What are the options in a relationship breakdown with your manager?

It is always unfortunate if your relationship has broken down with your manager. This could happen, for example, where there is a simple clash of personalties, a new manger has been brought in who you don’t see eye to eye with, where your performance of your work has unreasonably been brought into question, or where leverage is being brought on you in the hope you resign. There are several steps you can take:

1. You can lodge an internal grievance to someone above your manager or your HR department in an endeavour to resolve matters. Your employer would be obliged to hear the grievance after setting up a meeting, and you have the right to appeal the decision if it does not go in your favour. A grievance should really be a step for you to take after you have first tried to informally resolve matters with your manager, but in some cases, the situation will be so bad that an informal approach will simply not be possible. If matters do not improve after you have lodged a grievance which makes your continuing position untenable, you may have to consider resigning and claiming constructive dismissal.

2. A viable alternative if you cannot see any long term relationship is to consider a mutually agreed termination of your employment under a settlement agreement.  This would see you leaving on agreed terms, which usually include a lump sum payment (over and above your notice), together with a job reference.

There are specific skills and tactics when negotiating a settlement agreement, and you are best off seeking professional advice on this before your employer is approached. You could otherwise prejudice your continuing working relationship if your employer flatly refuses an approach.

Usually, it is possible to preserve amicability with your employer where you leave under agreed terms, but only if a correct and timely approach is made. It is worth noting that this option is also available if the grievance in option 1 fails to resolve matters.

We are experts in negotiating favourable severances with employers, having dealt with thousands of cases in all industry sectors. Please call 020 7100 5256 and ask to speak to Philip Landau or any member of the employment law team.

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