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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50202
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I have been working same company 10 years

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I have been working for the same company for over 10 years as a Care Assistant. My contract of employment is for 30 hours a week although for a long period of time I have been working in excess of 60 hours a week and over 12 hrs a day sometimes and 7 days a week too. Not surprisingly I became so run down and was diagnosed with depression in December which resulted in my GP signing me off work for 8 weeks and I have been on statuatory sick pay at £73 a week and am married with 4 children. As my Dr's certificate ran out this week and I felt that I would like to try returning to work . So my GP gave me a fit note to return to work on 'adjusted/reduced hours' I took this fit note into my workplace and advised my company that I thought it was best to do a few hours a week up to my contracted hours between Mon & Fri only. My first day back was today in which I worked 6 hours and was asked to go into the Office after my shift. I was advised by my Manager verbally that the company no longer had 30 hours a week to offer me as per my contract of employment and it would be best for me if I changed my contract myself to a 15 hrs a week contract. Also I was advised that the proposition I had made with regard to doing a few hours a day up to my 30 hours between Mon and Fri did not work for the company they are a 24 hr a day 7 day a week service and I should make myself available for that. Plse be advised that 1 was not contacted at all during my 8 weeks off by my Company. They made no attempt to propose an adjustment to my work hours themselves it was left to me. Plse advise whether they can change my contracted hours verbally, without consulting me first and I have refused to change my contract myself to 15 hours. I All of the above has been so distressing I feel like I have no resort but to resign but I think this is precisely what they want me to do. I have no idea what to do next. Plse help
Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

Do you agree that it is impossible for the to give you reduced hours for a while to adjust you back into wrk?




No, they cover such a larger area and are so desperate for cover all the time. During my 6 hours today I even received a text asking if I could work this week-end which is not unusual

Ben Jones :

what would you ideally like to achieve in the circumstances?


HI Ben


Hi Ben, I do not want to resign . I would like to continue my employment on 30 hrs a week as per my current contract of employment. At present I until I have adjusted back into work I would like to do a few hours a day between Monday and Friday I am even happy to complete my 30 contracted hours a week if it will help the company. But this isn't what they offering me , the are telling me they don't have 30 hours a week to give me - which is nonsense and they are trying to make me adjust my contract to 15 hours a week voluntarily.

Ben Jones :

ok thanks let me get my response ready please


no problem

Ben Jones :

Whist no one can force you to resign from your job, at the same time you may not be able to force the employer to adhere to the contract they have with you, even if you have the specific terms you are relying on written in black and white. It just means there are ways you could try and deal with it but nothing can guarantee that the employer will act in the way they are supposed to under the contract.

As far as the law stands, you are likely to be classified as disabled due to your depression and you will have automatic protection against discrimination, which means that you must not be treated unfavourably because of your disability. In addition, their employer would have a duty to make reasonable adjustments if you are likely to be placed at a substantial disadvantage when compared to non-disabled employees.

What amounts to ‘reasonable adjustments’ can have a wide interpretation and often depends on the individual circumstances. Below are some examples:

  • making adjustments to work premises;

  • allocating some of the employee’s duties to others;

  • transferring the employee to fill an existing suitable vacancy;

  • altering the employee’s hours of work;

  • allowing the employee to be absent during working hours for rehabilitation, assessment or treatment connected to their disability;

  • acquiring or modifying specialist equipment;

  • providing supervision or other support.

If someone who is disabled is being treated unfavourably because of their disability or their employer has failed to make reasonable adjustments it would potentially amount to disability discrimination. The first step would be to raise a formal grievance. The next step would be to consider whether a claim for disability discrimination should be made in an employment tribunal (the time limit for claiming is only 3 months from the date of the alleged discriminatory act taking place).

The option to resign and claim constructive dismissal also exists but only do this as a last resort. First try and resolve this through the grievance process.

Ben Jones :

Hope this clarifies your position? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you


Hi Ben


HI Ben - that's great thanks, ***** ***** given me somewhere to start which is very much appreciated . I'll let you know how I get one Kind regards Andrew

Ben Jones :

you are welcome, best of luck with this

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