I was TUPE’d to a new employer in May 2017 following a contract change. There was initially a very unsettled period following this where there was talk of restructure affecting my grade only. After several months of anxiety and unknowns we were given written confirmation that we were no longer at risk and that our jobs were secure. Based on this I made the decision to submit a flexible working application and reduced my hours from 37 to 22 per week. Less than six months later we are now being told that they are going to restructure and that there will be five full-time positions available. Those five who are not selected will be made redundant. This process is going to be very quick. Having given up my daughter’s space at nursery and my son having started school I am now not in a position to immediately apply for a full-time position. This seems to leave me with no choice but redundancy,. Can my employer do this?
Your employer is able to restructure and reduce the number of roles available if it has determined that there is a reduced need for work of this particular kind. They have presumably determined that there is only enough work for five full-time staff.
It may, however, be possible for this work to be done with five FTE staff – i.e. more than five staff with some working part time and/or in job share. You might want to approach some of your colleagues to see if they wanted to make joint applications for job shares or part-time working. Whilst you are limited to one formal flexible working request per year, your employer must take a request to work flexibly seriously where the reason is childcare in order to avoid a claim of indirect sex discrimination.