Can I lose my job because I can’t work Saturdays?

I recently had to resign from my job of almost five years. I was asked to work occasional Saturdays, but as a single mum of two (aged 10 and 2) I have no childcare for Saturdays. It does say in my contract that I can be asked to work Monday to Saturday with four weeks’ notice, but can they really force me out of my job because I cannot get childcare? The job I was hired for stated days, location and hours and at no point was it mentioned that Saturdays were included. It seems so unfair to lose my job because my family and friends cannot help look after my children at weekends. My normal days (most recently) were Monday and Tuesday and I had childcare arrangements in place for both my girls on these days. I could have continued to work these days without any problems, but due to a request for occasional Saturday work, which I simply cannot fulfil, I have lost my career and income.

Childcare

 

I understand that you have recently resigned from your job having been asked to work occasional Saturdays. As you have resigned, the only potential claim available to you is one for Constructive Dismissal. This occurs where an employee resigns as a direct result of the employer fundamentally breaching their contract.

You confirm that you were contracted to work Monday to Saturday with 4 weeks’ notice, therefore if the company have complied with the notice period it is likely that you would not have a claim. The company cannot have fundamentally breached your contract by asking you to work on Saturdays if this was a clause in your contract, provided they complied with the notice provisions.

It is not clear from your enquiry whether you made a flexible working request or raised a grievance before you handed in your resignation. If the company unreasonably refused a flexible working request or failed to adequately deal with a grievance then you may have a potential claim, but it would be dependent on the reasons stated in your resignation letter.

Unfortunately, on the facts available, it would appear as though you may have prejudiced any potential claim by resigning.

*If you require more tailored advice please forward a copy of your resignation letter to me at crystalbolton@michaellewin.co.uk. If anyone in a similar situation requires advice in relation to submitting a flexible working request it is always advisable to seek legal advice at an early stage. Please do not hesitate to contact me at the above email address or on 0113 200 9784.



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