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Refused transfer away from stressful job(17 Posts)
Looking for advice on what to do next. I have been in a very stressful job for three years and I’ve reached a point where it’s making me unwell. It’s also affecting my family life too. An opportunity arose last week at work to apply to join another team within the organisation in a post that is much less stressful. I need my line manager’s approval to apply for it and they have refused to sign my application off. This is on the basis that there is too much work to do in the team and they can’t replace me. I don’t know what to do next. The HR team agree with this decision. I now feel like I’m going to be trapped in my current post until they feel like they can find a replacement for me, and in the meantime I’m just going to get more and more unwell will untenable stress levels. What can I do to negotiate an exit that saves my sanity (and probably my marriage too)? If I resigned could they refuse to accept my resignation on the same grounds?
No they have to accept your resignation provided you give the amount of notice in your contract.
Find yourself another job outside of that organisation.
They cannot refuse your resignation x
That's a nonsense. They can't make you stay in a job against your will.
Have you talked to ACAS? DISCLAIMER I never have, but I understand that a lot of people find them helpful. Alternatively/as well, maybe talk to an employment lawyer.
Thanks. I kind of want to avoid resigning without another post to go to as it will just add to my stress levels, but I suspected that they couldn’t refuse to accept a resignation (subject to notice period etc). I’m left wondering though if leaving altogether is my only option. I’ve worked there for 15 years (in different positions, working my way up). I just simply want an internal transfer to a job that I find more manageable (where I’m not expected to fit a full time job into part time hours and work evenings and weekends for free)
Start working to rule? Go to the gp and get signed off sick due to the stress?
I'd join a union if that's an option?
I was wondering about getting signed off for stress. How does that work? Tbh I’d feel a bit daft turning up at my GP and saying that I couldn’t cope at work any longer. And I’m worried that having time away from work will just increase the amount of work I will need to do to get back on top of things. This was why I thought the sideways move was best all round.
I think your employer needs to know the job is making you ill and being signed off is evidence of this. What does your manager say when you explain there is too much work? Are you documenting these things in writing?
Public or private sector?
Whenever I say that I have too much work or that I’m being constantly asked to do more and more stuff their answer is either ‘well I’m sure it’s fine’ or ‘you’ll find a way to get it all done’. I interpret this as ‘I’m not listening’.
When we discussed the application to move teams the first question they asked was ‘what does that job have that this doesn’t? You could do extra to get that into this post or you could do more training’ which suggests to me that they really have no idea how big the mountain of stuff I’m constantly battling is. Any my line manager doesn’t do written records.
Could you contact occupational health so they can support you in your current role or recommend a transfer
I think you need to look for a job elsewhere and stop doing the unpaid overtime...
If you stop doing it all they may be far happier to let you transfer elsewhere!
Either resign or go over the head of whoever you have already spoken to in order to get them to understand how hectic your current role is. Maybe draw up a current task list with time scales for each piece to back up what you’re saying.
They’re totally within their rights to refuse a sideways move for business reasons (ie the team would be left in the lurch etc) so you need to try a different tack.
Make your LM do written records: when you meet to discuss your work, follow it up with an email recording the main points of discussion
Tell them that you cannot do all the work that is required of you in this role, in the hours available to you. Ask them what you shoudl prioritize / not do. Record this in the follow up email
Start working your paid hours and no more. Be rigid about this. Explain to people in advance if you will miss a deadline, don't just let stuff slide. Be proactive about handing work back / up / down the line.
Take a lunch break (or your regular break) every single day without fail - it's amazing how much better this can make you feel
While you do the work, they will continue to give it to you. It's difficult, but when you are told "I'm sure it's fine", explain why it is not fine. Start telling people you don't have the capacity to take on extra work or the implications, I can take on X but I will have to hand back Y, or the deadline for A will have to slip two weeks etc. If you have non-working days and an urgent project, you could do a handover note to your LM, explaining where you have got to and how they can progress things until your next working day. Based on my personal experience, if you do resign / change jobs, I imagine you will be replaced by at least a full-timer and maybe two.
If I resigned could they refuse to accept my resignation on the same grounds?
No-one can force you to work against your will as that is slavery.
Why don't you start looking for employment elswewhere??
Like most of the other replies i agree you should look for another job as soon as possible. You should get your cv up to date and sign up to various job search websites - indeed, reed and total jobs are good. Depending on what you want to do, also check out other major organisation websites for vacancies.
Changing jobs can be scarey but also very rewarding if you end up in a better place. If money and salary is not so important, perhaps consider a lower paid job that will give you a better work / life balance.
I know that looking for work can be a tiresome process when you are doing a busy job but the effort will be worth it. By taking positive actions and being pro active, it will make you feel better.
One last thing. Going off sick is essential if your health is suffereing, however you don't want to get turned down for jobs because of your recent sickness record. It's a difficult balancing act and so i would say get moving and start thinking of a life outside of your current job. Good luck.
Thanks all. I’d rules out looking for a new post outside of my existing organisation on the basis that we are moving house and kids are moving schools, so it’s probsbly not the best time to add a totally new job into the mix. I’d pinned my hopes on a sideways move to a less stressful post offering a means of reducing the pressure I’m under. I don’t think we have an occupational health person/team either.