Should temporary job be mine?

I’ve been on a temporary promotion for several years. Originally it was for 12 months and it’s been extended several times since. I’ve had three appraisals during this time and been marked at the higher grade as meeting the competency level required. The company’s policy on temporary promotion has not been followed in my opinion as it says an extension past one year only happens in exceptional circumstances for specific projects with senior HR agreement. The letters I’ve received about my temporary promotion don’t mention a project or event justifying the promotion and therefore an event/project end date. Each letter only states the length of the extension with the caveat it may be shorter if the role is advertised and I’m unsuccessful in my application. The impression given by the letters is that temporary could be never-ending. If and when the role is advertised, do I have grounds to argue the role should be mine as I’ve done it for several years and been assessed as meeting the standard required through the annual appraisal process? Any advice would be welcome.

Employment law documents and gavel.

 

I’m sorry to hear that there has been a lack of clarity around the temporary promotions you’ve been given. As you’ve mentioned, the company’s policy suggests that a temporary promotion should be used to cover a specific project and only be extended if that project requires it. However, this hasn’t applied in your situation and it has just been renewed on an ad hoc basis without further explanation.

To answer your question; yes, if they do decide to advertise the role in the future you should have a strong argument that you should be offered the job. Several factors feed into this, particular the length of time you have been doing the role and the fact your appraisals show you are performing well in the role. Unfortunately, they are not obliged to offer you the role without interviewing for it; although many companies would. There may be other employees in the workplace who would be interested in the role and who would raise a grievance if they were not given the chance to apply for the role as well. However, you’re likely to be in the strongest position to be given the job as you will be able to show you have been doing it for three years and you are meeting the requirements of the role. Whilst these situations are always fact specific, there is a strong chance that if they did not offer you the role you may have a discrimination and/or unfair dismissal claim against the company depending on how they handle the process and the personal situations of the other people who apply for the role.

It’s difficult to provide more detailed advice without knowing what the role is, why it was a “temporary promotion” in the first place and why they may decide to make it permanent. However, if you would like more certainty about the situation you may want to consider raising it with your manager at your next appraisal or in a separate one to one conversation. You could explain that you are confused about the status of your current role as the letters you receive refer to it as a “temporary promotion”, but it doesn’t seem to reflect the company’s policy on temporary promotions and you have now been doing the job for several years. The manager may be able to give you more information about why it is being deemed “temporary” and the prospects of them deciding to change this in the future. It may also give you an opportunity to explain to your manager that you would like to do the role permanently (if that’s the case) and therefore if they did decide to make the role permanent they would be aware you were keen to remain in the role. If you do decide to have a conversation, I hope it goes well.

*Charlotte Farrell and Tabytha Cunningham are Partners at Paris Smith in Southampton. 



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