Change to contracted hours(9 Posts)
Have name changed as don't really want to out myself.
Due to ill health, am having to reduce my contracted hours at work. During the sickness absence meeting that this was discussed at we agreed to 16hrs alongside a set of conditions. This change was to begin when I returned to work.
During an informal chat with my line manager two weeks ago I discovered that these conditions had changed and were not what we had previously agreed. If these had been the conditions set out at the February meeting I would not have cut my hours back quite so much and would have agreed to the 18hrs she had originally suggested.
I have informed her and HR that I am unhappy with what they are now suggesting, but am not sure where to take it from here. At the moment very little is set in writing and I am still waiting for paperwork to arrive to complete my change of circumstances. However I am aware that I have been back at work for 4 weeks on a phased return and am about to begin back on the 16 hours we 'agreed'.
Can anybody offer any advice about what to do in this situation?
When you said you'd rather go to 18 hours what was the response?
What are the extra conditions you are talking about?
Sorry, am a bit more cryptic than I meant it to be. During the informal chat I was told we would discuss it in the meeting with HR. When it was brought up in the HR meeting I didn't really get a response. My line manager did mention that at far as she was concerned it wasn't up for discussion.
As far as the extra conditions are concerned, initially it was to be temporary with a gradual increase as I was able to. Now it looks as though it will be permanent. Although there may or may not be the opportunity in 6 months time to jump back up to the full 24 but if I don't manage this, I think they are likely to try and get rid of me.
Well if you're not happy you can refuse. You don't sound sure whether it's a permanent variation or not, so find that out.
Are Occupational Health advisers involved at all?
That's part of the issue. When we agreed it several months ago it was 16.25 hours which I could gradually increase back up to 24 as I felt ready. This change was to be enacted when I returned to work, with the addition of a phased return over 4 weeks to work up to the 16.25 hrs.
It wasn't until a conversation I had with my line manager about 10 days ago that I realised this had changed. They are now offering the possibility of an increase once I can sustain the hours over 6 months but are saying even that may not be possible.
At the moment they have changed my contacted hours from the middle of March, although I still haven't had my change of circumstances form. My problem at the moment is this week should be my first full week back after phased return and I can't work out whether I should be doing 24 or 16.25. I suspect if I work 16.25 they might argue that by working that I am agreeing to the change.
Occ Health are involved and both doctors I've seen say that I am suffering from a flare up of a long term condition and would be covered by the Equality Act. The first doctor agreed with their original plan and stated that 16.25 wasn't financially sustainable and the stress caused by that could actually make me more ill.
Sorry, that was a bit of an epic post.
This was agreed months ago?
How could anyone know a) what your capabilities would be several months out and b) what would be possible to accommodate from a business point of view several months in advance. Sounds bizarre to me.
If this was a discussion several months ago with nothing in writing then I think you'll struggle to hold them to it now.
If it was supposed to be a gradual increase up to 24, then surely you woudn't be expecting to work 24 now anyway, if you've been doing 16.25?
You need to get in writing asap exactly what they are proposing. I don't think by carrying on 16.25 you could be deemed to have accepted a different change. Email your manager and say your understanding based on agreement on x date was x, but you understand they may wish to change that agreement now. Could they please forward to you as soon as possible the contractual change they are now proposing.
Does your doctor/OH adviser say you are fit to work 24 hours at present?
It was agreed months ago while I was signed off. The reduced hours were supposed to start when I returned to work, with a 4 week phased return to work up to the 16.25. As far as I was concerned I could then gradually increase my hours in increments as my health improved. Its possible that I would never have got back to 24, but would have settled on 21/22.
I had no idea this was no longer the plan until last week. They haven't got my change of circumstances form sorted yet although have decreased my hours with payroll. I realise I can't hold them to it and I wouldn't necessarily want to if it is a problem for them. What I would like is to go back to the drawing board and start discussions again.
I think Occ Health will say no. I could probably manage 24, could definitely manage in the short term. They've referred back to OH again although to a different doctor so not sure what he will say.
Really it's just a huge mess.
Quick update: Have managed to agree a proposal for change of hours and potential increase in hours. Have agreed a different manager to deal with my sickness absence which I think will work much better ad I'd completely lost trust in the old one.
Just one more quick question. An 'Attendance Record' board has appeared in the main department corridor. At the moment, its's empty but has columns for name, % attendance and I think, 'reason for absence'. This seems a bit iffy to me. Obviously the people in my section know how long I was off and the reason but the rest of the department don't and I'm not really sure I want the status of my mental health plastered all over the place. Are they allowed to do this?
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