You and the Law – 2nd March 2010

Denied promotion

 A colleague at work was recently promoted, although no-one inside or outside the company was interviewed for the post.  I am now being asked to apply for his old job, but I don’t think this is fair.  Would I have a case for compensation at an employment tribunal?  CB

Unless your contract says differently your employer has no obligation to offer you or anyone else the chance of promotion within the firm.  Employers have an implied duty of “mutual trust and confidence” among employees, but it would be a long shot to suggest that failure to offer you the chance of applying for promotion undermined this. 

The only grounds for complaint you might have would be if you could show you were offered less favourable treatment on the basis of your age, race, sex, age or disability, or in some cases because you work part-time.

Homeless money

A relative who regarded me as her next of kin left part of her estate in her will to a children’s home which was part of the NHS at the time but which has now closed.  During her lifetime she always paid for private medical care, so she certainly would not intend the money to go to the NHS.  Can I now make a claim on this money?  NR

If the children’s home was regarded as a charity then the gift in the will may have to be used for some other charitable purpose.  You may need specialist advice on this.  It’s unlikely you will be able to “make a claim”
on the money. 

If the gift fails – i.e there’s no-one to receive it – it will fall back into the residue of the estate.  A Will normally stipulates who is to receive the residue, but failing that it will go to the nearest relative under intestacy rules.  That may or may not be you.

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