Advice & Support

Discriminated against for taking adoption leave? Ask the expert

Discriminated against for taking adoption leave? Ask the expert

I have worked for my employer since October 2012. I am home-based and my contract states: “Your normal place of work will be your home address. You may be required to work temporarily at other locations in the United Kingdom at the request of the Company. The Company may change your normal place of work on a permanent basis by giving you at least one month’s notice of any permanent change.”

I typically worked 1 day a week from our northern office prior to going on Adoption leave. I have asked for this same pattern on my return to work and my employer is now saying they want me to be in our northern office 3 days a week. I live in the south east so this is not a reasonable request. What are my rights? Am I eligible to pursue a constructive dismissal case if things go that far? I'm being discriminated against for taking 6 months adoption leave.

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Turned down for part-time role: ask the expert

Turned down for part-time role: ask the expert

I went on maternity last year. I then gave birth to my beautiful daughter in December 2012 and since then I have enjoyed every second of my maternity leave hassle free. I have kept in contact ith my Manager and work colleagues to retain that bound and to keep up to date with what has been going on in the office. I took a year off and was due to resume to work in November 2013. In August 2013 my partner and I decided that it would benefit our family is I could work part time, so we put in an application for flexible working. I work 37 hours a week Monday till Friday and I was asking to work 4 days a week and 30 hours or 4 days a week and 31 hours or continue to work full time but be taken out of the late rota so I can leave at 4:35 instead of 5pm, which we do every 3/4 weeks. My meeting was held with my manager and we spoke about my request and after that meeting took place I received a reply declining my application. I then appealed their decision and put a final option to work 32.40 hours over 4 days, which was still declined. After that had all happened I then applied for a full-time recruitment administrator position, which didn't involve travelling to different sites or as tight deadlines to my current position. I wasn't even given an interview because they said I didn't have recent recruitment experience, even though I have over 10 years' HR experience and have dealt with recruitment in most of my roles and was also a recruitment consultant. Since returning to work I have found out the person they have taken on does not have a HR background and has very little recruitment experience. After that position my dream part time position came up, working in my team and reporting to my manager. It would have involved me working 3 days a week for 22 hours. I was interviewed for the post on my return to work in November. I was then told that I was not successful and that another member of my team was (who currently cannot do their current position due to having a bad back). The feedback I have received is they gave better answers to the questions they asked. That's all the feedback I have received. I was absolutely disappointed and cried in front of the Manager who told me I didn't get the job and all they could say to me was they were sorry. I then left the office for 30 minutes to speak with my partner and calm myself down. I then returned to my work and continued working till the end of the day, but could not concentrate, nor did I want to stay. I couldn't understand why they didn't give me the position, when they knew how much I wanted to go part time. I felt lost and like I had let down my family. Normally I am a headstrong women who has a clear path, but I feel lost.  I was then signed off with stress and anxiety for a week. I have requested to sit down with my manager and discuss how I feel. Any advice is much appreciated. I'm starting to feel the only thing I can do is leave and I do feel like I am being pushed to leave.

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Pressured to come in early, unpaid: ask the expert

Pressured to come in early, unpaid: ask the expert

I applied for flexible working 10-4 (son's nursery only opens at 8am). I am meant to start at 9am to finish at 5:30 with one hour lunch. I am a line manager. This was refused and I was offered 9-4:30 with 30 mins lunch. Since then I have been constantly pressured to sort out childcare in the morning, even though I am already spending money as a single parent on nursery fees. A few days ago I was told by my manager that if I do not sort out my childcare to be at work before 9am (say 8:30, unpaid) to make sure the department is run more smoothly. I have made mention that my mobile phone is available for support and getting to work before 9am is really a matter of choice. This has been met with disapproval and lo and behold I was told if I did not sort things out my position will be readvertised. I have only been back at work for 5.5 months. I am having a turbulent personal life at the moment, but the unnecessary pressure from work and underhand bullying is not helping at all. Please help.

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Post removed on maternity leave: ask the expert

Post removed on maternity leave: ask the expert

I'm currently on maternity leave and there is a proposal currently in its consultation phase where my role has been 'removed'.  The positions available for me to apply for would all mean an effective demotion and reduction in pay. Can my employer do this? In addition, I was told that a position that was available whilst on maternity leave was full-time and could not be part time. I now discover that that is not true and someone is doing that role in 4 days (I also work 4 days, so would have applied for the role had I known).  Where do I stand with this?

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Discrimination while pregnant: ask the expert

Discrimination while pregnant: ask the expert

My partner has recently begun a new job and she's already been singled out and left alone in the workplace. She's pregnant and informed the company when finding out. Since then the manager in her team, who has her "Little Click" of people sitting with her, has not trained my partner at all, does not respond to requests for time off for ante-natal appointments until the last moment; any time my partner needs help with a call or an email that she hasn't received training for, she is left alone as the team are on the phones; all except the "Click people" who are sat on admin working near the manager. As well as this, she's been given a shift pattern for the next month, not really a pattern, as she's been told she has to do lates all next month, which directly interferes with her childcare arrangements as she won't be able to pick-up our son after work. They are not considering this at all. Although she is not refusing to work shifts, she doesn't think it fair to do shifts every week for an entire month, whilst the "Click Team" get to work a more suitable 8-4 shift and she has to do a 10-6 shift. She's constantly being moaned at and shouted at by senior members of staff for doing jobs incorrectly, and is increasingly having to stay behind work after her shift has ended and is the last one in work usually for the last hour of her shift as the others are all home, then she stays longer to finish admin/email work which has been assigned during taking calls and she hasn't had time for, so she's staying for nearly an hour unpaid in an office with no help on her own because she's afraid she will be moaned at by her manager the next day. It's getting to the point now where she's breaking down in tears after work and is a depressed mess. I keep telling her to go into work and just have it out with her manager and drop her like a sack of spuds and remind her that she's an untrained air head who clearly has no managerial skills and walk out and forget the job and that we'll survive, but in reality we've got a house and a child to pay for and a new one on the way, so she just cannot do this feasibly. What is she entitled to and what can we do? She's clearly being discriminated against, as are a couple of the other girls in the team who are pregnant as well. They receive the same treatment, but they've got off on long term sick before their maternity. It's heading the same way for her by issuing a sick note for depression... Please any help and advice would be great; she's already spoken to her manager's manager and they just said if you don't like it, then leave basically; she's also consulted a union rep at work about the situation and they've said it's not fair, but making a complaint against her makes her humiliate you in front of the group [my partner has witnessed previously to another team member where the manager was quoted saying "I'm going to make you're life hell in this team now, you're not getting a transfer either"]. Totally unacceptable for one of the largest telecoms companies in the UK.

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