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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 73959
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I work in a nursery since 2017. Was working as a trainee

Customer Question

Hello, I work in a nursery since 2017. Was working as a trainee completing my level 3 qualification. When I completed this course I was told by my tutor that my pay would go up due to being a higher level. When I qualified as a level 3 I said to then manager about pay going up and she declined what I was saying. I’ve got my documents to say that I had a change of qualification which states trainee to level 3 nursery nurse. A couple months ago my new manager questioned what pay I was on and told me this was incorrect and in fact I should’ve been on level 3 nursery nurse pay and that it worked out that I was owed 70 weeks pay of a level 3 which works out to be quite a lot of money I’ve missed out on. But she said because I was on the minimum wage their is nothing they could do to return this money and that the old manager didn’t send my change of qualification to HR. Just want to know whether I have a case to ask for back pay that I am owed. Thank you
JA: Have you discussed this with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: yes
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: employee
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: no thank you
Submitted: 22 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 22 days ago.

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Customer: replied 22 days ago.
Hello, that’s okay
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 22 days ago.

Please clarify when you completed the course? and how much would you say you are owed in total please?

Customer: replied 22 days ago.
On my change of qualification it says 29/8/2019. And my new manger worked it out to be around £4000
Customer: replied 22 days ago.
Is there any more information you need?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 22 days ago.

Thank you. Please do not worry and leave it with me for now; I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can which will be at some point today. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 22 days ago.

Many thanks for your patience, I am pleased to be able to continue assisting with your query now. Can I just check if there is an official right to get the pay rise, such as anything in your contract which says that once you reach that level your pay goes up, or any other formal contractual policy?

Customer: replied 22 days ago.
I’ll have a look into my contract to try and find anything official. But I was always told that we get paid for our qualifications. Since my new manager said about my pay she has now put me on a better hourly rate. But just wanted to know if there’s anything I can do to get the back pay
Customer: replied 22 days ago.
Would you like to see the change of qualification paperwork I have?
Customer: replied 22 days ago.
This is my contract I was on at the time
Customer: replied 22 days ago.
This is the change of details my new manager did for me. To correct my pay at the time. That was 1/1/21
Customer: replied 22 days ago.
This is my new contract I’m on now. Sorry for spamming. Hope this helps
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 22 days ago.

Thank you. My main concern here is the lack of anything official which guarantees you the increase in pay as soon as you get a new qualification. Ideally, you would have wanted a specific term in your contract, or an official policy which states that the pay will automatically increase when that happens and there would be no doubt then of what you could have expected contractually. Also, the employer’s failure to follow that would have made it a breach of contract.

What you are relying on here is a verbal promise which was not in any way confirmed in writing officially and to legally challenge them over it you will find it riskier than if it was a specific clause in your contract.

You can still try and argue that the verbal promise were of a contractual nature but only a court can decide if that is the case. Instead of going down that route, I suggest you pursue it with the employer internally, such as through a formal grievance.

You can get a detailed explanation of the grievance process here:

https://www.acas.org.uk/grievance-procedure-step-by-step

In summary, an employee is expected to submit their concerns in writing and send them to their line manager, or whoever is nominated as the person to send grievances to under an official workplace grievance policy.

The complaint should include details of what the grievance is about, any evidence that may exist which is relevant and also what the employee wants their employer to do about this issue.

Once the grievance has been submitted, the employer is expected to arrange a formal grievance hearing, inviting the employee to attend and discuss the nature of their complaint. The meeting is also as an opportunity to ask for further clarification or information, as required.

Following the meeting, the employer will take time to consider all the issues and evidence and then make a decision, communicating it to the employee. If the outcome is not to the complainant’s satisfaction, they can appeal and get a second opinion from a different person assigned by the employer to consider the appeal. Once the appeal is also completed, that brings to an end the formal grievance process and there is no option to escalate it further internally.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 22 days ago.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

Customer: replied 22 days ago.
Thank you for your help!
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 22 days ago.

You are most welcome. If you have any further questions about this then please do not hesitate to get back to me and I will be glad to help. All the best