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james bruce
james bruce, Solicitor-Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 7551
Experience:  Owner at James Bruce Solicitors
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I'm looking for some advise with an employment issue and

Customer Question

Hi I'm looking for some advise with an employment issue and just need to know where I stand. Is that something you can help with?
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: In Sheffield, South Yorkshire
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: None. My employer as a made me a with out prejudice offer of demotion today and has advised that if I don't take it they will have to start disciplinary action
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: Not that I can think of
Submitted: 15 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  james bruce replied 15 days ago.
Hello, I hope you are well. My name is***** am a solicitor advocate and  I will be assisting you with your question today. I am very sorry to hear of the problem you are experiencing and I will do my best to help you with this matter. 

Expert:  james bruce replied 15 days ago.

Can I please ask you to give me some more detailed information regarding this matter so as to allow me to work with you and help resolve your enquiry.

Has the employer said what the disciplinary matter would be in connection with?

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
It would be for poor performance. Iv been with the company for nearly 12 years. I went on maternity leave in September 2020, when I returned I asked to reduce my contract to part time. My Employer agreed to reducing to 3 days per week however I really struggled with the work load to increased to working 4 days per week in January 2022. I have recently been been on annual leave for 2 weeks and the day before I finished, I had an informal chat with the CEO and MD who asked me to think about stepping down from being the Finance Manager back to Accounts Assistant. On my return to work this morning they asked for another informal chat and advised that they have found some errors in my work whilst Iv been on annual leave. They have offered a £5000 pay decrease and advised they would have to go down the disciplinary route if I don't accept
Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Iv never had an kind of disciplinary taken against so really unsure what would happen if I don't except, could it result in been sacked? The errors iv made are around invoicing clients too little as I missed some increases in the subscriptions we have been charged.
Expert:  james bruce replied 15 days ago.

From what you have explained it may be that the level and quantity of work cannot be carried out under part-time working conditions.

Obviously being a mother does take a strain on you and that could be affecting the work.

As a possibility, would returning to full time hours resolve the work problems?or would that not wrk for you family wise?

Or, could 3-4 days office and the rest working form home be a compromise?

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
It wouldn't work for family wise, with the cost of child care it wouldn't be worth it for us. I have the option to work from home but would still need child care so wouldn't make a difference
Customer: replied 15 days ago.
They also advised that my current role is no longer available for me
Expert:  james bruce replied 15 days ago.


If your current role is no longer available, it looks as if they are trying to use a disciplinary threat to avoid possible redundancy option.

If you do not want to take the reduction, then ask them about redundancy if the position is no longer there.

Another option if you feel they are being heavy handed, and possibly trying to wriggle their way out of redundancy, could be for you to resign and inform them you feel no option but to claim "constructive dismissal"

That may make them thing twice.

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
They haven't said the role is no longer available, just that it no longer available for me. If I don't accept the reduction and they go down the disciplinary, would that mean I would be sacked?
Customer: replied 15 days ago.
If I'm been honest I really don't want to claim construction dismissal. I have worked for the company for a long time and would hate to leave on that basis.
Expert:  james bruce replied 15 days ago.

The if the role is not there for you how can they make a with out prejudice offer, it sounds as if they have made their minds up on dismissal even before holding any hearing?

As you dont what to take acting against  them, then the options open are to accept the reduction or go to a disciplinary which sounds as if they have already made their decision on.

Expert:  james bruce replied 15 days ago.

There is an alternative if you did not want to take action, but did not want to be demoted and would rather leave, and that is a compromise agreement, where you would tender your notice on an agreed settlement figure and take no action against them.

Expert:  james bruce replied 15 days ago.

Can I assist or clarify anything further?

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
How would I go about raising a compromise agreement. If that something a solicitor would need to put together for me?
Expert:  james bruce replied 15 days ago.

Yes, normally an employer would offer this, but an  employee can put the offer to the employer as well. It would be drafted and expired by a solicitor. Normally if an employer issues the compromise offer, the employee is required to seek legal advice before signing the agreement and that is paid for by the employer.

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Thank you for all your advise
Expert:  james bruce replied 15 days ago.

Your very welcome.

Good luck with what you decide.

Thank you for using Just Answer and for allowing me to assist you with your legal enquiry. I am pleased I was able to be of assistance. Please do not hesitate to come back to me for further advice on this or any other legal matter. It will be my pleasure to be able to assist you again.