I am a clerical assistant and have been employed in the company for 16 years in an alternate week job share role. My job share partner has resigned and the company have decided not to replace her but to employ a full time trainee case handler whose duties as well as training as a case handler will include filing and invoicing during my week away from the office. In effect they are turning a full-time position into a part-time role. My fear is the workload will slowly build in my absence and I will just be expected to take up the slack, particularly in times of sickness and holiday. Are they allowed to do this ?
I understand that you currently work in an alternate week job share role.
Your job share partner has resigned and your employer has decided not to replace her with someone in the same role but instead to employ a full-time trainee case handler, whose duties will include administrative duties, for example, filing and invoicing, during your week away from the office.
If you have been employed on a job share basis and your employer has taken this away without your consent, by effectively requiring you going forward to perform the full role, then this is a breach of your contract of employment and you would be able to pursue your employer for breach of contract.
Furthermore, as this appears to be a fundamental breach of your contract of employment, you may have a constructive unfair dismissal claim if you resign in response to your employer’s breach of contract.
I would, however, always advise you to take specific legal advice before resigning from your employment.
It is not clear, however, whether your employer has in fact disposed of your job share and it appears from your query that the new employee may in fact be performing the role of your previous job share partner (as part of their full-time role).
As a next step, I would advise you to meet with your employer to discuss your concerns about the increase in your workload.
You need to find out whether this new employee will in fact be picking up the other half of your job share role. If you still have concerns, I would advise you to submit a formal grievance on the matter.
If this still doesn’t resolve the matter, I would advise you to take further legal advice straight away in order to discuss potential claims.
*Helen Frankland assisted with answering this question.