Advanced search

anyone know anything about teachers rights re temp contracts and redundancy

(8 Posts)
Baysmum Thu 26-May-11 17:28:53

hi, i have been working for same lea for 3 years, each year a fixed 1 year contract with no gaps ie continuous service. my current contract is due to end august 2011 but i went on mat leave in march and am currently breastfeeding my 5 wk old ds - hence no capital letters! i have received a letter today making me redundant due to a fall in numbers and deanding response by tomorrow at 12 noon!

i was told this may be a possibility and was referred tp redeployment unit at council who want me to apply for jobs starting sept even tho i am on mat leaveand not planning to return to work til march 2012. They say if i dont apply for jobs and attend interviews i will put reundancy pay at risk. can theydo this? also if i go through redeployment process it will make my chances of getting a new job better which wd be great - just not now with new baby, post c-section, 2 other kids under 5, extreme tiredness etc etc. i cant think straight at the mo and this extra pressure is making me feel quite ill. can anyone help?

oh yes - and if i take redundancy does that effect my mat pay?

Baysmum Thu 26-May-11 20:00:09

Bump - please i know its not the most exciting post but someone must know something - im desparate!!!

flowery Fri 27-May-11 08:50:16

Well firstly making you redundant by letter with no other consultation or anything and 'demanding a response' by the following day doesn't sound fair at all. Although you then say you've already been put in touch with the redeployment unit which doesn't tie in, and sounds as though you knew already?

Your employer is obliged to make every effort to find alternative work for you, which is why there is a redeployment unit, but you do need to cooperate. If they find posts that they think might be suitable and you refuse to consider them yes your redundancy pay could be at risk.

If they waited until next March to attempt to redeploy you, there was nothing suitable and as a result you were made redundant, you could say 'there was x,y and z vacancy that was suitable for me and my redundancy could have been avoided'.

The good news is that as you are a woman on maternity leave, if your post is redundant and there is a suitable alternative vacancy ('suitable' meaning terms and conditions, hours, salary, skills and experience), you must be offered it and can't be made to compete with others. You get preference. So although they could ask you to come in for an interview it should only be for the purposes of establishing whether you are suitable, not pitting you against other candidates, so much less pressure. How many vacancies are we talking, is it really that onerous a process?

Finbar Fri 27-May-11 08:54:14

YOu have extra protection in being redeployed as you are on maternity leave - ring ACAS immediately - free and they are open all hours. (oops - just seen that flowery has doen this bit!)

BranchingOut Fri 27-May-11 09:06:57

I think you need the help of the NUT/NASUWT or other teaching union ASAP.

Although they are obliged to inform you of alternative posts/restructuring plans etc as they would normally do during maternity leave, I am not sure that they can compel you to attend interviews. You are not even compelled to do KIT days unless you want to!

Try not to get stressed (hard!) and get as much help as you can.

Baysmum Sat 28-May-11 22:58:01

Thanks for responses, have unfortunately got a bit stressed out about this situation so have decided to put off dealing with it til after my half term holiday!!
Flowery, the first I knew of any redundancy was when redeployment unit contacted me (!) and when I questioneed school they said they had referred me as aprecaution and that they would only know once they got their budget after Easter hols.
Situation now is that I responded to the letter asking if I wished to be consulted (which I had to do within less than 24 hrs) saying yes. I then received a letter the next day saying I was now def being made redundant - so the whole consulting me was a complete joke! I also spoke to my rather dim headteacher who apologised for the situation and blamed the lea (fair enough) but when I asked who would teach my class next year (in a jobshare with her and she does a lot of admin/headteacher mtgs etc) and she actually said - oh we will prob have to keep Kate (my mat cover teacher) on !!! Wtf - surely this is completely ridiculous! In the second letter they sent they said they only had to offer me an alternative position within my notice period before my contract ends on Aug 31st - surely this cant be right as is, in effect, unfair dismissal?
Wd appreciate any advice but as I said am out of contact for a week but will obv chk thread on my return for your words of iwsdom. Thanks for help.

BranchingOut Sun 29-May-11 08:02:49

Please get union support on this, asap. Do you post on the TES forums? There is a poster on there called Astaire who is brilliant on all HR/Employment matters.

It sounds as if your post is not truly being made redundant. I always thought that redundancy in a school would be a situation of falling rolls eg. two form entry school shrinking to one or a situation like a GCSE subject no longer being taught at secondary. Or, if you had a non class-based post and the funding was no longer available, so the post disappeared.

So if your class is still there and the hours will still need to be covered, I can't see how redundancy applies.

flowery Sun 29-May-11 18:46:34

If your post was genuinely redundant then yes they should be looking for something during your notice period and if nothing is available, you would be redundant at the end of that.

However it doesn't sound like a genuine or fair redundancy in the first place so you need to focus on that rather than whether you feel up to going for interviews.

If your job is still there and they are planning to keep your maternity cover on to do it then you are not redundant. They haven't used a fair process in the slightest in terms of consultation, reasons for redundancy, or anything.

When you get back from holiday your first call is to your union explaining exactly what's happened, that your post is still there but they are planning to keep your maternity cover on, that you have had no consultation or opportunity to be represented by your union during the process.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: