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Redundancy, union, GP and new shifts

(25 Posts)
OnNaturesCourse Tue 23-May-17 13:41:59

So long story short... My department is shutting and we are being offered alternative roles or can take voluntary redundancy.

Problem is if I take redundancy it will fall before my qualifying week so I won't get maternity pay.

So looking at the alternative roles.

Currently I work 10-6 all week except my one late of 12-8. I work Saturday 9-5 1 in 3 weeks. The new roles are shift work anything from 7am - 9pm and on a rotating basis. One role wants us to work every 2nd Saturday 9-3 working a extra hour on the previous Monday to make up time, and the other role wants us to work every 2nd Sunday shifts between 7am and 9pm.

My concern is that these roles are not suitable alternatives and that I will struggle with the higher demand on weekend work and late/early shifts.

I'm 3.5 months pregnant so looking elsewhere might be hard, and I wouldn't get maternity so I feel stuck.

I'm also suffering with HP sickness and insomnia as a result of pregnancy. I'm awake from 3am onwards with this and quite violently sick until I've been awake a good few hours. I'm then exhausted by dinnertime. Currently when I work my 12-8 shift per week I actually feel dangerous to drive home. I don't even manage to get my jacket and shoes off before I'm out cold asleep.

I consulted my union about the change in hours and lack of support in reasonable adjustments for me. The told me that I should get a GP note explaining my symptoms and their advice on working hours, then get a occupational health report done through work to support my request to keep similar hours and working days.

What are your thoughts on this?

Can you ask your GP for such a thing?

I'm stressed out my head. Xx

lougle Tue 23-May-17 13:49:24

If you have 26 weeks of work in the 66 weeks before your due date you will qualify for Maternity Allowance, which is 90% of your pay or £140 per week for 39 weeks, whichever is less. So you'd only miss out on the difference between £140 and 90% of your average current wage for the first 6 weeks of maternity leave if your current wage is higher than £140 per week.

OnNaturesCourse Tue 23-May-17 13:53:29

My employer does a enhanced maternity whereby they increase mat pay to 100% of my monthly wage for three months so it's really that I'd miss and it's that I've budgeted for.

LIZS Tue 23-May-17 14:01:55

You should be able to take one of the positions on a trial basis. Why are the weekend shifts an issue if you already work the occasional Saturday?

OnNaturesCourse Tue 23-May-17 14:06:03

I can't work Sundays due to prior commitments. The Saturday would be OK, no problem with that.

The role that does the Saturday is a cold calling type role and it's nothing like my current role so I'm not sure how they have gotten away with calling it an alternative role to be honest.

OnNaturesCourse Tue 23-May-17 14:06:45

They aren't offering trial periods as the roles are 'alternative' and it's therefore not deemed necessary

LIZS Tue 23-May-17 14:08:17

Try asking ACAS for advice.

OnNaturesCourse Tue 23-May-17 14:12:30


OutToGetYou Tue 23-May-17 14:24:32

'Alternative' riles don't have to be anything like your current role, that is why they are 'alternative' and why you are legally entitled to a 4 week trial.

'Suitable alternatives' are the one that have to be more or less the same (as in, same grade, pay, level, hours, location, skillset etc) and where there is no trial, you just get put into them.

So, presumably they are calling them the former?

Do you get redundancy pay (i.e. how long have you been there) and if so, that could make up for the difference in mat pay?

OnNaturesCourse Tue 23-May-17 14:34:36

Yes suitable is the word they are using.

I've been here 6 years so I will get a good pay out but not enough to see me through maternity and into another role.

OnNaturesCourse Tue 23-May-17 14:36:08

I'd point out that suitable roles are not a similar grade, we are keeping our wages but these are not what others are paid in the roles (less) the opening hours differ and the working patterns differ greatly

OutToGetYou Tue 23-May-17 16:52:43

If it's a 'suitable alternative' you are not redundant. That effectively means they can just put you in it.

They can make them suitable by keeping you on the same salary - the law doesn't really recognise 'grades' as a thing, the salary is key, and level - as in, if you are a manager etc.

If the working patterns differ 'greatly' then you have a very good case for saying it is not a suitable alternative and you do not agree to do it and so are redundant.

But, what do you want to happen?

I'm afraid 'commitments' on Sundays isn't enough to prevent you being put in the role (unless it is linked to any discrimination - e.g. you care for a disabled relative?). You could agree to the role and then get your GP to do a 'fit note' saying what you can and cannot do up until your maternity leave starts, or the employer could sign you off on health and safety grounds and (at a certain week, that I can't remember off the top of my head) start your mat leave early.

OnNaturesCourse Tue 23-May-17 17:27:24

I just feel at a complete loss.

I have no option which is good for me. I've already been made redundant and redeployed in the last 12 months.

Commitments include church, and family child care (godchildren) so you are right that work will not accommodate adjustments for this but I feel that moving from a Saturday 9-5 to a Sunday between 7am & 9pm is not a suitable alternative.

I'm just feeling a bit deflated, and at a loss.

Also moving from not working holidays like Christmas to it being a requirement.

LIZS Tue 23-May-17 17:53:22

Were you previously made redundant and redeployed within same company, or have you only been employed there recently? Tbh I think you need to evaluate whether the extra maternity pay is worth the hassle. By the time you've had vr and notice paid there may not be much in it.

OnNaturesCourse Tue 23-May-17 17:55:36

Yes, same company.

The pro is I'll have a job to return to (hopefully) after maternity.

But I'm seriously considering just leaving. Tired of no job security

lougle Tue 23-May-17 19:26:20

I don't think you can refuse a job on the ground the you attend church, and I say that as a committed Christian. You just have to get on with it and miss it every so often like the other Christians who have to work Sundays.

OnNaturesCourse Tue 23-May-17 20:23:32

Yeah, I did say that but I'm frustrated that I took a job to fit my life and the "suitable alternative" is not suitable. Seems crazy xx

unfortunateevents Tue 23-May-17 20:34:04

Suitable alternative means similar in terms of things like grade or level in the organisation, the same kind of work i.e. not changing from administrative to manual - it does not mean similar in that it has to fit in with your lifestyle.

OnNaturesCourse Tue 23-May-17 21:53:45

I've just worked out I will be 1 week off being entitled to full maternity pay if I take redundancy. How unlucky can I be lol

OnNaturesCourse Tue 23-May-17 21:54:38

And it's a lower grade job unfortunately but they are getting round that by letting our wages remain the same for a year.

OutToGetYou Wed 24-May-17 13:20:32

Then take the alternative job on a four week trial! You'll go over the date where you fall into the full mat pay. Just do that and at the end of the trial say no it doesn't work for me.

If they try to say it is a suitable alternative say it is not as the hours are too different, but your willing to try it as an alternative on the four week trial you are legally entitled to.

Applesandpears23 Wed 24-May-17 13:37:41

I don't know anything about redundancy but I have some experience with 'fit notes' which used to be sick notes. I had various health problems when pregnant and my GP wrote me a fit note that said I could work up to 3 afternoons a week (I was full time). The company then had to either accept that (and keep paying me my usual salary) or put me on sick leave. My company accepted it. So yes it is worth asking the GP to write down what working hours you are fit to do.

OnNaturesCourse Wed 24-May-17 13:54:11

Just off the phone to my union as the work are refusing a trial period. They say I can insist on one and take it to tribunal if they refuse. Certainly food for thought, that's me off for a few days now so time to relax and really review things at home etc.

Part of me wants to stay as I like the idea of being in a job especially while pregnant however another part of me likes the freedom of just enjoying my maternity leave and finding a new adventure after.

MaverickSnoopy Mon 29-May-17 13:17:58

Ok firstly here are details on Sunday working. Sorry can't link am on phone

Secondly could you take a week of annual leave at the end of your employment and before you are made redundant? It might actually be preferable to your employer if it means you won't be coming back long term into a post where you are being overpaid. Perhaps something to discuss with your union.

OnNaturesCourse Mon 29-May-17 16:20:21

Thank you. I've sent off letters to HR, unions, maternity team etc so just waiting to hear back.

I really want the redundancy and mat pay so I can just leave, start over elsewhere. Can't afford to risk it without the mat pay though. Xx

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