I was working for a company for over 6 months. I had passed my probation period and continued as a part-timer. Once you had passed your probation period you were entitled to apply as zero hour contract. In my case I started my university after the 6 months so I emailed the person in charge requesting for zero hours contract. Since I couldn't cope with the part time job and full time university, I needed a flexibility with work. The lady emailed me back reassuring me that the manager (at the time) was aware of my situation and therefore for them to order me the zero hour contract I would have to hand in my resignation notice and take a 2 week gap from work and then I'd be given the new contract as zero hours. So I took her advice and send a resignation letter. At first she asked me to hand it in as a signed written notice, but later they just accepted my email and sent my p45.

Since then I have been trying to contact them regarding the zero hours but no one is doing anything about it. I have been jobless ever since. Can someone advise me please as to what I need to do? I knew that they would terminate my work email therefore I forwarded those email conversation to my personal email so that I would have them as evidence. Is it possible for me to get my job back?

I know a lot of people who are under the zero hour contract with the company still but every time I email and phone to ask they say they are waiting for the government policy regarding zero hour contract. However, I know that they have been recently giving zero hour contacts to other employees. I only handed in my resignation notice as per the woman's advice, otherwise I wouldn't have. What do I do? Appreciate your help and advice.

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    Welcome to the site MissT. As written I'm having a hard time figuring out what you specifically need help with. This isn't a site for general advice and we prefer questions that have practical answers. Issues related to the specifics of your contract or interpretation of legal rights are matters for a lawyer or union rep, and we can't help you with specific company policies, Consider clarifying your question to state what you actually want to achieve and mention what country you're in. – Lilienthal Aug 26 '15 at 10:48
  • Thank you for the warm welcome. I do apologise for that, I thought this site dealt with general issues at work place. I live in the UK, what I want to know is that as an employee do I have the right to get my job back after sending a resignation email? As I only resigned as per the managers advice in order to get the zero hour contract. I still have the email which contains the advice that was given to me with regards to resigning. Thank you – MissT Aug 26 '15 at 11:36
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    Unless the manager's advice is regarded as a contract to give you the zero-hours job after two weeks - which we can't advise on because that's a legal question - it sounds like they have no commitment to re-hiring you on the zero hours contract. And even if they do have people currently on zero hours contracts, they can decide to not hire anyone new on those contracts until the uncertainty over their future is worked out. Sorry, I think the advice given to you was in good faith, but other things changed and they can't re-hire you. – Hazel Aug 26 '15 at 11:56
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    Please format your question, it's very hard to read that wall of text. – nvoigt Aug 26 '15 at 12:19

We cannot provide legal advice - you need to talk to your union rep, or, if you hadn't joined a union, a solicitor.

My impression is that you and your employer could easily have agreed in writing to amend your contract so that it was a zero-hours contract, effective immediately. You would not have had to resign, and you would not have had to wait two weeks. I cannot see any impediment (legal or otherwise) to this, which strongly suggests to me that you have been tricked into 'voluntarily' resigning. I also suspect the 'gap' is to try to avoid you claiming continuity of service (although I think the figure for that is actually 4 weeks).

I want to know is that as an employee do I have the right to get my job back after sending a resignation email?

In general, resignations are final as soon as they are received, and withdrawal is at the employer's discretion except in very limited circumstances, primarily when the resignation was made 'in the heat of the moment', and only then so long as you withdraw the resignation almost immediately thereafter.

You could make a case that you were deceived into resigning... however, in your case, you say:

As I only resigned as per the managers advice in order to get the zero hour contract. I still have the email which contains the advice that was given to me with regards to resigning.

At best (and it would depend considerably on the wording of the email), this could be said to create a zero-hours contract between you and the employer. Zero hours means the employer has no obligation whatsoever to give you work. This is a very disadvantageous position for you to be in. Even if could demonstrate that such a contract exists, you would be hard-pushed to prove the employer would have actually given you work in a zero-hours situation.

Because you have resigned on the basis of nothing more than the promise of a valueless and unenforceable contract, your chances of having any employment rights are slim.

Your best bet at the moment is to apply for other jobs that might fit your desired working pattern. Don't wait around in case someone from your old job calls. Even if they did having offers in hand from other places would be a good thing.

If you really want to go back to working for this company, you could contact the person who schedules people on zero-hours contracts directly, explain the situation, and ask to be included in the next rota, preferably by 'phone. I wouldn't go via HR if I were you; they have no incentive to get you a job.

Finally, you could also take employment advice from a qualified person: bring your original contract and all correspondence. But if the legal route is an option you want to keep open you need to seek proper advice very speedily, as you typically need to complete several steps within three months in order to be able to bring a case. Bear in mind that re-engagement (getting your job back) is almost never agreed to by companies and almost never required of them by tribunals.

Next time, don't agree to contract changes without first getting advice from your rep/solicitor.

  • user52889, Thank you ever so much for taking your time to reply back and giving me so much useful advice. Your advice is much appreciated. I have definitley learnt my lesson from this, it was very naive of me to not recognise that I was actually being tricked into resigning voluntarily. I guess as an honest person I never imagined that I would be lied or decieved in such a way by a company I gave so much dedication and hard work to. The email clearly states that they are aware of my situation and therefore in order for them to offer me zero hours I would have to hand in my resignation notice.I – MissT Aug 27 '15 at 12:34

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