hello, i have resigned from my post of senior recovery officer at a local authority where i had a worked for 13 years as loyal member. The authority is going to outsourcing most of its departments & prior to the outsourcing they have bought in consultants who have no idea & have put me & other manager at risk of redunancy due to restucturing our dept. In this process i was assimulated into a new team leader role without being interview. I refused to take this post as throughout my consultation I had requested that the other team leader postion should be ringfenced to ensure the right experience & knowledge was bought in. They refused to listen & bought in someone of no experience. The person who was bought in was previously managed by the new manager. My manager & the new managers role were made into one & my manager is no longer in post. She in turn wanted her own manager in regardless of what is best for the service to work. I asked to step down & they offered to me paid resignation verbally which i refused as i wanted to step down into a lower role which i thought would be pay protected. From this minute they have sent me harrassing bullying emails. On the day i asked them to step down at 15.51 i got an email to say either take the role on or i would have basically resigned as i was offered a the team leaders role. They also offered me the lower post but with no pay protection & informed me that if they did not hear from me by the end of the day they would assume i have not changed my mind & will appoint someone else as a team leader. Although now they are saying they would given me time to think they did not write that in the email as they wanted someone in place as they had a course on the following day on leadership & managing change. I at this point did not change my mind but found the email to be bullying, intimidating & harrasing. I on the 3rd July decided in haste & due to the time given to me I had made the wrong decision & handed in my resignation as a senior & advised them that i did not want to step down into the lower role but wanted to take the original offer of resignation with paid notice. At the same time they had written to me with lies & i addressed this with them by email. On the 6th July i got an email to advise if i wanted to resign i would get paid at senior level til 8th July & then get paid at the lower level as i handed in my resignation as a local taxation officer from the 9th July. I had not resigned at the lower post & they denied ever saying i would get paid notice. I rtn to work on the 9th July not knowing where i stood as it was too late for union to find out last minute on Friday & they were looking into it. In the meantime i was told to move desk & advised of my new manager. I emailed them back that i had resigned as a senior & as far as i was concerned i should be working notice at the higher pay & informed her to treat me with respect & dignity i deserved until matters with union were sorted out. She replied advising me that she only asked me to move as she thought I had retnd at the lower role & asked me what capacity i had returned. the union advised me not to reply. I have been sick since yesterday & the union came back advising me that they have advised that there is another role which i cld apply to which would suit me. I advised the union I felt not wanted & that they could have advised me of the role on the two occasions they wrote to me if they really wanted my knowledge & experience but are only asking me to consider that role (still i would have to apply for it & not guaranteed i would get it) as the union has got involved. I have quite of lot of evidence which i have gathered re my attempt to consult with them & their lies. Can you please advise me if i do have a case for constuctive dismissal or not.
Province/Country relating to question: London
Union are looking into getting me out with paid notice but they do not feel i have a case for constructive dismissal & would like to get a second opinion the matter. Thank you
Hello and thank you for your question, which I will be happy to assist you with. Please let me know if the lower role was supposed to be a permanent alternative instead of redundancy?
it was a permanent alternative, their were no redunancies as anyone who was successful would be assimulated down to a lower role with pay protection, the only difference with me is that i was naturally assimulated in the the higher team leaders post which i did not want so they saw it as resigning but offered me the lower role with no pay protection at the last minute
ok let me get my answer ready please
will u be much longer? If so, i will carry on with some housework & rtn later to view you answer.
only a few mins, sorry should have said you can come back at any time
When a redundancy situation arises, an employer has a duty to search for and offer the affected employees suitable alternative employment (“SAE”) in order to avoid having to make them redundant. This could be a job within the same company or any associated companies.
If an employee accepts the offer of SAE, then they will be treated as not having been dismissed, their employment will continue in the new position and they would lose their entitlement to a redundancy payment.
If they refuse the offer of SAE, they would only lose their entitlement to redundancy pay if it is deemed that the offer was suitable for them and their refusal was unreasonable. However, if the offer was unsuitable and the refusal was reasonable, they would keep their entitlement to redundancy pay and could still opt for redundancy.
The factors that would make an offer unsuitable or a refusal reasonable are as follows:
So as you can see there are a number of factors that would make an alternative offer unsuitable, in which case it can be rejected and a claim made for redundancy pay instead. It is of course up to the individual employee to consider whether they wish to accept the offer or reject it but the above are the basic principles taken into account in such situations.
So the issue here is whether the employer acted fairly in the circumstances and offered you the suitable opportunities which were available and would have reasonably been expected of them. This is very much a question of fact and something that would depend on the circumstances. You are better placed than me to decide whether what was really available was offered to you. If it was not, then that is when you have a potential case to take this matter further.
As to constructive dismissal this occurs when the following two elements are present:
There are many examples of what can amount to a serious breach of contract (e.g. not being paid, changing terms and conditions, etc.). A common breach is also when an employer has broken the implied contractual term not to undermine trust and confidence (e.g. when the employer’s actions have directly broken that trust, or when others, whom the employer is responsible for, have broken that trust). 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 employer may be approached on a without prejudice basis (i.e. off the record) to try and discuss the possibility of leaving under a compromise agreement. Under a compromise 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.
As a final point, you should be aware that constructive dismissal is traditionally a difficult claim to win as the burden of proof is entirely on the employee to show that the legal test as described above has been met, which in practice is not always easy to accomplish. As such, constructive dismissal should always be used as a last resort. However now that you have resigned you have nothing to lose from taking this matter forward.
thank you for your response. But what i really want to know is whether there is any point of taking the case forward if i do not have a strong chance of winning. As far as i am concerned they have also treated me differently to the other senior. She too was assimulated into the seniors role & took the role on, she later also resigned from the post for own reasons but she is being paid at a senior level, so i am not sure why they tried to treat me differently, yes i choose to step down but also changed my mind & decided to resign. Also they say that the new role is a direct replacement of the old role. I do no think it is. My old role said i was one of four seniors in the department of 20 officers the new role said i had direct responsibility of 14 staff. Even though i would not have 14 my whole point was that in the future i could have when the dept gets privatised. Yes, my trust has been broken. I am aware that constructive dismissal is traditionally a difficult claim & thats why i wanted to know as to whether I had a strong enough case to put forward to the employment tribunal. The union has said they do not think I have & I would not want to take it forward unless i have a strong case as i could be ploughing money in for nothing. Do you think i have a strong enough case otherwise
It would be unprofessional to give you prospects of success based on the limited information I have. To be able to do that a solicitor would need to sit down with you and conduct a full case analysis, looking through all documents, etc. You do not need to 'plough' money into this just yet - a claim is free to make and you do not necessarily need a lawyer to take this forward for you so it can be done very cheaply. If you did want to get a lawyer they would conduct a case analysis before they take this on anyway and then you would have a better idea of whether this is worth taking forward, without having spent much
Expert in UK Employment Law
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