Hours to be cut since I've put in my maternity leave request

Discussion in 'Home Life & Finances' started by Sherlock, Nov 18, 2007.

  1. Sherlock

    Sherlock Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Messages:
    5,893
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've not been around much these past few days. The sh*t has hit the fan at work after 4 plus happy years. Its causing me no end of worry and sleepless nights but as of today I am trying to resolve myself to finally deciding on a course of action and then letting it all go.

    Short version - I am a nanny and trying to do the decent thing I gave the family my maternity leave request (start date was flexible and well within the legal time frame). I also put in a request for 2 weeks annual leave prior to the start date and a fuel bill for the past 2 months as I am doing a lot more driving now. Until then I had only ever billed £200 a year. This time it was £150 for 2 months. The £200 was a gross undercharge on my part but I'll get to that later if anyone is interested :p

    So, after getting this request and bill my boss asked for a meeting with me and for my hubby to come along also. I presently do 24 a week. Bottom line as she told it to me was 'I can cut your hours to 11 a week from Monday and theres not a thing you can do about it'. O isn't there

    The reasoning? She had not expected me to take the full maternity leave (even though its my legal right and should not matter), the fuel was a shock and the annual leave wasn't really on as I had had extra weeks off already. She explained she could not longer afford or justify my hours, nor the fuel and needed to do something. And that when she hires someone to cover my leave she is only looking at them doing 11 hours.

    Anyways, it pretty much comes down to seeing if I have a case for unfair dismissal, constructive dismissal or even sexual discrimination. I do have rights and as a pregnant woman who had put in her maternity leave request, for an employer to suddenly cut hours for those reasons is not really on. It also affects my maternity pay the first 6 weeks and surely having put that request in, its not right to alter what I am entitled to.

    And if my hours are cut, it means she pays less maternity leave for me as I understand it. Even though she can then claim lots of it back. It just sucks.

    Had things been put to my differently, had suggestions for reducing my hours upon my return been tabled, had the annual leave not become this petty 'I've had to count everything from the past 4 years' and 'its all been about give and take on both sides, thats why this has worked so long' etc, I'd have been looking at this very differently. But to have it landed on me that my hours are to be cut, but to not actually have it confirmed (either verbally or written) as to how and when etc, more threatened unless I can come back with suggestions as to cuts etc, how the hell am I supposed to treat it?!

    To explain about the holidays, I get 5 weeks a year. Of which only 2 are taken in the school holidays and only when the family go on their summer holiday. The rest of the weeks I was told to take in term time only. Any extra holidays the family took and therefore didn't require me to work while they were away was, I was told by my employer, for her to worry about and at her own expense. I should not worry about it. Its also worth mentioning that on many occasions in the past 4 years I've never used up the annual leave in term time and allowed it to be given when they go away. Not that its always been convenient to me but I felt it was a decent thing to do. I also stay late often, am flexible so as to enable them to do their jobs and they in return have always been decent and flexible also. It was never a problem for me, even when it was an inconveniece. I simply felt it worked both ways and why worry.

    I also stupidly never charged them properly for fuel since I started. Its my own car and they have only paid me £200 a year. In fact if I add it up, its probably cost me in the region of £1500-2000 loss on fuel from my own pocket. Give and take as my boss kept saying on Thursday.

    Yet here I am, facing possible redundancy or handing in my notice. And either way, facing industrial action against them. Such a shame I as adore the kids, love working for them and was happy and wished to return after my leave, even happy to have considered dropping hours then. But now, while I still adore the kids, I know I cannot continue there. Its all tainted either way. And I refuse to just accept it, roll over and agree to lose potentially 13 hours a week in wages (and maternity pay in those early weeks) when this has only become an issue since I gave them notice of my leave etc.

    Umm anyways, rant over. If anyone can offer advice on the whole legal mess I am facing it'd be appreciated. I plan to seek proper legal advice later this week and have been in touch with CAB and other agencies so far who have advised me what to do atm, but argh I have to go into work tomorrow and I so don't want to.
     
  2. Krystal

    Krystal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Messages:
    6,822
    Likes Received:
    0
    aww sorry hun, i really don't have any decent advice to offer you apart from not to let it lie. You have a case there, i believe, possibly both for constructive dismissal (you feeling as though you have to leave job because of position they have placed you in) and sexual discrimination (because your pregnant they are now acting in this way)

    Best speaking to CAB as I am confident with policies in my work place but not else where so they def best ones. I do hope you get it sorted. Please try not to stress to much though, not good for you or baby :hug: :hug: :hug:
     
  3. tuck

    tuck Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2007
    Messages:
    960
    Likes Received:
    0
  4. Sherlock

    Sherlock Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Messages:
    5,893
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the links. I'd read the ACAS one and the Gov one but not the other.

    I think I have good grounds for some case or other. Whichever way I look at it there is something fundamentally not right with what she has done and is trying to do.

    I shall go in tomorrow to work with my head held high and know I am not in the wrong and do my job as well as I normally do, but it'll have an awkward feel to it for sure.

    Here is hoping once I request her to put what she wants in writing I shall know which way to go with my case.
     
  5. valentine

    valentine Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    Messages:
    5,356
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't have any further advice for you Sherlock, apart from what has already been posted - but I just wanted to wish you lots of luck today - please let us know how you get on.

    She is definitely not abiding by the law and I think you have a very strong case for discrimination.

    Valentine Xxx
     
  6. Sherlock

    Sherlock Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Messages:
    5,893
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks ladies :)

    I went to work today and all was 'normal'. Nothing was said, mentioned, not a word.

    I have sought legal advice and am told I have a strong case for sexual discrimination and unfair dismissal.

    I gave my boss a letter today as per advice given and shall await her reply.

    Chances are I'll hand my notice in next week either way and then decide what action to take after that.
     
  7. littlepip

    littlepip Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2007
    Messages:
    1,872
    Likes Received:
    0
    aww sorry i dont have any advice but ure boss is a little like what mine was like. I was a nanny for the last year and i was never paid any petrol money even tho it was in my contract to. i was doing 50 hours a week and 2 nights baby sitting a month for free but when she was away for the night she would count me as staying over for the whole night as one nights babysitting so i was working from 8am one day till 6 pm the next day!! Also she made me clean her house everyday and each day also i had to deep clean one room. which included pulling out sofas etc. When i told her i was pregnant she didnt even say congratualtions and said oh have you done this? have you done that? and still expected me to pull out sofa's etc. well shes moved away now but i was silly for letting her treat me like that really. I cant believe how people can treat you sometimes :hug:
     
  8. Sherlock

    Sherlock Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Messages:
    5,893
    Likes Received:
    0
    Update on the situation

    My hours are to remain as they are till I go on maternity leave. This will now come forward (at my choosing) to the earliest possible date I am entitled to take it from.

    I am to be reimbursed for fuel at a rate of 30p per mile (based on older car, insurance, wear and tear and fuel costs).

    So its worked out. It has put a strain on the relationship between my boss and I, but I am not treating my job any differently and it certainly isn't affecting me in my care for the kids. I'm determind to carry on as normal.

    Hopefully it'll work for both sides until I go on leave anyways.
     
  9. Rosieroo

    Rosieroo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Messages:
    6,133
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well done for standing your ground and reaching a suitable agreement. It's a shame she's acted like this though when you've been such a good employee :( I hope it doesn't taint your last few weeks too much :hug:
     
  10. Sherlock

    Sherlock Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Messages:
    5,893
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well that didn't last long.

    I had an interesting phone call with my boss just now. Let's just say it was enlightening.

    My notice is being handed in at the end of this week. Shame its come to this but I just think its better, having heard my boss out tonight that I cut my losses and leave as soon as I can. I'll leave at the end of December. I just don't need the stress of this and for the sake of 6-7 weeks hanging on till my maternity leave starts in Feb its never worth it.

    I'll still get my maternity pay, ok, less a bit in the first 6 weeks but I get the rest as I've worked up till now. We'll manage :)
     
  11. valentine

    valentine Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    Messages:
    5,356
    Likes Received:
    0
    That's a real shame Sherlock. It sounds like you have been treated very unfairly (and by a woman too - in my experience, they are the worst!).

    Is it worth having a chat with an employment lawyer? From what you've said above, I think you've an excellent case for being treated unfairly due to your pregnancy. I know this is probably hassle you don't need, but I think you'd just need to give the lawyer everything to get the case going, and then you could continue with your pregnancy happily.

    Good luck with everything.

    Valentine Xxx
     
  12. paradysso

    paradysso Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2007
    Messages:
    3,359
    Likes Received:
    0
    awww thats well harsh of her, from what i know about nannies, when your on mat leave and she pays you then £120 a week roughly? she can claim it all back, so why is she being difficult? does she do your pay throught the nanny tax system?
     
  13. paradysso

    paradysso Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2007
    Messages:
    3,359
    Likes Received:
    0
  14. Sherlock

    Sherlock Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Messages:
    5,893
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for that paradysso, interesting read :) I had considered staying on till a cut off point for maternity leave, but it would mean another 4-5 weeks at least and I really don't know if I can do that now.

    I'd made up my mind to resign, handed in the letter and we had a long talk and are on good terms. Hubby did the sums and while it'll be tight, what I lose money wise I can save partly in other ways ie no travel costs and we can sell the second car then also. It will also mean I can take it easy once we move house and will have plenty of time to get sorted decortating etc before I get too big a bump. I can then claim my maternity pay from the earliest possible opportunity and we'll be ok.

    All in all, while its been a really stressful few weeks, now I've decided I feel very calm about it all and am happy to be leaving.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice