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Issues with employer - how to proceed?

(5 Posts)
SuseB Sun 05-Jun-11 21:15:52

I am having a few ongoing issues with my employer. I'm at the point where I've lost all respect for the boss and his company, and am unsure how best to proceed and whether I've got any case against him. Grateful for any advice. Will try to cut long story very short:

Was senior person in small department (managed a couple of others, responsible for training, quality, handling smallish budgets for projects). Went on mat leave (1 yr) with DC1, my deputy did my job while I was off, when I came back and wanted part time hours the boss basically gave me a choice between accepting a part-time position with reduced responsibility and salary and redundancy (claiming they'd reorganised my original job while I was off). I still wanted a job - not many opportunities in my field in my location - so swallowed this. A year later went on leave again with DC2. Came back to part-time job as it was when I left, my deputy still doing the job I originally had. She left, boss immediately promoted a junior male to that job, bypassing me entirely (literally knew nothing about it until he announced it to the room). I tackled him about it and asked why I hadn't been considered given my experience in that role - he said it was a full-time job. I said I might have considered going full-time to do the job again, and he said he 'couldn't second guess my arrangements'. I was pretty hacked off, but knew I was planning DC3.

I am now on leave with DC3, due back in Jan. I found out yesterday that said junior male is now moving on, leaving the senior job vacant. Boss has advertised the job in national magazine via a rec. cons. but said nothing to me (despite an exchange of emails on an unrelated matter on the day the ad went in). Looks to me like he is going to recruit without considering me again. I'm wondering if this amounts to unfair treatment within the maternity regs?

On another point the company wrongly deducted childcare vouchers from my salary back in Nov/Dec, leaving me out of pocket to the tune of £400. I didn't learn of the error until March because the company had not been sending my payslips through. Since then I've chased the boss three times for the money and still no joy. Wondering if this counts as 'non-payment of wages' and if so what the next step should be.

If you've read this far you probably realise the relationship has broken down - I'm seriously considering not going back and wondering what my options are for going after the boss, who I feel has treated me pretty poorly. However, if I haven't got a leg to stand on it would be good to know! TIA for any words of wisdom.

flowery Sun 05-Jun-11 21:33:13

Sounds as though most of this happened far too long ago and with too long in between to be anything you could bring any kind of legal claim about. There is a short time limit for claims to an employment tribunal and although you can include past incidents as part of an ongoing pattern, if there are months/years in between and you didn't raise grievances etc at the time, that wouldn't really apply.

So it sounds like you've got two things, firstly not being informed of vacancies, or this particular vacancy anyway, and secondly the deductions made from your salary. Have you now applied for the vacancy? Have you asked your boss why he didn't mention it to you? |Was it advertised internally first that you knew nothing about or has it gone directly to external advert?

Why were the deductions wrong, did you not receive the vouchers/had you come out of the scheme, what exactly is the error? When you've spoken to your boss about it what was the response? What reason has been given and what action was agreed?

SuseB Sun 05-Jun-11 21:54:37

Hi Flowery, thanks for coming on my thread smile

I haven't yet done anything - have only known about it for a day or two and thought I'd seek advice first. There's a closing date for applications (end of next week). When it comes down to it I probably don't want the job, as don't want to be full-time, but am cross that the boss is effectively ruling me out of it by not informing me about it (and that he is ignoring my qualifications, experience and track record in the job!). V. small company, everyone will know about the vacancy, no one there will be qualified to apply. Do you think I should tackle the boss about it now, or wait to see if he goes ahead and recruits without telling me? I thought women on mat. leave had to be notified of opportunities for promotion?

The deductions were wrong because they deducted childcare vouchers from my SMP (the first part of SMP, paid at 90 percent of earnings). As I understand it they are not allowed to make any deductions from SMP, including the first six weeks (I did check this with the voucher provider/HMRC). At first boss/payroll said they were right and I was wrong, then when I sent them evidence from the voucher people boss said he would look at it again, I heard nothing for ages, chased him again, he said he'd been away, then he said he couldn't pay vouchers without being invoiced by the voucher people, I responded that I am short cash, not vouchers (had he paid any attention to the issue so far?!) and here we are two months later. No firm undertaking on his part to sort it out. Am feeling I need to start being a bit less friendly about it!

Thanks for your help.

SuseB Wed 08-Jun-11 09:32:40

Just as a little update - in case I can get any more opinions/advice - I've since found out that my employer has asked a former employee, who was more junior than me when she worked for us, to cover the senior position for a while, but she has refused. Still haven't heard a word from him about any of it, everything I know has come from others.

And still no word about the deductions. I am keeping notes of what happens with dates etc anyway.

flowery Wed 08-Jun-11 15:58:49

Sorry Suse

Yes women on maternity leave have to be notified of opportunities for promotion, so that is what he's done wrong here. If you want to take that issue further you'd need to raise a grievance.

Have you spoken to HR or whoever sorts out payroll about your voucher deductions since sending info from the voucher company/HMRC? Your boss should be undertaking to sort it out but rather than sit and wait for that to happen/not happen, for your own benefit I would suggest hassling payroll/HR/whoever as well.

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