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Advice on potential dismissal / General Employment


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Hi guys hopefully you can help me, briefly and to the point I'm having some concerns at work.

 

My main concern is that I'm doing a role which is additional to the one I am contracted to do. I'm contracted to improve business development chiefly through tendering, of which I'm achieving and there is documented evidence of. However, my MD has since delegated another role/responsibility which was previously another colleagues role/responsibility but he has said that my performance in this area is not good.

 

This is fine, everybody makes mistakes, but what he doesn't appreciate is that my main role takes a considerable amount of time and paying the same focus/attention to the new role/responsibility can be difficult.

 

With this in mind, he give me a telling off which I feel is his version of a formal verbal warning, but I received no written confirmation advising of that this was the case and no one else was present. So the questions I would welcome answers to are:

 

  • Can the "telling off" be considered a formal verbal warning and does a witness need to be present?
     
  • Can I be dismissed on grounds of performance/capability for a role/responsibility I'm not meant to be doing (I've documented confirmation of this from a Director's email outlining individual staff roles/responsibilities) ?
     
  • Lastly and perhaps irreverent, my contract of employment/payslips is with a separate company within the group, of which the work I do is a different company within the same group. Is my employer breaching my contract or if worst came to the worst, could I argue this point?
     

 

All answers/feelings on this would be much appreciated. Ohh I have been employed for 16 months now.

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  • Can the "telling off" be considered a formal verbal warning and does a witness need to be present?
     
    No - any formal warning should be preceded by a disciplinary hearing outlining the problem and giving you an opportunity to be accompanied. It should also result in written confirmation of any sanction or agreed next steps even if the warning was merely 'verbal'
     
  • Can I be dismissed on grounds of performance/capability for a role/responsibility I'm not meant to be doing (I've documented confirmation of this from a Director's email outlining individual staff roles/responsibilities) ?

    Yes - where you have accepted the additional responsibilities without highlighting concerns or formally agreeing what the employer's expectations are
     
  • Lastly and perhaps irreverent, my contract of employment/payslips is with a separate company within the group, of which the work I do is a different company within the same group. Is my employer breaching my contract or if worst came to the worst, could I argue this point?

    It wouldn't be a game-changer. For the same reason as above, if you have accepted the role, the employer and method of payment without complaint then there would be a tacit agreement
     

 

I have been employed for 16 months now.

 

And unfortunately therein lies your biggest problem and it comes down to whether you are willing to stick your head above the parapet in order to complain. Whilst there could be some 'breach of contract' issues here in terms of precisely what is your role and how 'fair' or otherwise is your employer's conduct, there is little to stop the employer dismissing with the vaguest of reasons until you have 24 months service

 

How easy do you feel it would be to seek an informal meeting to discuss areas of concern and for you to better understand what your employer's expectations are of you? I do not get the impression from your OP that you are disgruntled or particularly unhappy with the job itself - more concerned that you are performing an additional role which you are struggling with?

 

A clear the air session may allow both of you to highlight areas which need clarification - for the employer to indicate where your priorities should be and for you then to raise any concerns over what is and is not achievable and why. You could also ask for clarification of which part of the business you are actually working for.

 

That would be my first suggestion rather than looking beyond this being a shot across the bows as regards performance

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And unfortunately therein lies your biggest problem and it comes down to whether you are willing to stick your head above the parapet in order to complain. Whilst there could be some 'breach of contract' issues here in terms of precisely what is your role and how 'fair' or otherwise is your employer's conduct, there is little to stop the employer dismissing with the vaguest of reasons until you have 24 months service

 

How easy do you feel it would be to seek an informal meeting to discuss areas of concern and for you to better understand what your employer's expectations are of you? I do not get the impression from your OP that you are disgruntled or particularly unhappy with the job itself - more concerned that you are performing an additional role which you are struggling with?

 

A clear the air session may allow both of you to highlight areas which need clarification - for the employer to indicate where your priorities should be and for you then to raise any concerns over what is and is not achievable and why. You could also ask for clarification of which part of the business you are actually working for.

 

That would be my first suggestion rather than looking beyond this being a shot across the bows as regards performance

 

Thanks. The thing is I rather like the job I am "contracted" to do, whereas the additional responsibilities were forced on me, I was'nt asked but told. So far as I understand there is no documented evidence of me accepting the new responsibilities, I guess it was "landed on my desk". I did however verbally agree that the additional responsibility was fine on the condition that tenders remained my primary focus.

 

The MD agreed that they should be however I cannot mentally give the same focus on raising sales orders etc after I have been scrutinising mediums for contracts and spending days completing these. It is a little like asking a striker in football to play goal keeper, yes he can do it but its not what he is capable of doing.

 

Any further advice is greatly welcome, but I feel the important thing to gather from all this is the lack of documentation suggesting that the new additional role is one I am doing. If the worst came to it, will a court simply acknowledge the employers "word" as that is all it's been so far.

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all you can do is request a meeting to discuss the problems you are having with this new role and seek additional training/mentoring etc so your boss is aware that you are keen to do it properly and accept that you cant at present ut are willing to learn etc. When this is agreed ask that it is formalised so the performance can be measured or monitored by some suitable yardstick. This means that you will have something in writing and set objectives.

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