Employment Law

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toonmilo | 08:55 Thu 31st Mar 2011 | Law
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Does anyone know what the likely outcome would be? Where do we stand?

We have an employee who worked in one department and offered him a position in another department, he accepted (no contract signed at all by the way), he has working in the new position for a few weeks now and has decided that he does not want to do it anymore. He wants to go back to his old position. My boss is saying that that position is no longer available and he cant go back to it and will therefore either have to continue his new role or resign.

The employee has now said he is going to seek legal advice as at no stage has any contract been altered or created for the new position.

Our we as a company skating on thin ice here??


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Was it ever mentioned as a trial run in the new department?

Has his job description changed, even verbally? Presumably he would have been told what the new job entailed and what his new responsibilities were?

If he's agreed to move, and it's not just a trial, then I can't really see how he can complain. Depends on what was said at the time though. With hindsight it would have been better to get everything in writing.
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Hi thanks for replying. It was never mentioned as a trial run. The new job was explained to him together with his duties etc., but all verbally and none of it in writing.
I expect you have proof (witnesses) that he worked the new role & that his original position is untenable by either employing another or redundant job; this info will be required should he use a Tribunal court. Cases are often settled with agreed (reasonable) compensation.
have alook at his orginal contract and the job description, ours are very generic and state we can move people around in departments to suit business needs, you may find this is all you need
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i would say yes, we have proof and witnesses in his new role as well as proof that the original job is unavaailable due to workload being shifted elsewhere in the company

Thankyou all for your responses :-)
The fact that he worked the new role on verbal instruction is evidence of his acceptance of the job. CAB & ACAS have lots of experience of these cases and would guide you.
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Yes all our contracts state "The company from time to time will require you to work in areas outside your original duties"
is the employees original post still tenable, as that's what he wants. "Outside original duties" doesn't make a new post permanent.
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There simply isnt the work available for him to return to that position.

Will have a look through that link you sent me, thanks
Excellent answer toonmilo; the tribunal courts would probably side with you.
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Good to hear tamborine. Thanks for your input.
He's gone away to seek legal advice now anyway whilst carrying on in the same position, so hopefully his advisor will put him straight
Liaising with ACAS could be a wise option. Get their advice as to the best way to procede and comply with their code.

Make sure you do everything as by the book and in accordance with legislation and advice as this may well make a significant difference if anything got to the Tribunal stage.

Also make written records of all meetings, conversations etc... and keep copies of all relevant correspondence.

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