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


I job share 24 hours a week over 3 days. I put in a request to have my working day reduced from 8 hours a day to 7.12 hrs a day – a total reduction of 48 minutes a day (which is the standard length of working day for full time staff) and it has been refused. Within a week of my request being refused, I was taken into a room by my manager and another manager and told that a new job role has been created and they think I am the best person for the job. I told them that I didn’t want to move, I hadn’t requested a development move and I wished to stay where I was. They said I didn’t have a choice and if I didn’t move then there was no job for me. I have since been informed that they are making my position a  full-time position and that’s the reason why I am being forced to move. I feel I have no rights and that I am being bullied into this department move. They have already informed the other person that they are taking over my role. Have I got any rights to be able to stay where I am? I just feel like I am being bulldozered.

Answer by Tracey Guest

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).

Sarah Calderwood has assisted with this answer.

Tracey GuestTracey Guest is head of employment and a partner at Slater Heelis in Manchester. She specialises in employment law and is also a working mum Meet our Panel of Experts

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One comment

  1. 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.

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