX in XXX. I was working for the XXXXXXX XXXXXXXX. The same XXX unilaterally denied my request for hardship allowance for the days that I spent in XXXX. It took TWO years for again, my line manager, to put a business case and have the payment made (nearly 10K before tax). The XXX decision was not reasonable as this is an allowance that is paid to all XXX (and indeed XXX ) employees on such postings. 4. Having just finished my posting, the same XXX  made a decision to remove my COLA for Kenya without discussing the arrangements that had been made between myself and my line manager in order for me to do a handover in September to my successor. I therefore received £2000 less than I was expecting. She said on the phone she hadn't been able to get hold of my line manager but had no answer when I asked why didn't email or call me to get the dates when I would be working etc during that leave period. Line managers in the XXX try to avoid the XXX when making certain decisions as there is an understanding that she is unhelpful to put it mildly. In my case as an asian single mother, I was told by a senior manager that she was jealous of me and that she, as a single mother, had a problem with what I was proposing to do in taking my two children to do this. There is a XXXXlawyer who suffered similar, seemingly arbitrary decisions made by her that resulted in him eventually not renewing his posting in XXX Do I have anything that looks like a case? I have left the XXX now but feel that she has financially and emotionally taken a toll on me.

Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long did you work there for and when did you leave?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Ben

I've worked for XXX since 2005.

I'm still technically employed there but start a career break of 12 months on the 8th October.

Thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and will get back to you as soon as possible. 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. There are a couple of possible options here and I will discuss each one separately.
First of all this may have amounted 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 in turn treats the contract of employment as at an end. The employee must act in response to the breach and must not delay any action too long.
A common breach by the employer occurs when it, or its employees, have broken the implied contractual term of trust and confidence. The conduct relied on could be a 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).
The affected employee would initially be expected to raise a formal grievance in order to officially bring their concerns to the employer's attention and give them an opportunity to try and resolve them. If the issues are so bad that the employee can't even face raising a grievance and going through the process, or if a grievance has been raised but has been unsuccessful, then they can consider resigning straight away.
If resignation appears to be the only option, it must be done without unreasonable delay so as not to give an impression that the employer's breach had been accepted. Any resignation would normally be with immediate effect and without providing any notice period. It is advisable to resign in writing, stating the reasons for the resignation and that this is being treated as constructive dismissal. This is my main concern though as these issues have all occurred over the space of a few years and you may have left it a bit too late to actually do anything about it in terms of seeking constructive dismissal. The longer the issues go on for and you do not formally challenge them through a grievance, resigning or any other similar actions, the more likely it would be that you may be seen as having accepted the situation.
In terms of potential discrimination, you will have to show that you were treated detrimentally because of your race. However, it is no good just saying ’I am Asian and therefore I was discriminated because of this’ – you must be able to show that the employer’s actions were as a result of this, rather than it just being a coincidence. Also there is only a 3 month time limit from the date the alleged discriminatory behaviour occurred so you may be out of time anyway to claim this.
An alternative way out is to approach the employer on a 'without prejudice' basis (i.e. off the record) to try and discuss the possibility of leaving under a settlement agreement. Under a settlement agreement, the employee gets compensated for leaving the company and in return promises not to make any claims against the employer in the future. It is essentially a clean break, although the employer does not have to agree to it so it will be subject to negotiation. In any event, there is nothing to lose by raising this possibility with them because you cannot be treated detrimentally for suggesting it and it would not be used against you.
I trust this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page). If for any reason you are unhappy with my response or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
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