I was taken on by a company and offered a permanent part-time contract. Within a couple of weeks I was offered full time. No new contract was signed to replace the part-time one. A few weeks after this I found out I was pregnant. A few days after finding this out I found out my brother had killed himself. As you can imagine this was a highly stressful time. I approached my boss and requested due to the bereavement and several other issues would it be possible to revert back to my contract which is part time. I have had issues with anxiety etc. in the past. I advised my boss this would be better than me being signed off work altogether. I was told no. A few weeks later after being treated for hyperemesis I had a very heavy bleed and was hospitalised and put on bed rest. I’ve been told to lessen the stress and take it easy when I do go back to work. What I would like to know is can I insist on reverting back to my contracted hours legally? I’m still within the six-month probation period so I’m afraid I have zero rights with this.
If you accepted a change to full time, then this was a permanent change to your contract whether or not this was confirmed in writing or by issuing you with a new contract.
You have a few options regarding part-time work:
Speak to your doctor about indicating on your “fit note” that you would be fit to return on part-time hours or a “phased return”. Your employer would only have to consider this as a “reasonable adjustment” if your illness meets the definition of disability, but this might if you have had issues with anxiety in the past.
You don’t have the right to make a formal request for flexible working until you have been employed for 26 weeks, but you could make an informal request in writing, explaining how you could do the job part time and how having you back for some of the hours is better than not having you at all.