Unfair treatment at work

Hi everyone
I have a situation at work that I just don't know how to resolve.  I'm not sure if I'm putting this thread in the most appropriate section of the forum.  Apologies if not.  This is a slightly long story, but I'll try to keep it as short as possible.

I've been working for my employer since 2013, and for personal reasons I had to move to a part-time working pattern in 2017. For most of that time, I was working as a Technical trainer for clients, receiving great client feedback and gaining a reputation within the industry for delivering excellence. The work that I did directly resulted in many instances of repeat business for my employer, and continues to do so.

At the end of 2019, the company decided to shut down the training dept. and absorb it within a new practice in the business. Myself and another colleague in the training team transferred across to the new practice. It was acknowledged at the time that there would be a period of upskilling required to fully move us into our new roles and that this knowledge transfer would be done during the 'ramp up' period of the new practice.

Initially, the transfer went well. My new Manager seemed pleased with my work, and regularly described me as an 'overachiever'. In February 2020 I signed a contract for a permanent position in the new role based on my part time hours and my Manager even waived his right to a 'trial period' on the basis that the work I had already been doing for him rendered it unnecessary.

Then in March, COVID  struck. This drastically reduced the opportunities for the new practice and the business in general to win new work. As a result, a decision was taken to make some redundancies and I was one of the people whose role was at risk. However, the whole 'redundancy' was very badly done for the following reasons:
  • The company "pre-selected" the people who would be made redundant. This is not proper process and is grounds for Unfair Dismissal, because they were effectively making people redundant, not roles. The Chief Executive actually sent out an email to everyone in the company where he admitted that the firm had done this.
  • During my redundancy consultation meeting (which was recorded with consent), I was told that I was being made redundant because my part-time hours were not appropriate for the business, despite the fact that I'd been offered the new position on the basis of those hours. This, I believe, was grounds for a Gender Discrimination claim.
I never threatened the firm with Tribunal action, nor did I actually accuse them of anything. I DID question them on the legality of some of their processes and made them aware that I knew my rights. They suddenly backtracked on the redundancy and reinstated me, without offering any explanation for the sudden change of heart.

That was a year ago, and since my return to work I feel that have been consistently treated unfairly. Client facing work that I am capable of fulfilling is routinely given to other members of the team, whereas I am relegated to 'internal projects' and low profile work. I have been set developmental targets that I cannot meet without doing the development in my own time, whereas other team members with the same targets have been allocated time within working hours to develop their skills. My workload is impossible to deliver within my part-time hours, and I have found myself regularly working outside normal hours in order to meet deadlines. This is noticed, but not appreciated. We have regular team meetings where every member of the team is praised for their contribution, except me. I recently delivered a small training project for a client that received incredible feedback. I forwarded this feedback to my Manager who has not even responded to the email, much less acknowledged that I did a great job!

This is starting to take it's toll on my mental health and wellbeing, as well as my confidence. It's also starting to impact on my personal life, as of course with the pandemic, my home is now my workplace. Yet conversely, I am also dreading a return to post-COVID normality, as it will probably mean that I have to deal with my manager and employer face-to-face on occasion, and the thought of that literally makes me feel nauseous. I already have an anxiety response when I see that I've received an email from my manager. I feel trapped in this situation and don't know how to turn it around. I need to work as we are still paying off our mortgage. I am looking for alternative work, but as a woman 'of a certain age' who needs to work part time hours in an employment market that has been flattened by the pandemic, my options for alternative employment look very limited indeed. But by the same token, I can't stay in this position much longer as the impact it is having on my health is worrying. I really wish they'd make me redundant again. I'd bite their hand off now. 
Could anyone tell me what options I have in this situation because I am at my wits end?


  • lincroft1710
    lincroft1710 Posts: 17,718 Forumite
    Photogenic Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    You have few options.

    You could raise a grievance, but would it get you anywhere, you are clearly persona non grata because you questioned management policy. You could resign and possibly submit a claim for constructive dismissal, but it could easily fail. You could ask your union for advice, but I bet you're not in a union. If it's affecting your health, resignation could be best. Start taking sick leave (and who would blame you if you couldn't cope with going back to work) and they would find a reason to dismiss you  on attendance/capability grounds.
    If you are querying your Council Tax band would you please state whether you are in England, Scotland or Wales
  • Thrugelmir
    Thrugelmir Posts: 89,546 Forumite
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    Often as part of the redundancy process. A matrix will be drawn up to preselect potential individuals for redundancy. Absolutely nothing wrong in this. As the management will have drawn up a new organisational structure. Unfortunately there's often repercussions for employees that create waves. Particularly if the management has greater concerns that they would prefer to be spending their time addressing. Many companies are struggling to survive in the current climate. Employees will therefore be under pressure to deliver. There's no room for passengers to be carried. It's a tough environment to survive in. If one's mindset isn't right. 
  • hyubh
    hyubh Posts: 3,539 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    edited 30 March 2021 at 12:12AM
    Aside from a discrepancy on original start date that is probably due to a typo in one of the posts, last year's account is consistent with the latest one. So perhaps you could explain what the 'gotcha' is supposed to be...?
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