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Jenny Mackenzie
Jenny Mackenzie,
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 6264
Experience:  Over 10 years experience in general legal matters
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Recently, a colleague was promoted from senior consultant (my

Resolved Question:

Recently, a colleague was promoted from senior consultant (my grade) to manager. The facts:

1. The job he was promoted to was not advertised either internally or externally, thus denying me the chance to apply for it

2. No announcement of this promotion was made for at least 10 days after I found out when my colleague made a presentation that included his new job title

3. On the face of it, both me and my colleague are similarly qualified, although I actually have much more experience in this company ? he joined 6 months ago, I have be there for two spells totalling 9 years

4. He is much younger than me (I am 50, he is early thirties)

5. He is French, as is my old boss, as is the COO (who explicitly agreed this promotion apparently)

6. My (old) boss and my (newly promoted) colleague have worked together before

7. I have emailed my old boss for an explanation of his reasoning. After 10 days, he has not replied.

My questions are:

Re 1 ? is this legal, or can an employer effectively promote who they like?

Re 3-6 ? I can understand why the promotion was made but this to me smacks of favouritism with a hint of ?racism? (or at least favouring one nationality over another) and/or ageism

It is clear I should raise a grievance (not least because of points 2 and 7 above), but part of me thinks what is the point as (a) I can hardly discuss it with my boss (as he is the newly promoted person) or (b) his boss (as he made the promotion) or (c) the COO (my boss?s boss) as he is clearly complicit in the promotion (re point 5 above).

We have no formal HR department. Hence, what are my rights?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Jenny Mackenzie replied 6 years ago.

Ok the basic position is that there is no legal requirement to advertise a job. A company is legally entitled to employ whomsoever it wishes into a role provided that in so doing so it does not discriminate on the basis of age, race (including nationality), religion, sex, disability or trade union membership.


You do have an argument that this promotion discriminates against you on both of the grounds you highlighted. The good news is that you do not have to resign to claim at the employment tribunal on this basis. You may however feel uncomfortable in your employment if you resign without doing so.


You will be criticised if you bring a claim without attempting to raise matters internally. Despite the fact that there may be an element of bias with your manager's manager the grievance should initially be addressed to him. If satisfactory reasons (which are non-discriminatory) are not given then you may claim at the employment tribunal using the form you will find at


I would be grateful if you would press ACCEPT if you have found my answer useful. I will then leave the question open to answer your follow on questions for free.

Edited by Jenny Mackenzie on 9/21/2010 at 6:58 PM EST
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