Job changed after I asked for reduction in hours: ask the expert

Job changed after I asked for reduction in hours: ask the expert

It is not clear whether you have over a year's service. If so, then you have the right to resign and claim constructive unfair dismissal in a situation where your employer has fundamentally breached your contract of employment. In your case, it seems that you would have the right to do this (depending on the consultation procedure followed by your employer and the reasons they have given for your role being full time only).

At times, a genuine redundancy situation can arise where there is a need for full-time and not part-time employees, however this is quite difficult for an employer to show. They would need very good reasons for requiring a full time employee. This is going to be difficult to show when you have been doing the job on a part-time basis already.

If you refuse to accept the new job and you are dismissed as a result then I believe you would have an unfair dismissal (again if the procedure followed was not properly done and they could not justify making the role full time).

Tracey Guest is head of employment and a partner at Slater Heelis in Manchester. She specialises in employment law and is also a working mum. Sarah Calderwood has assisted with this answer.

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I have been working on a part-time flexible contract since 2007 when I returned from maternity leave. I am now being pressurised to work full time. I have been advised that my existing contract would no longer be given to employees and that my role requires me to work full time due to business expansion. I have a further meeting next week where I have been requested to consider increasing to full time or come up with solutions. I don't know what rights I have, I want to continue as part time. Grateful for your comments.

Editor's comments: Questions to our experts should be sent via the form on our Advice & Support page so we can respond individually as we might have follow-up questions. Alternatively, you can email me at mandy.garner@workingmums.co.uk so that I can get the best advice for you.

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