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My employers are being dogs in the manger (making it hard for me to leave)

(21 Posts)
MarmaladeTwatkins Fri 30-Aug-13 10:17:30

I am totally fed up sad

I got offered a job that I applied for about a month or so ago, so handed in my notice last Friday. I work in retail and have worked for the same company for ten years.

In the time since I had my interview for the new job, the com poo any has announced that they will be making staff cuts and restructuring the business. I had to sit in on a consultation with another manager, where it was made clear (to me, anyway) that my job would no longer exist and that under the new restructuring, I wouldn't fit in with the business. Fine.

So jump to now. I handed in my notice which is 4 weeks, or so I thought because that's what it said in my handbook. My manager rang me yesterday, really apologetic because HR are saying that I must work TEN WEEKS notice! Ten?! I work 8 hours a week btw, so it's not like I'm integral to the business any more... Apparently, this was all stipulated in the revised handbook, which I have never seen.

I think that they are being extremely unreasonable here. They will more than likely make me redundant in November if I stayed with them anyway so why are they making it so difficult for me to go?! AIBU?

MarmaladeTwatkins Fri 30-Aug-13 10:18:08

God, sorry for typos as m ok b my Kindle.

HeavenstoMurgatroyd Fri 30-Aug-13 10:26:48

Do you have any paperwork (contract statement or handbook) from when you started, and if so what was the notice period then? They can't just change your notice period without consulting you as that's a fundamental change to your terms & conditions.

What would they do if you just upped and left after the 4 weeks? Do you need them to provide a good reference? Would it really be worth them suing you for breach of contract (and they would be on dodgy ground IMHO) for 8 hrs per week?

I think you maybe need to point out to someone in HR that you will be saving them redundancy costs if you leave now - that might make them see sense!

SarahAndFuck Fri 30-Aug-13 10:31:46

Can you ask CAB?

I'm not sure they can change the notice period without telling anyone and what will they do if you just work your four weeks and walk out?

Leopoldina Fri 30-Aug-13 10:32:56

after 10 years with them, stay and take the redundancy package! is the new position so unique that something won't come up similar / will they wait?

biryani Fri 30-Aug-13 10:38:11

If it's in the handbook, and/or if it's generally assumed that the notice period is 4 weeks, I think you'd be within your rights to go. For most jobs it's 4 weeks, in my experience, unless you''re the Pope or something and need a longer notice period. Have a chat with Acas: they have a 24 hour helpline.

MarmaladeTwatkins Fri 30-Aug-13 10:44:38

Oh thank you , I knew people on here would know stuff!

I don't remember signing anything acknowledging that my t&cs had changed... might be worth delving into that.

The redundancy package is shit, not worth holding out for and turning down the new job sad

foslady Fri 30-Aug-13 11:41:33

Def talk to CAB - someone I know recently told of a case of a zero hour contract worker being told she had to give 10 weeks notice. Once CAB were involved it got cancelled.....

BurnThisDiscoDown Fri 30-Aug-13 12:10:07

My last employers tried to do this to me (they'd lost the copy of my contract where it said my notice period was 4 weeks and not 12), my manager was really good and told them they hadn't got a leg to stand on to make me work the 12 weeks notice. I also got a free half hour consultation with an employment lawyer because I wasn't sure my manager would back me up, and they said the same thing - if I've signed something to say that 4 weeks is my notice period, they can't randomly change it without my agreement. Hth.

asmallandnoisymonkey Fri 30-Aug-13 12:22:08

What do you think will happen if you leave after four weeks? They can't physically make you stay, can they?

Notice periods are so that both the employee and the employer are given time to make arrangements to fill a position. If your position will no longer exist there can be no benefit to you staying.

Just leave - you have a new job and no redundancy so it won't affect you in any way.

primallass Fri 30-Aug-13 12:32:07

They won't do anything as it would cost them too much. Check with your new employer however to see if they are still waiting on a reference from them, just in case.

MarmaladeTwatkins Fri 30-Aug-13 12:37:18

It's the reference thing that's making me hesitant! They haven't provided one as yet...

Well Acas seem to think that 4 weeks is statutory and that ten weeks is a maximum amount. They said its at my manager's discretion to let me go after 4 confused

TarkaTheOtter Fri 30-Aug-13 12:42:11

Just checked and 10 weeks is November when your position. Convenient (for them) that. Sounds like they are trying it on so they don't have to cover your position in the meantime. What does your contract say?

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Fri 30-Aug-13 12:42:55

Hmm. Sounds like an unfair contract term to me, especially as they didn't let you know so you could argue about it. If all else fails are you able to do both jobs if it's only 8 hours (so 1 day) a week for the 4 extra weeks?

SarahAndFuck Fri 30-Aug-13 12:44:12

It sounded like you got on well with the woman who interviewed you for the new job.

Can you tell her they are being difficult and that you are worried.

Although I'm not sure they can give you a bad reference can they? I thought they had to give a good one or refuse.

EBearhug Fri 30-Aug-13 12:46:47

10 weeks is maximum? That's interesting. My contract states it's a week for every year you've worked, with a minimum of 4 weeks and maximum of 12. Which is more than 10.

sis Fri 30-Aug-13 12:52:23

Is it possible that hr think the company is making you redundant and must therefore give you the
minimum statutory notice of 10 weeks?

sis Fri 30-Aug-13 12:53:23

Sorry, should have clarified that the 10 weeks would be based on your length of service which is 10 years.

EllaMenOhPea Fri 30-Aug-13 13:21:19

Sis - that's what I was thinking. A mix up & someone in HR was thinking about how much notice they need to give you - which would be 10 weeks - one week for each year of service.

hermioneweasley Fri 30-Aug-13 13:26:51

OP, i am not sure how ACAS can advise without your contract. You need to find some signed and agreed paperwork that says what notice you have to give the company. If this is less than 10 weeks, you need to find out on what basis they think the handbook changes supersede that. Were they negotiated with a recognised trade union? Does your contract state you are bound by collective agreements? How were the changes communicated?

TylerHopkins Fri 30-Aug-13 13:30:02

As someone said upthread, you will be saving them paying out redundancy money.

The worst thing that can happen is that they take you to court to claim back losses they have incurred due to you leaving early. Unless you are in a job where you bring in fees for the company I can guarantee they will not follow this up. It won't be cost effective for them, it will tar their reputation and they will need solid evidence that they actually gave you or informed you that there was a staff handbook available stating terms and conditions etc.

The other thing they could do is mention it on your reference although I really doubt your new employer would be phased by this especially if you explain the situation. It's not like you were offered the job yesterday and you're jumping ship the day after, you have been quite prepared to work a reasonable notice period and your new employer will understand and appreciate this.

You current employers sound like a bunch of unorganised tossers. Try not to worry about it and the best of luck in your new job. flowers

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