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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 22386
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
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Can a company change your job title to fit another layer of

Customer Question

Can a company change your job title to fit another layer of management above your. Giving them your old title?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: UK Employment Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 7 months ago.

Can you exchange your situation a little more please? As much detail as you have is really useful please.

Please bear with me today and over the weekend in general because I will be online and off-line spasmodically and therefore, may not get back to me. Thank you

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I was employed as global category manager reporting into global category director and then the CPO. Now our category has been merged into another umbrella of categories. My role reports into a global category manager (my previous title) who reports into the umbrella global category director then CPO. I appear to have moved down a level. My boss left (for other personal reasons) but told me before she left that I would still be global category manager same grade but would report into another global category manager (managing the whole team) this is fine. However, I just saw a presentation to the whole team with an org chart stating I am a global lead buyer and was very much not given my normal autonomy to run my category during the meeting. Am I being pedantic or should I be bothered by this?
Expert:  Stuart J replied 7 months ago.

Thank you. So, in effect, you have the same money and benefits but a different title and your title has been given to a new position which is now immediately above yours?

Is that the situation?

If so, and thinking of your old title, has anyone else had the same title that you had and had this thrust upon them? Of course, it may be that you are the only person at that level in which case you would be the only one affected.

This might sound a bit of a basic question but I’m going to ask it anyway and that is, why didn’t they just invent another title for the person that was inserted into the food chain, above you?

Ignoring for a moment whether you’re being pedantic or not forgetting the titles and any kudos, what are you actually concerned about and what ultimately do you want the employer to do about it?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
there was another in the same position. We are both in the travel category. My concern is that we are now a lower position under the new category director. He has four global category managers below him and now we are below this. Effectively being demoted below our colleagues in a different category. My promotion plan now has two steps to director not one.
Expert:  Stuart J replied 7 months ago.

Thank you.

The employer is allowed to make reasonable adjustments to your employment provided it does not fundamentally change the job or your status or income or location.

I appreciate there is probably a change of status here.

You would be entitled to raise a grievance with the employer for unreasonably changing the terms of your contract. They have inserted another rung in the promotion ladder.

However the bad news is that if your employer will simply not play ball and they simply tell you that’s how it is like it or leave it, your only recourse is to take them to a tribunal for breach of contract. You cannot beat them with a stick until they move you upwards or change the reporting structure.

If they have inserted this extra layer across the board and not singled you out, then it may be a necessary operational change.

If you think they’ve done it to make you leave or do some way of bullying you, then you have a claim for constructive dismissal if you feel that you no longer wish to work there as a result of this change.

You don’t have a claim for constructive dismissal if you have not worked at the employer for more than 2 years.

As there seem to be at least 2 of you in this situation, then it is possible they could justify this as being necessary for operational reasons and that the only effect on you would be the promotion ladder having an extra rung. Whether that is important to you are not would really depend on the realistic likelihood that you would ever climb to the top of the ladder or whether the extra rung does make that big a difference.

Expert:  Stuart J replied 7 months ago.

Hello again. Can I assist you any further with this? Would a telephone call help? I will submit a Premium Service proposal for you.

When you have a second, can you please make sure that use the rating service so that I get credit for my time. We can follow anything arising still. Thank you. Kind regards

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