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I feel I have been treated very shabbily by my employers, and…

I feel I have been...
I feel I have been treated very shabbily by my employers, and this coupled with my huge workload, backlog of work and lack of appreciation has caused me much stress and anxiety for months. I have been struggling with the idea of staying with the company for several months now, and while being off over Christmas I have thought of nothing else - I can't stomach the thought of going back. I have to give 5wks notice and am thinking of going to my GP to request a sick note, then handing in my notice. Some friends have said that they think I have a case for unfair treatment and that I should not resign but take things further with my employers
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Answered in 1 minute by:
1/1/2013
Max Lowry
Max Lowry, Solicitor
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 1,457
Experience: LLB, 10 years post qualification experience
Verified

Max Lowry :

Hi welcome to Just Answer.

Max Lowry :

What would you like to know about this, what is your question please?

Customer:

Since Jan 2012 I have been effectively doing the work of 2 people - my normal job, plus overseeing the move to new premises. I wrote to my employers in Jan 2012 asking them to review my pay. By Sept 2012 I still had not received a reply from them. This caused me months of anxiety and caused me to doubt my ability to do my job properly and I suffered a loss of confidence

Customer:

I then wrote a letter of grievance to my employers, stating that I had been very patient and that to be kept waiting 8 months for a reply was unacceptable and unfair

Customer:

I am the business manager, so I was able to cost out the pay rise I was requesting and illustrate that due to staffing savings and restructuring that I had put in place, there was sufficient money in the staffing budget to accommodate my pay review request.

Max Lowry :

Okay - but you appreciate, there is no obligation to give you a pay rise unless you agree to it - and equally, you are under no obligation to do what you're not contracted to do (i.e. what you were not taken on to do).

Customer:

I researched the average salary for Practice Managers in our locality for a practice of our size, and found that I was being paid well below the average. They gave me a staff appraisal back in March, but then I was kept hanging until Sept. At the appraisal, they graded me higher than i'd graded myself in many areas! So I was then surprised that they finally replied to me in Sept that they would not agree to my request to be paid at the 'going rate'. The reasons they gave me were (a) that I was "still working my way to the role of Practice Manager" - to which I replied that I had been working for them for 5 years and had been managing Practices for the past 11 years!

Max Lowry :

Okay .... just hold on for a second, I don't want you to have to type detail you don't need to.

Customer:

and (b) that since the workload had really kicked off for the move to new premises, I had "let things slip a little"!!

Max Lowry :

The point is, there is no obligation to give you a pay rise.

Max Lowry :

And you don't have to expand beyond what you initially were taken on to do.

Max Lowry :

You've asked for a formal response on your points, and a grievance process should result in you getting some explanation.

Max Lowry :

However, grievances are usually not part of your contract of employment.

Max Lowry :

They're usually independent, although they can be part of your contract. This is important, as you can only walk out and claim constructive unfair dismissal if there is a fundamental breach of your employment contract.

Customer:

I feel they have treated me differently to other staff. Whenever staff have approached me to say that they are being paid less than their counterparts in other Practices for the same work, I have researched this and have costed out what it would cost to pay them the going rate - and we have always matched this in order to retain these staff

Customer:

I have successfully negotiated pay rises on behalf of members of staff, but the minute I ask for something for myself they flatly refuse

Customer:

I have a copy of my contract of employment alongside me

Max Lowry :

Even if it were part of your contract, a failure to comply with the grievance process may not be considered sufficiently bad to justify you walking out and claiming constructive unfair dismissal. But, why do you think you're being singled out?

Customer:

Part 1 sets out my Terms and Conditions, Part 2 sets out the Disciplinary Procedure and includes the grievance procedure

Customer:

I don't know why I'm being singled out. I have worked harder than I've ever worked in my life, doing the work of 2 people the past year. My health has suffered, so has my family life. Everyone else in the whole building was able to take their 2week break during the summer - I was only able to grab a day or two here and there as I was driving the move to new premises forward and often had to turn around decisions for the builders within a day

Max Lowry :

But what is your concern - the pay, or the workload?

Max Lowry :

If you're only demanding proper pay, then I'm guessing you've not raised the workload issue?

Max Lowry :

You could always insist that the workload is decreased, and raise a grievance for that? Because, without any obligation to pay you more, then it would seem your most realistic option?

Customer:

Yes, I have talked frankly with them about the workload. All they say is that I need to delegate more - that's all well and good, and believe me, I would delegate as much as possible once I've cleared the backlog and got things straight. The new premises houses 3 tenants - 2 GP Practices and some health board staff - one of the 3 tenants has to take on the role of Building Custodian

Customer:

and that has fallen to me by default, because neither of the other 2 tenants will do it

Customer:

since we've moved in, we've had constant problems and glitches with the new building - gas leak, burst water main, problems with heating, no hot water, etc etc - it's been very time consuming sorting these out and i've been unable to clear the backlog of my work that built up in the final weeks before the move (during the last month before the move, I was over on the new site more often than I was at my desk in the old building)

Customer:

I am still working out of cardboard boxes in my room

Max Lowry :

I see. Okay, well, have you formally raised the workload via a grievance procedure?

Customer:

No

Customer:

I think the problem for me now is that I really don't want to work there any more

Max Lowry :

Well, I expect it might be worth doing that, so they do take it seriously. It's all too easy to dismiss something informally raised.

Max Lowry :

Then the best thing is probably to look for a new job, and try to move as quickly as you can. You could always see the doctor if you feel you have stress and need time off etc., but you're ultimately going to have to move on.

Customer:

I think I lost respect for them when they kept me waiting 8 months for a reply to my salary review request. it just felt like they were ignoring it and expecting me to just carry on and do all that extra work for the move to new premises, only for them to turn round and say no at the end when I'd done all the work

Customer:

yes, i think i need to move on

Customer:

i feel guilty about it though

Customer:

i have an appointment with my GP tomorrow

Max Lowry :

But you have to put you, and your health, first. You shouldn't feel guilty about that.

Customer:

i am hoping he will see how low I'm feeling and sign me off on the sick

Max Lowry :

Yes, which hopefully should give you time to sort something else out.

Customer:

i know - it's just that i've never done it before and feel guilty about asking

Customer:

and i feel guilty about leaving the other staff in the lurch

Max Lowry :

Hey - you really shouldn't. You sound like a sensible decent person that needs the time and space for genuine reasons, and that's what it's there for!

Max Lowry :

I understand - but sometimes, you have to put you first.

Customer:

well this chat has helped me see the wood for the trees, i guess!

Max Lowry :

:)

Max Lowry :

I hope it's helped.

Customer:

it has confirmed that what i was intending to do (i.e. go on the sick and hand in my notice) is a reasonable thing to do - iwas feeling so guilty about it, but couldn't see any other way forward

Max Lowry :

All I ask in return is that you rate the answer for me at the end.

Customer:

yes, no problem

Max Lowry :

Thank you. And good luck to you - I hope you manage to sort things out quickly.

Customer:

there's no way they can get nasty with me, is there - if i go on the sick for 5wks and give them 5 wks notice (i.e. never have to go back there)?

Customer:

they can't demand that i go back in to work?

Max Lowry :

Well, they might try and investigate a little more, and perhaps even go down a disciplinary procedure after you've been off a while, but you should probably get away with 5 weeks absence with a doctors note.

Max Lowry :

No - they can't, not if you have a doctors note confirming you're ill and not fit for work.

Customer:

what could they discipline me for, if i am genuinely unwell through work stress?

Customer:

ah ok, just seen your last post

Max Lowry :

:)

Customer:

thanks again - will leave you in peace now! :)

Max Lowry :

Thank you for your question this evening.

Max Lowry :

Good luck.

Max Lowry :

Please remember to rate the answer for me.

Customer:

Yes, I'm trying to! Kept getting a screen saying loading data. Will try again now - thanks

Max Lowry
Max Lowry, Solicitor
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 1,457
Experience: LLB, 10 years post qualification experience
Verified
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The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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