Are they allowed to do this?

(75 Posts)
Yolandafarthing Sat 04-Mar-17 08:24:59

Returning to work after mat leave - in three weeks. Agreed back in November I would do 4 days. This was confirmed over email on two separate occasions but I never received an official contract change - I've been chasing one for ages. Received email yesterday telling me they had changed their minds and I could either do a 3 day a week job share or come back full time. I don't want to come back full time. If they had told me that back in November I would have been fine with it, handed in my resignation and repaid my enhanced pay. As it is I have spent a lot of my enhanced pay on childcare, wanting to get DS settled into nursery early. All on the assumption I would go back four days.

I assume I have no leg to stand on now as the contract change didn't go through officially but I'm really annoyed as I was open and honest. I can't even change my childcare arrangements now - DS has a four day a week place at nursery. There's no space for him on the fifth day.

I'm really upset that they're doing this with such short notice.

user1474439326 Sat 04-Mar-17 08:29:20

I'm fairly sure they have to give you 28 days notice don't they? Not that another week would make a difference but even so.
Do they have form for bad treatment since you've been there?

SookiesSocks Sat 04-Mar-17 08:30:00

Do you have an HR team?
Can you speak to them or maybe Acas?

Why cant you do the 3 days and remove him from nursery for the 4th?

daisychain01 Sat 04-Mar-17 08:33:08

I expect they have reconsidered the future workload and feel they need the role covered full time.

Would you not consider the 3 day a week job share? Sounds like they are at least trying to meet you half way. They probably found a match with someone wanting a 3 day week and you'd job share with that person with a mid week handover day.

daisychain01 Sat 04-Mar-17 08:35:09

Why cant you do the 3 days and remove him from nursery for the 4th?. That was my thought too.

A lot of company just say "No" to pt hours so the OP is more fortunate than many.

IamNotDarling Sat 04-Mar-17 08:36:51

Perhaps OP can't afford to do three days.

CactusFred Sat 04-Mar-17 08:37:54

If you can afford it then the 3 day option sounds good OP.

I initially went back 4 days but with childcare for that fourth day was only £80 a month better off than a 3 day week.

Salary calculators are fantastic in helping work it all out for you.

highinthesky Sat 04-Mar-17 08:43:44

The reality is you have the right to ask, they have the right to refuse. You're not in a position to dictate terms. However I would not want a job share foisted upon me either.

Go back to work f/t and then seek alternative employment as soon as you've fulfilled any mat leave restrictions.

Yolandafarthing Sat 04-Mar-17 09:21:20

Thanks for the replies.

Yes in theory I could do the 3 days though financially it's barely worth it. However I'm a PA and the lady I'm PA to has said previously she doesn't think a job share would work. So I'm confused as to why they've even offered me this in the first place.

This decision doesn't appear to have been made by her as even though I'm her PA she isn't my line manager (weird set up).

And FWIW I know I don't have a right to dictate terms or come back part time - what I'm annoyed about is that they agreed I could and are now changing the goalposts 3 weeks before I go back. I would have had no problem resigning if they said from the start they wanted me back full time only but they didn't.

Yolandafarthing Sat 04-Mar-17 09:22:18

I really don't want to go back FT. I'd rather repay the enhanced pay TBH. DS is unsettled enough at nursery as it is.

rollonthesummer Sat 04-Mar-17 09:27:32

Why is 4 days financially worth it but three days isn't? Surely you'll be not paying the fourth day in childcare?

Floozie66 Sat 04-Mar-17 09:35:42

I would agree to the 3 days so you dont loose out on money - give notice to nusery to reduce days down to 3 and look for another job - thats if they dont honour your 4 day agreement

Yolandafarthing Sat 04-Mar-17 09:41:38

Our nursery do a half price fourth day.

Anyway in principle I don't mind doing three days I just can't see my role working as a job share.

DellaPorter Sat 04-Mar-17 09:42:39

What date did you initially request? They needed to respond within 3 months. Really does sound as if they already agreed the 3 days with you.

www.acas.org.uk/media/pdf/f/e/Code-of-Practice-on-handling-in-a-reasonable-manner-requests-to-work-flexibly.pdf

You can call Acas for advice (it's free)

user1468957349 Sat 04-Mar-17 09:45:14

I would definitely seek advice especially as they put in writing that they agreed to the 4 days. Do you have copies of the emails? Speak to ACAS as PP said

Yolandafarthing Sat 04-Mar-17 09:47:02

Yes I have copies of all emails and there were 2 separate ones.

Thanks as I hadn't thought of calling ACAS.

Yolandafarthing Sat 04-Mar-17 09:47:35

First email agreeing was December 7th.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Sat 04-Mar-17 09:50:11

If you have it in writing on emails that may be enough to be considered a change to your contract. If so, then no, they can't just decide to change it later in the same way they can't just unilaterally decide to change any other part of your contract.

So the answer is that it depends what it says in those emails.

Yolandafarthing Sat 04-Mar-17 09:59:04

I'll have to paraphrase somewhat so I don't out myself but here is one of them:

Hi Yolandafarthing

Great to catch up recently and plan your return to work. Here’s confirmation of the following details if you’re happy with them:

· You will work X Day to X Day (taking X Day working from home though this day is flexible and can alter if there is something pressing happening on another day between X Day and X Day). You will not work on X Day. We agreed to try this approach on a trial basis for 3 months.
· You will work x to x with an X minute lunch break.

Kind regards etc etc

AnchorDownDeepBreath Sat 04-Mar-17 10:02:27

Hmm. Is the other email more concrete?

That makes it sound like it was three days on with one working from home and one off, but it may be more difficult to understand because you've removed the weekdays.

DellaPorter Sat 04-Mar-17 10:05:52

They have breached the statutory procedure

www.citizensadvice.org.uk/work/rights-at-work/flexible-working/flexible-working-taking-action/

Yolandafarthing Sat 04-Mar-17 10:06:49

It was Monday -Thursday with Wednesdays working from home and Friday off.

The other email is pretty similar.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Sat 04-Mar-17 10:11:51

I'd say that looks like confirmation of the change and that it formed your new terms. Did you send a confirmation to accept? Not that it's likely to be necessary as the use of "you will" suggests terms agreed.

Speak to ACAS, but I expect they'll suggest you go back and say you have already accepted and agreed changes to your contract on 7th December 2016 which is a legally binding change to your employment contract and as such, any further changes cannot be imposed unilaterally; you do not accept the new proposals and will be returning on X date and will be working as per the hours set out in the email. If they persist in changing the terms of your contract without your agreement you will consider this to be a breach of the mutual trust and confidence on their part and you will have no option but to consider legal action.

That last bit is to fire a shot across their bows but also to lay a foundation if you needed to peruse a claim for constructive dismissal at a later point.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Sat 04-Mar-17 10:13:50

One thing to note is that they are only offering a 3 month trial so you might want to be careful to balance your need to get what you want now with your need to keep on good terms for them to continue after the 3 month period.

How long to do you have to go back to keep your enhanced pay?

DellaPorter Sat 04-Mar-17 10:14:38

www.acas.org.uk/media/pdf/p/d/flexibleworkingscheme_1.pdf

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