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Advice please HR experts or Union experts - Employment issue (newish job)

(10 Posts)
newjob2016 Fri 03-Jun-16 18:04:37

Hello - I have name changed for this.
Hope somebody can give me some advice.

I started new job in Novermber 2015. I have just passed 6 month probationery period and have received really positive feedback from my manager. I enjoy the job. It is very challenging. I frequently take work home. I am a grafter and keen to do things well.

However - there has been a shadow hanging over me for the last 5 or so months. Basically I applied for the job and was most successful candidate. I met all the requirements of the job description/person specification. I had all appropriate qualifications and experience as listed on job description.

So - I started in post and all was good. Then after a few weeks in the job I was asked to meet my manager. My manager was apologetic and said that HR had advised that there was a specific programme (industry specific) that I had not completed and that this was a problem. This programme was not highlighted anywhere in the job description or in the recruitment process.

My manager was told that I would have to complete the programme (and if i didnt then I would not be able to progress within the organisation). I have asked for clarity about this statement but have not been given a clear response as to what "not progressing" could mean.

The programme is industry specific but isn't compulsory and in my current post isn't particularly relevant. It appears to me that somebody needs to "tick a box"

I am keen on training and progression - but this programme isn't relevant to me. I wont gain any additional pay on completion and I have been told that there is an expectation that I will do a good percentage of it on my own time. I would rather register for training that is relevant and useful.

i have had a number of meetings about this with my manager (who is very supportive and agrees with me). However - higher managers and HR manager are applying the pressure for me to begin this programme. It will take 2 years. I am very busy in my job. I work hard and am clearly doing what is expected of me (and more according to my manager).

This situation is causing me anxiety. I don't feel it is my fault that the need for this programme wasn't highlighted in the recruitment process - and yet I am the one who is being pressurised.

I dont want to be seen to be "difficult" but equally I think there is a level of unfairness here. The recruitment process should have identified this programme as a requirement. If it had - then the likelihood is that I wouldnt have applied - as I was in a similar role elswhere. This was a "sideways" move in many ways as the location was the factor for applying.

Any advice would be welcome please.

EBearhug Sat 04-Jun-16 00:56:30

If you haven't been there two years (and you haven't), you don't have many rights. I would interpret not progressing within the organisation as not being part of the organisation any more, here's your' P45, please close the door on your way out.

It does sound very much like box ticking (I speak as someone who took an exam for those reasons a couple of months ago - I failed. We've had other people do exams that aren't necessary, just so we can say we've got X certified professionals, without pointing out these certified professionals work in an entirely different area and won't be using the certification... They weren't two-year programmes, though.)

Unfortunately, unless your manager can change their minds, and it doesn't sound like he's having much luck so far, you might have the choice of either sucking it up and getting on with the study, or revamping your CV.

Do you know roughly how much time the programme would take? I know it's two years, but 4 hours a week, 10 hours a week? If you were to spend that time on working through a programme that was relevant, how would that improve your abilities to do the work in the role you've been employed for? I'd try pushing for something like that.

newjob2016 Sat 04-Jun-16 12:58:17

Thanks for the information. I hadn't really thought anything about being employed there for under 2 years (I wasn't aware there was a change of rights after a 2 year period).

I guess my objection is around the principle of the situation. The organisation should have stated their requirements during the recruitment process - not after I was appointed. I will have further think about it and talk to my manager again.

Time wise - it it likely to take up approx 4 hours per week ( probably 2 in work and 2 in my own time). In addition there will be extra large pieces of work which I will probably need to set aside full days for (highly unlikely to achieve this in work so will be own time). It is assessed by ongoing submitted work over the 2 year period and by an exam and face to face external assessment at the end of the programme . I had plans to register for quite a few interesting training events this coming year but if I have to back down and do this programme then I wont be able to take time for the other (more interesting and relevant) development opportunities.

Will have to weigh up the issues. I dont want to look for another post as the location of this suits me perfectly.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 04-Jun-16 13:05:08

Does this programme lead to a recognised qualification/ certificate (recognised outside of the company employing company)?

Is your company paying for the course?

Do you want to Stay in this profession in the long term?

If the answers to all of these questions is yes, then I would suck it up and do it. It's not going to cost you anything except time, and it will be beneficial for you to hold this qualification, even if it's not directly applicable at the moment. It shoes you are focused and interested and committed....

OurBlanche Sat 04-Jun-16 13:06:43

Then you may have to put this course down as 'payment' for that perfect location.

You employer can insist on all sorts of training that you may deem unnecessary. Their requirements can changes as often as they like, too! For example, DH is a qualified engineer, he has handfuls of industry certificates, some of which are wonderful, interesting etc etc. Yet he still has to undertake 'Working at Heights' and similar tick box crap... as his employer has it included in their H+S policy. DH has worked at great heights, attached by lanyards etc, for decades, Working at Heights is for flat rooves... which he never works on! But he does it whenever he is sent... that ad all the other courses that are levels below his existing certificates, because that is what a client has specified, often not knowing or caring what the certs he already has actually are!

Sometimes, as an employee, you just have to do whatever it is your employer wants you to do...

flowery Sat 04-Jun-16 14:18:36

Just ask your manager to clarify whether it is compulsory or not. It sounds as though they are still being vague about that, if you're feeling 'pressurised' to do it, rather than having just been told you're doing it and that's that.

If it's compulsory you need to decide whether the job is worth it or whether you'd rather leave.

FinderofNeedles Sat 04-Jun-16 20:18:44

Is there a possibility that an internal candidate who was unsuccessful - but, crucially, who has this qualification - has lodged a complaint, and asking you to obtain the qualification gets the management out of hole?

Is it normal that people doing your role would have completed the programme? If you wanted to get promoted in the future is it a 'must have'?

newjob2016 Mon 06-Jun-16 13:17:05

Thanks everyone for helfpful advice. I am coming round to thinking I might just have to do this - pointless - training.

FinderofNeedles - your point is interesting. My understanding is that it wasnt a disappointed candidate - but it was somebody internally who has had problems applying for other posts within the organisation - and the reason stated has been because they havent completed this particular programme of training (just a pity the organisation arent transparent - and put it on job description/requirements etc).

BorisIsBack Mon 06-Jun-16 13:23:12

In principle you are right but in practice you have no rights and they can ask you to do this. Sorry.

trashcansinatra Mon 06-Jun-16 13:28:48

I think you ought to be able to persuade your manager (who you said agrees is isn't that valuable) to allow you to complete more (or all) of it in work time.

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