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Role Moved And Given To Someone Else - Advice Needed

Hi,

First if all sorry, this has taken place over three years so to explain it is not a two minute job.

I’ve been with the company I work for around 8 years and have worked my way up to a Senior Management position. In late 2016 I was asked to move on secondment out of my leadership role in the area of the business I worked in and not a company wide transformation programme. My role would be to lead a key stream and I was told after much discussion I’d been identified as the best person to lead on this key business programme. I was reluctant to leave my existing role and team and for 6 months tried to do two jobs before realising it wasn’t feasible and formalising a full time secondment. The secondment ran for 12 months from July 17 and I recieved a letter confirming I would return to my substantive role with no risk to employement or change in terms etc.. As is so often the case however the programme I was on was then extended and is only just winding up now 3 years later however HR never formally extended my secondment beyond July 18.

So fast forward to current day and two months ago I was told by my boss that my area of the business was looking at restructuring. Part of this would see my old team being “disbanded” however a new business area had been created which effectively does what we did but business wide had been created. This new business area had roles created one of which was a role that had a different title but effectively was my role but business wide instead of for one area of the business. My boss even said when she saw it that she’d told the Director and others that they needed to be careful as I would notice this. This role was subsequently advertised and the person I assumed would get it (good relationship with new head of department) got it. I chose not to apply as I didn’t believe I should have to and was also to,d there would be “other opportunities” for me given I’d done such a good job over the last three years. Underneath this role a number of other new roles were the. created and the majority of my old team were brought together and basically told they were being transferred across.

Since then I’ve had conversations with my boss and the Director of the business area I left and it’s becoming clear they don’t really have a plan for me. I should have know, I’ve worked here long enough and have wifnsssed how they basically are incapable of forward planning and make stuff up as they go along. I have a friend who something similar happened to four years ago in that he was left without a substantive role. Since then he has basically been given “random stuff to do” based on what’s the latest “hot topic” with a series of made up job titles and no formal job description, contract etc... He’s let iit slide as he’s basically waiting for Voluntry Redundancy as he has 30 years service and the company’s terms are enhanced (4 weeks per year) but I’m younger with less service and a bit more aspiration than he has.

So, I think there are four ways this can go:

1. They offer me a new role which is no worse in terms of pay/benefits than my old substantive role or the other new role I think they should have offered me.

2. They offer me a new role on worse terms

3. They “put me at risk of redundancy” and place me in the “redeployment pool” prior to compulsory redundancy if I haven’t got a job after three months

4. They seek to agree to an enhanced voluntary redundancy with me under a compromise agreement (they do a lot of this if things get difficulty as they often do as they never do things properly)

I am hoping they are going to be fair and do right by me as I have been told I’m valued etc however I’ve seen these things unravel before due to a mixture of corporate politics and incompetence. I also know for a fact they are going to need to lose people soon due to financial pressures. They have a habit of “finding people stuf to do” without a formal job description (my fiend) however I believe anything they offer me needs to come with a full job description and contract including salary and terms etc as it’s effectively a new job offer - is this unreasonable?

I am not the sort of person to kick off however neither am I a walkover and I feel the time to draw a line in the sand may be coming and I also want to make sure I act in a way which best protects my position so to this end a few questions:

1. Does the scenerio I have described in terms of the management of my substantive role being moved but not offered to me sound like reasonable grounds for a grievance either/or if I am placed on the at risk of redundancy list or offered an inferior role?

2. If it does sound like reasonable grounds for a grievance would it follow that if I were then made compulsory redundant I would have grounds for constructive dismissal? Same question if I’m forced into a role on worse terms.
?

3. If I were able to pursue a constructive dismissal would I have to resign or could I pursue after being made redundant?

4. If they offer me another role on the same level, t&c’s but in an area I have no interest in or I believe offers less scope than my substantive five role or the one they should have offered me do I have any justification for refusing or would this then give them the excuse to say I’ve made myself redundant as they’ve offered a reasonable alternative?

5. If there is the opportunity to “negotiate” a Voluntary Redundancy what approach should I take and what is it reasonable to ask for?

Sorry it’s so long and sorry there are so many questions but I have been thinking through this and all the scenerios for a few weeks now and have reached the point where I felt I needed to share and get some objective opinions before I do anything!


Thanks!
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Replies

  • Manxman_in_exileManxman_in_exile Forumite
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    I'm certainly no expert in this area but would offer a couple of observations on two of your questions:


    Q1 - I don't think your employer was required to "offer" the new role to you - from your description it sounds to be wider in scope than your old role. Also, if I understand you correctly, you could have applied for the new role but decided not to do so.


    Q4 - If they offer you a "suitable" alternative on same T&Cs, grade and pay, I think you would be hard put to justify turning it down on the grounds that it didn't "interest" you or it was not as wide in scope as your old role.


    FWIW I know several former colleagues who took on seemingly good secondments in NHS management and found they had no job to return to.
  • Smudger78Smudger78 Forumite
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    Thanks for coming back to me, in terms of your points on Q1 and Q2:

    Q1 - This may be the case however is it ok that they appoint members of my team to their roles but don’t offer me the opportunity? Is it ok for me to be treated differently? Yes I decided not to apply a sideways move doing effectively the same thing I had been doing for years and I was told there would be bigger opportunities for me.

    Q4. I thought that would be the answer but just wanted views given theyhave basically engineered a situation where I am without a role through their actions.


    Thanks
  • Manxman_in_exileManxman_in_exile Forumite
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    I don't think there's anything wrong with treating you differently so long as it's not because of a protected characteristic (eg race, sex, disability etc). I'm sure there are many legitimate reasons why a senior manager may be treated differently from members of their team - I've seen it happen.


    More knowledgeable posters than me may have a different view (and on your constructive dismissal questions).
  • JReacher1JReacher1 Forumite
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    You should have applied for the vacancy, it was clearly a different role to the one you had as the responsibilities were increased. It sounds like you have found yourself in a classic redundancy situation where your role has disappeared and they don’t have a new role for you.
  • Smudger78Smudger78 Forumite
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    Hi,

    Thanks for the response. In terms of replying for the role and it being different I perhaps haven’t been clear enough. The requirements of the role are almost identification to my substantive role and cover experience and knowledge I have. The only difference is a wider audience, so bigger numbers however the principles are the same. That’s why I believe it’s effectively the same role in the same way as moving from being an accountant in a small firm to an accountant in a big firm is essentially still the same role, just bigger scale.

    Hope that makes sense?


    Thanks
  • JReacher1JReacher1 Forumite
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    Smudger78 wrote: »
    Hi,

    Thanks for the response. In terms of replying for the role and it being different I perhaps haven’t been clear enough. The requirements of the role are almost identification to my substantive role and cover experience and knowledge I have. The only difference is a wider audience, so bigger numbers however the principles are the same. That’s why I believe it’s effectively the same role in the same way as moving from being an accountant in a small firm to an accountant in a big firm is essentially still the same role, just bigger scale.

    Hope that makes sense?


    Thanks


    I understand what you are saying but it is still a different role as the responsibilities of the role have significantly increased from what they were previously. As a result if you had got the role you could probably have negotiated a larger salary due to the increased responsibilities.

    If you wanted the role it was a mistake you not applying for it.

    The chance has gone now so you want to concentrate on your career and decide what you want to do.
  • Smudger78Smudger78 Forumite
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    Ok thanks for the advice.

    I suppose I’ll have to see where it goes and what they offer me. Hopefully there will be something there I can live with.

    Personally I see no downside to pursuing a grievance and constructive dismissal if they are going to make me compulsory redundant anyway. If I don’t win well I’ve been made redundant anyway and if I do take the case they may offer me better terms to leave.

    Anyone have any views on whether I could do this without resigning as that seems to be the recommended approach following lodging a grievance?

    Thanks
  • Manxman_in_exileManxman_in_exile Forumite
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    I don't know anything about employment law (:)) but I would have thought it would be difficult to sustain a grievance (let alone constructive dismissal) in your circumstances. There was a new job created and you decided not to apply for it (because you thought it should have been offered to you?). Your not applying for the job may be one of the reasons why you are where you are.


    I suppose you've got nothing to lose going down the grievance/CD route, but could it possibly sour relations with a former employer you may want to keep on reasonable terms with?


    See what others think...
  • lincroft1710lincroft1710 Forumite
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    It's hardly constructive dismissal if you failed to apply for a job that was on offer!

    How could you claim a grievance? "I'm aggrieved because I failed to apply for a suitable job and it was given to someone else"?

    You would just be making your employer decide that that they would definitely not offer you any extra as part of your redundancy package. Also they might feel inclined to describe you as "vexatious" in any reference.
    If you are querying your Council Tax band would you please state whether you are in England, Scotland or Wales
  • Smudger78Smudger78 Forumite
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    At the time the job was advertised I wasn’t made aware I would be without a role so had no need to apply for another one. It’s only subsequent to it being appointed that this became clear so how is that my fault? In slightly aggrieved that none of this was communicated and I wasn’t formally advised that i should apply as this was effectively my job. If you think this is a reasonable way to treat people then you live in a different world to the one I do.
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