In an awkward situation at work...

(54 Posts)
Gingersstuff Thu 27-Feb-14 11:05:22

Will try to keep this short. I was/am employed 4 days per week in a very small company. I have had a health issue recently which culminated in surgery and meant a couple of periods of sickness for around 2-3 weeks each time (first period for illness, second for surgery/recovery time). Had a conversation with employers just before surgery in which they informed me they were cutting my hours down to 2.5 days per week (other people were having this done too but not as drastic as me) verbally telling me it was due to my illness. I was a bit hmm about this but looking it up it appeared I couldn't claim discrimination as other people were having their hours cut too. Officially it was because there wasn't enough work around. I was told that this period of reduced hours would be kept to a minimum and reviewed monthly.
So given that I couldn't afford to work 2.5 days/wk I started looking for another job, found one and handed in my notice. Completely overlooked the fact that my notice period was 2 months and could have sworn it was one month (which is industry standard). Yes, big cock-up on my part. I explained to employers that I'd messed up and offered to work out some sort of compromise. Employers have dug their heels in and are not only holding me to every second of the 2 months notice but won't let me take my annual leave which would have effectively cut my notice down to 6 weeks. New employers are withdrawing their offer as they can't wait til end April for me. So now I have no job at the end of April.
The people that have secured me the new job are suggesting that I just tell them I'm leaving at the end of March and that's that. However that would mean breaking the contract.
The final piece of this is that mysteriously enough now that I am back from sick leave and fit for the job again I've been put back up to 4 days per week. Just in case you're wondering, new job was secured in a telephone interview on one of my non-working days.
Any advice please? Am in a quandary as to what to do. Still want new job which I can't go to unless I break my contract. No guarantee that I'll get anouther job when I leave in April which would really leave me up a certain creek. Thanks.

lanbro Thu 27-Feb-14 14:57:03

My dh and I both handed our 4 week notice in to leave to start our own business. We then got offered a job we couldn't afford to turn down so spoke to our manager and whilst he wasn't happy as he couldn't force us to work our notice he agreed to us leaving just days after handing the notice in. We then both got paid our full months wage at the end of the month, then holiday pay the following month! We weren't on mega money but amounted to over £2500 for both of us. Friends who worked in hr said it was unlikely they would try and get it back as it wasn't worth the effort for such a small amount!

I would just leave at the end of march, I doubt they would try to sue you for breach of contract.

Poppy67 Thu 27-Feb-14 15:00:27

Can't you offer to do 2.5 days at current place and the rest at the new place until you can start full time?

PerpendicularVince Thu 27-Feb-14 15:01:41

You won't get sued - they would have to prove significant financial loss to do this, and it's highly unlikely that they'd be able to do so, in addition to the court fees and months of waiting for a court date. It won't happen.

Don't deprive yourself of a job for them, you have to think about yourself. How would you pay your bills? I always try and leave on good terms, so I would be pleasant, tell them when you're leaving and don't be blackmailed.

ginnybag Thu 27-Feb-14 15:08:47

This is a company that is struggling to find sufficient work for people - see all the reduced hours.

You leaving is potentially saving them an expensive redundancy situation. You leaving early is also going to save them your salary for that month.

Currently, they are going to owe you 4x daily rate for 8 weeks, plus outstanding holiday pay (and make sure they recalculate this to account for all the stupid hours changes)

If you go early, they're going to owe you 4x daily rate for four weeks, plus your holiday pay.

Their stance makes no sense for a company that's just used 'financial reasons' as the justification for cutting your hours. (Is it in your contract that they can do this, btw?)

So, they can either agree to you leaving early, or risk you kicking up about the fact that they mysteriously hacked your hours just as you went off sick!

Either way, you'd be stupid to stay with them and risk being unemployed in five weeks.

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