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My sales target has risen from £6.2m per year (2013) to £14.3M for 2014 I was told in May 2014 (via an email) and I...

My sales target has risen...
My sales target has risen from £6.2m per year (2013) to £14.3M for 2014 I was told in May 2014 (via an email) and I have just been told that is now £17.3.

I have also had a number of accounts taken away from me which makes the target totally unachievable. I have questioned the huge rise but have just been fobbed off with that’s the way it is. This is also true for the rest of the team I am in (5 people), I can’t help but feel we are being squeezed out as we recently our cost centre shifted from one business unit to another and suddenly our targets (which were very late, compared to other teams in the same role) hugely increased. The average target is £5M for my role, we do have the largest accounts so I can understand our targets being higher and expected a 25% increase but not this.

The outcome of this will be I will probably hit £10m in revenue this year, 25% up on last year but will be put on a HR PIP as I have not got anywhere near my target. I also will be broke as I won’t earn hardly any commission.

I have been with the company 2.5 years and performed to 120% of target last year and had the largest target in the company (Large Multinational ). I have recently won an sales award.

I am now interviewing as I can’t afford to stay at the company any longer. I have never received anything in writing that my target had gone up twice I just found out when I got underpaid.

I feel this is almost constructive dismissal but wondered what your quick thoughts were?
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Answered in 1 minute by:
6/19/2014
Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 49,019
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Are you likely to find a comparable job soon after you leave this company, if you ere to resign?

Customer:

Well eventually, but of course I would have to build my knowledge of the new company and its portfolio. The first 12months in sales one can expect to take a 30% decrease in salary and commission due to that learning curve.

Ben Jones :

ok thanks let me get my response ready please

Customer:

ok

Ben Jones :

This could potentially amount to constructive dismissal, which occurs when the following two elements are present:



  • Serious breach of contract by the employer; and

  • An acceptance of that breach by the employee, who in turn treats the contract of employment as at an end. The employee must act in response to the breach and must not delay any action too long.


 


A common breach by the employer occurs when it, or its employees, have broken the implied contractual term of trust and confidence. The conduct relied on could be a single act, or a series of less serious acts over a period of time, which together could be treated as serious enough (usually culminating in the 'last straw' scenario). Therefore, this could include just about any behaviour by the employer if it amounts to such a breach. It could be unfair treatment, bullying, underhand tactics and undermining the trust and confidence and so on.


 


In your case the targets have been unreasonably increased and even though there may be circumstances where such increases could be justifiable, if it is clear that they are entirely unrealistic and unfair, then the above conditions could be satisfied.


 


The affected employee would initially be expected to raise a formal grievance in order to officially bring their concerns to the employer's attention and give them an opportunity to try and resolve them. If the issues are so bad that the employee can't even face raising a grievance and going through the process, or if a grievance has been raised but has been unsuccessful, then they can consider resigning straight away.


 


If resignation appears to be the only option, it must be done without unreasonable delay so as not to give an impression that the employer's breach had been accepted. Any resignation would normally be with immediate effect and without providing any notice period. It is advisable to resign in writing, stating the reasons for the resignation and that this is being treated as constructive dismissal.


 


Following the resignation, the option of pursuing a claim for constructive dismissal exists. This is only available to employees who have at least 2 years' continuous service. There is a time limit of 3 months from the date of resignation to submit a claim in the employment tribunal.


 


An alternative way out is to approach the employer on a 'without prejudice' basis (i.e. off the record) to try and discuss the possibility of leaving under a settlement agreement. Under a settlement agreement, the employee gets compensated for leaving the company and in return promises not to make any claims against the employer in the future. It is essentially a clean break, although the employer does not have to agree to it so it will be subject to negotiation. In any event, there is nothing to lose by raising this possibility with them because you cannot be treated detrimentally for suggesting it and it would not be used against you.


 


Just to make a final, yet important point, that constructive dismissal can be a difficult claim to win as the burden of proof is entirely on the employee to show the required elements of a claim were present. Therefore, it should only be used as a last resort.


 

Ben Jones :

Hope this clarifies your position? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you

Customer:

Yes very good thanks

Ben Jones :

You are welcome

Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 49,019
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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