What constitutes a material change in role

(9 Posts)
SeniorManager Mon 14-Oct-19 16:14:11

I've had a change in reporting line, both previous and current line manager are the same level. Old manager delegated all responsibility for my function to me, new boss takes personal hands on responsibility for all the work and decisions that used to fall to me and currently I'm functioning as an extremely highly paid junior admin assistant. He even micromanages the admin work. I've tried to discuss it with him in a calm and professional way, and he's responded very badly, to the extent that I can't see how we can continue to work together. HR are taking the position that my role hasn't materially changed and there's nothing they can do about his management style.

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CloudsCanLookLikeSheep Tue 15-Oct-19 15:54:53

I think you may need to get a copy of your job description out and go through each line by line to say how it has now changed. If you can demonstrate that there are substantial number of duties that you now no longer do you may be able to say the role has changed.

How long have you been there because if less than two years, if you make a fuss and your boss wants you out they may just show you the door.

SeniorManager Tue 15-Oct-19 22:00:07

I've been there more than 2 years, no issues, considered a competent professional, never had a poor review and have received accolades. We've done the job description, this is where we disagree as we have a different interpretation of what constitutes a change. I think my new boss actually performing my designated responsibilities and making decisions I used to make is material. HR say I'm still involved and deny there's anything to see here. He even answers emails directed to me if he's copied in, and he wants to be copied on everything. I don't even know how he's got the time to be so involved, he's in a leadership role and I'm allegedly a senior manager with an appropriate job description and salary.

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CloudsCanLookLikeSheep Tue 15-Oct-19 23:06:13

That sounds horrendous . I'd be going above his head at this stage with a grievance. It may get nasty but if sounds like itd be worse to do nothing. Is he a new manager as in new to the company ? Is he in probation? Sounds like he has no trust in his staff at all. I'd be majorly pissed off if if doesn't get sorted out and look elsewhere. HR team sound weak and like they're just trying to keep out of it.

SeniorManager Wed 16-Oct-19 08:00:54

I have raised a grievance and this is where we are. HR saying that the position of the company is that my role hasn't materially changed. It seems ludicrous that she could keep a straight face, given what I was doing before and what I'm able to do now, but nevertheless they are sticking to their position. I am wondering if it's worth the cost of a lawyer, or whether they are right in that there is no material difference in e.g. being someone who writes and communicates a policy or someone who amends someone else's policy under strict supervision as long as there is some involvement.

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flowery Wed 16-Oct-19 09:30:46

Material change in role isn’t a legal ‘thing’ as such- there’s no law saying your role can’t be changed. Is your job description contractual? If it is, then changing it might be technically a breach of contract

averythinline Wed 16-Oct-19 10:08:02

What outcome do you want? It doesn't found like substantial material change but without detail could just be change in style which is not the same even if crap
Have you spoken to ACAS ? They can be helpful . You could be miserable and maybe hang on for constructive dismissal (hard maybe legal advice?).
Personally would probably just leave and get new job at more appropriate level as you don't want to be seen as more junior

SeniorManager Wed 16-Oct-19 17:48:51

I want responsibility back which is commensurate with my job description and pay grade, which I've worked for and developed the necessary skills to fulfill, and which I have been performing for some time successfully. Or a decent settlement which reflects the fact that I've been cut out with no consultation and no actual reason other than the fact that the new guy is not a competent leader.

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flowery Thu 17-Oct-19 10:16:54

Settlements won't reflect the things you're unhappy about. Settlements only ever reflect the level of vulnerability the employer has to a claim, and how much they perceive that claim might cost them.

Unless there is some kind of discrimination element, the only potential claim here really is constructive dismissal. That's notoriously difficult to prove at the best of times, but when you're relying on different interpretations of a job description and whether changes are or are not 'material' enough to constitute a fundamental breach of the contract of employment, you're looking at an uphill struggle.

If you feel things are so bad, and your role is so fundamentally changed as to be a breach of your contract, then as long as you've exhausted the internal process, ie a grievance and appealing it, you could resign on the basis that you believe your employer has committed a breach of the employment contract so serious that you are entitled to regard yourself as released from any obligation under the contract and resign without notice.

Your employer will then take advice on the strength of your claim and may offer you a settlement to avoid it.

Personally I would focus on finding another job.

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