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Is this legal?

brilliantjbrilliantj Member Posts: 26 Connected
edited October 2019 in Employment and careers
Good evening everyone.  I am one of three employees in a school who undertake the same role.  We were told in September that the roles were disappearing and we would be made redundant.  However they are now saying that there will be one role remaining, for which all three of us will be considered.  They have drawn up a skills matrix and on paper it looks like they would offer it to me, as I seem to be the most qualified.  However, I do have a disability and was sent to an Occupational Dr this year, so that my employer could make reasonable adjustments.  This was done and It was not recommended that I worked in class or went out onto the playground in case of injury.  However we have all been given a re-written job description which combines a teaching assistant role (in the classroom), playground duties and is three hours less per week.  They also want someone in every day, which I cannot manage due to my caring responsibilities.(I currently work three days a week).  I feel that the new role would exclude me and my capabilities and the hours would not suit either.  I am a bit worried that if I was given the role but could not take it because of a disability would I still be entitled to redundancy or would I just have to leave?  Even if they re-adjusted the job description to fit (which doesn't look likely) I would still lose 13 hours per month which would reduce my income greatly.  Any ideas anyone?  Best regards

Replies

  • woodbinewoodbine Member Posts: 2,860 Disability Gamechanger
    Are you a member of a union? if so this sounds quite complicated and maybe they could help?
  • BirdsnbeesBirdsnbees Member Posts: 75 Pioneering
    I agree with woodbine this is a complicated situation get advice from everywhere you can citizens advice speakeasy a union go to your local mp
  • brilliantjbrilliantj Member Posts: 26 Connected
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,662 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @brilliantj, how are you getting on? :)
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  • janer1967janer1967 Community champion Posts: 7,230 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi you need to contact acas who advise on all employment related issues. My opinion having some knowledge of employment law is if your existing role no longer exists and you are not offered a suitable similar role this would be redundancy however you need to get professional advice 
  • BirdsnbeesBirdsnbees Member Posts: 75 Pioneering
    Yes @brilliantj how are you doing?
  • BirdsnbeesBirdsnbees Member Posts: 75 Pioneering
    On rereading this I think it would be worth you asking the school directly in writing to the headmaster what you've written here. The redrafting of the job role after you'd had an OT report outlining what you could not do sounds discriminatory to me, it seems very coinciental to have those exact requirements reported on then they change the job to that. I think it would make you redunant in the eyes of benefits because it's like if you have a home and it becomes unsuitable because of your disability then you become legally homeless, not intentionally homeless.
  • brilliantjbrilliantj Member Posts: 26 Connected
    Thank you all for your comments.  Ive spoken to the union and as the new "role" is quite near to the old one (except for less hours, a few different duties and a change in working pattern) it would still be considered that they had offered me a "similar" role.  However in my case because the "different duties - when required" would preclude me from doing the job successfully, then I can ask to be made redundant (voluntary) although they don't have to accept my request.  As the new job is less hours than I currently undertake, I don't want the role anyway because I would lose too much income.  It does sound as though I would have a case against them if I was made to take the the role, however if they grant voluntary redundancy I wouldn't be forced to take a job that physically I can't do. I have written to the Governors who are overseeing this process and asked to be made redundant on the basis that I can't do the role because of my responsibilities and capabilities.  Apparently because they've only "told" us we are being made redundant and not given us formal notice of redundancy this is the only option open to me at this time.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,662 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @brilliantj and thank you for the update. It certainly seems like you are in a difficult position! I hope the Governors can offer more guidance about the new role. Please do let us know how you get on. :)
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  • BirdsnbeesBirdsnbees Member Posts: 75 Pioneering
    Thank you all for your comments.  Ive spoken to the union and as the new "role" is quite near to the old one (except for less hours, a few different duties and a change in working pattern) it would still be considered that they had offered me a "similar" role.  However in my case because the "different duties - when required" would preclude me from doing the job successfully, then I can ask to be made redundant (voluntary) although they don't have to accept my request.  As the new job is less hours than I currently undertake, I don't want the role anyway because I would lose too much income.  It does sound as though I would have a case against them if I was made to take the the role, however if they grant voluntary redundancy I wouldn't be forced to take a job that physically I can't do. I have written to the Governors who are overseeing this process and asked to be made redundant on the basis that I can't do the role because of my responsibilities and capabilities.  Apparently because they've only "told" us we are being made redundant and not given us formal notice of redundancy this is the only option open to me at this time.
    Well done sounds like you've made progress. Have they said in writing that they have only 'told' you about being made redundant? because if they have, I'd say that's formal notice of being made redundant. I think you should make it clear that if they don't accept your request for redundancy you may consider it discrimination because the reason you can't take the role is because of your disability as evidenced by the ot report.
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