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Mum forced off nights to make way for "At risk" employees

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Hi everybody:-)

My mum has worked in a hospital dept for 22 years. In January her and her colleagues were asked to volunteer to do nights. Nobody else was interested but my mum volunteered to help them out and also to be able to spend more time with my dad who is disabled.


She trained people up from medical records whose jobs had been taken away and so were classed as "at risk".


She was informed this morning that she would have to go back onto days in July as the people from medical records were working nights so she wouldn't be needed.


My mum is really upset about this as it has worked out really well for her doing nights- she is around for my dad in the day time- we even work opposite night shifts so there is always someone there for my dad. It has also helped their financial situation as my dad is medically unfit to work.


I know she is going to be really stressed out if she has to go back onto days- she has her own health problems and any stress is going to make it worse- she is even talking of handing in her notice.


Can they make her give up her night time hours for new staff coming into the department? The head of her dept is saying it's out of his hands and it is personell who are pushing for the "At risk" staff to have her hours.

Thankyou for reading!!:wink:

<<<If I have helped please tickle the scales;-)<<<

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is your mother a designated carer for your dad , because i think her employer has to take account of your father being disabled but im sure someone will be only shortly to flesh it out

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I can see little wrong in the employer's actions, and ultimately they can force this through if they wished to, however has your mum considered making an application for flexible working based on the need to care for your dad?


There is more information here http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/employment/employees/flexibleworking/dg_10029491 but in essence, if there is a need to provide care for a spouse who is disabled, and the working pattern which your mum currently works will jeopardise the level of care required, then there would be a good case to apply for a night time shift pattern on those grounds. The employer is under no obligation to accept such a request, but does have to seriously consider the request and it would have to be denied on good business grounds.

Any advice given is done so on the assumption that recipients will also take professional advice where appropriate.






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Also have a look at this link from ACAS of Flexible Working: http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=3492


and also this PDF from ACAS:

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I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

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You may like to read the case of Coleman v Attridge law. The law of Associated Discrimination is quite complex and you may need to take legal advice, but at least this is a start.


You have stated a cople of things that your Mum may try and 'develop' with personnel / HR. Her own health issues plus the caring needs for you father may butt in to what the Hospital has said about Flexible Working. They should have a policy on this. They should also have a Policy on caring for relatives....... be careful here because many hospitals DELIBERATELY leave out a whole section of relative ie adult care for spouses. Flexible working policies mainly deal with child care, illness for other family members conveniently is ignored because it is too prevalent.


If that is the case she should apply in writing to keep these nights for her own health / disabled needs, those of her disabled husband and also that they changed her contract to do this and now that they did she has rearranged her life to enable the care and her own health to recuperate after her shift. Custom and Practice on her contract shows that she should continue too.


If they refuse she should raise a grievance and fight it all the way. They cannot change her just like that, they should consult her, her union and give her a chance to make representations.


If it ends up as a grievance allege direct discrimination because they are treating the 'at risk' staff differently to her, associated discrimination and breach of contract.

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Thankyou everybody for all of your thoughts/advice. Will have a good read up on the Acas info and ask her to print off the family friendly policy from work- will keep this post updated.:-)

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