Before you read on, I would like to apologise for the following question being so lengthy.

My coworker and I, two web developers, signed a permanent contract with the parent company in December 2017. In January 2018, we were moved over to one of the subsidiary companies, a development house very close to home which is also a supplier to the parent company. This was done by the line manager of the parent company, who we are still under contract with. There are currently no web developers at the parent company, which was why we were deployed to the subsidiary company in order for us to assimilate with an established development team, with no word on if we were going to be recalled or not. In February 2019, the line manager of the parent company resigned, and his replacement wants to restructure their offices and recall us from our posts effective from the beginning of July.

This is not sitting well with me. I, to a greater extent than my coworker, have been seamlessly assimilated with the office culture, while my coworker stays very distant. I have been approached by the CTO multiple times to work alone on important projects with very sensitive information. We have both been invited to all staff functions to date, I have attended all of them, while he has only attended a few. My performances have been positively remarked upon by the line manager and CTO of the subsidiary company, with the senior developer, whom we work closely with, telling me that he can see that I'm the better one of the two and he has been reaching out to their line manager and the CTO to try and sign me on as a permanent member of their team. I had a personal conversation with their line manager, and he agrees, and would've signed me already if it wasn't for the fact that the parent company is also a client and it would give off the impression of 'poaching' me from them, as well as having to renegotiate their contract next month. He says that us leaving would put an unnecessary dent in their sprint velocity, which I agree with, and that if need be, I would have to submit my resignation to the parent company in order to cut my ties with them so that I can be fairly signed.

My coworker is making me feel unsettled. He knows that I won't be able to contend with commuting a much further distance to work in a very different location surrounded by people who I feel incompatible with, so he's trying to remind me almost every day that we could be inevitably moving back. I feel as if he also knows his output is less than mine, so he is trying to take my enjoyment of working here away. The new line manager has made a promise to raise our seniority, however I feel that I have nowhere near enough development experience to tutor or manage people.

On Monday, the line manager of the subsidiary company called me in and told me about the support desk vacancy that hasn't been filled since May 2018. He said that he can restructure it so I can still be part of the sprints and incorporate my development skills while taking on the job of communicating directly with clients and managing support tickets. I am seriously considering this, as the location and company culture, not the salary, is what is important to me.

I haven't told anyone else about my correspondence with the heads of the subsidiary company. My ideal scenario would be that the parent company terminates my contract by mutual consent, ending with me signing on for the support role while my coworker gets sent back to the parent company with the role that the line manager promised. But obviously I can't say this as I feel that I would be 'throwing him under the bus'. I also don't know if there is sufficient stock in what the line manager is saying about the support desk role. If there isn't, I will most likely have to leave both companies behind and look for something else.

The two line managers will meet in two weeks time to renegotiate, and to discuss our future. The main question I'm asking here is what is the best actions that I can take regarding this? Should I wait on the subsidiary company to pull through? Or am I powerless to do anything and should consider leaving the two companies entirely?

This is also bearing in mind that the contract between the two companies does have an NCC, but this contract is set to expire June 1.

  • 1
    We need a more specific question here, at the end, and preferably in the title. This is not a good place for general "just give me whatever advice." or "What do I do?". There needs to be a real, specific, answerable question. "What are the implications of?" is the sort of thing that would be a good start.
    – Ben Barden
    May 14, 2019 at 19:26
  • 2
    Since there's a contract involved and very, very few of us are lawyers, you might want to get a lawyer involved, even if it's just to ask this question to them. May 14, 2019 at 19:27
  • 1
    You may want to re-read your contract, there may be a non-compete clause which would bar you from working for the subsidiary.
    – jesse
    May 14, 2019 at 19:35
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    For clarification, this is a lot of really good background information, but we need a specific question to apply it to. You are likely to get one or more answers that cover more space than just the question you ask, but we need a question we can work with in order to provide you with any sort of answer at all.
    – Ben Barden
    May 14, 2019 at 21:34
  • @Ben Barden I've edited it to accommodate the question. I apologise for not making it clear.
    – user90580
    May 15, 2019 at 4:55

1 Answer 1


There are several things you need to consider here.

When you were deployed to the subsidiary, there may have been an agreement in place from the parent company, some of these will include clauses regarding taking over staff from one to the other.

First of all, the subsidiary needs to make you a job offer if they want you to stay, this needs to be in writing with all conditions written in it.

After this you can approach HR of the parent company to try and understand if there is anything within their clauses regarding this transfer.

After receiving the offer, if you have confirmation that you are allowed to transfer, then put the request through and sit tight.

Make sure to expect this not to work as there may be some contractual implications on the transfer that you are not aware of at the moment.

  • Might I add that I have already tried addressing this with the parent company HR, and they told me that it is not up to them, but up to the line manager.
    – user90580
    May 15, 2019 at 10:10
  • @user90580 but you need a straight answer from them to the question "Is there anything on my contract or the contract between you and the subsidiary that will not allow me to stay there?" You need to know if you have some sort of non-compete, or any clause that would prevent you from applying there. What your manager wants is irrelevant May 15, 2019 at 10:14
  • My contract states that my premises of work is in the location which I don't want to work at, followed by "...or any other location that the company deems applicable." I'm starting to feel that this last part is some sort of loophole that was first exploited positively for me by my old line manager, and exploited negatively by my new one. Additionally, is it imperative that I resign from the parent company first? I will have a look over my contract again.
    – user90580
    May 15, 2019 at 10:20
  • @user90580 it doesn't matter what your contract says regarding place of work, but more about what happens when you leave. You may need to resign yes, and take a job at the other company, but you first need to know whether there is something on the contract between the two companies that would prevent the other company from hiring you or that prevents you to working for the other company (usually for a certain period of time) May 15, 2019 at 10:33
  • Ah so it is on THEIR contract, not mine. Well with renegotiations taking place, is it unethical for me to ask the subsidiary line manager to take this into consideration during the next meeting?
    – user90580
    May 15, 2019 at 10:36

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