Hi there - I am new to mums net and just had to share my experience... I am a single mum of a 20 month old, I took a full time job in an office when my son was just over a year old) and after 6 months was really struggling to manage everything and discussed with my manager the possibility of more flexible working hours. I was then given an ultimatum that I could go down to 4 days a week but I would have to leave in 3 months time and please sign this contact to say you are leaving. I have not signed anything yet, I am not sure what to do - I don't want to stay now but at the same time this just doesn't feel right. Any advice from anyone who has experienced a similar thing? Thanks!!
In the first 2 years of employment you can be fired for any reason so long as it is non-discriminatory. The question is whether you are being fired because you asked or flexible, or for some other reason. So that's what you need to establish. Did you think your job was at risk anyway? If you said you could not do 5 days any more under any circumstances and they said they need someone for 5 days and its that or nothing, then (so long as they have some sort of business case to show the job needs to be full time) you probably dont have a case as you have effectively refused to stay on in the full time role. If they said that actually the job wasn't working out for some other reason and you needed to look for something else and this is a 3 month notice period, during which you can drop one of your days, then again you probably don't have a case. If you think you can show that it was simply because you asked for part time that you got fired, then you may well have a case. And to prove that you'd have to say "ok, I will carry on full time and not leave" and see what they do. If you can do this via email and therefore have a written record of thir response then do so. If they then come back and say you are still fired, regardless you need to then ask them why and take it from there. Did they give any reason for making you leave or did you ask for one?
There is also a possibility that they didn't follow a fair process in considering your request for flexible working, which would give you a potential claim.
Reading your post again it sounds as if your capability to perform may have been in question because you couldn't cope with the job, and that they had decided to let you go anyway? So your requesting flexible working in the meeting they were telling you you werent performing may have meant they didn't really give your request a fair hearing, because their minds were already made up? Is there more you can tell us about the background to this?