working hours dispute - is this discrimination?

(11 Posts)
fartyface Mon 25-May-20 21:55:36

I am unhappy with my employer. I am a part time worker in a senior team (ostensibly job share but actually on a part time contract), and although my contract says 18.5h I have been working additional hours since March 2019.

my job share partner and I have been asking for a review of our hours since August as the job seems to require more hours, we currently both do 29.2 a week on an ad hoc arrangement. We would like our hours to be reviewed and an arrangement reached - ideally at those hours. We submitted some information to their request for info to make a decision. They have not made a decision, but have conceded to offer a temp contract until end June 2021. and asked us to start timesheeting.

All staff where I work are on permanent contracts except for one or two who are on grant funding for specific projects. Our job description was reviewed in April of this year. (this was supposed to be dealt with as part of it, but they handled it very badly.)

This feels really crap to us, as it basically says that they dont value the work we do. It also feels discriminatory.

Can anyone offer any advice?

We are toying with taking some legal advice, but actually we would both prefer to resolve it, although I am starting to fear that I very much want to leave.

Thanks in advance

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AlwaysCheddar Mon 25-May-20 22:11:06

Are you being paid for the extra hours? Have you called Acas?

fartyface Mon 25-May-20 22:53:27

Yes and no. Thanks for replying

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Invisimamma Mon 25-May-20 23:09:18

So the extra hours are being paid as overtime at the moment but you would like a permanent change to your contract?

It sounds like you are in the charity sector or public sector? Is the funding in place to pay for your additional hours on a permanent basis?

Have you considered only working the 18.5 hours you are contracted for? Then explaining that x, y, z objectives can't be met as you do not have the hours to do it.

KillerofMen Mon 25-May-20 23:14:16

Which protected characteristic do you believe to be the cause of the discrimination?

fartyface Mon 25-May-20 23:23:03

Invisimama. Yes I keep thinking of doing that but ithink they would reallocate our job work out to others. Which might be contrary to what is in our job description. I worry it would shoot me in the foot ultimately as I want these hours. (although not so sure currently cf covid). All your assumptions are public sector, overtime and yes to funding are correct.

Killer - part time workers legislation.

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flowery Tue 26-May-20 08:08:55

So you’ve been doing these hours regularly and are being paid for them? It’s just not formalised in your contract?

As it’s public sector I would imagine that’s to do with restrictions on increasing contractual commitments but fewer restrictions on overtime.

The fact you are on a temporary contract as opposed to a permanent one is possibly the same issue. How long have you been working there and what reason do you have for thinking your contract being temporary rather than permanent is related to your part time status?


fartyface Tue 26-May-20 11:47:52

yes we have been doing the ours regularly.

In our organisation nobody ever does overtime, it is possible because of the way our payroll is run (small public sector org, payroll run by a bigger public sector org for whom overtime is commonplace).

Normally we increase contractual commitments - for example - to cover an internal secondment recently we advertised for a permanent replacement with the view that if the original postholder returns then they will just find both work.

Our contracts are permanent, but the temporary hours are temporary and we are asking for them to be reviewed and made permanent (or actually not, but this ongoing limbo feels unfair). Ive been there 2.5years (extra hours for 1.5yrs) and "job share" partner 12 ish.

Thanks for your input.

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fartyface Tue 26-May-20 11:50:03

I suppose that one of the questions is does it matter that they are not fomalised in the contract? Is it some kind of de facto contract if it goes on a long time? (it will be over 2 years each if we accept the proposals)

The other part of it is that it feels very unfair, especially the way people talk about us as if it is unfathomable that we cannot manage to do all the work in 1FTE.

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flowery Tue 26-May-20 15:05:25

Well, if it continues uninterrupted for a significant period of time then it may well become contractual through custom and practice, yes.

But if you're being paid for the hours you're working, then simply the lack of certainty wouldn't be enough to say you are being treated less favourably because of your part time status. If there are internal factors meaning that making those hours permanent isn't possible, or would be too difficult, that would usually be acceptable.

What reason have you been given for them not being made permanent? Do I understand correctly that they have said they are happy to confirm that these hours will be fixed until at least June next year?

Difficult to see any less favourable treatment in that case really.

How people talk about you is a different issue. Who is 'people'? Your colleagues? Have you raised it with them/with your manager?

fartyface Thu 28-May-20 08:28:48

Thanks flowery, I know there are no internal factors except that the CEX thinks the job requires fewer. I know this because he has told me, although I am not sure he would write it down. And I make most of the other HR decisions /recommendations so I know the lie of the land.

By "people" I mean the CEX.

I guess he is my problem.

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