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.

When there has been a course of conduct by an employer which, taken cumulatively, amounts a breach of the implied term of trust and confidence which exists between every employer and employee, you have the right to resign and bring a claim for constructive unfair dismissal against your employer.  However, in order to do this, there needs to be a “last straw”, ie the final act of your employer which has caused you to resign.  I understand that your rota has been changed 4 times since you returned from maternity leave and that you have also been demoted, several weeks ago.  If, for example, you were wanting to rely on your demotion as the final act then you would have needed to resign at the point you had been demoted.

I understand that your employer has now informed you that you have to work at another location 30 miles away. You could potentially use this as the final straw, resulting in your resignation.  You could also potentially have a claim for sex discrimination.

However, if you do decide to resign as a result of now being required to work at premises 30 miles away, you should insert the reasons for your resignation into your resignation letter, setting out the full background and giving detailed examples of the way in which you have been treated since returning from maternity leave.

Please telephone Tracey Guest on 0161 975 3823 for further advice prior to resigning.





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