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Breach of employment contract- no verbal or written agreement.


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I am a Civil Servant and have worked 18 hours per week since starting in my new department in September 2007. From October 2009, I started working extra hours on secondment adding upto full time-37 hours per week.

 

I then experienced 3 months of my extra hours not being processed and being underpaid. My area Manager decided to change my contract to full time with no review date in January so that I would have no further problems being salaried. In October 2009, a colleague was transferred into my home office having previously worked 18 hours per week. She was given a full time contract immediately under compassionate grounds. I returned to my home office in February this year still working full time. My 5 other part-time colleagues agreed new contracts working hours to suit in February.

 

At the end of May, I was told that I was returning to working 18 hours per week due to a contract being lost by the department. My new colleague retained her full time contract because of the compassionate grounds. My 5 part-time colleagues also reverted back to 18 hours per week. They had review dates written on their contracts so there was no confusion. I always believed that my change of contract was permenant because my Manager never mentioned to me that it could be under review if the work contract was lost, also, a review date was never written on my new contract.

 

Last week I attended my first meeting with my Manager and the Union. The rep informed her that I did not have a review date on my contract so this is a breach. She has since checked with HR and today told me that I always knew verbally it could be changed and she changed my contract to alleviate my wages problem.

 

I tried to say that despite the budget constraints my new colleague has retained full time hours and that this is not fair. She was obviously unwilling to discuss her case but tried to assure me that correct procedure had been taken. I told her that as I was the only part-time worker wishing to work full time, I thought I would be treated the same as my new colleague. I actually believe that even though she had requested a transfer 2 years ago, it suited management to transfer her in as 3 of us went on secondment in the same month and they were panicking over staffing.

 

I am awaiting a further meeting with the Union rep to write a formal grievance. Unfortunately, the Union has been useless and the advice has conflicted with each rep I have been passed around. Some believe I should not mention my new colleague but some do. So, who is right? Can my Manager push for me being aware verbally even though no such conversation took place or is she bluffing? Can I push to find out procedure followed with my new colleague as a separate issue? My Manager has put doubt in my mind today and told me I am wasting my time. I am concerned that I could be targeted as a trouble maker. Can anyone give advice before I escalate my case please?

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