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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Employment Law
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Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Hi can you help. I feel that I am being singled out for less

Resolved Question:

Hi can you help. I feel that I am being singled out for less favourable treatment, bullying and harassment at work with the sole purpose that I should lose my job. I also feel that much of this is due to my age, I am 47 and the mangers involved are in their late 20’s early 30.
I work for a well known global consultancy. I have worked with them for 14 Months now. Last year was placed on a project for about 4.5 Months. The role was much more senior then I have been employed at and I had no previous experience or training in that role. Whilst I was working on the project I was not given any indication that my work was not up to standard. My manager at the time refused to meet with me. When he was promoted he threatened me saying that I did not stand a chance in hell of keeping my job with the company and rolled me of the project. Subsequently another manager was asked to provide feedback for me( even though he only head a limited knowledge of the work I did.) The written feedback was not to bad but the verbal feedback (which I have recorded) was shocking. He alleged I all ways blame others for my mistakes, I always make excuses, I rely on others to do my work, I am untrustworthy. He implied that I should move departments and even then he did not feel I was suitable to work for the company.
According to company policy I had six months to improve before any formal performance management process would kick in. I have improved my performance and have some excellent feedback from my current colleagues. Despite this and to my shock I was asked last week to see another senior executive from the old account about my performance. I was told i did not need to prepare for the meeting and I was not given an opportunity to be accompanied at the meeting. The meeting tuned out to be an interview after which this executive told me the company policy was ‘ up or out’ and I was not going up. He also told me the UK DC was involved and he has asked me to have 1:1 with the UK head of the department I work in. Although they keep saying they are trying to help me and that I am not on performance management it is clear to me that I am as the meetings focus on my previous experience and my time on the old project not on how I am doing now. HR are not giving me any support. I feel like I am being subjected to less favourable treatment bullied and harassed out of my job. To add to this as a result of some of the feedback they gave me I had an assessment done for dyslexia and it appears that I do suffer from dyslexia but I am to frightened to tell them as I feel they will use it as an excuse to terminate my employment. Can you give any advice?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: UK Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello and thank you for your question, which I will be happy to assist you with. Please let me know if you believe you may be dismissed soon?


Yes I feel it is iminant mut not sure when or how as oficialy I am not even on preformance mangemant and I am doing well in my new role.


Hi I need some more info before I can Accept

Ben Jones :

An employee's lack of capability or qualifications to do their job is a potentiality fair reason for dismissal under section 98(2)(a) of the Employment Rights Act 1996.


For the purposes of an unfair dismissal, "capability" should be assessed by reference to an employee's "skill, aptitude, health or any other physical or mental quality. The capability must also relate to the work that the employee was employed to do. A dismissal may be fair even if the employee is still able to do part of their job (as per Shook v London Borough of Ealing [1986] IRLR 46).


In order for a dismissal for poor performance to be fair, an employee must be warned that they need to improve, be given realistic targets for improvement within a realistic timescale and be offered appropriate training and/or support during the monitoring period.


Generally, the reasonableness of such dismissal would be measured against the following criteria:

  • Whether the employee knew what was required of them.

  • Whether the employer took steps to minimise the risk of poor performance.

  • Whether there was a proper appraisal of the employee and the problem was identified.

  • Whether it provided training, supervision and encouragement.

  • Whether it warned the employee of the consequences of failing to improve.

  • Whether it gave the employee a chance to improve.

  • In some cases, whether the employer considered alternative employment.


If you have any doubts about any of the above and believe that the employer has not followed a fair procedure, you have the option of appealing to the employer first before considering submitting a claim for unfair dismissal in an employment tribunal. There is a strict time limit of 3 months less a day from the date of dismissal to issue a claim and you need at least 1 year’s continuous service to qualify.


So if you believe that dismissal is imminent I strongly suggest you wait for that rather than resign because a claim for unfair dismissal is usually easier to win than one for constructive dismissal (where you are forced to resign first).



Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX accept that Answear. I just need some clarification. The employer knew that I did not have the Skills to do the role and it was not somthing I was employed to do. They were supposed to give me on the job coaching but my hireing manager went of sick so I did not get the coaching. The Objectives they set were set three months after I left the project so I had no way to achive them. They have threatebned to take me off my current project where I have improved and I am doing well. I also beleive I can show that my work is of good qualty despite my Dyslexia. They have other Employees with Dyslexia and I feel they could move me to an allternative role - Reasonable adjustment. I am thinking of following the companies informal greviance because i think i have been trated unfairly.


If I raise the greviance how does that effect my case. If they don't oficially tell me I am on preformance mangemant but it is immplied in there career progression polocy how do I stand. i.e the polocy syas two or more poor preformance rateings and I will be on official preformance managemant. They havn't said I meet the criteria for this or that I am on preformance mangemant it just appears to be assumed.


If I am happy with the Answear do I need to just Accept?

Ben Jones :

Making reasonable adjustments is an important consideration in this case so if you believe your employer can do something to help in that way you should certainly raise this with them. Raising a grievance should not have any adverse effect because you should not be penalised for doing that


Ok Thanks


Anything else before I Accept as it ends my session when I Accept

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