Advice & Support

Do I have to sign a new contract? Ask the expert

Do I have to sign a new contract? Ask the expert

I am about to finish my maternity leave. Our financial year runs April-March. At the time I went on leave my contract comprised salary + commission based on a regional sales target. I wasn't paid any commission for the Apr-Jun quarter because the sales targets had not been approved and usually the commission rates alter slightly after this. Later in 2013 the entire sales team's contracts (globally) were re-written to comprise (1) salary + (2) commission based on a regional sales target + (3) personal performance incentive + (4) company performance incentive. My on target earnings total stayed identical, but the bonus-related part is now split into three separate incentives instead of one. As part of this, a new performance management framework was introduced during my maternity leave and two review cycles have occurred, both of which I have missed, so I have not had the chance to be assessed. I have been with the company for 10 years and never had anything other than positive performance reports in the past. However, the new assessment framework is much more complex than the old system where only the manager rated the employee.I've done the figures on what I would've been entitled to under my old contract and decided the new one (which I haven't signed yet) puts me in a worse position. I'm not really sure what I'm entitled to as my existing contract said it would be reviewed this Spring, but it wasn't. Does this mean my old contract still applies or is it null and void as of the review date? I've been chasing HR about this for over a year now, but no one seems to be able to give me answers as there is nothing specifically written into the company's policies about how bonus/commission payments are treated for employees on maternity leave. What should I be expecting them to pay? Do I have to sign the new contract (like the rest of my team already have) or can I stand my ground to retain my old contract?

Discussion: 0 comments

Read Story

Told to reduce hours after maternity leave: as the expert

Told to reduce hours after maternity leave: as the expert

Before I went on maternity leave the rotas for my job as a community support worker were not fixed days. We all had to be flexible. I have a 16-hour contract. I am due to start back at work mid June. In the time I have been away, staff have settled into fixed days rotas and we have lost a service user. Due to the loss of a service user we now don't have enough hours for all the staff. We have been asked collectively to shave off 6 hours. If this cannot be done then the management will decide what will happen. My supervisor phoned me today saying there are only 11 hours for me to take and that everyone is happy with their fixed days now and she can't see anyone giving any hours up as it all works so well. I said I was willing to drop to 14 hours as my contribution to the six hours that need to go, but she just said everyone has fixed days now and them cutting hours down won't work because it will mess up shifts. She then said again that there are only 11 hours for me. Where do I stand with this? I feel like I am being pushed into a corner to reduce my hours when no one else has to. I feel like she is saying I am upsetting everything by returning to work and that my only option is the 11 hours or nothing and they have to be on the days she said (fixed days) At the meeting held by management before I received this phone call I was told redundancy was not an option for me because I am contracted to 16 hours and they need to cut only six hours so the redundancy would be for six hours. I am so upset and confused about what my rights are. I have gone into additional maternity leave, but decided to return before the full 52 weeks. Any advice would be helpful.

Discussion: 0 comments

Read Story

Told I would be doing night shift then moved to flexible shifts: ask the expert

Told I would be doing night shift then moved to flexible shifts: ask the expert

I have been working at the same location for about eight months. When I first attended the job interview, I left it clear that I was applying for night shift work. At the time I was told that it would not be a problem. When I started the job I was told that the shifts were flexible. I explained what was discussed during the interview, but the person who interviewed me had left. I have been ever since trying to be moved to the night shift. I am a single mother of a 12-year-old girl. The flexible hours, mornings, afternoons, lates and night shift rotations are making my childcare arrangements impossible. I requested in writing to be given night shift only, but the request has been declined and the reason for that is: I am requesting night shift only and therefore not working rotational shifts. Internal rotations are adopted as standard to ensure patient safety and professional development of staff is maintained. The benefit of the rotation is that it enables more effective deployment of staff. I must outline that several members of staff only work mornings, afternoons or evenings. Therefore I would like to appeal, but would appreciate some guidance on how to do it correctly.

Discussion: 0 comments

Read Story

Asked to work bank holidays and weekends: ask the expert

Asked to work bank holidays and weekends: ask the expert

I am currently working on a shift pattern mon - sat 40hrs. I started with this company nearly 2 and a half years ago working a 1:4 weekend as stated in an email from the head of department. In my contract it says 'full participant in rota system mon-sat to suit the needs of the business' and that 'it is your responsibility to arrange alternative cover with your line manager'. My holiday entitlement is 28 days inclusive of bank and public holidays. We have always had to work occasional Sundays for a few hours, and over a year ago the company asked us to work bank holidays for a few hours as well. We did this even though none of us were really happy to, but they said if not they would open up the business on these days if we didn't. Now they have lost a nurse to maternity leave. They are not replacing her which now means we will have to work more weekends. I have a problem with childcare. My mum works every other weekend, but agreed to look after my daughter based on the 1:4 rota. My daughter also goes to swimming and ballet classes which have already been paid for. I have been told it's not their problem and I will have to sort childcare out. My daughter is only 2 and has mild cerebral palsy. I can't afford to pay for extra childcare and need advice!!!!!

Discussion: 1 comments

Read Story

Badly treated on return to work: ask the expert

Badly treated on return to work: ask the expert

I returned to work 9 months ago after maternity leave.  Things were very difficult regarding this.  I was to return to work 30 hours a week as arranged months before my return to work.  I was also to return to working in the premises closest to where I live which is where I worked before I went off.  I was then informed a few days before returning that this was no longer the case.  I had to return 40 + hours and at the original premises.  There are several premises.  I was told there was no job for me otherwise.  After talking to a solicitor I was advised to leave and sue for constructive dismissal. However, I returned to work when my employer changed their minds.  Since returning I have had my rota changed 4 times with no notice, all of which I have done although childcare has been extremely difficult.  I have been reduced to tears by my employer and told how inconvenient me being off due to my child being unwell is, and I have been demoted and another member of staff given my position without being informed of this for several weeks.  My wages have been paid late on several occasions, and I have been informed of yet another rota change where I have to work 30 miles away.  I still do not have a contract.  Can they do all this to me? This situation has completely ruined returning to work and makes home life now difficult.  I hate leaving my child every day to go into a job I feel I am being discriminated against in. 

Discussion: 0 comments

Read Story