Restructure handled badly - is this legal?

(12 Posts)
Chchchchangeabout Fri 14-Jul-17 22:17:16

During my maternity leave my department went through a very badly handled restructure. Part-time interim management engaged on a freelance basis carried out the day to day restructuring work. Everything was very much unclear, in the dark and behind closed doors, and long-drawn out.

Eventually (a few months in to my return), I requested a meeting with the interim and asked about my future in the team. They said sorry we haven't communicated what's happening so far but the structure of the team will change. Basically we work with three different types of client at the moment which all team members work across. I was told I would now have to stop working with one client group (the one I most like working with and have most experience with), because I work part-time and they needed full time people only to do this. I said I was keen to stay but did not want to take on a full-time role and did not want to work only with the other two client groups. They said there was no option for anyone to continue working with this client group part-time, I could apply (no guarantees) for the full-time role, or work only with the other group part-time. Because of this I decided to leave the company and freelance so I could continue to work with that client group, keep my knowledge current and hopefully find a role elsewhere - so am currently working my notice.

They have just announced that a part-time team member will be working with this client group on a part-time basis. Also one of the interim managers will be doing this on a freelance basis, also part-time!

I would have loved either of these roles but had no chance to apply for them and they were not advertised to anyone else in the team. Other people in the team were also told that they could only carry on working with this client group if they went full-time.

Can they legally do this?

I have been working on the same role across all client groups for 8 years, half of which have been part time and received excellent feedback and appraisals consistently.

OP’s posts: |
user1495915742 Fri 14-Jul-17 22:41:55

No advice but I think I would ask why the goalposts changed when you were specifically told that the role was not part-time.

Horsemad Sat 15-Jul-17 18:10:45

I'd be consulting an Employment Lawyer about this.

2014newme Sat 15-Jul-17 18:14:01

No, is unfair selection for redundancy.
Do you have proof of all these conversations though?

Chchchchangeabout Sun 16-Jul-17 08:50:09

Thanks all. I do have proof of the conversations. Can anyone recommend a good employment lawyer for this area (or how to find one)?

OP’s posts: |
Horsemad Sun 16-Jul-17 18:31:06

Where are you OP?

daisychain01 Sun 16-Jul-17 22:02:22

OP why not try ACAS first, explain the situation to them and ask them which aspect of Employment law is relevant. They may suggest some link to the Equality Act if you were disadvantaged on Mat Leave. Some of those "behind closed doors" discussions that were not clearly shared with you for example.

Do some research on the internet and get yourself 'in the know'.

A reasonable course of action could be through the company's internal grievance process, but only do that when you're clear about how best to articulate your concerns.

You can do all this for free before getting solicitors involved.

Temporaryanonymity Sun 16-Jul-17 22:05:21

How much time has passed since you left?

Chchchchangeabout Sun 16-Jul-17 23:08:26

Thanks all, I will try ACAS too. It would be good if things could be sorted internally although I'm not sure how as they have already recruited a replacement for my headcount. Am near London. Am still there as haven't worked out my notice period.

OP’s posts: |
OutToGetYou Sun 16-Jul-17 23:16:44

Not sure how it can be unfair selection for redundancy, was the op actually made redundant? She says she decided to leave.

There was a role for her, just not the type she preferred. On the face of it, that looks all fine.

The possibility here is constructive dismissal. But those cases are very hard to claim and win, and it will be even harder if you've gone straight into a freelance role doing the same thing. And, as you've done that, even if you win there will be no award as you have no losses if you've gone directly into something new.

From here, it looks like all they did was move you to a different client group, same hours, same pay. But you didn't fancy it. So you jumped ship.

Them later recruiting someone part time to the role, after you had resigned shows they did not discriminate on grounds of you being part time. Not that they did!
It would have been better if they had offered you the role with the client you prefer but as they weren't making you redundant and you decided to resign, there is no compulsion on them to do so.

Chchchchangeabout Sun 16-Jul-17 23:50:49

I haven't gone into doing anything yet, I'm still there.

But thanks for the different perspective which is useful.

It's a really odd situation, they have been very clear that they felt there were business reasons for a part-time person not working with this client group and that they would not change this for any reason. They knew that this would mean more than one person would leave. But as soon as this happened they have decided to change it, and one of the key decision makers in the restructuring is moving into exactly that part-time role.

OP’s posts: |
Chchchchangeabout Sun 16-Jul-17 23:54:27

To be clear no one new was recruited into the role I wanted and was told I couldn't have if part-time, two existing members of the team have taken this. Other people have separately been recruited to cover the new role I was assigned to.

OP’s posts: |

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