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effective demotion?

(18 Posts)
mrsdizzy Tue 17-Oct-17 21:02:00

I posted earlier this year about some issues i was having at work. I have managed a team for over 5 years and a restructuring led to me having to give up my office to a male colleague who had less seniority to me. He was elevated in status but our pay remained equal and i retained my team. I have now been told that i am to lose all of my supervisory/team lead duties and will report to this colleague effective as of now. The team will all report to him. I feel as though i have been demoted and my role has been so significantly changed that it actually no longer exists. What can i/should i do? Thanks

cookie75 Tue 17-Oct-17 21:30:05

Don’t have any answers for you but sorry sending hugs flowers

HundredMilesAnHour Tue 17-Oct-17 21:50:18

I'm really sorry, it sounds awful. Do you want to stay there or would you consider looking for a new job? I'd be tempted to go down the grievance route (and look for a new job in parallel).

I had something similar happen to me a few years ago. It was a nasty situation where they wanted to keep a long standing member of staff but they'd lost the budget they needed for his work. So they thought they'd give him my job (!) since I was relatively new and the only non-local. Despite me being better qualified and more experienced. There was no discussion. Overnight I was suddenly reporting to him despite him being as much use as a chocolate teapot. So they put me on a PIP because I'd "reacted badly" (their words, seriously!). I was angry and upset but I wasn't going to let them win. I surpassed (by a long way) every single one of their PIP criteria and pretty much blew them out of the water with how good I was at my job. They even admitted how shocked they were. I told them nothing had changed other than now they were actually looking at my work rather than listening to gossip and bitching from a guy who wanted my job. I ended up with some serious supporters in senior management that effectively meant I was "protected" from losing my job (the knives were still out for me because I'd "humiliated" the chocolate teapot guy by showing that I was better than him and that management has made a bad decision) - but they didn't have the power to give me my old job back. In the end I got fed up of it. Chocolate teapot guy stayed in "my" role and my boss backed him (my boss was the idiot who'd agreed to teapot guy replacing me and he was never going to back down and admit he'd made a mistake). So I saw a solicitor and raised a formal grievance against both of them. My grievance was damning of them both (and showed that the company and they as individuals had broken employment law on an ongoing basis over 2 years). The boss of my boss sat down with me and her first question was "what do you want?". I said I wanted to be paid off and leave as our relationship had irretrievably broken down. And that's what happened. I left the meeting and went back to see HR once to sign the paperwork and I was done. And good riddance to them!

daisychain01 Tue 17-Oct-17 21:51:06

What will happen to your actual job content when this change happens? What will you do in your actual job itself, apart from the team leader element. IME Line Management is normally one part of the role, but there are deliverables that need to be fulfilled as well.

Did you and this colleague have to undergo some form of selection process, interview, panel etc?

mrsdizzy Tue 17-Oct-17 22:16:45

Thanks all for replying. I'm feeling very upset and felt close to resigning when i was given the news. I have asked for a new job description (this was met with some surprise - was told it would the same but with the reference to team lead taken out. I have duties/tasks but much of this relates to the delivery of the team's outputs) as well as a formal notification of the change.
My job title now appears to be the same as that of the staff i previously supervised so my role as Team Leader no longer exists. No consultation or
selection - i was the original team lead when the male colleaque joined the
team but he worked on other tasks without any of the team lead duties. I will
look for another job but am not sure how handle this at work in the
meantime. I absolutely cannot work for this man but i don't want to feel forced into resigning either.

Tanfastic Tue 17-Oct-17 23:12:22

Not sure there is anything you can do to be honest.

I've been in a similar position. Was a manager, a secretary left, company decided they wanted to save the wage so demoted me and took all my managerial stuff on themselves (but they haven't really). I'm now spending all my days scanning and filing.

I'm on a manager's wage but I can't get past it so I've found another job....

daisychain01 Wed 18-Oct-17 06:14:56

Do you believe the new person has an advantage over you because they are male? For example, are they able to work longer hours, or more flexibly (eg they can visit other offices at the drop of a hat, whereas you don’t have that option) which puts you at a disadvantage if you have to work set hours and leave the office on time to pick up DC?

If you believe there is something more behind this person being helicoptered in over you, you could put in a grievance to highlight that you believe you have been unfairly treated. Keep it factual, don’t deviate into criticising the person, but make them aware you don’t take it lying down that you’ve had your status stripped away without consultation or opportunity to be on a level playing field with the other person.

See what their response is. They will find it difficult to back pedal now with “oh but we were planning to do a selection process” when they’ve already made their decision known. They’ll need to have a very strong response up their sleeve. Even if you don’t cite Discrimination under the Equality Act, if you word your Grievance well, they might feel that’s what you’re building up to. It seems very shabby treatment of you.

daisychain01 Wed 18-Oct-17 06:18:24

Just to add, if you do believe there is evidence of Discrimination then include the reasons why in your Grievance and mention that under the Equality Act 2010 you deserve and expect fair treatment.

mrsdizzy Wed 18-Oct-17 06:55:10

Thank you daisychain - I am dreading going in today but i know i cannot take this lying down. I obviously don't want to stay there but need to think through how to handle this. I was the team lead, colleague was at the same level as me and joined the team after me, with different responsibilities. Then a 'restructure' gave him an elevation in status. I challenged this at the time but was told it was a done deal and i was remaining the team lead with no loss in pay etc. Now he will be the team lead and i am to report to him on thecsame level as the rest of my previous team (no pay cut). At no point have i been given any opportunity to compete/be selected for the team lead role. I view this as my position no longer existing and that i have now been offered a completely different role with all previous status removed. My position has been made untenable i believe. I guess i need to follow the grievance route. I do have an incredibly long service behind me but cannot believe how I am being treated.

zippydoodaar Wed 18-Oct-17 07:45:31

No advice but daisychain's suggestion sounds sensible. Perhaps ring ACAS?

A friend recently raised a grievance against her boss having suffered being bullied by him for a number of years. She had always put up with his appalling behaviour but it was only an official grievance which made the difference as he was officially under scrutiny. She's still there but desperately trying to get out!

I think employers are so used to staff sucking situations up but you really must challenge them on this.

Best of luck! flowers

mrsdizzy Wed 18-Oct-17 21:20:05

So I spoke to Acas today who advised that i raise a formal grievance. If this fails to satisfactorily resolve then I should resign citing constructive dismissal as a result of their actions. I may also be able to bring discrimination into any proceedings due to not being given the same opportunities as my colleague. I have also requested clarification on a number of points from hr, including details of the proposed new role. So the next step will be the formal grievance.

scrabbler3 Wed 18-Oct-17 22:06:00

Good luck! I'm glad you're going to fight. Too many employers get away with this kind of thing.

BubblesBuddy Thu 19-Oct-17 21:54:32

I was just about to say that this is constructive dismissal because you have, effectively, been demoted and humiliated. There are on line solicitors who give good advice on what to do. I find it unbelievable in this day and age that employers behave like this. One job and two possible applicants. They must go through a selection process. They must be open about the job and what sort of qualifications and experience they need to fill it. They must discuss with you what your options are.
I hope you get some resolution and if you don't want to stay, financial compensation.

mrsdizzy Thu 19-Oct-17 22:49:49

Thanks Bubbles. I have asked when the now team lead post is to be competed, how they expect to support me transitioning from team lead to team member, what my new duties are to be and how they will ensure that I am given the opportunities to perform well without any managerial responsibilities. I have also pointed out that my current post actually no longer exists if they make this change. I also asked for a copy of their equal opportunities policy. I have no intention of taking the lesser role on offer but want to see what they come back with.

diamondgirl1 Thu 19-Oct-17 23:28:07

It certainly doesn't sound like your situation has been handled very well, and I really do feel for you. It is however hard to understand whether any wrongdoing has occurred without knowing more background detail.

1) You mention having more seniority over your colleague. Does he have any additional skills/qualifications that would have made him more suited to the role(s) in question? Do you feel there is a specific reason as to why he was chosen over you?
2) I don't believe a company legally needs to advertise a vacancy prior to recruitment action, so it could be hard to justify discrimination from that point alone.
3) Does your contract make any reference as to whether any changes are permitted to either your role title or responsibilities?
4) Does your contract state whether your role has a specific right to retain team leadership responsibilities?
4) It sounds as though you will remain in the same team, with the same pay & conditions, albeit with the loss of your team lead responsibility. What percentage of your day has this team lead role taken up? Does this change constitute a full overhaul to your role?
5) Have your company mentioned redundancy as an alternative to this change? Perhaps this is an avenue worth pursuing, especially if you feel the trust/relationship has completely broken down.

I would certainly suggest you speak again with your line manger/HR team to get a clearer picture on what has gone on, especially the reasoning behind these changes.

Good luck! x

mrsdizzy Fri 20-Oct-17 07:41:41

No mention in contracts re the right to retain team leadership responsibilities or to prevent changes to titles/responsibilities. Colleague has some different skills but very little supervisory/management experience (unlike me). Is a favourite of a senior manager. Focus of role hugely different without team lead tasks. Feeling humiliated and undermined - it appears to others that I have been stripped of status for some wrong -doing. I will have no opportunity to perform well as a manager and no opportunity to progress within the team. I have been a managerial grade for over 15 years - I could live without having direct reports but not the dumbing down of my role, if that makes sense.

HundredMilesAnHour Fri 20-Oct-17 12:40:25

I'm really this is happening to you mrsdizzy. Sometimes companies do stupid things without even thinking about the human impact. Focus on your grievance. If you can, try to get legal advice (or speak further to ACAS) before submitting it as this may prove to be a key document when/if you go down the constructive dismissal route. Make sure you tick all the boxes needed in your grievance - and if you do later resign, make sure you get advice on the wording of your resignation (this is very important in constructive dismissal cases).

Stay strong!

BubblesBuddy Fri 20-Oct-17 19:21:21

The job description is part of the contract. If you have one that says supervisory duties, that is part of the contract. If it wasn't no-one could ever argue constructive dismissal. The content of the jobs must be looked at side by side and that means job descriptions and person specs.

Normally, when there is restructuring and one senior role, it is open to people from inside the company to apply. That's normal if it's reconfigured. Less normal if it's identical. There should be a person spec and a JD just like any other job. If it was substantially the same job as the one you were doing, the job is not redundant. Jobs are redundant, not people. As you didn't get it and no reason has been offered, and no info was given in advance about what the job was or the type of person they wanted, then it's constructive dismissal because they have effectively demoted you without any reasonable attempt to employ you at your existing level.

It will be interesting to see what they say!

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