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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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My wife is 68 years old and has worked as an assistant at a

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My wife is 68 years old and has worked as an assistant at a childrens nursery (2 to 4 year olds) for the last 13 years. She has been told today that she now has 2 choices regarding her employment. Either she gets a qualification or she cuts down her hours and covers lunchtimes. She currently works 3 full days per week.

The request for her to get qualified seems to stem from the fact that Ofsted are now insisting that all staff are qualified. I have spoken to Ofsted and they have informed me that only at least half of the staff have to be NVQ qualified.

Your advice as to my wife's rights etc. will be appreciated.
Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to be able to assist with your question today. Whilst I cannot advise on the regulations laid down by Ofsted as that is a regulatory matter, not a legal one, I can discuss her employment rights in relation to the proposed changes?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Any advice will be appreciated


The main issue here is what is the reason for the employer's proposed changes. If there is indeed a regulatory requirement for your wife to attain certain qualifications to be able to continue working in her job then the employer will have little choice over what they do and will need to ask her to comply with these requirements. If she is unable to then they would have to make the necessary changes to comply with the regulations and that could result in her job being changed and can even go as far as dismissal.

However, if there is flexibility in relation to these regulations then the employer would be expected to act fairly and reasonably in the circumstances. So for example, if as you say only half of the staff would need to be qualified, the employer should look at what the fairest approach is to ensuring that this happens. Say if there are already some qualified employees they would be used towards meeting the necessary quota and if there is a shortfall the employer should try and adopt some kind of fair approach in determining who would need to become qualified. The employer should not be using any discriminatory factors when making a decision, for example she should not be picked because of her age, gender, etc.

In summary, it is important to consider the actual requirements and whether it is indeed necessary to have all staff with these qualifications, after which you should consider why or how she has been chosen, if indeed it is only a proportion of staff that need to be qualified.

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you very much for the information. I shall need to check a few thigs with my wife this evening when she finishes and will contact you again tomorrow.

Ok no problem
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

For Ben Jones Only


Hi Ben,

To be absolutely sure that there is no misunderstanding, I have asked my wife to ask the Nursery to put their requests/proposals in writing, together with the reasoning behind these proposals.


This may take a few days (knowing employers) so may I please contact you as, and when, we have their response?






Hi Tony, yes of course I am here most days so just get back to me at your convenience