Introduction to this document

Promotion letter

Use our letter to confirm an employee’s promotion. Consider making the newly promoted position subject to a probationary period to enable you to assess the employee’s performance and conduct in their new role.

Promotion terms

If you promote an employee, usually their job title, job duties and salary will change, but the rest of their terms and conditions of employment tend to remain the same. The exception is where the new role carries particular additional responsibilities such that you might now need to further protect business interests by way of new restrictive covenants, an intellectual property clause, etc. You should always confirm a promotion in writing to avoid any dispute at a future date about exactly what was agreed. Use our Promotion Letter to help you do this. In any event, you are required to give an employee written confirmation of any amendments to their written statement of employment particulars as soon as possible and not later than one month after the change takes effect. Our letter ensures that this is complied with.

Promotion probation

It’s often best practice to put a newly-promoted employee on probation to see if they’re up to their new role. If you do this and make this clear in your letter, it gives you the right to revert the employee back to their previous role (and their previous salary level) should it subsequently transpire that they are not capable of performing their new duties or a conduct issue arises which makes them unsuitable for the newly-promoted position. Make sure that you first comply with the implied duty of mutual trust and confidence, i.e. you can prove the poor performance or misconduct which has resulted in your decision to revert them back to their previous role and you have a formal meeting with the employee to discuss your proposal before taking a final decision (one that ideally complies with the Acas Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures). If you don’t include this contractual right to revert the employee back to their previous role, then you would have to follow your full disciplinary or capability procedure to take any action against the employee. You couldn’t just demote them, and in any event you wouldn’t be able to do so if your disciplinary or capability procedure doesn’t contain a contractual right to demote. What if the employee’s old job is no longer there because they’ve been replaced? Then, you have a problem! You can’t just dismiss the employee. Instead, you would need to follow a full and fair disciplinary or capability procedure in relation to their performance or conduct in the promoted role.