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Is this discrimination?

(14 Posts)
mrsdizzy Thu 20-Apr-17 10:38:43

Hi, hoping for some advice. I have been in my current role for nearly 5 years and lead a team. All good. About a year ago, someone who worked in my role came back into the team at the same level as me but without the line management responsibilities. We worked at the same level on similar but separate tasks, both with the same boss. Last week a team restructure was announced and the person who rejoined the team has been made lead of a part of the wider team so above me in the team structure, now same level as my boss. I will need to give up my desk/office
as a result so it's an effective. Demotion by perception within the team. I will add that I have more seniority within my grade. There are also working pattern and gender differences. I have not been given any promotion opportunity at all. Has any discrimination occurred? I need some perspective I think.

2014newme Thu 20-Apr-17 10:40:29

Have you asked why you weren't given the option to apply?

mrsdizzy Thu 20-Apr-17 10:48:48

Hi thanks for replying. I am seeking clarification on the promotion and have also asked if I am being demoted in anyway as this is how my staff view the changes. The changes were delivered as a done deal. I have voiced my dissatisfaction but not sure what to do next.

2014newme Thu 20-Apr-17 10:50:28

You could submit a grievance

shaggedthruahedgebackwards Thu 20-Apr-17 10:54:38

If he has been given a new role that didn't exist before then it would appear unfair that you were not offered the opportunity to apply for this role

I'm not a HR expert but in your shoes I would definitely be seeking some expert advice as sounds like you may have a genuine grievance

mrsdizzy Thu 20-Apr-17 11:01:28

Thank you - sadly I think I do need expert advice. I am part-time, female and with DC. The former team member is male, full-time and with no DC. I believe i may have been denied a promotion opportunity and discriminated against because of my part-time hours and parental responsibilities. I have many years of service too.

2014newme Thu 20-Apr-17 11:03:34

They could just claim it's a full time role

mrsdizzy Thu 20-Apr-17 11:11:19

I know they could use that as a reason why I didn't get the job but I don't think they can use that as a reason to deny me the opportunity to apply. I also think there is more to it but I know I need to only focus on the facts. I have never before been in a situation like this - but I feel I need to make a stand of some kind.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Thu 20-Apr-17 11:16:18

What sort of consultation has happened with regard to the changes?

I don't know if there has been discrimination because there's not enough information available to say. It does look likely that there may have been a breach of your employment contract if they have changed the terms without consultation/a collective bargaining negotiation and it may be that the reason for the breach is discriminatory.

Equally it could just be straightforward fuckwittery.

flowery Thu 20-Apr-17 11:37:38

I think it's premature to assume there are discriminatory reasons unless you have evidence for that, which it doesn't sound as though you have. It also doesn't sound as though you were demoted, it sounds as though he was promoted.

Your first step is to establish why the promotion opportunity wasn't made accessible to all (not just you). Is there any kind of internal policy about recruitment/promotions, in terms of circulating them internally, or anything about promotion opportunities in an equality policy or similar? If a policy has been breached that is something to raise. Are vacancies/promotion opportunities normally made openly available to everyone or are people promoted without a process usually? Again any departure from normal procedure is something to raise.

Your first step is a conversation with your line manager, expressing your concerns and disappointment at not being given the fair opportunity to apply for this promotion opportunity and asking why that was. Depending on the outcome of that conversation you could consider a formal grievance.

mrsdizzy Thu 20-Apr-17 12:07:14

Thanks for the comments. I do need to establish the nature of the promotion. Other promotions that I am aware of are advertised internally so that anyone with the right skills and experience can apply. This post has not been advertised but I cannot rule out the fact that it may be at a later date. I may be being influenced by comments in the team suggesting I am being deliberately sidelined. I have had a brief chat with my Line Manager but think I should have a more detailed discussion when I feel a bit calmer. It does help to get other points of view/perspective so I do appreciate people taking the time to reply.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Thu 20-Apr-17 13:03:47

Not being offered a promotion opportunity (or having it available) and a loss of status (removal of office/desk) are bits to focus on when you have the discussion.

It would also be helpful to clarify what you mean by "restructure". Changes to employment contracts need to be negotiated and should not be unilateral decisions. If he's just been inserted as an extra layer above that's not likely to be a confractual change.

Incidentally if it had been available would you have applied? Have you still got your line management responsibilities and your team?

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Thu 20-Apr-17 13:04:24

Contractual. Damn iPhone hmm

mrsdizzy Thu 20-Apr-17 14:40:25

Yes i would have applied if available. It appears to be a new post and has definitely not been advertised at the point that the wider team were informed. I do still have my line management responsibilites and team. The loss of desk/office suggests a lack of status for my role. Not actual demotion but a clear message thst everyone has immediately picked up on.

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