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AIBU to think they just can't do this? Just basically lost my job :(

(64 Posts)
TheWitTank Fri 14-Oct-16 15:05:11

Please help wise people of MN. Z
Just left work for the day and I'm a bit shell shocked and tearful. Boss came to see me and basically has said they can't accommodate my hours anymore (9am-2.30pm 4 days a week) and that I need to change to what they need (8am-5.30pm 3 days a week) or I haven't got a job. For some background, I changed my hours to my current ones back in June due to childcare issues. Employer accepted this on a trial basis for one month -I haven't heard anything since and it seemed to work, so thought it was all ok. Now, 4 months later, boss has changed his mind. I signed a contract with my new hours. It is impossible for me to do the new hours. No possible solutions. What do I do? I really need my job, but I can't do it. I'm looking frantically through ads as I wait for my DD but there isn't anything suitable. I have until Monday to decide what to do. Please help -what are my rights? I will ring ACAS when I'm home, but I need some encouraging words to stop me bawling.

ilovesooty Fri 14-Oct-16 15:09:57

How long have you worked for them? It's a fairly complex issue and ACAS should be able to advise.

TheWitTank Fri 14-Oct-16 15:11:01

Nearly 3 years

OneTiredMummmyyy Fri 14-Oct-16 15:15:36

I'm sorry to hear this. My parents are employers and I think the way it goes (last time we discussed a similar issue they had) with flexible working is that you have the right to request flexible working but if your employer has a good business reason not to accommodate your request then they can reject it. sad
Can you get some help with childcare whilst you find another job so you can continue doing your current job for a while longer?

OneTiredMummmyyy Fri 14-Oct-16 15:19:18

I would definitely get some advice about this though. Maybe you can come to an agreement with your current employers smile

AndNowItsSeven Fri 14-Oct-16 15:21:05

How old are your dc have you checked with after school clubs and child minders?

hellsbellsmelons Fri 14-Oct-16 15:26:07

I hope ACAS can help you.
You have a contract with your current hours which is good.
Ask your employer for full reasons why they think the current set up is not workable.
And how they believe the proposed new hours will improve things.
Good luck with acas.

RomanticWalksToTheFridge Fri 14-Oct-16 15:27:18

Get thee to ACAS quick smart. It might be a case for constructive dismissal if they have unilaterally changed your terms in a way that is impossible for you. If so, then you have quite a few things in your favour.

Don't panic. Call ACAS.

Good luck. thanks

noneshallsleep2 Fri 14-Oct-16 15:29:28

The fact that you signed a contract with your new hours will help I think (they have previously approved your request for flexible working, so it's a different situation from what OneTired is referring to), but it may depend what your contract actually says - does it say they can change the agreed hours if necessary?

If the contract doesn't give them that flexibility, then you have more chance of arguing they can't change your terms without your consent.

Is there any way you can partly accommodate what they need? Can you do anything from home (obv depends on the job!)

PoldarksBreeches Fri 14-Oct-16 15:29:29

Why can't you do those hours? That's a fairly standard working day.

Benedikte2 Fri 14-Oct-16 15:29:59

I'd ask employer for a reasonable time in which to organise childcare -- unreasonable to expect you to do it over the weekend!
That will give you breathing space.
Why has it turned out not to be convenient? Do they want to employ someone else the other two days? Do you belong to a union which could negotiate on your behalf?
Good luck

LeftRightUpDown Fri 14-Oct-16 15:35:17

If you have a contract with your actual working hrs stated then I can't see how they can ask you to change.

Hopefully someone wonderful like flowery will see this or ask it to be moved to employment

KinkyAfro Fri 14-Oct-16 15:41:11

OP has said why in her OP Poldark

TheWitTank Fri 14-Oct-16 15:43:03

Poldarks -my DH works away and I have no family support with childcare (my family all work). Primary do not offer any form of before or after school club, and my DS has ASD and would not cope with a childcare situation. Plus, there is no affordable way for me to use childcare either -it wouldn't be worth me going to work.

GettingMuckyFingersCrossed Fri 14-Oct-16 15:44:07

I had this , union involved and everything
It comes down to the needs of the business
So sorry OP

harderandharder2breathe Fri 14-Oct-16 15:44:26

Get advice asap! Can you somehow prove that your hours are beneficial to the business (e.g. Not more than one working day between you being able to respond to queries, you cover peak periods and the early and end part of the day are quieter, you cover colleagues lunch hours, more flexibility to do extra hours as it doesn't mean a whole extra day)

snowsuit Fri 14-Oct-16 15:44:39

i would ask for something in writing from your employer stating their business justification for why your hours aren't reasonable. my employer has tried to pull a couple of fast ones before but the phrase 'in writing' seems to work magic and make them suddenly reconsider. hope you can work it out.

coff33andChoc Fri 14-Oct-16 15:46:03

I would at least think they have to give you notice re change of hours.

any reason why the other pattern isn't possible (I have a child with severe SN who cannot access wrap around childcare so I get this can be a deal breakers).

AnnetteKertan Fri 14-Oct-16 15:46:24

If you're actually dismissed it's potentially unfair dismissal as well as potentially sex discrimination. You really need to see a solicitor, this area is complex and a review of the paperwork and a detailed discussion is required. acas provide a valuable service but they can only give info about your rights; they're not solicitors.

RomanticWalksToTheFridge Fri 14-Oct-16 15:46:28

They cannot unilaterally decide to change your working conditions. Especially as you have a contract stipulating those hours. ACAS. Please, asap. Do you have a copy of the contract? Does it say in there they can change the working conditions without notice? Do you have a union rep?

Springing it on you like this. Bullying you into rushing to make a decision by Monday. They are treading on thin ice.

Stormtreader Fri 14-Oct-16 16:03:20

Arent they asking you to increase your total hours per week as well then? Are they offering you a payrise to match that?

EweAreHere Fri 14-Oct-16 16:09:30

Contact ACAS.

If they don't have to continue being flexible, at the very least, they should honor the contract you have both signed for an extended period of time until you can sort out childcare before/after school. Perhaps in the new year? You should be able to sort something I would hope?

BalloonSlayer Fri 14-Oct-16 16:16:17

Do you work school holidays?

NikaKaKa Fri 14-Oct-16 16:18:27

HR Manager here, they cannot simply change your hours. You did not receive an outcome of your trial period which is pretty shit of them. They need to provide you an actual business case as to why they cannot accommodate your flexible working and put it in writing. Speak to ACAS asap

TheWitTank Fri 14-Oct-16 16:19:05

Thank you so much everyone. Great help here. I'm still out at the moment (dentist with kids) so I will try and answer everything properly later. I will phone ACAS when I get home. I have a sneaky suspicion that I'm actually being conveniently moved aside for the bosses brother to take my place. Can't prove that obviously! Also, they haven't been providing wage slips to any of us for months and I've asked so the timing is a bit suss. I completely understand business needs, but it was the immediacy of this decision that has shocked me. One weekend to try and arrange my life.

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