Lost the job I loved and excelled in(4 Posts)
Civil servant for ten years. Over two years ago I applied for a new senior role in a Government Agency through fair and open competition and was formally appointed on promotion. Last year a Government Department took the decision to transfer my role into the Department, same job description and equivalent grade (the Agency has its own grade structure). Rather than transfer me over with all my existing terms and conditions, HR required that the role would have to be readvertised. This time I was unsuccessful at interview. I've done a great job in this role, received excellent feedback and got top performance marking both years.
Fortunately I had another job offer to go to, but I'm feeling angry and hurt at having been treated so badly. I've effectively been dismissed/ demoted back to my previous grade. I don't think it's worth appealing (they will just say I didn't perform as well as the other candidate at interview) but how can my performance actually in the role over two years be of no account?
General sympathy and advice appreciated. I'm feeling pretty low right now, but trying to concentrate on being positive about my new role.
Sorry to hear about what happened. Obviously it's hard to comment without the full facts about the situation but from what you say it doesn't sound quite right. Were you formally consulted with or put 'at risk' of redundancy at any point? Why did HR want the role re-advertised - was this external or across the civil service? Were they saying it was in fact a new role they were creating (which happened to be very similar to yours) rather than a transfer of your existing role (were they perhaps trying to avoid having to transfer you in and honour your existing T&Cs)?
The ways things work in the civil service (as you probably know), performance in an existing role doesn't usually affect appointments/transfers - if it was a transfer of an existing role from one department or another it should happen automatically regardless of whether you are an excellent employee or a terrible one (it's not a TUPE as the crown is viewed as a single employer but a TUPE-like process with T&Cs protected), whereas if it was genuinely a new role it would come down to performance at interview rather than previous performance in other roles (not saying that is right but just how things are).
In terms of how you move forward, like you I am not sure how much value there is in pursuing this. You say this all happened 'last year' (so at least 6 months ago)? In that case you are almost certainly out of time for a grievance or any legal claim unless new information has only recently come to light? Like you I would probably be trying to make my focus my new role, but obviously this is all still weighing on your mind. I wonder if a letter or email to the HR director at your old department with some short clear questions you'd like answers to might help? Or even just expressing your disappointment at how you were treated and requesting a review of the case so that lessons can be learnt for the future? You could also request a copy of your HR file which you are entitled to under data protection, which might have some answers for you? Are you a member of a trade union? If so you could speak to them (or to ACAS the free government advisory service), just to get their take on what happened (even though as I said above, don't get your hopes up that any financial compensation could be in order)?
Also, can you make your focus how you can get back to your previous (senior) grade, and taking some proactive action in this regard? I can completely understand how being effectively demoted stings both financially and emotionally, but trying to look to the future might help here. Are there promotion opportunities in your new department? With your previous experience you should be an excellent candidate. If not can you get yourself onto CS Jobs and see what's out there? Perhaps a chat with your line manager to see if you would be eligible to apply for any talent/leadership schemes such as Future Leaders scheme (or whatever is appropriate for your grade)?
Thanks so much for this, really helpful. I'm grateful for the advice.
I've not been formally consulted with or put at risk of redundancy. If I didn't have another job to go to, I would be returned to my home department and redeployed at my former (lower) grade into whatever job they had available.
My current role was advertised externally in May and I was told the outcome last week. It was a transfer of the same role (same job description) that I have been working in. HR required it be re-advertised as a role in that Department. I get that TUPE did not apply but I understood in these situations the role incumbent normally transfers as a managed move.
I've asked my HR Director to answer a few questions, and am trying to negotiate an exit. The new role is outside the civil service, so I guess that brings my civil service career to an end. It's not the way I would have wanted it to end but, as you say, best to focus on the new role once I get there!
Ive seen on mn before that you have to do the interview as if they dont know you in order to sell yourself as well as you can. Its really hard not to take it personally but please dont. Its just a job and has no bearing on your decency as a human being. Good luck in your new job.
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