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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Employment Law
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I have two managers working for me in a similar area; a sales

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I have two managers working for me in a similar area; a sales manager who manages a team of ten and a customer services/communications manager who manages one person. I would like the customer services/comms manager to report to the sales manager rather than me, the MD, so as to simplify my input. I would just have a a sales manager, an operations manager and a finance manager reporting to me, with twenty one staff reporting to them. There is no written contract for the customer services manager. Can this be done without fear of being sued if the customer service/comms manager doesn't like it?

Ben Jones : Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long has he been reporting to you?
Customer: She's been with the company for about fourteen months and in her current role for almost exactly a year.
Ben Jones : How will the changes impact this person, would her authority be undermined for example?
Customer: She would still manage the one person but she would need to take direction from the sales manager.
Ben Jones : are the two roles currently interacting?
Customer: Yes, but badly. Customer services really needs to come under sales for it to function properly. At the moment they clash. There needs to be one decision maker.
Ben Jones : The fact that there is no written contract for this person will be an advantage, although you have to consider how this change will impact on their job. They could, for example, have implied terms of employment if they have been doing a specific job for a period of time and changing these could amount to a change to their contract. However, if the changes are not serious enough and do not substantially impact their job and the way it is conducted, it could be justified.My main worry here would be whether changing their line of reporting would undermine their authority. For example, if the two jobs were at the same level and suddenly they had to report to their equals in the workplace, that could be seen as a serious enough change for the to challenge it. So it really depends on how serious this change would appear to their specific job
Customer: So, as an option if I created a new position of Sales and Marketing Director would that solve that issue?
Ben Jones : Yes that could be an option - would you then promote the sales manager in it?
Customer: Could I do that without any fallout?
Ben Jones : Would the services/comms manager be suitable for this role as well?
Customer: Not in my opinion. The sales manager has her tribe. She has a team devoted to her. She has industry experience, knows the products, knows the customers, has restructured the whole department. It's her show really. The services/comms manager has no industry experience, doesn't understand the products etc etc.
Ben Jones : ok if that is the case and she can't complain she was not considered for a job she believes she was suitable for, you can create this new job without considering her for it and 'promote' the sales manager, behind th guise of this restructue
Customer: So I don't have to advertise the job internally then? I don't believe that anyone else within the business is capable of doing the job.
Ben Jones : There is no legal requirement to advertise it
Customer: So, just in case the service/comms manager did kick up a fuss about not being considered, is it enough to say I did consider you but decided that you weren't suitable for these reasons?
Ben Jones : if you can objectively justify this then yes you can use this as a reason
Customer: I think I have enough evidence of why she is not capable of doing the job to make it work. So, once the new role has been created would I then just be able to ask the service/comms manager to report to the Sales and Marketing Director?
Ben Jones : yes
Customer: Thanks Ben. You've been most helpful!
Ben Jones : My pleasure. Please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service I have provided you with as that is an important part of our process. Thank you
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