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Grounds for constructive dismissal

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If you are currently have line management responsibilities but then your employer decides that some (not all) employees at your job level will no longer line management, is that effectively a demotion and grounds for constructive dismissal? Line management is part of your current role profile and helps when it comes to moving to the next level up in the business.

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  • Andy_L
    Andy_L Posts: 12,864 Forumite
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    Have they cut your pay? If not then it would be hard to argue that's "effectively a demotion"

    Plus you have to actually leave after it happens & then take them to court. If you sit there & accept it it its not a dismissal
  • TheSpiddalKid
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    Constructive Dismissal is normally because of an act, or series of actions, that the employee believes fundamentally breaches the relationship between the employee and employer to an extent that it is irreparably damaged and the employee feels they are left with no other option but to resign. 

    Claiming constructive dismissal is a tough needle to thread. doing it on the basis of loss of seniority or status because of removal of line management responsibility, whilst not impossible, would be very difficult to demonstrate constructive dismissal as a stand-alone act. It would stand more chance of success if it could be shown to be part of a pattern of behaviour and met the last straw principle.

    The fact this has happened to a number of people suggests this is not a targeted action but part of a decision which affects a group of employees. 

    It may be worth looking at how much of the role was taken up by line management, if it is a substantial portion of the role then there is an argument the alteration should follow. a change process where you are consulted about the proposed change in the role before it is put into place. This does not mean there is a redundancy situation but there may still be a need to follow a process of informing and consulting on the change, which would give you the chance to air your concerns. 
  • Undervalued
    Undervalued Posts: 9,004 Forumite
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    edited 27 August 2022 at 6:33AM
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    Claiming constructive dismissal is a tough needle to thread. doing it on the basis of loss of seniority or status because of removal of line management responsibility, whilst not impossible, would be very difficult to demonstrate constructive dismissal as a stand-alone act. It would stand more chance of success if it could be shown to be part of a pattern of behaviour and met the last straw principle.

    The fact this has happened to a number of people suggests this is not a targeted action but part of a decision which affects a group of employees. 


    Exactly this ^^^^^^^

    Plus, in all but the most exceptional circumstances it is necessary to fully exhaust the employer's grievance procedures first.

    The last statistic I saw suggested that only 3% of constructive unfair dismissal cases, that progressed as far as a full tribunal hearing, were actually won. Obviously some would have been favourably settled before that stage but it is a very high bar to get over. 
  • Ath_Wat
    Ath_Wat Posts: 1,504 Forumite
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    I would think a lot depends on what you are doing now.

    If you are  project manager and a company thinks that you are bad at your job and tells you "Look,  just stay home every day and we will send you the odd meeting request and document to review, we will keep paying you the same", I think you'd be hard pushed to suggest they forced you to resign.

    If they ask you to come into the office and clean the toilets, that's a different story.

    The fact that they have removed an "opportunity that helps you move to the next level of the business" does not make it constructive dismissal.  No company has an obligation to offer you opportunities for promotion.
  • Undervalued
    Undervalued Posts: 9,004 Forumite
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    Ath_Wat said:
    I would think a lot depends on what you are doing now.

    If you are  project manager and a company thinks that you are bad at your job and tells you "Look,  just stay home every day and we will send you the odd meeting request and document to review, we will keep paying you the same", I think you'd be hard pushed to suggest they forced you to resign.

    If they ask you to come into the office and clean the toilets, that's a different story.

    The fact that they have removed an "opportunity that helps you move to the next level of the business" does not make it constructive dismissal.  No company has an obligation to offer you opportunities for promotion.
    Pretty much every well drafted employment contract will say something to the effect of "any other duties the firm reasonably requires". Obviously, except maybe in a one off emergency, telling a senior employee to clean the toilets on a regular basis wouldn't be reasonable! But where do you draw the line? Lawyers make a lot of money debating what is reasonable.
  • Ath_Wat
    Ath_Wat Posts: 1,504 Forumite
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    Ath_Wat said:
    I would think a lot depends on what you are doing now.

    If you are  project manager and a company thinks that you are bad at your job and tells you "Look,  just stay home every day and we will send you the odd meeting request and document to review, we will keep paying you the same", I think you'd be hard pushed to suggest they forced you to resign.

    If they ask you to come into the office and clean the toilets, that's a different story.

    The fact that they have removed an "opportunity that helps you move to the next level of the business" does not make it constructive dismissal.  No company has an obligation to offer you opportunities for promotion.
    Pretty much every well drafted employment contract will say something to the effect of "any other duties the firm reasonably requires". Obviously, except maybe in a one off emergency, telling a senior employee to clean the toilets on a regular basis wouldn't be reasonable! But where do you draw the line? Lawyers make a lot of money debating what is reasonable.
    That's why I asked the question.  Just withdrawing line management is not enough information; what have they been asked to do instead?  If they are still just doing whatever they did before, just without line management,  that's almost certainly going to be reasonable.
  • MEM62
    MEM62 Posts: 4,832 Forumite
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    If you are currently have line management responsibilities but then your employer decides that some (not all) employees at your job level will no longer line management, is that effectively a demotion and grounds for constructive dismissal?
    Short answer - No.  
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