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Help! Changes to dh's terms and conditions, think he is about to lose his job

(16 Posts)
TuttiFrutti Sun 03-Feb-13 18:39:30

Dh is a senior manager. He was called into a meeting at 2.30 on Friday afternoon and told that there is a big reorganisation and now, instead of doing x, he has to do y. Basically half his clients are being taken away and he is being given more - a lot more, so he will have 2 or 3 times as many clients as now. No salary rise to compensate. Plus he has to join a new team and will be the only non-native person on the team ( the employer is foreign-based and although dh speaks a little bit of the language, he would find it hard to do business in it).

Dh was so shell-shocked he just said "do I have a choice?" And his boss said no.

Then at 4.30 they called a meeting of the whole department, and announced that the restructuring would be taking place and dh was introduced with his new job title.

What can dh do? I know in theory an employer can't just change your job, but in real life, what can you do?

Leverette Sun 03-Feb-13 18:43:36

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

TuttiFrutti Sun 03-Feb-13 19:12:11

Thanks for responding. No, he hasn't signed anything yet. He is going to send his boss an email tomorrow to make it clear he is not consenting, but beyond that we do not know what to do.

Dh is clear that he does not want to do the new job, and in fact he thinks it is an impossible job for anyone to do.

Leverette Sun 03-Feb-13 19:33:04

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

TuttiFrutti Sun 03-Feb-13 22:34:40

Thanks Leverette. I don't know Flowery or how to pm but will have a go!

Virgil Sun 03-Feb-13 22:38:29

It is not possible for an employer to just change an employees terms and conditions without giving them the right to bring a claim for breach of contract (or potentially unlawful deductions from wages if it impacts on pay). However if they have explained it as a restructure and your DH refuses to consent to the changes then I would expect their next move to be to tell him that his old role is redundant. How long has he been there?

sausagesandwich34 Sun 03-Feb-13 22:41:26

which country is he working in -is he in the uk?

TuttiFrutti Mon 04-Feb-13 08:14:16

He has been there nearly 10 years. And yes, it's in the UK.

flowery Mon 04-Feb-13 10:48:56

How different is the job? It's not at all clear that a change of job = a change to terms and conditons, it depends really on how much of a change.

Assuming basic terms like salary, hours, location etc are the same, joining a new team isn't a change in terms and conditions, and changing client base wouldn't really be either.

Exactly how different is this new job?

TuttiFrutti Mon 04-Feb-13 17:33:11

Dh has a special expertise in one region, let's say the USA. So all his clients were previously US companies. Now he is being given clients from all over the world: Russia, China, Europe.

The change impacts on him because (a) he doesn't have specialist knowledge of those markets and (b) it will mean much more foreign travel. At the moment he is away one week in 3. But if all his clients are in the USA, he can visit several in one trip. Now, he will have to do one trip per client. Leaving aside the fact that the number of clients has doubled or tripled.

Also, dh is unusual in his department in that his job title on his contract is "head of marketing, USA". Most people's contracts will just say "international marketing". So I would have thought, given that they are trying to force a change away from his specialist area, this must be a key change in terms and conditions?

Having said that, the actual work for each client will be very similar to what he was doing before, but it's the change in geographical spread which is the big thing. Contractual hours and location will be the same, but in practice he will have to work much longer hours and travel more.

hermioneweasley Mon 04-Feb-13 21:28:17

Well, it may be that he can resign and claim constructive dismissal - ie: that the employer has behaved so unreasonably that he is entitled to treat himself as dismissed.

He can take advice about that,or tryit out or look for another job.

TheSecondComing Mon 04-Feb-13 21:32:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TuttiFrutti Mon 04-Feb-13 21:53:17

Second coming, when you challenged it what happened?

TheSecondComing Mon 04-Feb-13 22:46:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

flowery Tue 05-Feb-13 10:11:24

Change of job title can be a change to terms and conditions, but it's not necessarily, unless removal of 'head of' has been accompanied by a wider loss of status/loss of management responsibilities. If his status and responsibilities are the same, not a huge amount of weight can be attached to a job title change.

Similarly, if the company don't feel particular expertise in the area is necessary to perform the job and service the clients, that's not necessarily a big deal either.

Increased hours and travel are relevant, but I'd say a constructive dismissal claim on what you've said would be very risky.

I think it would be worth considering carefully what your DH thinks the employer's motive is for this. Are they no longer going to operate in the US, for example? Examining motives can really help shape your response effectively.

TuttiFrutti Tue 05-Feb-13 19:33:39

Thank you Flowery, that is very helpful advice. It's not what I wanted to hear, but useful to know all the possibilities. Oh dear.

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