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I've just been fired - and I think it's because I work part time

(30 Posts)
Planktonette Wed 05-Mar-14 11:24:14

Hi all,

Haven't been on mumsnet for a long time, but I have a dilemma.

I'm a fixed-term contract worker at a very 'cool' organisation, and yesterday I was told my contract isn't going to be renewed.

The reasons were very loose, and the meeting was an ambush - I'd had no warning or negative feedback before being fired, I wasn't even told I had a meeting, I was just tapped on the shoulder (with a big smile, what's more).

To the extent that I was given reasons, they were about 'not getting up to speed fast enough' and 'not carrying enough weight when we've got a lot of work coming up'.

I don't think my (male, childless) managers would think of themselves as discriminatory, but I do suspect that I'm being judged on full-time standards when I'm not a full-time worker.


Has this kind of thing happened to other part-timers?

Onesleeptillwembley Wed 05-Mar-14 11:35:24

Right. So you've not actually been fired. Your contract hasn't been extended. They have stated concerns about your work. How is any of that relevant to your title? Or are you just after other people's experiences. And few if they need someone covering the hours on that contract then they're well within their rights to have that when they re hire.

Onesleeptillwembley Wed 05-Mar-14 11:36:35

And standards are standards whatever hours you work. So if you're not up to it then being part home is irrelevant. You seem deluded.

Planktonette Wed 05-Mar-14 11:47:38

Sorry, didn't mean to sound deluded - I'm looking for ways to interpret the situation, including experiences if people have them.

I started the job part-time in a group where lots of people are doing the same job, but full-time (I'm the only part-timer). There are a lot of rules & systems to learn. I think that my progress is being compared against people who started at the same time as me, but who are now more skilled at the systems - they've 2/5 more time to use them than I've had, but on a calendar, we've all been there the same length of time IYSWIM.

Planktonette Wed 05-Mar-14 11:49:02

And sorry for using the word 'fired' - it fits in the title field much more easily than 'contract wasn't renewed for reasons other than that the work is no longer ongoing' smile

EasterHoliday Wed 05-Mar-14 11:51:03

god, it's not Vice is it?
a lot of "that type" of organisation will hire and not renew with a high rate of turnover because it's very easy to replace staff with someone who's willing to give their eye teeth for the opportunity. If you don't hit the ground running, they move along fast. It's absolutely not being "fired" but the nature of fixed term contracts means that employers can be very picky about performance / fit with the organisation.

Planktonette Wed 05-Mar-14 12:06:28

Nope, not Vice. Not my style ;)

Mayfairlady Wed 05-Mar-14 12:07:39

You don't sound deluded to me. I have recently had one of those ambush meetings after several years of working hard (and receiving good performance reviews) at my workplace.

My situation is different to yours, but, like you, I think it is indirectly related to me working part-time. I know where you are coming from re the ambush and the part-time aspect.

It is pretty horrible really. But if they don't perceive you to be good fit then you are better off out of that role anyway. You will find another job!

CalamitouslyWrong Wed 05-Mar-14 12:11:36

This is why fixed term contracts for permanent work needs are such a terrible thing. An increasingly casualised workforce with far fewer employment rights is not a good thing.

It probably is discrimination because you're part time but not the kind there's legislation against. And the sort that prompts lots of people to tell you to get a grip if you question it.

Geoff0409 Wed 05-Mar-14 12:48:46

I agree with Mayfairlady, you will get another job. From current experience it is horrible being the wrong fit somewhere. You are better off out of it I promise.

idinnehaveaclue Wed 05-Mar-14 18:26:20

You're not being fired. Your fixed term contract is coming to an end.

I would always work on the assumption that you will be finishing on that date and start looking for another job in plenty of time (if you need to).

I've got the opposite problem in that they want to make me permanent and I don't want to stay because the company is crap...

yummumto3girls Wed 05-Mar-14 23:21:50

Technically she has been fired!! Non renewal of a fixed term contract is a dismissal. How long have you worked there? It seems very unfair to be given these reasons at the time of dismissal and not before, to give you an opportunity to do something about it!

flowery Thu 06-Mar-14 09:47:03

How long have you been there? Just from your comment about not having fully learned the rules and systems yet it sounds like not particularly long?

It doesn't sound as though they dismissed you because you are part time, it sounds like they dismissed you because of performance concerns.

It's not unreasonable generally for an employer to expect part time staff to perform at the same level as full time staff, but obviously if there's a specific amount of training to get through or similar, or it's extremely early days, it may or may not have been reasonable to give you a bit of leeway as a part timer before making this decision.

idinnehaveaclue Thu 06-Mar-14 19:07:46

What? She's not being fired. A fixed term contract has an end date. Companies employ staff on fixed term contracts because they don't want a permanent member of staff (i.e. maternity, short term needs, etc.). If you're lucky, it might get extended. I had a three month contract and it was extended by a further three months and now they want me to make me permanent.

I think some of you are getting confused with fixed term contracts and permanent contracts.

rallytog1 Thu 06-Mar-14 19:19:57

She IS being fired. As a pp has said, non-renewal of a fixed term contract is a dismissal in law. And she's entitled to a good reason why the decision has been made not to renew, as well as any notice period set out in her contract.

Op, how long have you been at the company? If it's longer than two years, you have more rights and protection from unfair dismissal.

winniethepoohpooh Thu 06-Mar-14 19:56:41

So if you are employed on a fixed term contract to cover maternity leave you are deemed to be fired because it is not extended or renewed? hmm

How odd.

I don't see it like that.

BigPawsBrown Thu 06-Mar-14 19:57:48

Legally though a fixed term contract or being renewed counts as a dismissal.

And a dismissal can be unfair.

BigPawsBrown Thu 06-Mar-14 19:58:21

Sorry, a fixed term contract NOT being renewed counts as a dismissal.

Well established in law.

BigPawsBrown Thu 06-Mar-14 19:59:28

I wish people who don't know the law wouldn't post advice on these threads hmm

winniethepoohpooh Thu 06-Mar-14 20:02:56


I've been contracting for years and have never heard of that before. I do my thing, the project comes to an end and I leave. Sometimes it gets extended and I stay a bit longer. Sometimes I get offered a permanent job which I usually say no to.

I've fired a few companies myself though!

WipsGlitter Thu 06-Mar-14 20:03:16

Really?? I've worked on loads of fixed term contracts, including mat covers. I always work on the assumption they won't be renewed.

winniethepoohpooh Thu 06-Mar-14 20:05:00

Because 'dismissal' sounds like you are getting the sack because you are crap at your job, BigPaws.

I wish people wouldn't act so high and mighty on these threads. biscuit

AnnoyingOrange Thu 06-Mar-14 20:05:33

Government advice

ICantFindAFreeNickName Thu 06-Mar-14 20:18:06

Does it depend on the industry ? I have employed people in computing & education on fixed term contracts for specific projects & maternity cover and they left when the contract was up.

GrendelsMum Fri 07-Mar-14 08:26:20

Yes, I've worked on fixed term contracts for many years in computing and education, and have always assumed I'd be moving on when they came to an end. Occasionally they're renewed for another fixed term, but it's no big deal one way or the other.

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