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I wonder if anyone can give me some advice, i.e. what rights do I have? or is there anything I can legitimately complain about.


Basically what has happened is that I've been the Deputy Head of a department within a large institution for much of the last 8 years. Over a year ago my boss retired and I ran the dept with no extra pay or additional job title. I wasn't officially called deputy head throughout my contract, but my job description says that my primary role is to deputise for the Head of Dept. A few months after his retirement another staff member was made Acting Head, but did nothing, so I still ended up running the dept. Then a few months ago we were merged with another dept on another site, the Head of that dept was made Head with no interview process as her job wasn't considered to be a new job, my job however (which differed from the new role to the same extent as the Head's job differed from his old role) was advertised, and was given to someone else following an interview. I was given no satisfactory explanation for why I wasn't given the job, I apparently gave a wonderful interview, but other chap was wonderful too. The fact that I overheard conversations earlier in the week of the interviews saying that all the staffing problems would be resolved following the interviews, which wouldn't have been the case if I had been appointed, rather suggests to me that there was actually never any intention of giving me the job.


New guy is taking up the new deputy's post in a few weeks time, in the meantime we're now having staff appraisals, and have been told that although this is not an opportunity for re-writing job descriptions, it may be a good time to do so, obviously I'm concerned as to what is going to happen to my job description.


Other problem is that although I am applying for other jobs, I'm concerned as to what exactly to put on my CV as once other chap arrives it will look as though I've been demoted. Money, by the way, is currently staying the same - although new chap is being paid 3k more than I was for running the department. Any help/advice would be much appreciated.

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Are you either female or part of any minority group?


I am looking at this from the discrimination angle, perhaps.

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You have 2 options here:


Launch a grievance arguing custom and practice, i.e. that the role you were doing for the last year is yours. You are unlikely to be entitled to more money, as evidently you worked on this basis without asking or expecting an increase (custom and practise works both ways).

Your grievance should request full disclosure and explanation of why you were unsuccesful at interview, why an appointment was made without following due process (interview) and why (assuming) you were not provided with feedback as to reasons for you being good enough to do the role for an extended period of time, yet not good enough to be confirmed in the post.


You could resign and claim constructive dismissal. There are many routes to this sort of claim and if there is indeed a discriminatory angle, then of course your claim is likely to be strengthened.

However, even without the discrimination claim bit, I would consider that there is certainly a basis for a 'loss of trust and confidence'. However, by going down this route, you would have to resign, and any employment you secure would have that income set off against your claim (loss of earnings, which forms part of a constructive dismissal claim).

Not sure if this helps - difficult to answer without knowing all the facts.

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R&J - I'm female (as is the newly appointed boss).


Sunflower - I did ask on several occasions for more money - in the past it had always been common practice (according to one of my colleagues, who has been here for many years, and been through several interregnums) for extra money to be given when department was in an interregnum. Requests on this occasion were ignored and there was no feedback re this.


I was interviewed for the job - which is according to the management technically a new job (because of the merger) - but differs from my old job to the same extent that the boss's new job differs from her old one - her post was not put up for interview, mine was.


And, yes, none of the feedback explained why I was good enough to run the department for a year (and deputise for 7 years) but not good enough to continue to deputise. I was also told that I had taken it upon myself to run the department and that I had received lots of help - this sounds like a contradiction to me, and also I did not receive lots of help, although the management seem to be re-writing what actually happened.


Thanks for your advice.

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Constructive Dismissal (CD) is notoriously difficult to win on. 95% of all claims fail, and I would suggest that you think very carefully, and take legal advice, before resigning and trying to claim this.


There would have been a possible sexual discrimnation point if your new boss was male (think you called them a 'guy' in a previous post), but as it now seems they are female, you wouldn't be able to claim this.

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R&J - no, "the guy" who was appointed is the person who got what was my job, so female boss, male deputy (four of us were interviewed for the job, and it was the sole male who got the job). I had a feeling that constructive dismissal might be hard to win - thanks for the advice.

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