Shifts changing: ask the expert

I’ve worked for my employer as a care assistant for the past 8 years. I originally worked on days doing 12 hour shifts 8-8 for a period of 6 years. Due to problems with childcare my time keeping suffered and I was having a lot of sick days due to this. I also have a son who is registered disabled. Due to the above problems I was dismissed, but continued to work for them doing twilight (7 – 12) shifts and night shifts. After nearly 6 months they offered me a full-time position on nights as they noticed I had no sickness or lateness during this period, and after a formal chat it was agreed that these shifts were more suitable for me and more beneficial to the company as I was giving consistency to the company. Since becoming full time on nights my home life is less stressful as I had a shift pattern so I could work around my disabled son. Now, however, my employer has stated that we are going to have scattered shifts . I have stated this would have an adverse effect on my family, but she is showing no understanding and has gone ahead with the alterations anyway. I also have a 6-year-old daughter to provide childcare for. I would appreciate some advice on this.

Potentially your employer could be guilty of sex and associative discrimination.

I would put a formal grievance in writing outlining your complaint.  If you are not happy with the ultimate outcome you could take your claim to an employment tribunal, but be aware fees were brought in from 29 July so it could cost you up to £1,200 to do so.

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