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mental health issue, voluntary demotion


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I have worked for my current company over 10 years and have been a successful manager for over 8.

10 months ago my unit ceased trading due to rental contract renewal issues.

I transferred to another unit as manager to run that for it's final 3 months (same rental contract renewal issue) and then moved to another unit in a different town.

I unfortunately suffered a stress related mental breakdown and was signed off work with depression after attempting suicide.

When I was well enough to return to work I felt I was still not strong enough mentally to return to work as a manager so requested that I might take a voluntary demotion to deputy manager at a different unit for the sake of my health.

This was agreed verbally and in my letter to personnel I explicitly stated that I was requesting a demotion from manager to deputy manager.

Fast forward 2 months and I have just been informed that there is no room for a 2nd deputy manager at the unit I am at, and that my position is actually a shift manager.

6 months previously at this unit there were 2 deputy managers and I was introduced to all the staff & management team as the new deputy manager but I have yet to receive a new contract.

There is no difference in basic pay, but there is a large difference in potential bonus.

If I decide to move on from this company, my CV will look awful having the drop from manager to shift manager, the drop to deputy manager will look bad enough.

So my question is, is the verbal agreement worth the paper it was written on? can they refuse to honour it and not give me the position of deputy manager?

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when are you planning to move? If it is not this year then why worry about what you add to your CV. Concentrate on the here and now, do what you need to do to aid your recovery and since the job is really the same what it is called isnt that important. Dont forget, when you say about a lesser bonus, you were the one who asked for the change so there are going to be compromises and minus points. If you really think that the job hasnt changed and you are being paid less for the same work then raise that with your superiors and ask them for a more defined role or better job description.

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Thanks for the reply. No plans to move on yet, I am concentrating on my recovery and getting some sort of stability back in my life.

Just to clarify, the difference in bonus is between the shift manager role (current paid role) & the deputy manager role (requested & what I was told I was getting), not between my previous role and current role.

Financially the difference between the shift manager & deputy manager bonus will be about £4000 less for the year plus vastly reduced company pension contributions if the unit continues to perform as it is (which is highly likely).

From a day to day work perspective, I am already undertaking tasks well above the defined deputy manager job description to help the current manager out and let him focus on different aspects of the business to develop it. He is utilising my experience and I have no objection to that since it makes sense and will benefit the business and thus all out bonuses.

I found out the area manager will be in the unit tomorrow and have requested time with him to discuss which is why I am asking if I have a case to push him to honour his verbal agreement that I be given the deputy manager package.

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