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I refused changes to T & C of my contract last week and now I think I may be about to be made redundant. 26 wks preg...

(5 Posts)
puffylovett Tue 16-Jun-09 21:17:37

Can they do this ? I work for a small retail outlet. They requested 2 weeks ago that I reduce my hours by Half (!), they gave 2 reasons - 1) because of downturn in sales, 2) because of the need to train up a new member of staff to cover maternity leave.

I declined on the basis that I felt it was unfair, in a meeting last thursday. (I then got a shedload of emotional blackmail and vitriole from my boss about how it would be all my fault if the business went under hmm but I guess that's another story)

Am now due to have a meeting on thurs and after working today, I am left with the distinct impression that I'm going to be made redundant.

If they do, what questions should I be asking, and more importantly what should I say ! I do feel that this is definitely to do with my pregnancy and if I am dismissed I will plan to put in a discrimination claim, but should I make this clear in the meeting ? Not that I have ANY idea about hw to go about making a claim !

Sorry for the long post... I'd appreciate any help anyone can give..

flowerybeanbag Wed 17-Jun-09 08:58:38

Wanting/forcing you to reduce your hours isn't necessarily unreasonable as such, lots of companies are having to do that now for financial reasons, however if it's because you are pregnant and if they don't go about it the right way, then that's not right.

Similarly, obviously redundancy as such is fine, if there is a genuine redundancy situation, ie they don't need anyone doing your job anymore. But if it's because of your pregnancy, then obviously that's not right and is discrimination.

Have a browse through this section of directgov all about redundancy. It will tell you what a fair procedure is and what a fair reason for redundancy is so that you can go into the meeting informed.

I was going to link you to the Equality Human Rights website but it seems to have most of the information missing at the moment including nothing about pregnancy hmm.

However dismissing someone because they are pregnant is automatically unfair dismissal and sex discrimination.

Even if they don't actually dismiss you, if you are being treated badly because of your pregnancy that's also discrimination.

In terms of bringing a claim, if you are dismissed you will need to appeal it first and if you are not dismissed you will need to put in a grievance first. Is there a grievance procedure where you work?

puffylovett Wed 17-Jun-09 14:02:39

I think the grievance procedure is that grievances should be raised directly to the owner, who is also the one whom I suspect will be making me redundant tomorrow. She's a bit of a bully, so I'm having to really boister myself up for this meeting.

As for it being a genuine redundancy situation, it's a bit murky = they have already employed a new member of staff who is ostensibly being taken on to do some of my duties, although I suspect my other duties (nutritional consultations) will be taken on either by the current manager or the owner.

When they wrote to me ref reducing the hours, they put in writing that part of the reason for this was due to training up a new member of staff for maternity leave. I have been told that this immediately leaves them vulnerable to a claim. I have also been singled out as the only one requested to reduce my hours, and told that the hours my replacement will be working is entirely dependant on the hours that I could give up.

I'll have a read of the site you've recommended - have trawled through CAB and a few other sites, but having never been in this situation before, I'm not sure as to what I should actually say in the meeting ! Thank you flowery smile

flowerybeanbag Wed 17-Jun-09 15:41:46

They certainly are vulnerable to a claim. Attempting to force you to reduce your hours as a direct result of your pregnancy is not on. How they choose to cover your maternity leave is not your concern, and 'punishing' you for putting them to the inconvenience of having to cover your post is certainly unacceptable.

I'd be inclined not to say much at all tbh. Just listen to what they say, make it clear that they are discriminating against you illegally, then wait and act afterwards depending on what they are actually going ot do.

puffylovett Wed 17-Jun-09 16:52:33

Thank you flowery... shall do

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