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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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I work american company (based in the UK, employed by

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I work for an american company (based in the UK, employed by UK organisation) and am being progressively & significantly demoted in my job by my US manager. I have a C level technical position and am being pushed into a sales role with possible change to salary structure. They have stated that the C level role no longer exists. This has occurred since I broke my leg badly in March this year and have spent 6months unable to travel due to external traction and being wheelchair bound. Where might I stand on this issue?
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked there for?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

two and a half years

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 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. 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. There is a time limit of 3 months from the date of resignation to submit a claim in the employment tribunal. 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. Just to make a final, yet important point, that constructive dismissal can be a difficult claim to win as the burden of proof is entirely on the employee to show the required elements of a claim were present. Therefore, it should only be used as a last resort. 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
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your response. That confirms where I thought I would stand. Agree constructive dismissal not way to go having dealt with these before. One final question on without prejudice discussions - if these are held verbally what's the deal? Is it appropriate to set up a call with managers stating it is without prejudice in the invite? How should this be handled?

Yes generally they would be held verbally in a meeting with your employer. Although it is entirely possible to do them in writing too. The best is to ask for a meeting with them, or if you are raising a grievance you could do it at the grievance hearing they will hold. But doing over a phone call is entirely acceptable too. And before you start the discussions you should tell them that you are doing so on a without prejudice basis as you are basically trying to settle this matter with them. Hope this clarifies?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes, thanks. You've been most helpful. Lastly, would you hold this initial discussion with HR or simply with Management in the first instance? I'll close off the question with rating after that. Thx

Management initially but they could later involve HR if necessary
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