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Department restructuring - not sure where I stand (bit long, sorry!)

(5 Posts)
cakeaddict Fri 19-Sep-08 13:16:10

I returned to work after maternity leave in July, having negotiated part-time working - all so far so good. However, there is about to be a major restructuring of the department. I don't know the details yet but have been given a 'heads-up' on some of the likely outcomes by my boss (soon to be ex-boss, due to internal moves).

They aren't planning redundancies, however, from what I have managed to glean the department is going to be re-organised in such way that I will be made to choose a different job (i.e. what I'm doing now will cease to exist). I'm quite concerned about this, mainly because I am the only reasonably senior member of staff who works part time so when I'm told 'cakeaddict will have to choose from the jobs available' I don't quite see how I choose from a selection of (presumably) full time roles to do part time. I'm also concerned that when I returned from maternity leave I negotiated my job responsibilities in such a way so that it was quite family friendly, and I'm now concerned the alternatives put to me won't be easily combined with having a small child (e.g. potential to need me to do a lot of international travel)

I might be a bit premature in my panicking as I don't yet have any official news. However, I feel that forewarned is forearmed and want to be clear about where I stand. If my current job is basically being restructured out of existence and I don't like the alternatives they offer, shouldn't they make me redundant or can I be forced to accept what's on offer? It doesn't help that my new line manager has a reputation for being a sexist bully and we have never exactly hit it off. The thought of working for him fills me with dread tbh.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

flowerybeanbag Fri 19-Sep-08 13:58:39

cakeaddict you can be forced to accept an alternative if is it 'suitable' or risk losing your right to redundancy pay. Suitable being defined on the basis of terms and conditions including pay and hours, and things like your skills as well.

So a f/t job wouldn't be suitable for you, nor would one that suddenly requires you to do lots of international travel if you don't currently.

If what you are doing is going to cease to exist on business grounds it sounds as though your redundancy would be fair - would I be right in saying that? Or do you think it's a case of targeting you unnecessarily because you are part time? I don't want to put thoughts into your head.

In any case, with a major restructuring, or in fact any redundancy sitution, they must consult with you, which means listening to suggestions for the new structure. If a union is recognised there they would normally consult with union reps.

What would you actually want out of the situation?

cakeaddict Fri 19-Sep-08 14:26:04

Hi Flowery,
No, I don't think I'm being targeted because I'm part time - these shake-ups are going to affect everyone one way or another.

Ideally I'd like to stay working there in a similar role to what I do now. However, if I'm going to be asked to lots of travel etc then I would probably prefer to investigate redundancy if that was an option, though considering the longer term I'd probably be best off hanging onto my job if I can continue to work in such a way that it fits with my family.

flowerybeanbag Fri 19-Sep-08 14:39:04

Good. As I say, really don't want to put thoughts in your head, some people have a tendency to have a bit of a persecution complex if anything happens to them, on the other hand some people it just wouldn't occur to them even if there was blatant discrimination so I feel I want to make sure iyswim?

In a redundancy situation you should be offered the opportunity to apply for any vacancies there are, even those that might technically not be 'suitable'. So it's probably going to be a case of a bit of negotiation, giving your feedback on the structure and content of the proposed jobs, hoping one turns out to be possible for you but being clear that if travel/hours don't make one suitable, you are entitled to redundancy.

I'm going to be honest and say that if you are spectacularly good at your job and very valuable to your employer, they'll make every effort to make sure you are accommodated in some way. That's not to say you should take it as a personal thing if that doesn't happen, but to say that things often aren't absolutely set in stone, and the degree to which they can bend may well depend on the individuals concerned.

cakeaddict Fri 19-Sep-08 14:45:04

Thanks for the reassurance. I guess I've just got to wait and see what happens now - I'm about to on holiday and all these announcements are going to happen while I'm away, so I'm a bit concerned that I'll be 'out of sight, out of mind' whilst some discussions are taking place. I'll just have to see how the land lies when I get back and what has actually been announced.

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