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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?

MoreBeta Fri 07-Mar-14 08:50:37

The confusion comes when fixed term contracts are rolled on or renewed a few times and then suddenly terminated and not renewed.

The link posted by AnnoyingOrange explains it.

If a person has had a series of 6 month long 'fixed term contracts' that have been routinely renewed for say 2 years then they start to gain some of the rights of a permanent worker. If employers could get round employment law by just employing people on a series of fixed term contracts then no one would have a permanent job.

It really depends how long the OP has been employed like this.

GrendelsMum Fri 07-Mar-14 10:41:55

Ah, yes - I'd forgotten about that. After a certain period of employment, you get redundancy pay if your contract isn't renewed, don't you?

MoreBeta Fri 07-Mar-14 10:57:28

I work on a fixed term contract. It has been renewed for the last 18 months. It is though very definitely a job that needs to be fixed term.

I have tax deducted at source and pay NI and I am treated as an employee in every respect but the job could end next month or it might roll on for years. I would have no come back though if it ended. The job is very highly specialised and it very clearly would no longer exist if the need for it no longer existed.

That is not the case being discussed in this thread.

A lot of organisations make mistakes in this area. They employ on fixed term contracts even though they know the work clearly is going to be of a long term permanent nature. Then they roll them on as the business requires it. The reason they do it is because they are transferring risk to the worker. If demand for a product or service suddenly drops because of a recession they think they can just dismiss the worker at the end of the fixed term to reduce costs with no implications. That is not the case if an employee has been on a fixed term contract that has been renewed several times. Employees gain right the longer they have been in a job and regardless of whether the contract is called 'fixed term'.

Typically the mistake is made by a lower level manager who terminates a fixed term contract when it comes to the end date to 'meet their budget' but without realising they have breached the law.

Onesleeptillwembley Fri 07-Mar-14 11:18:55

If OP had been there long enough to earn rights then surely that would be long enough to be proficient in the job, which is the concern the employers have.

apermanentheadache Fri 07-Mar-14 20:09:39

I don't know the law on this area, but I can certainly see a hypothetical situation whereby people could misjudge a part-time employee's competence and progress ^if they were using full-timers achievements as the benchmark. Whether you have any sort of legal case I don't know, but I certainly don't think you are 'deluded'. How rude!

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