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a job to return to after travelling?

(5 Posts)
mumofkandj Fri 16-Jul-10 01:48:54

I work in the NHS, and in May I requested special leave next year to go travelling and do voluntary work for 6 months. I was advised by my manager it was unlikely to be successful, but I did get approval in writing from the manager above her. My letter states
're: request for special leave
Thank you for your letter dated 3 May 2010 requesting unpaid leave from April-Sept 2011. the request has been approved and as such payroll will be informed. In the meantime, if there are any changes to your circumstances, please let me know.'

Now, since then there's been all the cost cutting things for the NHS, and my immediate manager did my appraisal this week, and said several times we don't know what might happen in the next year, and she didn't know if there would be a job for me to come back to. this wasn't said in a threatening way, more in a 'friendly warning' advisory thing, that going away from work is a foolish thing to do in the financial climate.
I'm wondering if, with the letter I have, they could suddenly say to me on my return that I haven't a job?
I've worked in the NHS for 10 years, in this job for 6 yrs. I'm top of band 7 for pay (the managers liked the idea of getting someone to cover for me at a lower pay point for six months originally).
I'm wondering if I should be getting legal advice now, just in case. We're selling our house ( hopefully!) to enable us to do this, that's why there's the clause about my circumstances changing.
thanks for any insight.

Kathyjelly Fri 16-Jul-10 07:46:21

As far as I know, employment rights are hazy around "special leave" or sabbaticals.

At the very least, if your role is at risk of redundancy, they must contact you and put you through the consultation and interview process, just the same as anyone else, because you are still on the payroll and are simply on approved unpaid leave. That would require you to get back to the office when they call. And they might then expect you to take up your role again.

But if they are going to make a whole department redundant, the fact that you are somewhere in Tibet will be irrelevant, they will still make the whole department redundant. sad

mumofkandj Fri 16-Jul-10 10:16:09

ATM it would sound tricky to make my role redundant as a dept- can't imagine a hospital without ultrasound, and (all hearsay) my colleagues have said that they'd have to ask for voluntary redundancies prior to compulsory, and my colleagues near retirement would love the oppertunity.
I'm sure there must be some mechanism for getting the entire department to re-apply for out posts, but that hasn't been mentioned.
Currently our trust is no longer filling vacancies automatically- special dispensation is required to fill vacancies that arise. Increments haven't been stopped yet though.

estya Sat 17-Jul-10 11:22:30

It sounds like you immediate manager is a bit jealous to me.
Perhaps you could ask her if she has heard that there may be job cuts in your department etc, it may just be that she is speculating or giving you the benefit of her opinion.

mizu Wed 21-Jul-10 07:46:05

Although perhaps the manager really doesn't know. I am a teacher in FE and we have been told that there will be cuts and redundancies but have no more information only that things will happen in the next year or so. People who retire or leave are not being replaced at the moment which is the first step.

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