Q And A
Following the birth of my second child and a year's maternity leave I went back to work on a part-time basis, but to a different role, different location and reporting to a different manager, all of which I did agree to because the only option I was left with was either work full time or take redundancy. I was not financially disadvantaged by this. Now nearly 4 years later I find myself struggling to be promoted in any way within the company. I continue to work part time (3 days a week) and am not willing to do the role I am currently in on a full-time basis. Whilst I am in no worse financial position I do feel that the work is of a less senior level. In the last few weeks there was an announcement saying that three people (full-time male employees) have been promoted to new roles which were not advertised. The Company has a complex structure and as such it is difficult to confirm whether the promoted employees are on the same level as me, however I think they are. I am very frustrated because it seems to be impossible for me to be promoted. If the (full time) roles had of been advertised then I could have chosen whether or not to apply, but because they weren't I had no opportunity to even be considered. Additionally the company NEVER advertises part-time roles in the department in which I work, let alone at my (manager) level. At the end of last year I did express an interest in career development and stated that I would not want to be missing out on opportunities because they assumed I wanted to continue working part time, but I stressed it would depend on the role. One of the three roles is located in the original office I worked in prior to my maternity leave and therefore the possibility of me working more hours is much more feasible. I've tried to discuss this with my manager, but was told that perhaps if I would commit to returning full time there may be more options available. Recently my manager has reinstated the team meetings which she has arranged for a day I do not work. I am the only employee in the team not in the office five days a week. It is difficult for me to be perceived as a manager by the rest of the team when they have these meetings without me. Again I have mentioned this to my manager, but was told my attendance was unimportant. Please can you confirm what the legal situation is, but also what I should do. I'm getting to the point where I feel I will have to leave in order to carry on with career development.
Answered by: Alan Lewis
From the information you have provided it seems that you may have a case in respect of less favourable treatment on the grounds of your part-time status and also indirect… View full answer >
I have worked for my company for 15 years and one from full time (27 days + bank holiday = 35 days holidays) to part time after maternity leave. I work Tues, Weds & Thurs. For the past 3 years I have been taking 16 days holiday (excluding any bank holidays). They have now said that this is incorrect and to make it fair to everyone they have included bank holidays in my entitlement. This is how they have worked it out and I have no idea if it is correct: 35 days (basic 20 + 7 days extra for long service + 8 days bank holidays) pro rata is 21 days then they have taken 8 bank holiday from my entitlement, leaving me with 13 free days to book off. I don't understand if they pro rata the 8 bank holidays into my entitlement to give me 21 days how they can then take a full 8 days from me. On the holiday sheet they have added the bank holidays and marked everyone off as a holiday, giving me 21 days and taking away 8. As most bank holidays fall on Mondays and I don't work Mondays I have never considered any of this before. I would really love to know if this is correct. View full answer >
Answered by: Tara Daynes
My original request for flexible hours was refused; I am contracted 15 hours over two days, which always worked out as a Saturday plus a late shift during the week 2-10, or two lates during a weekday if I didn't work the weekend. I asked to split my weekday shift into 6-10 twice a week plus my Saturday, or three weekday shifts 5-10 if I didn't work a Saturday. They refused due to costs and because they said that, with the exception of Sundays, it is not possible for them to assign set days/shifts due to the nature of the business. I appealed, for two reasons; my colleague works a Sunday shift, and though she doesn't have set days she works apart from this, she attends uni on a Tuesday and Thursday so cannot work these days. The other reason was that they had gotten something wrong on the refusal letter as I hadn't asked to split my shift on a Saturday, but they had taken this into consideration and used this as a reason to refuse. During my appeal meeting, I was then told that no day of the week was allowed to be assigned as a 'set day' and that, though my colleague may be working a Sunday, she should not have it as ''her' shift. I offered them alternatives to account for the reason of costs; they had assumed I was asking for set weekdays, but I told them any weekday is fine, it was just the time I was asking to change. They said that if they were unable to cover the shift 9-6, me not being in until 6pm would affect the business, so I offered that if this did happen (historically it never has, as everyone prefers to work the day shifts, it has always been the late shifts which have been a problem to cover), I would pull some strings and make one-off arrangements to enable me to work 2-10 instead. I also assured them that I wasn't asking to split my Saturday shift, I would work any shift as assigned on this day. I then also offered that I might be able to continue to work 2-10 on a Thursday or Friday (my eldest son does not have preschool on these days) in order that this would provide more options for flexibility on my part. I also assured that during school holidays, I would be free to work any shift required (as I wouldn't need to pick my daughter up from school, or son from preschool). I promised that I would still make myself available for overtime, as I always have done, and to cover staff holiday.
My appeal was refused, for the same 'repeated' reasons as on my previous letter. They said that my colleague does not have set shifts - which she does; every Sunday and though she may not work a set day during the week as part of her other hours, she cannot work Tuesday or Thursday as she is at uni! She stated that as my rota was worked out 4-6 weeks in advance, this should give me plenty of time to arrange childcare... I am quite annoyed about this comment, as my problem is not finding someone to look after them, it is getting my daughter picked up from school.
(She attends school 5 miles from where I live, which is the same area my son attends preschool Mon-Weds. My mother-in-law will have my kids, but she lives 25 miles from us, so is happy to have the kids at our house, but does not want to go back and forth to school with my other son - a baby, having to squeeze three kids into her two-door car, plus lug a pushchair around) I literally have no one that can collect her from school. I can get her into after school club, but that is going to mean my husband will have to catch a train from work straight to her school, then take her home on the train as I will need the car for work, and she is likely to end up going to bed later to accommodate this option. It would also mean that if I am rota'd to work a shift Mon-Weds, I would have to collect my son from preschool early, as he attends 9-3, in order to get him home to my MIL before I started work at 2. I realise I can no longer appeal any further as my 'appeal has been exhausted' but I still feel that they are being a bit one-sided in relation to the flexibility, as I have made every effort to resolve each of their reasons against with a viable solution. Plus they are not forcing my colleague to work a Tuesday or Thursday when she is at uni - it seems a little stilted!
What can I do now? I have to return to work as it could financially cripple us if not. Do I return 'under protest' or just go back as normal? I am also concerned that they are now going to insist that I have to work day times, even though I have always worked Saturdays or late shifts, as my contract only states 2 days/15 hours- can they do this when they verbally agreed my shift pattern on recruitment and I have been working that pattern since I started?
Answered by: Tracey Guest
I am currently 16 weeks pregnant and told my boss about the pregnancy about a month ago. The company has seen a reduction in clients and two weeks ago I received a letter announcing that my job (Office Manager) is considered for redundancy and the main reason is that it is a non-client facing role. I wrote back saying that this has always been the case and asking who is going to do my job and I was told that other team members would. Also I have been told that no other people are being considered even though they are not dealing with any clients and this is purely a cost-cutting measure. I feel that this is related to my pregnancy as tasks have been taken away from me and furthermore a temp has been hired and is doing some of them. Also team members are also asking other people to do some of my tasks (arrange travel, hotels, deal with expenses) and even though they say that this is a cost-cutting measure the spending has continued and furthermore they have applied for a Green Card visa for one team member and paid for the application. They only answered my questions at the end of the consultation leaving me with no option. I would appreciate if you could advise if I can sue for unfair dismissal. I have been with the company for 1yr 9 months and the notice period finished exactly before the completion of my 2 years. View full answer >
Answered by: Alan Lewis
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