New job role

Evening all

I have worked for my company for 28 years, am fast approaching 60.
They are cutting staff due to cost saving, my role is not being considered for redundancy. ( I would bite their hands off if offered)

However, I am being told I will have to cover the staff being culled at times, holiday cover etc sickness,, which has never been my job or in my job description, this will involve standing for 12 hours on a production line, which I physically will not be able to do as any more than a couple of hours will give me severe back pain.

It's being hinted that refusal to do this new tasks will result in disciplinary measures.

Short of going long term sick, do I have any other options?

H
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Comments

  • Savvy_Sue
    Savvy_Sue Posts: 45,816
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    Union? 

    If they are changing your job description, it should be negotiated. You need someone on your side. 

    Of course the negotation on their side may be "this is what we're offering, if you don't want it you can leave (without the redundancy package). 

    I'm not well versed in how selection for compulsory redundancy works (although I think I'm about to learn, fast ...) but it's possible your job has been excluded from the pot for an unfair reason. Definitely worth looking into. 
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  • Undervalued
    Undervalued Posts: 8,816
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    edited 1 March 2023 at 8:40AM
    Evening all

    I have worked for my company for 28 years, am fast approaching 60.
    They are cutting staff due to cost saving, my role is not being considered for redundancy. ( I would bite their hands off if offered)

    However, I am being told I will have to cover the staff being culled at times, holiday cover etc sickness,, which has never been my job or in my job description, this will involve standing for 12 hours on a production line, which I physically will not be able to do as any more than a couple of hours will give me severe back pain.

    It's being hinted that refusal to do this new tasks will result in disciplinary measures.

    Short of going long term sick, do I have any other options?

    H
    Even if you do that it doesn't mean you can't be "managed out" on capability grounds, perfectly lawfully, in a reasonably short period of time, if they go about it carefully. Plus the vast majority of company sick pay schemes are "discretionary" these days, rather that a hard and fast contractual entitlement. So you might well find that you only get SSP of around £100 per week.

    Job descriptions are not set in stone and can and do change over time. Plus your contract almost certainly will say something to the effect of "such other duties as may be required".

    The company has a duty NOT to make people redundant if there are viable alternatives such as re-deployment etc. Finally your length of service slightly works against your desire to be made redundant due to the cost.

    You might be able to convince them to agree a settlement agreement whereby you resign and get an agreed sum, signing away all rights to further claims (as far as the law allows). Obviously it would need to be for less that the redundancy entitlement to be attractive to the company.
  • TELLIT01
    TELLIT01 Posts: 16,250
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    Put your concerns in writing to the company, explaining that you have long term back problems which do not impact on your ability to do your current job, but do mean you are unable to stand for long periods. 
  • Savvy_Sue
    Savvy_Sue Posts: 45,816
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    TELLIT01 said:
    Put your concerns in writing to the company, explaining that you have long term back problems which do not impact on your ability to do your current job, but do mean you are unable to stand for long periods. 
    Especially if they don't know this. 

    I mean, if I were an employer shedding staff and expecting the remaining ones to 'pick up slack' and cover others, it could be critical to my planning and the future survival of the company that they're able to do so. 
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  • diystarter7
    diystarter7 Posts: 5,202
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    Hi OP

    Consult the union rep and ring ACAS, Asap. You will find ACAS very helpful as well as, hopefully your union rep.

    About going off sick, I hear you but it will get hard and your co will make it really hard and IMO make your life a misery.
    Therefore, see what happens, try to adjust and consult unions and ACAS in the meantime and try not to show your upset, keep things close to your cheat

    I lost out on a redundancy because I was a good, respected member of staff did a brill job, rarely off sick and a credit to the dept - cant prove it but when i applied to made redundant over 7 years ago as expected they said no and gave it too what IMO and others views were useless workers and or deemed as trouble makers. I left a few months later due to a health scare and dont regret it but do feel cheated and regret being so good at what I did - by that I mean, should not  have exercised most of my capacity.

    Good luck
  • MalMonroe
    MalMonroe Posts: 5,783
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    Hi, I agree with diystarter7, above. Please do contact acas. Info here - https://www.acas.org.uk/contact

    Quite aside from anything else, it's concerning that you say in your OP " I will have to cover the staff being culled at times".

    When people are made redundant, it's supposed to be because their job is no longer valid. And there has to be some kind of waiting period before they can employ anyone else to fill that role - if they ever do. So for your company to say that you will have to cover for the staff being culled seems to me to contravene employment law.

    Also "It's being hinted that refusal to do the new tasks will result in disciplinary measures."  They can't do that.

    You need to speak to someone at acas to clarify. And also to see if you can take them to an employment tribunal. (Which I would want to do! But of course that's just me.) I've used acas in the past and found them to be very good at what they do.

    Good luck with it all. I wouldn't go on long term sick, though, I'd prefer to start looking round for a new job. Or think about retraining. This could be your 'every cloud has a silver lining' time. 
    Please note - taken from the Forum Rules and amended for my own personal use (with thanks) : It is up to you to investigate, check, double-check and check yet again before you make any decisions or take any action based on any information you glean from any of my posts. Although I do carry out careful research before posting and never intend to mislead or supply out-of-date or incorrect information, please do not rely 100% on what you are reading. Verify everything in order to protect yourself as you are responsible for any action you consequently take.
  • Thanks for the replies.

    No union,
    I'm not looking for a new job at my age, I have a god pension I can get in 2 years at 60.
    I will make my position clear and give it a go, if I end up injured it wil be on them.
  • Thanks for the replies.

    No union,
    I'm not looking for a new job at my age, I have a god pension I can get in 2 years at 60.
    I will make my position clear and give it a go, if I end up injured it wil be on them.
    If you try to perform tasks which you know will cause you injury, it won't be "on them". It was your choice to perform a task which you knew or suspected would cause injury. In such circumstances you should refuse and state your reason for refusal and stand firm. Ending up injured and saying to your employer "see, I told you so", is just plain ridiculous. And don't assume you would get thousands in compensation. 
    Bit late with this,

     refusing to do as asked would surely end up as gross misconduct?
  • lincroft1710
    lincroft1710 Posts: 17,457
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    edited 12 March 2023 at 3:41PM
    Thanks for the replies.

    No union,
    I'm not looking for a new job at my age, I have a god pension I can get in 2 years at 60.
    I will make my position clear and give it a go, if I end up injured it wil be on them.
    If you try to perform tasks which you know will cause you injury, it won't be "on them". It was your choice to perform a task which you knew or suspected would cause injury. In such circumstances you should refuse and state your reason for refusal and stand firm. Ending up injured and saying to your employer "see, I told you so", is just plain ridiculous. And don't assume you would get thousands in compensation. 
    Bit late with this,

     refusing to do as asked would surely end up as gross misconduct?
    I doubt an Employment Tribunal would view refusing to perform a task which is or could be injurious to health as "gross misconduct". Remember, your health and well being should be your paramount concern.
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