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Been asked to consider leaving my job

(18 Posts)
badgerread Mon 01-Aug-16 18:17:12

Hi all

I have been in my current role as a PA to the MD for a year on the 17th. It is a small family run company with the wife, husband and daughter working there, We are constantly walking on eggshells and they argue constantly between them, she is a bully. We do not have a pension (even though it's in our contracts) and I have had one 1:1 since being there. The company is in financial difficulties and it is just not a very nice place to work. I am not the only one that feels like this.

I was on holiday last week and was called into her office today where she basically tore into me about my performance and that there were a, 'whole list of things I have done wrong, but I won't go into them now', a couple of things I admitted I hadn't been on top of. I have been there a year on the 17th August and I think it's within a year employers can let you go without a reason? I have been looking for other jobs as two months ago she f'd and blinded in my face because I hadn't put a meeting in the calendar between her and a colleague. She hasn't raised any of her grievances before and has asked me to give a decision as to whether I want to stay or not within the next couple of days. I've had a hunch they want to get rid of me for a few weeks, she hasn't been handing as much over to me and they are in financial trouble so maybe cannot afford me.

I just don't know what to do. I am a single mother of two and have to pay the mortgage and bills so can't just leave... I am tempted to stay until hopefully I get something else, but then I am worried about a reference from her.....

ChicRock Mon 01-Aug-16 18:19:44

The company sounds shocking but it also sounds like there are some issues with your performance.

I'd hang on until you are sacked/made redundant. I'm not entirely sure but I think it would affect any claim for Jobseeker's Allowance/benefits if you left voluntarily.

topcat2014 Mon 01-Aug-16 18:20:27

Life is too short to work for these headcases - surely..

Remember, it's not you, it's them.

Anyone can become an employer - no qualifications needed.

(I get that we all need to work, though).

MumOfTwoMasterOfNone Mon 01-Aug-16 18:21:00

You cannot give a bad reference. Personally, I'd be looking for another job quick and registering with agencies etc.
You don't have many employment rights In your first year and you wouldn't really get much in the way of redundancy even if you'd been there over a year.

DoreenLethal Mon 01-Aug-16 18:27:26

A - employers can give a bad reference. They can give whatever reference they want to give. The issue would be if it was bad and you decided to sue them for it.
B - you have no rights for the first two years, well, you do (protected rights) but this doesnt come into it in this case.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Mon 01-Aug-16 18:28:10

It's two years that you can be sacked for any reason, as long as it's not discriminatory.

You could be penalised when claiming benefits if you quit - up to 26 weeks, I believe. For that reason you may be better to try and stick it out, although it sounds like her intentions are clear.

I am sorry this has happened. They sound awful.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Mon 01-Aug-16 18:29:26

You can give a bad reference - it's a terrible myth that you can't. It needs to be factual; but it can be bad, if it's true. So if Op says she hasn't done some of her job, that could be disclosed. She couldn't make things up without risking court action though.

TendonQueen Mon 01-Aug-16 18:32:14

You'll be better off out of there. I would go and sign up with temp agencies tomorrow in your lunch hour, or take half a day off without pay to do it, and say you want to start as soon as possible. Then you can tell these folk you're off, and look for another permanent job while temping. You can say you left your last firm because it seemed to be going south financially, which is true.

MumOfTwoMasterOfNone Mon 01-Aug-16 18:38:34

Well I've learned something new today, thanks!! I guess I've misunderstood as they can't give a bad reference if it's untrue, just to be spiteful if you've left etc.
Many of my previous employers only give basic references e.g. mum worked here for x period.

KickAssAngel Mon 01-Aug-16 18:46:04

Employers only have to confirm dates of employment. They often refuse to do more so that they don't get caught up in any nasty comebacks - too bad, and the employee can sue, too good and the next employer may take action.

If you quit you will be badly affected for claiming any benefits you may be entitled to.

It is beyond unprofessional to have had this conversation, so your employers are obviously pretty bad. BUT - I'd go in there, say that you are unable to quit as it would affect benefits, so you will continue to work there and really do everything you can to bring your best game. Try to get her onside. Keep looking for another job. Then, if you need a reference, you can say that you've really done your best for her, could she write something ofr you?

badgerread Tue 02-Aug-16 08:33:49

Thank you for all the advice. I'm going to go in today and say that I'm fully committed to the role but think it's only fair that I see the, 'list', so that I can correct things and move forward (while looking for another job!!)

I admit I haven't been on top of things fully but some of the things she mentioned, such as not putting Hi at the beginning of an email and not printing out minutes for a meeting that I didn't know was happening and I was on holiday, seem a bit petty to me. I think she employed me on a whim a year ago to work on a specific project and now that project has finished she wants to get rid of me on a whim.

It's really knocked my confidence, I'm 44 and have never had any trouble with an employer before.....

RowenaDahl Tue 02-Aug-16 10:28:38

I hate to say it but this is fairly common with PA work. For whatever reason, they decide your face doesn't fit and life then start to make life very difficult for you in the hope that you will leave.

You need to play them at their own game. Request a 1:1 and discuss the areas of concern. Do everything on email and make sure you print and keep hard copies at home. If they want to get rid of you on perfomance they need to prove that they have made attempts to help you. If they want to make your role redundant then they need to start a formal process. They cannot just 'get rid of you' just because they feel like it nor should they be making life so difficult that you need to go.

In the meantime, look for something else. This situation isn't going to improve.

witsender Tue 02-Aug-16 16:44:39

Within two years they can just 'get rid of you', sadly.

flowery Tue 02-Aug-16 20:53:10

"They cannot just 'get rid of you' just because they feel like it"

Yes they absolutely can - OP has only been there just under a year.

Because they could just dismiss you and have chosen not to, perhaps they would like to keep you but just think you need a bit of a jolt in terms of your performance?

Either way, doesn't sound like a great place to work so get your head down there while also looking for something else.

badgerread Wed 03-Aug-16 17:05:18


Well I had a 1:1 today and it was all very calm and I took loads of the above advice but basically the job role has changed, she now wants more of a Business Manager than a PA, which I'm not qualified to do. I asked to be made redundant rather then resign as God forbid if I can't get another job then any benefits could be affected. I am on two months notice so what she has suggested is that I go on gardening leave tomorrow and be paid monthly as normal for the next two months and tell them if I get another job. However, my partner is saying I should ask for two months pay immediately and end my contract as how can I trust that they will pay me? although she could refuse this and make me work my notice whereas we have both agreed I can leave tomorrow (which is my preference, I can potentially have the rest of the summer holidays off with my boys)

Also, is there a letter I can get her to sign to say she has made me redundant and that I am on gardening leave until blah blah blah...

I don't know what to do...

flowery Wed 03-Aug-16 17:11:01

If she's offering to pay you anyway but not make you work it I suggest you don't risk her going back on that which you would if you asked for the two months upfront. She's offered to pay you either for your notice period or until you get another job in which case she will release you early. More than fair really.

There's no question of you resigning, you are being dismissed and she will need to confirm that in writing to you. If it will be helpful to you for it to say redundancy rather than performance or just nothing at all, then ask if she will put that.

badgerread Wed 03-Aug-16 17:27:18

Thanks Flowery. She has said she will put redundancy due to change in job role. She didn't mention being dismissed she just asked what I wanted to do, resignation or redundancy. I hate it there anyway so I'm not too disheartened.

I was just going to ask her to sign a letter tomorrow confirming that I am being made redundant and that I will be paid this amount on this date and this amount on that date. Just so that I have something in writing.

panegyricS1 Thu 04-Aug-16 20:57:13

Sounds like a good outcome for both parties. You'll probably get a decent reference too. Enjoy August with the kids!

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