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Constructive dismissal? Returning from maternity and given hours that I cannot do.

Discussion in 'Pay and conditions' started by DaisysLot, Nov 21, 2011.

  1. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    If you resign before completing your return to work obligation post maternity leave, you can be asked to repay the enhanced part of your maternity pay. As the two day a week working arrangement was 'temporary' and a variation from your permanent contract, the head teacher can direct your hours wherever they need them. As for constructive dismissal, this is ridiculously difficult to prove, and your employer would simply refer to the 'temporary variation in your permanent contract in their defense. I would advise opening a dialogue with your head teacher to see if there is any room for negotiation.
  2. Id contact your union.

    Your head is taking the mickey. He wants you to attend 5 out of 10 sessions in a week and pay you for 4. Why on earth does he need someone for ONE HOUR in the morning?

    You might be able to argue that your contract cannot be changed unilaterally but I wouldn't hold out any hope.

    I'd call his bluff and ask to go back to your full time hours. You might as well - if he had his way you'd already be working half the week.
  3. Crowbob

    Crowbob Lead commenter

    Not if the temporary contract just specifies 0.4 and not days.
    May not seem fair but this is in no way constructive dismissal. I wouldn't even mention the word.
    In my view, you are best-off trying to negotiate before contacting union. Did you make it clear that this arrangement would make it very difficult wrt childcare? Or at least ask the union not to approach the Head at this stage.
    Because somebody else is working 9-11?
    What are the terms of your full-time contract becoming active again. If it is X number of weeks notice by the Head, I would be very careful in how you handle this issue.

  4. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    That was my guess. This is one of the difficulties that arise as more and more people in a school request part-time working.
    As others have said, I really wouldn't even suggest 'constructive dismissal', because if your agreement is a temporary variation, it's subject to the needs of the school.
    I would try to negotiate if I were you - but as calmly as you can, begin with the explanation of your child-care arrangements and the problems therein.
  5. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    I agree about trying for calm negotiation. I would also suggest pushing a bit with nursery to find out whether there's any flexibility there: if they were able to let you have Wednesday instead of Friday, you could then take Weds/Thurs to the head as a possible compromise. Even if not, perhaps going with "I can only get Mon/Thu/Fri at nursery" shows that you have tried, and perhaps gives the head a chance to look and see whether they could make something work on those days. And you can point out that your childcare costs are much more for part-days: it will probably make little difference, but some heads might be genuinely surprised to learn this.
  6. Changes to contracts following requests for flexible working are supposed to be permanent. Why was yours made temporary? How long have you been working Thu/Fri? Some things you might want to make part of a conversation with your union when you seek advice from them.

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