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pushed out of my job- advice sought- I'm sorry this is so long!!!

(14 Posts)
giddyauntdora Wed 17-Jul-13 20:21:22

This is really complicated (and long!) but I'll try to keep it as simple as I can.

I have a nearly 2 year old ds. My flexible working request was agreed to last November and I worked three days per week with a job share partner who handed in her notice only a few weeks later (she was offered a position elsewhere). This happened at a particularly busy time in our office and instead of advertising for a new job share person, it was decided to temporarily 'promote' an office assistant to work part time alongside me. We both have been working three days per week since then.

In an informal conversation with the HR manager, I was told that I was no longer in a job share, but was employed as a part time member of staff. At the time, this didn't really bother me, but a number of weeks later I applied for, and was offered a two day a week job elsewhere. As finances were tight, I decided to do both jobs for a while with a view to hopefully cutting down to two days at both jobs giving me a 4 day working week split between two places (it had been made clear to me last November that requesting a 4 day week as a job-share at my first job was out of the question).

When I accepted my second job, I wrote a an email to my line manager asking what my position was re: job share and if I was entitled to request a change to it. I never received an answer to this question- in my next conversation with him he told me that senior management had turned down a request to employ me as an additional member of staff (we are currently short of staff and my line manager has been petitioning for more staff members). However, before this conversation took place, I discovered that my position had been advertised.

They have now appointed a new full time member of staff for my position. I have not given in my notice. I spoke to my HR manager raising my concerns about how this had been handled and received this email:

"We have had informal conversations regarding your request and I regret that you have not received a written response to your written request. Under current employment legislation, you are able to make one change to your work pattern every 12 months. Your last request to reduce from working full time to part time was only a few months ago. However, your request was considered by <senior management> and <line manager> as you are regarded as an excellent employee. The fact that you are not in the same job share arrangement as was originally agreed last autumn is not a relevant factor for this purpose.

<Name of office assistant> who is 'job sharing' the post with you at present has indicated that she will be leaving to pursue further studies and <name of company>did not consider that a further part time appointment would be the best viable option for it to meet its operational requirements. Therefore, it was decided that a full time <name of position> would best meet the operational requirements of the <name of office>. So, I regret that <name of company> is not able to agree to your further proposed reduction of two days a week. There should have been a conversation with you at that time, to inform you of this decision and to ask you if you would be willing to consider returning to work on a full time basis. I understand that this was not undertaken so please accept my apologies for this.

As you know, a full time <name of position> post was advertised and this should have been on the basis of your turning down the offer of working full time in your current post. This email is to formally ask you if you are willing to work full time from 1 September 2013. I would be grateful if you would let me know".

Had I been told that a request to change my working pattern could only be considered once every 12 months I could have changed my plans and worked at both places for a while longer. I knew that the person working as my "partner" planned to leave and I had hoped that when she did we could have employed a three day person and I could have been the two day person.
I feel like because of very poor communication I have effectively been pushed out of my job. Do I have any rights at all?

Thank you to anyone who makes it to the end of this post!!!!!

flowery Thu 18-Jul-13 12:25:07

Well you are expected to find out your own rights, so on that basis it was up to you to check you were entitled to make a further flexible working request. Yes ideally they should have responded sooner in terms of telling you no - it's not clear at what point you were told this or how long it was after you emailed your manager, or whether you chased for an answer or just left it.

However I don't think that's the issue here, as they clearly want a full time person anyway.

The issue here is you were doing 3 days a week, and they needed full time cover, which is fine. What they should have done when the other person said she was leaving was:

Made reasonable attempts to recruit or at least consider another job share
Consulted with you about the role, including giving you the opportunity to increase your hours
If you didn't want to increase your hours and a job share wasn't possible, they should then have consulted you about making you redundant
Then after that consultation, confirmed your redundancy
Then (and only then), recruited someone else on a full time basis.

What do you want to achieve out of this?

giddyauntdora Thu 18-Jul-13 13:43:27

Thank you for taking the time to reply, Flowery.
Yes, you are right, I should have found out what my rights were myself. My aim with that first email asking about my position was to instigate a conversation, find out about whether I was actually in a job share or not any longer and to keep my line manager in the picture. However, yes, as you point out, that isn't the issue any more as they have decided that they want a full time member of staff instead of a part time one(or two part timers).
Thank you for outlining what the proper procedure should have been, that's helpful. I have no idea what I want to achieve out of this, I have just felt that I have been pushed out of my job and been told to take it or leave it.

InTheRedCorner Thu 18-Jul-13 13:59:07

If you are working 3 days with this company and 2 with the other do you not want to accept the 5 days a week they are now offering you?

It has been handled incorrectly and with poor communication all round but it is the employers right to decide if a position can be covered full time or job share.

giddyauntdora Thu 18-Jul-13 17:39:03

thanks, InTheRed for reasons to do with DHs job and childcare I'm not able to work full time beyond the summer.

hermioneweasley Sun 21-Jul-13 20:06:24

I may be over simplifying this, but you and another part timer covered a role. They have now decided (possibly prompted by the resignation of the other part timer) to organise the work differently. Flowery has set out what they should have done at this point.

If you don't want to go full time, then I guess they will dismiss (probably for redundancy) and you may have a case for unfair dismissal if they haven't consulted with you and acted reasonably.

Let them dismiss you though, don't resign.

EATmum Mon 22-Jul-13 18:50:58

I would definitely be seeking a statement of why the job share no longer meets the needs of the business. I think they are on remarkably shaky grounds to have recruited your replacement without even the courtesy of a conversation, on the basis of your being part time.
As the employer, I would want to know why the job share could not be supported on an ongoing basis - if it's down to the individual whim of a manager, rather than a sensible organisational reason for needing full time workers for example. As that would be a good basis for a sex discrimination claim. Not to mention one related to the part time workers directive.

jbakedbean Tue 23-Jul-13 11:42:19

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

duchesse Tue 23-Jul-13 11:58:27

If they have advertised your role with you still in position and not having handed in your notice nor even expressed your intention to leave they MUST be in breach of any number of employment laws, surely? They can only get rid of you through disciplinary channels I'd have thought.

If only people knew how much crap some working mothers have to put up with they'd be even more sympathetic, not less.

giddyauntdora Sun 28-Jul-13 19:16:07

Thanks to all for your replies. I contacted my HR manager to ask if I would be offered redundancy and received an incredibly aggressive response telling me that I would not, as my role is considered an important one and has just been made into. Full time role. She gave me a couple of days to decide if I wanted to work full time or not at all, knowing very well that I am unable to commit to working full time so I have to leave at the end of the month.
This feels so wrong to me, but with a 2 year old who is a terrible sleeper I barely have the energy to argue.

giddyauntdora Sun 28-Jul-13 19:17:10

Will look at ACAS thanks Jbakedbean

notapizzaeater Sun 28-Jul-13 19:27:46

Have you got legal cover on your house insurance ? Or a member of a union ? They might be able to advise ...

flowery Sun 28-Jul-13 19:49:52

In your position I'd probably tell her no thank you I don't wish to change my terms and conditions to increase my hours, as I am happy with the hours I have. I don't intend to resign so if you want me to leave you will have to sack me, which I will consider to be unfair dismissal.

cumfy Tue 30-Jul-13 02:21:23

How long have you worked there ?

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